Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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Gran Canaria - a Popular Holiday Destination

Mention the word Gran Canarias, or even the Canary Islands, and you will get a different reaction from each person you ask. Most people who have never been to Gran Canaria will tell you of their preconceived notion that it is an island somewhere near Spain. In fact it is more than 1,500 kilometres away from the mainland much closer to Africa than anywhere else being only a 150 kilometres off the coast off Southern Morocco.

Holiday Makers

A long time holiday favourite with Britons, and other northern Europeans looking for some winter sunshine the Canaries, and Gran Canarias in particular suffered a building boom of high rise resorts in the 1970’s fuelled by low cost airfares. As a result package holiday companies keen to market the warm winter weather and what of course was then a very inexpensive peseta.
The Sex Sea, and Sangria crowd were in their element with signs for fish & chips and full-English-breakfast served here it was just like being in Blackpool with the sunshine. The word soon got out that the best places to go for fun in the winter were the Playa del Ingles or the bars of Puerto Rico where English style cabaret acts would perform for the sunburnt Brits just the same as they would in the working man’s clubs back home.
Having such a reputation as a cheap place to place to visit in the winter, and the kind of people that went put off the more affluent travellers who would rather go anywhere else in the world than be seen in a resort on Gran Canarias.

The Place Today

Today we are a long way from the 1970’s yet the high rise hotels, and beach bars remain, but if you were to tear away that façade you would see that there is a whole different side to this wonderful island  with over 80 beaches and vast sand dunes that will make you think you are in Namibia. Once you move away from the party beaches in the south of the island you will find a mountainous interior perfect for hiking enthusiasts with little villages dotted about who have bars that serve traditional Canarian food such as Puchero Canario a stew made using pumpkin, cabbage, sweet potatoes, beef and pork. The broth is your first course soup with the meat and vegetables being the main course. Always look for a place that does not have a view and you can be sure that their food will make up for it.
There are no end of five star retreats to stay at that include Spa’s and golf courses with top chefs from around the world preparing some of the finest food you will have ever eaten.
Now more than anytime ever the Island of Gran Canarias seems to have something for everyone whether it is being pampered in a luxury resort or waking up in a beach chair on the Playa Maspalomas with no recollection of what happened the night before.

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