Situated off the north-west coast of Africa, Gran Canaria is perfect as a year-round getaway location for anyone seeking warmer climes than the UK. Popular with the masses during peak time, getting away in April and September will ensure you still find the sunshine without having to endure the crowds.
If I remember correctly, I believe that this year marks the 20th anniversary of our visit, back when there were only two children to take along. I’ll never forget the flight where, a bored three-year-old Stephanie, ended up kicking the area beneath her seat so hard and so often that we sudden heard the ‘ssssshhhhh’ sound of the lifejacket stored there inflating. Oh, the memories.
We have some lovely memories of our stay there, even though it was just the once. I am sure that within the last two decades a lot has changed but you will still find the glorious beaches and stunning mountains that make it what it is. Here are some of the island’s must-sees and dos in our opinion:
Go under the sea in a submarine
The little fishing port of Puerto di Mogan was a short drive away from where we were staying. It is a pretty little fishing port that is lined with a selection of restaurants serving fresh seafood. You can rent a boat or book an excursion or two from here. We particularly loved a trip to the bottom of the sea on the yellow submarine. Considering Ben and Stephanie were so young at just 3 and 4-years-old respectively, they still remember that trip!
Walk down to the bottom of a volcano
The Bandama Caldera, or Caldera di Bandama, is an extinct volcano that is only a 20 minute drive from Gran Canaria’s capital of Las Palmas. At 569 metres to its highest point, you can take a trek down to the bottom in around half an hour or so. It’s not too hard physically so kids and adults should find it easy enough, but do make sure you wear suitable footwear to tackle the track down… and up!
Trek along the Maspalomas dunes
The dunes of Maspalomas lie along the south coast of the island within a protected area of 5km. It’s not just about the sand though. Here you will find several ecosystems including the La Charca Lagoon, a variety of birds and groves of palm trees. Don’t miss the Maspalomas Lighthouse while you’re there!
Watch a traditional folk dance
Head along to Pueblo Canario on a Thursday afternoon or Sunday morning to watch a display of traditional folk dancing. Always a popular even that draws the crowds, make sure you arrive early to grab your seat. Oh, and even better, it’s free!
Wander through Spain’s largest botanical garden
Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo is Spain’s largest botanical garden found approximately 7km from Las Palmas. Also known by the shorter name of Jardin Botanica, where you can walk amongst the flora and fauna of the island. Not the easiest of places to venture with kids, it’s probably one to limit to doing with older children.
Are you considering making Gran Canaria your holiday destination? Click here to check out these Gran Canaria Holidays for 2018/2019 – Cheap Holidays – Holiday Gems.