October 3, 2020
Gran Canaria: a five day itinerary

Gran Canaria: a five day itinerary

October 3, 2020

Puerto de Mogan

Gran Canaria is the biggest of the Canary Islands or "lucky islands" as we call them in Spain. The nickname was given with good reason. The islands are located off the coast of Morocco and have the perfect temperature to swim and sunbathe all year long -an average of 25ºC- and there's a wide variety of breathtaking landscapes that you can't find in the peninsula.

It doesn't matter whether you are going in January or August, you can always make the most of this remarkable island. Because of this, it's worth avoiding peak season -July and August- if you can so that you can have the island to yourself.

On this post you are going to find a 5-day itinerary to explore the island. However, if you want to make the most of your experience, I recommend spending 7 days in the island as the ideal option.

COVID-19 Update October 2020

It's possible to travel to the Canary Islands right now from any country in the Schengen Area. International visitors to Spain do not currently have to go into quarantine. However, you must check what conditions your country has when you return from your holiday. Most hotels have now reopened their doors along with the main tourist attractions, shops and restaurants.

At the moment, shopping centers, restaurants and cafes have some restrictions such as capacity limitations and distance between tables. It's mandatory for anyone 6 and older to wear face masks while in public, both indoors and outdoors.

Gran Canaria Itinerary Day 1

Arrival in Gran Canaria. Distances around the island aren't big but it all depends on where your hotel is. Traveling around the coast is fast and easy on the highway. However, the center of the island is mountainous land with narrow winding roads. 

Needless to say, renting a car is mandatory. CICAR -Canary Islands Car - is the largest car rental company in the island. You can book the car you want online prior to your trip and they'll have it ready for you as soon as you land. 

Since you are probably tired from the trip, spend the rest of the day exploring your hotel surroundings. 

Our hotel was Melia Tamarindos in Playa de San Agustin, a stone's throw from Maspalomas in the south of the island.

Long flight? If you are in the area and need to relax, go to the spa at Meloneras Lopesan Hotel.

Where to eat:
  • Pitos y Flautas for a great outdoor dining area with sea views and delicious Mediterranean food.
  • Churrasco for great Argentinian meat.
Meloneras

Gran Canaria Itinerary Day 2

Visit Maspalomas, one of the most famous towns in the island. The top 3 spots are Playa del Ingles -one of the best known beaches in the island-, the lighthouse and the sand dunes at Maspalomas beach.

After lunch, drive to the most instagrammable place in Gran Canaria: Puerto de Mogan. Also known as "the Venice of Gran Canaria", because of the channels around the town, this picture perfect port is surrounded by beautiful houses painted in different colors and bougainvillea on every corner. The fuchsia petals scattered on the floor give it an even dreamier feel.

Where to eat: 

  • Hard Rock Cafe at Playa del Ingles
  • 360º a one of a kind restaurant with 360º views
Mogan
Mogan
Mogan

Gran Canaria Itinerary Day 3

Spend a day outdoors visiting Roque Nublo. Formerly, an ancient place of worship for the aborigines., Roque Nublo is an 80 m tall volcanic rock in the center of the island. This is just an example of the islands geological past as the Canary Islands were made up from volcanoes. That's why the sand at the islands' beaches is so dark.

The roads that reach this spot are narrow and winding. If you get car sick easily, you may want to take your time to get there doing frequent stops at the villages along the road. 

Don't leave the area without visiting the village of Tejeda which is on the "most beautiful villages in Spain" list. It's a charming white washed village surrounded by mountains. If you have a sweet tooth be sure to grab a few treats at Dulceria Nublo. They sell typical sweets from the area made with almonds, the most famous one is called Bienmesabe which literally means "it tastes good".

Tejeda

Tejeda
Tejeda
Tejeda
Where to eat: 

  • Drive 10 minutes north of Tejeda and you will find Parador de Cruz de Tejeda. This luxury hotel and spa offers amazing location and views of the mountains. You can book a spa circuit and traditional Canarian meal for 57€.
Parador Cruz de Tejeda

Parador Cruz de Tejeda

Parador Cruz de Tejeda
Parador Cruz de Tejeda
Parador Cruz de Tejeda

Gran Canaria Itinerary Day 4

Las Palmas is the capital city of Gran Canaria. It's not the most beautiful place in the island but it's still worth a visit. It's a bustling place compared to the rest of the island and has plenty of foodie spots. It's highlight is the beach of Las Canteras. If you are brave enough you can swim to the reef and do some snorkeling. The Alfredo Krauss auditorium shaped as a lighthouse and located at the end of the beach is a beautiful sight. I also recommend visiting Vegueta, the lively old quartier of Las Palmas. Full of life at nighttime. 

A short drive from Las Palmas you will find Arucas. A lovely town famous for the iconic church of San Juan Bautista -built with volcanic stone- and one of the most important rum distilleries in Spain: Arehucas. You can tour the facilities and do a rum tasting for 4.20€

Where to eat: 

  • Allende has several locations around the island. They serve typical food from the island. We were amazed by the quality of the dishes.
  • In Vegueta, check out Scooter for delicious American food and pizzas and La Azotea de Benito for drinks and incredible views.
Arucas
Arucas
Arehucas rum

Gran Canaria Itinerary Day 5

As I said in the intro 7 days rather than 5 are ideal to see the whole island. So for this day I'm going to give you two options:

  • Spend the day on the south of the island at Anfi del Mar, a manmade beach and resort with white sand and turquoise water that recreates the Caribbean sea. Go to Marao Club to rent a luxury sunbed for the day.
  • or explore the rest of the north by strolling around these charming towns: Firgas -a.k.a. the village of water-, Teror -the name has little to do with the word terror. The delightful and colorful wooden houses and balconies will surely brighten your day- and finally, Agaete where you can find Tamadaba Natural Park.

Anfi del Mar
Anfi beach
Anfi del Mar
Now it's time to pack your bags and say goodbye to the beautiful island. But you are taking with you all the beautiful moments and memories that you will cherish forever.

Gran Canaria Itinerary: The Map

Gran Canaria Itinerary: Wear this Here

Liked this post? Pin it and save it for later!

Gran Canaria

July 8, 2020
Madrid for Foodies: La Petite Cuisine

Madrid for Foodies: La Petite Cuisine

July 8, 2020
La Petite Cuisine

Madrid's food scene is foodie paradise. There's a wide variety of restaurants offering something for everyone, from international cuisines to the best Spanish classics. However, if you decide to flee the concrete jungle to find some peace and quiet, you can still find great spots to eat.

This is the case of La Petite Cuisine in Cercedilla, a town 45 minutes north of Madrid. If I had to define La Petite Cuisine with one word, I'd say it's dreamy. Picture a conservatory surrounded by nature, with French cafe chairs and tables al fresco where you can enjoy a long, peaceful and delicious breakfast or brunch while breathing fresh air and the only noise are birds chirping.
Brunch at La Petite Cuisine

Brunch at La Petite Cuisine

La Petite Cuisine, Cercedilla, Madrid

La Petite Cuisine Cercedilla

La Petite Cuisine, brunch, Madrid

La Petite Cuisine offers many things: baked goods, catering service, events venue and workshop. They make the cakes for one of my favorite cafes in Madrid: Salon des Fleurs and I can't wait to attend one of their baking workshops.

Besides the scrumptious food they serve, my favorite thing about La Petite Cuisine is their business idea and savoir-faire. What they offer is not only a great meal but also an unforgettable experience. And how do they achieve that? They focus on quality rather than quantity by choosing the very best ingredients and keeping the number of customers to a minimum so that they don't compromise the quality of their products. Furthermore, every single corner is beautifully decorated so your time there is a pleasure of all the senses. Last but not least, they take the time to talk to their costumers, to make them feel welcome and comfortable. To sum up, at La Petite Cuisine you feel at home from the moment you get there.

Apart from the outdoor area, there's a lovely dining room in the conservatory that you can book for events to get the complete unforgettable experience I was talking about. The beautiful decor, delicate hors d'oeuvres and floral china kind of reminds you of the Mad Hatter's tea party in Alice in Wonderland, right?

You can get the full brunch menu for 28€ which consists of a refreshing cup of gazpacho or salmorejo, premium coffee or tea, a basket of assorted homemade bread, a savory tasting dish and a sweet treat tray to share. We were full after brunch but it was so good that we couldn't leave without taking home one of their freshly baked pies and cakes.

Would you like to give La Petite Cuisine a try?
La Petite Cuisine
La Petite Cuisine

La Petite Cuisine

La Petite Cuisine

La Petite Cuisine

La Petite Cuisine

La Petite Cuisine

La Petite Cuisine


La Petite Cuisine opening hours

During the month of July they are open from Thursday to Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00 for breakfast or brunch. The rest of the year they organize open houses on the first weekend of the month. You can book the place for events as well. You can make reservations on this phone number: +34 636 01 71 15.
Not in the mood for a trip to Cercedilla? You can also order their cakes from their online shop.
La Petite Cuisine

La Petite Cuisine

Le Petite Cuisine

La Petite Cuisine

The town of Cercedilla

Cercedilla is a town in the Madrid mountains. It's beautiful in winter to see the stone and slate roof houses covered with snow. In summer, the temperature is always lower than in Madrid, so it's a great place to escape the scorching heat. Cercedilla is an incredible place for hiking, adventure activities and taking a dip in the natural swimming-pools.

How to get to Cercedilla

Train: take Cercanias line C-8 from Chamartin or Atocha.
Bus: take line 684 from Moncloa.
Car: take motorway A6 north towards el Escorial.

Wear this in Cercedilla


Click on the tag Madrid for Foodies to read more about the best eateries in the capital of Spain.
June 9, 2020
The Complete Guide to Exploring Andalusia: All you Need to Know Before you Travel

The Complete Guide to Exploring Andalusia: All you Need to Know Before you Travel

June 9, 2020
Andalusia, Spain
Andalusia is a beautiful region in Southern Spain best known for its dreamy white washed villages and endless beaches. It's the most popular vacation destination in Europe because of its amazing weather, Moorish architecture and heritage and the wide range of leisure options it offers.

If you are planning a trip to Andalusia, or simply looking for inspiration for your next holiday destination, here's a complete guide to exploring stunning Andalusia which includes everything you need to know before you travel, the best things to do plus the latest news about COVID-19 situation and restrictions.
Plaza España, Seville
Plaza España, Seville

Current COVID-19 situation
Recovery from the health crisis is being painful, slow and long. In fact, Spain's lockdown has been the toughest in Europe but fortunately the situation has improved so much that we are almost back to normal. Beaches and many hotels are open. Right now, visitors from European countries are welcome. Regarding other countries, visitors from USA, Russia and Brazil are not allowed in Europe yet.

At the moment, shopping centers, restaurants and cafes are open all over Spain with some restrictions such as capacity limitations and distance between tables. It's mandatory for anyone 6 and older to wear face masks while in public, both indoors and outdoors where it is not possible to maintain interpersonal distance.
Mosque-Cathedral CordobaMosque-cathedral Cordoba

The Complete Guide to Andalusia: Weather

This region is extremely hot in summer. In fact, there's a village near Seville called the "frying pan of Andalusia" because temperature gets close to 50ºC in the middle of the day. If you travel during summer months be sure to carry water, sunscreen and a hat. Despite the heat, summer is still peak season in Andalusia.

The Complete Guide to Andalusia: Getting Around

There are 5 international airports in Malaga, Seville, Jerez, Almeria and Granada; but if you are traveling from Madrid, the high-speed train AVE to Seville is your best choice. If you prefer to go on a road trip, you can always rent a car.

The Complete Guide to Andalusia: Food

Olive oil, ham and olives are everywhere just like the most refreshing and nutritious drinks on Earth: gazpacho and salmorejo. These veggie drinks will be your best ally during scorching summer months. Another Andalusian delicacy you must try is pescaito frito or fried fish.

There's one city in Andalusia famous for free tapas: Granada. In other cities you have to pay for them, you may get for free some chips or olives with your drink but that's it.
Pescaito Frito, Malaga
Malaga
Playa malagueta, Malaga

The Complete Guide to Andalusia: Points of Interest

Andalusia is divided in 8 provinces: Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaen, Malaga and Seville. Provinces consist of a main city with the same name and surrounding town and villages.

Huelva, Cadiz, Malaga, Granada and Almeria have coastline which includes some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain.
Read this post with the Best Beaches and the Resorts to Stay In
Melia Atlantico, Huelva
Andalusia

On the contrary, Seville, Jaen and Cordoba are inland and offer a different type of tourism. With an impressive amount of World Heritage Sites, there's a lot of sightseeing to do in these cities. When planning your trip, beware that many monuments are closed on Mondays.
Patio andaluz
El Patio, Flamenco

The Complete Guide to Andalusia: Holiday Ideas

Because of its unbeatable geographical features, Andalusia has something for everyone. Let's go through all the areas one by one and see the best things they have to offer:

  • Seville: in my opinion, the most beautiful city in Spain. Plaza de España is one of the main highlights, here you can see the most beautiful range of colorful tiles. Plan your trip to Seville with these guides: what to do and where to eat in Seville.
  • Malaga: best known for its coastal towns like the luxurious Marbella or the charming Nerja where you can find amazing beach resorts. Plan your trip to Malaga and around with these guides
  • Jaen smells of olives. The olive trees that surround the area fill the air with the most delicious aroma. It's probably the least known province in Andalusia but still worth visiting. If you like heritage and fancy staying in a castle, I recommend you book Parador de Jaen for an unforgettable experience.
  • Huelva borders with Portugal so you can get a 2 for 1 if you visit this province. Huelva's strong point are its gorgeous beaches and coastal towns. Plan your tip to Huelva and Portugal with these guides.
  • Granada is a city you have to visit at least once in a lifetime. The Alhambra is considered one of the 7 wonders of the world. Nowadays you need to book your ticket online before you go. Get your tickets here
  • Cordoba: best known for one of the most famous monuments all around the world: the mosque cathedral. Check out these guides to plan the perfect trip to Cordoba
  • Cadiz: a favorite summer destination among Spaniards because the beaches in this area are beautiful and go on for miles. You can't miss the charming white washed villages in this area such as Vejer de la Frontera. See more dreamy andalusian villages in this post.
  • Almeria: the desert of Almeria was once the favorite of western movie makers. Nowadays, you must go to visit the stunning natural park of Cabo de Gata. The water that bathes the beaches in this area is the Mediterranean see which makes it much warmer than the rest of Andalusia bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. One of the most famous beaches in Almeria is Roquetas de Mar, read more about it here
Seville, calle Sierpes
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have more questions while planning your trip to Andalusia, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.
WEAR THIS HERE

Liked this post? Pin it and save it for later.
Andalusia Guide