The Spring is proving an ever more popular time of year to go on holiday as the weather in the Mediterranean is guaranteed to be good, which definitely cannot be said for most parts of Europe.
As we go in search of the ideal places to find a reliable climate at this time of year, the Canary Islands, just off Africa’s North West coast, often spring to mind, and it is little wonder why.
Given their proximity to Africa, it is not surprising that the weather is so attractive to Northern Europeans. Winter barely exists in this part of the world, and as we approach Easter it is often seen as the perfect time, as the sweltering conditions often occur later in the year.
The next question is which of these idyllic islands to visit as there are a plethora of things to do on each isle.
Possibly the island with the most possibilities is Gran Canaria. The second largest in terms of population amongst the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria can satisfy almost every traveller’s requirements. From tranquillity to chaos, from beach to amazing landscape, from delicious food to exotic cocktails, Gran Canaria delivers on all fronts.
Gran Canaria: a closer look
With a population of a little under a million, Gran Canaria is a popular destination to visit.
One of its primary attractions is the beach. Here we can explore some of the best coastline in the Mediterranean.
Furthermore, there is breath-taking nature to behold, as well as fun-filled activities, including golf, tennis and scuba diving.
Playa del Ingles
Situated within the municipality of San Bartolome de Tirajana on the south coast of the island, the beach of Playa del Ingles (Beach of the English) is a logical choice for those looking for an escape from the chill of home.
If it is luscious clear blue water meeting nice white sand you are after then you cannot go wrong with this beach.
Relax and take in some rays or go for a swim, you will not be disappointed.
Alternatively, you can enjoy the wonderful sand dunes behind the beaches of Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas, a neighbouring stretch of coastline.
Nightlife and Shopping
This beach area is particularly popular if you are looking for some sand by day and vibrancy by night.
Playa del Ingles is certainly not lacking in life with many restaurants, bars and clubs worth visiting. Indeed, one of the ‘must dos’ here is shopping.
Shop til you drop is a metaphor much used in this area of Gran Canaria due to its variety of shopping malls, bulging with high street shops and boutiques.
Scuba Diving in El Cabron
Both Scuba Diving and Snorkelling are excellent options to take advantage of whilst on this part of the island.
El Cabron, just twenty minutes down the road from Playa del Ingles, near Arinaga, on the east coast, is widely regarded as the best location for diving on the island.
This is primarily due to the amazing wildlife on view as you reach the depths of the water. The marine life has to be seen to be believed.
In addition, there are more than ten different diving routes available in the reserve.
Indeed, the volcanic reef has caves, cliffs and arches that help produce a wide variety of habitats that host some of the most attractive marine life in the Med.
From tiny seahorses to angel sharks and even butterfly rays, all can be viewed during a dive in El Cabron.
If all this was not enough, some of the most experienced divers in the business are readily available to lend a hand to novices looking for a first time dive.
Nature on Gran Canaria
If you wish to spread your wings a little further around the island there are many places worth visiting.
This park is located in the southern part of Gran Canaria, just fifteen minutes drive from Playa del Ingles, and perfectly illustrates the amazing diversity on show on the island.
With animals from the five continents it is not just The Canary Islands best wildlife on offer, but the world’s.
Often regarded as the best zoological and botanical park in this part of the world, Palmitos contains raptors, exotic birds and dolphins, the latter of which can be enjoyed as part of the dolphinarium.
From the amazing sand dunes of the beach to this fantastic bird park where you can see nature at its beautiful best, it is little wonder the island of Gran Canaria attracts more than two million visitors on an annual basis.
Where To Stay
For something affordable, yet comfortable, look no further than AxelBeach Maspalomas Apartments and Lounge Club.
Coming in at approximately €50 per night (£40, seasonal prices may vary), it is certainly one of the best budget options on the island.
This adult only complex offers a bar, an outdoor pool and all the accessories you would expect.
The modern apartments are distributed over four floors and have proven to be extremely popular for visitors who would prefer to save their holiday money for other aspects of their trip.
Barcelo Margaritas Hotel
The Margaritas Hotel is ideal for families looking for a base with excellent facilities.
The all-inclusive deal comes with plenty of entertainment available during the day and at night, keeping you and the rest of your family amused throughout your stay.
Situated in the heart of the Playa del Ingles resort, this accommodation has two outdoor swimming pools and a children’s pool with a mini-club. Tennis and golf are popular options for those seeking a little sport to energise you during your trip.
Once inside your four-star apartment or hotel room, you will find air conditioning and satellite television, each one with up to date modern decor.
Bohemia Suites & Spa
This luxury option is just 200 metres from the beach of Playa del Ingles and offers stunning views from the balconies available in their large rooms.
Given its name, it is hardly surprising that one of the highlights of the accommodation is its spa.
In addition, it boasts two swimming pools, plenty of hot tubs and a gym, as well as a top class restaurant. Talking of which, the eatery is located on the top floor, featuring a terrace and marvellous local dishes. If all that was not enough to whet the appetite, there is a lounge overlooking the sea to top off the dining experience.
As for the rooms, they all come with free Wi-Fi and satellite television to help you relax and enjoy your time at the Bohemia.
Please note, this is an adult only hotel.
Getting There and Away
Gran Canaria Airport is the logical route to access the island from abroad.
Ryan Air currently operate 30 different routes from here, and there are numerous other low cost airlines that feed the airport with regular flights so there is no shortage of budget options, wherever you are coming from.
Once you have landed, let Shuttle Direct whisk you off your tired feet and get you safely to your chosen destination.
Shuttle Direct can have a designated driver, adding the personal touch, and ensure you arrive at your accommodation ready to enjoy the rest of your trip. They can get you from the airport, sometimes also known as Gando Airport, to Playa del Ingles in less than half an hour.