Everyone visits The Canary Islands sooner or later… Why? It’s an ideal spot to go when the weather at home is cold, gray and ugly or when the spring is just starting and you need hot weather this very moment in order to recharge your batteries with the sun. It’s ideal because the weather there is great both for sunbathing and sightseeing pretty much all year round. No tiring heat like in Thailand or the south of Europe! No sultriness nor problems with breathing! A light breeze instead of sweat dripping from every part of your body which can be summarised as:

1) WEATHER!

2) AVAILABILITY

Puerto de Mogan, The Canary Islands

Puerto de Mogan and our favourite hotel

The Canary Islands’ availability is yet another advantage – you’ll find it in most tourist offices’ offers, just choose a time, hotel and a specific island. However, it is best to buy flight tickets and see 2, 3 or even 4 islands like we did! We managed to buy tickets via Tui with a flight to Tenerife and a flight back from Fuerteventura. That way we managed to drive around Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura. About prices – don’t pay too much attention as we flew in 2010/2011 (a long time before the blog and a while before Maks) and paid PLN 1400 for two-way flight per person. Not bad considering flying to one place and then flying back from another… We didn’t manage to find such an attractive offer on ticket selling websites. Remember that the tourist office may be a good place to book flight tickets if you don’t like organised holidays (we don’t).

3) YOU CAN TRAVEL AROUND ALL ISLANDS!

Gran Canaria, Artenara

Artenara areas are known for houses carved in the rocks

During our stay in the beginning of 2011 we travelled through 3 islands in just a little more than 2 weeks. It’s easy to hire a car in The Canaries and the distances aren’t big. E.g. on Gran Canaria the distance between the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and lovely Puerto de Mogan on the other end of the island is just 80 km. The only “drawback” of Gran Canaria and Tenerife is the mountainous terrain that is breathtaking on one hand and annoying for the driver and the passenger (especially one with motion sickness πŸ™‚ ) on the other. Despite that, it’s worth buying Aviomarin and giving it a try! πŸ˜€ Because only after leaving tourist resorts and beaches you can see such beauties as Artenara, Fataga or Masca on Tenerife.

Regarding the car: we had to hire a new one on every island as they cannot be moved between them. I suppose nothing has changed in this matter. At first we didn’t like it, but on Fuerteventura I appreciated it – we only spent one day travelling around the island and we managed to hire a convertible for EUR 30! πŸ˜€ Wind in my hair, beautiful views – perfect!

4) SPANISH CUISINE WITH A CANARAN TWIST

boquerones, Gran Canaria, Spanish cuisine

our favourite boquerones en vinagre

Spanish tapas, croquetas,

tapas mix = a perfect lunch

 

 

 

Canary Island means Spanish tapas. Calamari, little fish called boquerones, croquetas that I love, tortilla de patatas (a potato omelette) or potatoes with hot sauce – patatas bravas. If you haven’t tried it before, order a classic paella with chicken and seafood.

 

On the other hand, The Canary Island offer their own distinctive dishes and flavours that are worth trying specifically there:

 

papas arrugadas – little potatoes cooked and eaten with peel, served with pretty much all the meals, especially fish. They taste best with a product that reminds me most about The Canaries and that can be called a culinary symbol of the place:

mojo – mojo is the name for sauces. One is red and quite spicy, based on olive oil with garlic, pepper and peppercorns – in Spanish mojo rojo. Second one is made from olive oil, garlic and herbs and calles mojo verde.

gofio it’s quite an intriguing thing: flour made from grains and corn seeds. It used to be a basic meal for Guanches living on The Canary Islands. The baked bread and pies out of it. Nowadays you can try a sweet version of gofio, in some places served as mousse de gofio. It’s a delicious alternative to traditional Spanish desserts such as flan or crema catalana, with I’m not a big fan of, despite my great love for Spain.

Breakfasts on The Canary Islands were something absolutely great. We made it ourselves from fresh baguettes, jamon serrano ham, delicious Spanish cheeses, juicy tomatoes and freshly squeezed orange juice. Such breakfast, eaten on a balcony on a January of February day is something absolutely fantastic! πŸ˜€

mojo, papas arrugadas, fish, The Canary Islands

fish, two types of mojo and papas arrugadas, a typical Canarian lunch

cuisine, The Canary Islands

yummy!

The Canary Islands, breakfast, jamon serrano

early January breakfast?

5) AN IDEAL PLACE TO GO FOR A TRIP WHILE PREGNANT OR WITH A LITTLE ONE

Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

sunset in Maspalomas

Last but not least, The Canary Islands is an ideal place if you want to travel while pregnant or with a little one (even 2-3 month old) but are afraid of further destinations.

On one hand, all of the abovementioned reasons speak for themselves. The weather won’t make neither a pregnant one nor a little one tired – it’s nothing like Thai sultriness where it’s easy to overheat a child (even a 2 year old one)! Short distances make it easy to see something more than a beach and the hotel without getting too tired. The cuisine is nor oriental nor too spicy with lots of fish and vegetables. The flights are considerably short, compared with flights to Asia or South America.

We’ve been to The Canary Islands during my pregnancy, in the middle of it. I didn’t want to go anywhere further because I was afraid of a long, 10 hour flight and stomach problems somewhere far… Probably nothing would have happened, but we decided that a 5 or 7 day long diarrhoea that we suffered from in India won’t be the best thing during the pregnancy. I also feared that the doctor won’t be easily available in case of some complications – I wrote more about it in the entry about travelling during pregnancy.

Same applies to a holiday with a little one – a lot of our friends who decided to go somewhere with an infant, chose The Canary Islands. A safe, nice and close destination. A place where you don’t have to worry and also a place that won’t be the reason for questions such as: “you’re travelling with a child????” “are you mad???” (like Cambodia or Mexico). It gives you the possibility to travel around, eat something new and guarantees 100% sunny weather which is not something regular on the Polish seaside….

The Canary Islands are just “convenient”. Travelling around is comfortable, same applies to spending time which is quite important if you’re pregnant or travelling with a little one. It wasn’t our dream trip as we love distant and exotic destinations, but in special circumstances such as being pregnant, it was an ideal choice. πŸ˜€

So, if you haven’t been there yet, go! πŸ˜€

Artenara, pregnant travels, The Canary Islands

Maks in my belly and Artenara

Gran Canaria, Maspalomas

Maspalomas – I didn’t get to test it practically, but I can easily imagine Maks there!

PS. I wanted to show you some of our favourite spots on Gran Canaria but the entry about the advantages of The Canaries turned out to be so long that I won’t bore you with an even longer story :D. Therefore, we will invite you to Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura soon! πŸ˜€ It’s worth it because apart from the beaches and resorts, there are some really interesting places to be found after a trip inland. πŸ˜€