Gran Canaria.

Reference: Gran Canaria

Title: Gran Canaria in Winter

Length: 800 words.

Publishing rights: All rights.

Travel company: Thomson Travel

Copyright: Derrick Grover.

Puerto Mogan

There is much to be said for sunshine in winter and our GP had stressed the beneficial effects of extra vitamin D. We booked a week in February at The Hotel Jandia Princess. It is located in the Southwest corner of Gran Canaria and built into the cliff face by Jandia Bay. The 3 lifts serving 11 floors are of glass and give a panoramic view of the surroundings.

An extensive range of food was served buffet style every day and wines ranged from about 10 Euro to 30 Euro per bottle. The fried salmon was delectable and a variety of other fish were offered as befits an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Not that meat was in short supply; veal and entrecote steak were offered at most meals and a range of salads and fruit completed the meal.

Entertainment every evening was varied. The Magic show came out top followed by the Russian dancers. During the day there were a number of activity sports including archery, rifle shooting and table tennis. At the evening entertainment the winners receive a certificate and a glass of wine, plus (if you were a woman) a kiss on each cheek from the MC.

I was intrigued by the dexterity of the waiters who served drinks in the lounge. When the gin bottle arrived at the table it was inverted over the glass apparently until the customer said, "Stop". Presumably a person who stammers could get very drunk.

One of the swimming pools was heated in winter. The other benefited from the warm sun in February and although cool not uncomfortably so. We swam in the sea on most days from the beach nearby. It is composed of dark volcanic sand but a carefully placed water tap is available to wash your feet before entering the hotel.

Cave dwellling

We used the free bus service from the Princess hotels to Puerto Mogan; it takes about 10 minutes depending on traffic. There is a supermarket near the bus stop. Many restaurants overlook the harbour and serve drinks all day. It is an unspoilt beauty spot due to the limitation on the height of buildings. The area described as Little Venice is particularly attractive with arched bridges over the water and colourful doorways generously bedecked with colourful flowers.

The coastal walk takes you to Amadores in about 20 minutes. The low wall, separating the pathway from sheer cliff, has been covered with railings. There was evidently a danger to children who would otherwise be tempted to walk along the top. Puerto Rica is to the East. The hotels and apartments have been built into the mountainside so everyone has a sea view.

We went on an excursion to the cave dwellings of Guayadeque. They have evolved in many different forms. Some are natural caves with a front door added but have been made into sizeable dwelling by hewing out the rock. At the start of the footpath are the restaurant and a chapel. The raw material of rock (which is in plentiful supply) is removed except where pillars or seats are required. Elsewhere it is sculpted to give arches and tables. One of the cave dwellings was for sale; it would be tempting to buy it on a hot summer's day.

View some photographs supporting this article here.

Puerto Megan; Puerto Rica; Playa Amadores;

Playa Taurito; Cave dwellings;

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