After unusual cold weather during April in Amsterdam, I decided to go to somewhere warm at least. I always wanted to see Canary Islands. Its name was always interesting to me. Following choosing my destination, I found a good deal from Ryanair and arranged a very budget friendly apartment hotel. This time, I was a solo traveler as in most of my trips.
When I was a child, I thought the name of the island was derived from the bird ‘canary’. However, the name is derived from Latin name ‘Insula Canaria’ because there were many dogs in the islands according to one opinion. The common point of the opinions is the name is somehow related to dog, not the canary bird. You can check more about the etymology on Wikipedia.
The weather was around 30ºC during my stay. The best part is that the shades and inside of the buildings were very cool. I had to use blankets while I was sleeping and I saw many people wearing thin jumpers during evening. I did not feel a sweltering weather.
There are many beaches on the islands. You can enjoy to explore each of them. I guess my favourites are Amadores which has a white-sand-beach and Maspalomas which has sandy dunes like deserts. Since the Canary Islands have volcanic origin, they are very rocky and have very steep cliffs. You may think that the bus will fly over the sea on the road in these steep cliffs. (I guess they ask bus driver candidates whether they can drive over the cliffs without flying during their recruitment processes.) Therefore, it is not possible to have much sand on the beaches. As I heard from my friend, the sands were imported from Morocco. Whatever the origin of these dunes, they are very original and I enjoyed to take photographs on the dunes.
I spent one day in Las Palmas which is the capital of the islands and it was very important for colonizers in the history. I visited the Casa Colón Museum (free to visit) where Christopher Columbus stayed before discovering the America.
When I was in Las Palmas, I wanted to eat something very special. I opened my foursquare application from my iPhone. I was very close to Guirlache Heladeria Pasteleria at Triana 68. When I checked the tips left by foursquare users, the mostly checked tip was to eat La Tarta de Trufa. I just did what most of the people did and ordered this. It was very delicious. It must be eaten in 30 minutes, otherwise the cake goes off and becomes plain.
Besides beaches, there are many alternatives to do in Canary Islands such as golf, paragliding, trekking, and day trips to other islands. When I booked my ticket, I wanted to take my glider with me but I did not find courage to do it alone. May be next time.
- Duration: I stayed 6 days. It depends on your plans. If you want to go to many different places in one week would be relaxing and enough. I guess the minimum duration of stay should be 4 days.
- Transportation: I arrived to Gran Canaria Las Palmas airport via Ryanair. The public transportation is very well developed in Gran Canaria. You can travel within the islands with Global buses.
- Accomodation: I stayed in Playa Del Sol. It was very central in Playa del Inglés. The bus stops are in front of the hotel and there are many supermarkets around it. You can also cook your own food since the hotel arranged kitchen equipment and they are cleaned by the staff almost everyday. The hotel has also swimming pool which you can enjoy.
- Eat: Tapas, La Tarta de Trufa
- Drink: Sangria
(Visne Kiraz May 2012)