When I am posting this I am back in palm treeless Belgium from my amazing first solo trip.
My vacation had finally arrived and I left pretty little Belgium behind. After a 4-hour flight I landed in the clouds on a tropical and very brown colored island. It is the first time I travelled on my own and I did not plan anything this time.
# The destination
Gran Canaria is one of the Canary Islands; because of its diversity in landscapes and the different microclimates they also call it a miniature continent. Tourism is mainly on the southern part of the island because of the more pleasant climate.
I picked out Maspalomas as my base, which is located next to the well-known Playa del Inglés, which is similar to Belgium’s Blankenberge, but from Gran Canaria. Playa de Maspalomas is a peaceful touristic area with a beautiful promenade, fancy shopping possibilities and the well-known Dunas de Maspalomas. It is a bit like Knokke le zoute. On the beach of Maspalomas (direction playa del Inglès), you will find a place especially for nudist, which we know in Belgium as the beach of Bredene. My Belgian readers will know exactly what I am talking about. If you don’t know, just google it to compare it with a city in your country.
# The stay
Because I booked last minute, the options were little for this destination. Only the higher and more expensive selections of hotels were available. I do not mind Luxury so I was completely fine with it.
I stayed at Seaside Palm Beach *****, which is located next to the beautiful Dunas de Maspalomas. The welcoming was very nice and I was lucky to have someone who wanted to make sure that I had the best available room. So my check-in went perfect and then got a welcoming drink on the terrace. Finally I was ready to explore my room, which was located on the fourth floor. I am always a little nervous to find out were I am going to sleep.When I walked to my room I instantly got a little smile on my face; my room n° in the Belgian colors. I walked into the room and checked out every part. The room was very cozy and spacious, certainly for a single girl. So the princess in me felt like very pleased. The bathroom was small but very practical and really nice. When I opened the curtains, I made many jumps for joy, a palm tree sea view and a side view on the Dunas. What more could I ask for! My terrace was also very spacious. There was a little card, al bottle of water and a fruit basket to welcome me. They called me to see if everything was ok, so nice of them.
The hotel calls itself a design hotel; but if you agree with this or not, depends of your definition of a design hotel. I would like to name it a hotel with a high decorative touch. They mixed quite a few styles in this hotel, but for me it was perfect because it felt like home. The hotel is quite small if you compare it to the other hotels in the neighborhood. I prefer a more personal service and that’s exactly what you get. Every night they wished me a good night with candy and a bottle of water. I could go on and on about the good things in this hotel, but I will tell you more about my hotel experiences in my next post.
# To do’s
Since I was here for such a short amount of time, I did not do a lot. I went to Las Palmas the capital of Gran Canaria, which is a great combo of checking out the architecture and shopping. I also went on a boat trip from Puerto Rico to Puerto de Mogàn, which was my personal favorite. I visited the Dunas since it was next to the hotel and also paid a short visit to Playa Inglés and El Toblero.
* Las palmas
Is the capital of Gran Canaria that is worth to pay a visit, for its beautiful Colonial architecture and a more important reason for some of the ladies: the shopping opportunities. I went by bus, which is a 1 hour drive, but you see the mountains and the sea. So you won’t be bored. I just wandered around the streets of Las Palmas without a map and I managed to find the shopping street and the colonial buildings without getting lost.
* Puerto Rico and Mogàn
I love exploring on my own and I got a tip from friends that I really should go to Puerto de Mogàn. You have a few options how to get there. The first is by bus or car, the second (if you are in great shape) by bike & the third is a combo of bus and boat. I took the last option and boy oh boy did I enjoy this!!! After a 30-minute drive, I arrived at Puerto Rico. I was amazed by the hotels that where build along the mountains. This is a purely tourist town, but the spectaculair views make it up to you. I walked to the harbor and made a lot of panoramics and selfies. I had to wait for my boat to Puerto de Mogàn so I wandered around the harbor some more. The boat trip itself was a zen moment, I can recommend everyone! (even with a slightly weaker stomach, like me) You stay next to the island so it sightseeing from another point of view. After 30minutes we arrived at the beautiful port of Mogàn, also called Venice of Gran Canaria. I just wandered around the little streets & shops, relaxed at the beach and ate something before I had to go back.
- The sea is warmer over here than in Maspalomas, so definitely worth a swim.
- when in Puerto de Mogàn you really should go to Patio Canario and ask for the house bread. It’s cheap, very simple but it soooo good! But beware of the garlic 😉
* The Dunas
I was told when you walk trough the Dunas that you imagine yourself in the film Lawrence of Arabia. So I made myself a proper hat. If you want the total experience, you can walk trough the Dunas on a camel or more correctly on dromedary. I was not sure if they where treated well; so I just walked around and ran from time to time because of the VERY HOT sand! Sandals at your own risk!!! P.S. it’s a cool place to leave a message with stones ;)!
* Playa dek Inglés
My first meeting with Playa del Inglés was when we passed with the bus to get to our hotel. This part of Gran Canaria is not my cup of tea. It is the most touristic area and also the biggest of Gran Canaria. Some part are not that atractive. That is why I like to compare it with Blankenberge. One day is just fine for me. But if you would like to go there you can take a bus or a walk on the beach. The entertainment possibilities over there are endless. I think it’s a great place for families and a group of friends.
* El toblero
If you like to shop, you have many so many options to chose from. I never would have visited this place if I were not looking for specific shoes. From my hotel the walk was less than 5 kilometers, which is a great exercise for me. If you want to walk like me I suggest putting on some good sneakers!! Why you should visit this one? The view! You have an amazing view over here. Shopping with a view on the mountains and the sea, what more can you ask for?
Since it was my last day I went to the beach for the last time, took a dive in the pool, enjoyed the open-air fitness, enjoyed my last dinner and last walk under the most amazing starry sky. I’ve never seen a more beautiful sky at night like this. I feel very blessed that I could stay at this amazing place. Like every amazing holiday, it was to short to do everything I wanted to do. I want to thank the staff from Palm Beach for the amazing stay & service.
If I have to chance to go back, I would like to visit the north side of the island, which is much greener and has a lot of plantations. If you are into hotels and their designs, I have a little surprise for you. I have visited a few hotels in the neighborhood and of course I stayed in one. And and I got two private tours. I will tell you all about it in the next post.
Pictures that I used are property of me or http://www.hotel-palm-beach.es