Don’t you just love it when you visit somewhere and instantly feel at home and comfortable in your surroundings? I know that I do, it instantly makes any travel anxiety that I may be carrying with me just melt away and allows me to relax. I feel so at home in Gran Canaria and I wanted to try and share with you just why I love this island so much.
Having been to Gran Canaria twice now, I’ve never felt that it is overcrowded unlike some destinations that I have visited in the past (the actual population of the island is akin to my hometown of Leeds and it is three times the size).
In turn this makes the whole experience of being there feel so much more relaxing, even venturing out is a breeze as the roads are relatively quiet … the kinda quiet you get outside of rush hour in the UK is the busiest it gets there!
But if there is one thing that I have learnt to love more and more as I’ve grown up, its the pace of life you get away from the major towns and cities here at home. I don’t want to be made to feel as though I have to live my life at a million miles per hour, I want to enjoy it.
Plus the steady pace keeps my travel anxiety at bay (unlike our journey to the airport in the UK which was rushed and manic thanks to the UK’s inability to deal with 10 flakes of snow).
Aside from the pace of the island and the perfect climate (we had temperatures in the 20s every day in mid-December), it is also boasts one of the most diverse landscapes I have ever seen and one that absolutely astonished me. More than once.
Both of our visits to the island have seen us stay at the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort and on our first visit we didn’t stray far from the hotel, meaning that we didn’t experience anything other that the desert like South. This time we chose to hire a car for the duration of our stay instead of taking up the transfer available (which was super easy thanks to Jet2Holidays who we booked through) and headed to Pico de las Nieves.
Pico de las Nieves translates as ‘peak of snows’, which considering we were there in mid-December and it was 15 degrees, I don’t think it sees snow very often these days. Driving in to the centre of the island from the south coast introduced us to a very different kind of terrain, one that was mountainous and more canyon like. The roads leading up to the peak are lined with Canarian Pines that offer a year round flush of green to an otherwise rusty landscape and stunning views can be found around every corner.
You see there is more to see in Gran Canaria than the dunes of Maspalomas, the Faro Lighthouse and the wonderful Promenade of Meloneras, the things that people don’t often write about such as the amazing view of Tenerife that you get from the peak, or the picturesque village of San Bartolome.
Another thing that we ‘discovered’ during our stay this time was the Amadores Beach Club in Playa Amadores which was absolutely superb (the hotel offered free transfers to the club on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s) – not only do you get to enjoy a day next to ‘lovers beach’ but you also get waited on all day for the ultimate in relaxing experiences.
It was the perfect way to spend the festive season.
Obviously our hotel played a big part in how much we enjoyed our time on the island and I think it speaks volumes when you have visited the same hotel twice and love it just as much (if not more) the second time around.
The Sheraton Salobre really does get everything right though.
I love how it combines traditional Spanish cuisine with flavours from around the world, how it makes it easy for you to stay healthy in an ‘all you can eat’ environment and manage any allergies you may have (I didn’t have a single IBS ‘episode’ during our time there) thanks to clearly labelling all of the food.
The staff always want to go that extra mile for you, to make you feel more comfortable and to enjoy your stay (having our previous stay referred to on check-in was a nice touch).
Plus they are continually trying to improve the hotel and its facilities and over the last 15 months have totally revamped the main restaurant area, but also the gym and some of the spa areas too. They’re not satisfied with being great today, they also want to be great in the future too.
Being in Gran Canaria really helped me to relax and focus in December, at a time when I felt as though I need to the most, I was able to switch of and just watch the world pass me by for a few days. Something I don’t think we allow to happen anywhere near enough these days.
Have you ever fallen in love with a holiday destination?
Let me know below and I’ll catch up with you again soon, until then though x
*Sign up to my weekly newsletter ‘The Emma Edit’ here*