Get on a short break to Gran Canaria where you can sunbathe, ride a camel and visit a western theme park. A weekend in this island, part of the beautiful Canary Islands, is the perfect getaway to relax and recharge batteries. I suggest five places worth to be visited in a short escape of two days in Gran Canaria and still have time to chill at the beach.
Summer season is just around the corner and if you are already imagining yourself on a beach or discovering new outdoors activities, why not visiting the “hot” island of Gran Canaria! The island benefits from all-year warm temperatures due to its location close to the western Sahara, beautiful beaches either to sunbathe or practice water sports such as windsurf, mountains where you can go hiking and Canarian typical food such as mojo (traditional sauces to dip the bread in), papas arrugadas (Canarian roasted potatoes) or ropa vieja (stew of chickpeas and shredded beef).
I visited Gran Canaria two weeks ago, on a weekend, and found out that two days are enough to unravel the main attractions of the island. Let me show you the top 5 things you should do when visit Gran Canaria.
1) MASPALOMAS BEACH AND SAND DUNES
Maspalomas, in the south of Gran Canaria, has an extensive beach surrounded by beautiful sand dunes. The area is rich in biodiversity favoured by the the lagoon “La Charca” and the exotic birdlife.
If you won’t be in the mood for a walk on the dunes or a swim in the sea, you can go shopping at the Varadero Shopping Mall or have fun at the amusement center Holidayworld, everything located close to the Maspalomas beach. Holidayworld has a fun park, bowling, karaoke, casino and escape rooms to solve riddles with friends or family.
2)CAMELLO SAFARI – DUNAS MASPALOMAS
If you thought that riding a camel was only possible in North of Africa, then you have to change your mind. In Europe you can ride a camel too! In Gran Canaria, one of the places where you can experience a camel ride is at Camello Safari – Dunas Maspalomas. It’s a 20 minutes ride under the hot sun of Gran Canaria, hence I would advise the use of a SPF 50 to avoid sunburn.
3)SIOUX CITY PARK
One of most exciting experiences in Gran Canaria is reliving the Western times in Sioux City Park. Especially if you are with your family or you have children, everyone will love this thematic Western park. They have several shows from the morning until the afternoon, recreating the typical movie scenes of the Western duels, where cowboys will shoot guns to solve disputes. They also have theatre shows keeping the theme of the “wild west” with magic tricks where the public is called to the stage to participate. The ticket price includes meal and drink.
4)LOS AZULEJOS DE VENEGUERA
Nature always surprise us by its beauty and uniqueness and example of that is Los Azulejos de Veneguera, known as the Rainbow Rocks, located at the center west side of the island. It’s spectacular to see an agglomeration of rocks with different colours as green, red and brown altogether. Next to these special rocks there is a “must-visit” restaurant called: Restaurante Grill Las Cañadas.
In this restaurant you can eat the typical Canarian food, drink juices from fresh fruit, buy local organic food, see turtles, and visit a small antiquities museum from the 30’s until the 50’s period.
If Los Azulejos de Veneguera don’t impress you, you can choose to visit Barranco de Las Vacas, in the center east of Gran Canaria, also with a stunning view over the rocks, which are identical to the Grand Canyon in USA.
5) MERCADO DEL PUERTO
In case you are a foodie like me, I would suggest a stop-by at Mercado del Puerto or Port Market (translated to English), situated in the capital of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas. There are several restaurants, bars and coffee shops where you can enjoy tasty food or relax with a cocktail or a glass of wine.
A restaurant that I would propose is the La Tapatica. They have an “infinite” menu made of the best Canarian cuisine. One of the dishes I tried and would recommend it completely, if you eat meat, is: huevos rotos con chistorra y jamon iberico, which translated means broken eggs with chistorra and Iberian ham, although you can search for the dish easily on google by just typing “scrambled eggs with iberian ham” (image bellow).
Gran Canaria is a small island that can be visited from north to south on a weekend. I would say it’s a perfect island for a family, since it has so many activities to do, perfect for children. If you are more into a nightlife holiday style, I would say for a weekend it’s ok, but not for a whole week, particularly when I’m used to the nightlife in big cities such as in London.
If you need a hotel recommendation, I would suggest the Grand Hotel Residencia, in Maspalomas. This 5 star hotel is perfect for a weekend stay. The lush garden filled with palm trees will transport you straight away to a paradise feeling. The price for 2 nights, for 2 people, is around £370.
Wishing everyone a relaxing weekend.
Thank you for reading,