Doris Visits Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
Christopher Columbus came across Gran Canaria in 1492 and he instantly liked the verdant palm groves and excellent climate. The harbour may be tranquil but the capital Las Palmas is lively.
Visitors are drawn to explore the atmospheric cobbled streets and leafy courtyards of its old quarter, Vegueta. You can get the bus there just across the road from the ship. There is a lot to see. The cathedral in the main square is charming and there are many museums and Columbus’ house. Although Columbus never actually lived there it is a museum housing relics from when he stayed there to repair his ship.
Playa del Ingles is the liveliest and best-known beach in the Canaries and is not far from the port. Just turn left off the ship and you will come to it after a 5 minute walk.
Just beyond Las Palmas you can explore the stunning desert scenery of Maspalomas.
We got a bus from the bus garage just opposite the port. The buses are cheap and easy to use. Maspalomas is about a 45 minute bus ride away so make sure you allow for that when coming back. There are many restaurants there on the beach and it is very commercialized. The sand dunes look like a film set. You can imagine Lawrence of Arabia riding out of them on a camel.
Set in a canyon inland from Maspalomas is the Palmitos Nature Park, famous for its vivid tropical plants, birds and fish.
Don’t forget your sun cream. The sun was very hot and I was glad I remembered my bottle of water!
Further afield explorers will find peaceful old towns like Arucas – famed for its lush banana plantations - and Teror, with its fine collection of traditional houses with intricately carved wooden balconies.
Or, Bandama, an extinct volcano set 1,900 feet above sea level, which offers panoramic views over the island.
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Tours available from your ship will probably include
- Leisurely Gran Canaria
- Submarine Dive
- Two Stop on your own
- Highlights of Gran Canaria
- Walking Trails and Wine
- 4x4 Adventure
- Paddle Boarding (bathing wear)
- Maspalomas Beach Transfer