When: May 2018
Hotel: TUIBLUE Suite Princess Adults Only
Why Gran Canaria: I had just started a new job in January and it was exceptionally stressful – so when trying to pick a place to go for Memorial Day, I knew that it needed to be a relaxing trip. One where I wouldn’t feel the need to make an itinerary and I would be okay just hanging out by the pool. Gran Canaria (the third largest of the Canary Islands) and an All-Inclusive resort would be perfect! (Bonus as it was also Adults-only!)
The Trip: We had a flight from Frankfurt super early in the morning, and it was a 4-hour direct flight to Gran Canaria. The island is part of Spain but is actually closer to Morocco and the coast of Africa. What we learned in hindsight is how versatile the island is – in fact, it’s a UNESCO World Biosphere reserve because the landscape and terrain is so diverse. There’s the coast with dunes, and the crazy middle of the island with mountains – the island truly has something for everyone. It’s actually really stunning.
The first day was all about the beach and the pool and relaxing at the resort. It had taken me forever to pick the right one, and I rely heavily on reviews – so I was a little nervous about the Princess Suites because there was very little written about it. But when we drove up and finally found out hotel (it was a little confusing, it sits in a cove with two resorts built into the cliffs on either side with shopping and a little amusement park in the middle), I was super happy with the choice!
The weather remains very stable year round, of course getting hotter in the summer, but keeping steady spring-like temperatures (at least by the coast). It was a little too chilly to hang out by the beach, but it was great weather for relaxing by the pool. We showed up just in time for lunch – it was an all-inclusive, so I knew the meals would be included, but I wasn’t expecting the super fun drink stations set up. We had gone to Jamaica for our anniversary, and while the drinks were unlimited, there were bartenders to make them for us. This one was a do-it-yourself, and I am not going to lie, it was awesome. I loved getting to visit the Pina colada machine as much as I wanted as I relaxed by the pool. It was just the vacation I needed! 😉 The food was tasty, with a variety daily. I had read that the food on Gran Canaria was really fresh, but wasn’t sure if it would be that way at the hotel, but there were lots of fresh options and the food was really good!
Of course, John and I don’t do well just sitting around the entire time, so the next day (our first full day), we had a plan to spend the morning in on the beach and climbing the dunes of Maspalomas. The views are crazy – endless beaches and dunes on one side, the mountains on another! The water was super chilly, but the weather warm, so it was definitely a contrast. We spent the morning walking around before relaxing at the hotel in the afternoon!
The next day, the plan was to drive straight through the center of the island, to the highest peaks (including to Roque Nublo – the second highest peak on the island), and descend back down to Gran Canaria’s capital, Las Palmas.
The changing of the terrain was insane – and thankfully we pretty much had the roads to ourselves because they were crazy! I definitely recommend this drive because it really showcases everything Gran Canaria has to offers – something for hikers, adventurers and water lovers!
Final Impressions: We hadn’t been back to Spain since our trip to Barcelona in 2015, so I wasn’t sure what to expect…but I really like Gran Canaria, and definitely would go back, even if just to relax. I totally understand why the Canary Islands are a popular destination for European travelers. I would also check out the others islands as well, because from what I have been told – each one is just a little different.