Gran Canaria is an island located just off the southern coast of Morocco, Africa. It is part of the European Union, so they use Euros. However geographically is part of the warm Africa, this means that in winter all Europeans are fighting the cold wearing heavy jackets, scarfs, hats and gloves… Meanwhile in Gran Canaria they wear swimming suites, tanning nearby the beach or the swimming pool.
The weather is not the only thing that is warm on the island. Gran Canaria is part of Spain. This means that they speak Spanish and share the warm Spanish culture too. Here no one is in a hurry. If you see someone that is stressed and in a bad mood you can tell that he or she is not a Canarian. Here you can feel a relaxed and happy mood 24/7. Walking in the street it is normal to exchange welcoming looks with strangers and all the local wears everyday their best smile.
However be careful to not mistake this way of being. Relaxing and happiness aren’t synonymous for bad service. It has become their normal routine to welcome and spoil all the tourists that come to visit their wonderful island.
I was really impressed because on the island you can find all kind of environment. You name it: woods, jungle, mountains, beach and also desert! Gran Canaria has everything! The Island isn’t so big, so you don’t have to go too far, for example: one morning I drove to the mountains where it was chilly, to pick up chestnuts and in the afternoon I went relaxing at the beach.
The best way to visit the whole island is to rent a car. If you don’t want to drive you can opt for public transportation or taxis, which have reasonable prices.
I found out that in the north of the island, so also Las Palmas, they have often a huge gray threatening group of clouds. The locals call it “panza de burro” that means “the donkey belly”. This donkey belly is the result of rainy and windy weather. This weather might not be ideal for tourists, however the surfers love it. They can just take their board and walk to Playa de las Canteras, the beach of Las Palmas, where the wind is creating perfect waves. Las Palmas is a paradise for surfers, in fact next year the surf Olympics will take place right there.
While the surfers are enjoying the wind in the north of the island, in the south everybody else is enjoying the sun and warm weather.
In Maspalomas you can take a really nice walk nearby the ocean. It starts from Meloneras and you will arrive to the sand dunes passing by the lighthouse.
Puerto Rico and Puerto Mogan are both two nice touristic cities in the south of the island. In particular Puerto Mogan is called the little Venice because it is located nearby the ocean and it has some canals. If you ask me, as an Italian, I’ll tell you that nick name does not fit Mogan. I can’t see anything that reminds me of Venice, however the city has its own beauty. It is full of colors, flowers and the water of the beach is crystal clear (unlike Venice :P).
I’ve left my heart in Gran Canaria.. but, no worries, I’ll go back soon!