With its mild microclimate, beautiful scenery, excellent sailing conditions and marinas, Gran Canaria is an ideal destination for summer and winter sun
With its year-around warm subtropical climate that reaches the high 20s and rarely dips below the low 20s, the Canary Islands are an appealing holiday destination all year around, peaking in autumn and winter when the Spanish islands attract tourism from Europe, especially British, Scandinavian and German visitors.
The archipelago comprises seven main islands: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro.
The Canary Islands are popular sailing destination thanks to their marinas and year around northeasterly winds. The south-western Gran Canaria is also particularly well known because of the ARC Transatlantic Race, which sets sail from Las Palmas in November.
Where to say
Situated in the pretty town of Puerto de Mogán on Gran Canaria, only 45 minutes from Las Palmas airport, the four-star Cordial Mogan Playa Hotel is beautifully decorated with lush greenery, waterfalls, streams and wooden bridges that connect different areas. This particular feature mirrors Puerto de Mogán itself, which is known as ‘Little Venice’ because of its canals and bridges. The town is packed with shops, bars and restaurants. It has a small but popular port and is dotted with enchanting Spanish-style houses and buildings. Bougainvillea is grown everywhere and adds a splash of bright colour to this quaint village.
Cordial Mogan Playa Hotel boasts two pools, a tennis court, gym, spa, a game room, 48,000 square metres of botanical gardens and even a chapel. Should you wish to take the 45 minute up hill walk, you will find a bar perched on the hills overlooking the resort.
The hotel has two main restaurants that serve breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet-style. There is also a cocktail bar adjacent to the pool, for pre or after dinner drinks.
The rooms are spacious, comfortable and spotless, with beautiful views of the hotel and a balcony to relax after a day sailing, swimming or snorkelling.
Service is impeccable and the staff really go out of their way to make sure that guests are well-catered for.
Located a few minutes drive from Puerto de Mogán in Puerto Rico, the Marina Suites are another excellent option.
The hotel overlooks the marina, and boasts 216 suites overlooking the sea.
These beautiful rooms are perfect for families and those who prefer the independence of an apartment, as they are kitted out with an open kitchen and sitting room, all in maritime style.
There is an infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, restaurants, indoor and outdoor bars, a gym, a game room, and the hotel also offers daily fitness classes and evening entertainment for the whole family.
What to do
Thanks to the northeasterly trade winds and warm weather, the Canary Islands are ideal for sailing. The islands boast some beautiful marinas with sailing schools, watersports, sunbathing facilities, restaurants and bars.
Unmissable is La Punta Yacht Club Puerto Deportivo Pasito Blanco in Gran Canaria’s San Bartolome de Tirajana. It can accommodate up to 388 boats measuring from 6 to 40 metres and offers plenty of facilities for a comfortable stay.
Its yacht club is made for sheer relaxation. Order a drink and some food as you take in the breathtaking view from your sun lounger.
If you love nature, the submarine adventure tour is unmissable. The 40 minute experience departs from Puerto de Mogán with eight daily trips and goes 25 feet deep into the water, where you’ll be able to see marine life and shipwrecks.
With 29 species of cetaceans found in Gran Canaria, it would be foolish not to take a catamaran trip to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. Daily trips leave from Puerto Rico.
Fresh fish, meat and vegetables are a staple diet. Many restaurants offer an international menu and cater for children. For breakfast, why not try the local gofio, a flour made from roasted grain that can be eaten with yogurt, milk and also added to soups.
Marinas in the Canary Islands
There are several beautiful marinas on the main islands, making it easy to island hop and see all that the Canary Islands have to offer.
El Castillo Marina
Located in Caleta de Fuste, on the east coast of the island, it is less than 10 minutes from Puerto del Rosario and Fuerteventura airport. With 110 berths for maximum draughts of five metres, it is ready to welcome vessels of up to 16 metres in length. The port has shower and toilet facilities, as well as a dry dock, boat hoist and travelift for any necessary maintenance work. 24-hour berthing assistance and surveillance.
Pasito Blanco Marina
With moorings for 388 vessels of up to 40 metres in length, this marina is close to the tourist hub of Maspalomas, in the south of Gran Canaria. It has extensive services to ensure the comfort of guests and provides anything needed for their boat, from maintenance and mechanics to a 70-tonne travelift, with 24-hour surveillance. Supermarkets, laundry facilities and cafés are located around the marina.
Puerto Colón Marina
This modern marina in the south of Tenerife is 16 kilometres from the Reina Sofía airport. Located on Playa de las Américas beach, the marina is protected with a curved seawall and its maximum depth at low tide is two metres. It boasts 364 berths for anchoring and 237 dry loading berths for vessels of up to 24 metres making this marina one of the better prepared.
La Gomera Marina
This is the most comprehensive marina on La Gomera. Located to the east of the island, next to the capital San Sebastián. The marina has a berthing space for 335 vessels of 6 to 20 metres in length. User comforts include refuelling point, surveillance service, weather information and a supermarket. The depth of this marina varies between eight and ten metres. Its location, next to the city centre, makes it an ideal place for stocking up before setting sail again.
Puerto de Tazacorte Marina
Located in a beautiful natural setting for shelter to the west of the island lies this family-friendly marina with numerous services such as mechanical expertise, free Wi-Fi and laundry facilities. Its 341 berths allow boats of up to 20 metres in length and three metres draught to moor here. It also has a 50-tonne travelift, boat hoist and chandlery.
Puerto de la Estaca Marina
Although this is a port for commercial maritime traffic and a marina for people and merchandise, it does have a 250-metre mooring line with 120 available berths. These are ready for pleasure craft of up to 30 metres in length and 6.5 metres draught. Services include a mobile ramp, 40-tonne travelift, boat hoist and dry dock.
How to get there
British Airways, Easyjet, Monarch and Ryanair fly directly to the Canary Islands. Prices start at just over £200 return per person and flying time is around four hours from the UK.
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