How do you like to spend your holidays in Gran Canaria? Do you fill your days chilling poolside, or do you venture further afield and head inland to the islands mountainous countryside or el Campo?
In this post we’ll give you 5 great reasons to ditch that beach towel for the day and discover the ‘real’ Gran Canaria!
1. The Scenery
The interior of Gran Canaria is a far cry from the barren south of the island, after a short drive inland you’ll be overwhelmed by lush valleys full of palm trees, orange groves and wild bougainvillea in shades of fuchsia & orange.
As you travel higher, the palm trees make way for dense pine forests and dramatic mountain peaks, dotted with whitewashed mountain villages.
A great way to absorb the beauty of the scenery is to go on an organised walking excursion and we have many trips available that cater for all abilities in our online virtual catalogue, which you can see by clicking right here. Whether you prefer a gentle ramble through the forest or a fast paced hike over a more challenging terrain, there is something to suit you.
Alternatively, book up on a mountain Jeep safari – a fun excursion suitable for all ages, which takes you off-road and enables you to discover parts of Gran Canaria inaccessible by car.
2. The Lakes
The centre of Gran Canaria is dotted with man-made lakes, which have developed their own eco-system and are central to life in the mountains, Presa de las Niñas, Chira & Soria being the most popular.
The lakes are popular fishing locations and are rich in record-breaking sized carp. If you enjoy fishing but don’t want to drag all of your equipment on holiday, Viajes AVC has a great selection of both sweet and salt water fishing excursions for you to choose from and these are listed on the online catalogue here.
Alternatively pack up picnic or barbecue gear, plenty of cool drinks and head to one of the recreation areas alongside the lakes, where you’ll find stone picnic tables, brick barbecues & washing facilities, and don’t forget the charcoal!
3. The Villages
Throughout the countryside there are many picturesque villages, which you’ll find clustered around the local church or square, or haphazardly nestled on the side of the deep valleys.
Venture into any village and you will be welcomed by the local people, stop at a local Tapas Bar or restaurant, or simply stroll around the narrow streets taking in the ambience. Visit Fataga a quaint village surrounded by palm trees and orange groves, or head further inland to the bustling market town of San Mateo or visit Teror, the islands religious capital, famed for its magnificent cathedral and houses decorated with pretty wooden balconies.
Take an island tour to experience a selection of villages, stop off for a traditional lunch and let someone else do the driving!
4. The Food
This certainly isn’t the place for fresh fish, it’s the place to tuck into slow roasted rabbit or spring lamb seasoned with bay, garlic and fresh thyme, or fat chorizo sausages grilled alongside juicy steaks and huge red peppers, at an outdoor grill restaurant.
Sample hearty bean soups, artisan cheeses and melt in the mouth, cured hams, all washed down with locally produced wine.
Finish your meal with a traditional Canarian dessert such as Mousse de Gofio (Gofio Mousse) made from the island staple Gofio, a type of corn flour. Or savour a delicate flan (egg custard), flavoured with cinnamon and lemon, alongside a cup tiny cup of freshly ground sweet Spanish coffee.
Or enjoy a selection of Tapas, small dishes of food, traditionally served alongside drinks. Eating Tapas is a wonderful way to experience many different flavours at once, but make sure to ask for the famous Canarian potatoes, Papas con Mojo, small potatoes cooked with extra rock salt, till wrinkled and served with a fiery red sauce!
5. The Culture
Take a break from the tourist resorts and immerse yourself in the Canarian culture; you’ll be rewarded with a colourful and rich world, full of festivals, history and warmth.
Fiestas or public holidays are celebrated throughout Gran Canaria on a regular basis, especially during the summer months. During a fiesta villages are a hive of activity, small stalls or chiringuitos selling drinks and food line the main squares, musicians perform and the whole village turns out to dance and celebrate. If you’re planning a trip to the mountains try to coincide it with a local fiesta, you’ll not be disappointed.
Visit beautiful churches, historic buildings, museums, drink local wine and eat local produce, say ‘Hola’ to the locals and you will be rewarded with a richer and far more interesting holiday in Gran Canaria.
So try something new next time you visit, ditch those flip-flops for a day, jump into your walking shoes, grab yourself a travel guide and discover what Gran Canaria has to offer the intrepid explorer!
For bookings & further information you can also visit the Viajes AVC office directly contact via Tel: (+34) 928 062 444 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us about your favourite places to visit in the countryside of Gran Canaria in the comments below.