While the idea of a package holiday in the Canary Islands might fill some holidaymakers with dread, there really is no reason to believe the hype.
Yes, it is largely the domain of pleasure-seeking Europeans, but this doesn’t have to be your abiding impression, as Time Out found out, much to our joy. We jetted off to Gran Canaria and after an inexpensive and straightforward bus ride into the made-for-tourism resort of Puerto Rico, we bedded in for five days of battery recharging.
The Altamar Hotel might be a popular destination for boisterous Brits, but if you play your cards right and book one of the sizeable studios near the top of the resort, you can find the peace you are seeking.
With exceptional views over the Atlantic and a climate conducive to soaking up the sun, you’ll soon feel all your worries drift away. Although technically in Puerto Rico, the Altamar is actually nearer Amadores, which has a far superior beach and is only a downhill stroll away. Along with the white sand and azure sea, you’ll find a selection of decent restaurants and bars to cool off in.
However, if you are still put off by the British hordes, jump on a bus to the idyllic Puerto de Mogán. Dubbed “Little Venice” due to the canals that link the harbour to the marina, this little fishing village is much more refined. Its Friday market is well worth the visit, offering a range of stalls run by local artisans who craft jewellery and other handmade goods. There’s also a beach that even attracts Spanish tourists, along with a good selection of restaurants along the small promenade.
But if you really want some authentic Spanish fare, try the Balcón Canario in Puerto Rico. This family-run eatery might be stuck in a shabby shopping centre, but look past the appearance and gorge on the food. The paella is quite simply one of the tastiest dishes we have ever tried.
Fly to Las Palmas via Madrid with Emirates and Iberia from Dhs4,085.
Three top isle highs
Puerto de mogÁn
A beautiful little fishing village with a superb beach, good restaurants and some bargains to be had at the market.
Take the No.1 bus from Puerto Rico.
The fantastic food is coupled with superb service from the family team. Even the locals love to eat here.
Av.Tomas Roca Bosch, Puerto Rico.
This cheap, cheerful venue has extremely welcoming staff.
From Dhs170 per room, per night. www.altamarhotels.com.