I’ll be honest with you, call it ignorance, but before my parents asked me if I wanted to join them in Gran Canaria for the Summer this year I had never heard of it. ‘Sure!’ I said but ‘Canary what?’ is what I thought. After a solid google sesh I decided that spending a week of my Summer poolside in a Spanish Isle off the coast of Africa sounded like something I could definitely get behind. So I packed my bikini (yes, singular. I do live in London after all) and made my way to Gran Canaria with my parentals. Yes, before you ask; it got lit. Obviously.
So what does one do in Gran Canaria you may be asking? Well in all honesty, there’s not a tonne to do. Most of the tourists that find themselves holidaying in Gran Canaria are English sun-chasers (and after living in the U.K for a year and a half, I can totally resonate on a spiritual level with these people) but if you happen to find yourself here and getting a little restless whilst getting an epic tan poolside, there are a few options out there for you. Here’s what I recommend checking out:
Fátaga is a quaint village characterised by its narrow lanes and historic Canarian houses. The population today doesn’t quite reach 400 occupants making the village very quick to walk through! But if you’re anything like me and enjoy taking a stroll through places where the locals live, Fátaga is worth a visit.
On your way back to your resort make sure you check out the impressive gorges that line the windy roads (motion sick travelers, beware!).
Puerto de Mogán
A small fishing village on the coast of Gran Canaria, Puerto de Mogan is a popular destination for both day trips and overnight stays. We spent a few hours walking around the pretty, bougainvillea lined streets and had lunch at a local cafe. A word to the wise: keep an eye out for daily 3 course specials at restaurants. It’s great value for money and it the food is usually fab too!
San Bartolomé De Tirajana
We spent an afternoon strolling around San Bartolomé De Tirajana and walking, ok crawling, up the steep hills and taking in the views of the town. Quite lush in comparison to the majority of the island (seriously, there is life on Mars) I enjoyed walking around the quiet streets and forcing my parents to take photos of me in front of cool doors. I can say with confidence that we all had a truly fabulous time.
Arucas, Las Palmas
Located in the North of Gran Canaria, Arucas is another small town worth a day trip. The Church of San Juan Bautista is pretty damn impressive and if you’re as much of a fan of narrow, colourful alleyways and cute cafes as I am, you may quite like it here. Again, I made my parents take photos of my back as I ‘candidly’ and ‘nonchalantly’ walked around the winding alleyways as though I didn’t have a care in the world. They’re definitely going to take me on the next family trip.
Folks, I’m going to be honest with you here. The drive aside, walking through these small towns only requires about 30 minutes of your time. You may have guessed it by now but if you’re looking for a jam packed adventure holiday and want to immerse yourself into the local culture, Gran Canaria is not the place for you. If, however, you want to spend the majority of your day catching rays by the pool or beach then Gran Canaria may be exactly what you need. And hey, after the unpredictable English weather that I’ve made myself subject to for the past year and a half, who’s complaining?!
Stay tuned either here or on my Instagram (@therunawaydiaries) because next I’m off to Crete!