THANKS to our heatwave, Ireland’s beaches, coastal towns and villages have been basking in glorious sunshine.However, when the weather changes (as we know it inevitably will!) our thoughts will once again turn to planning a getaway to a sun drenched destination.The Canary Islands have been a traditional favourite for Irish holidaymakers for decades and it’s easy to see why.With numerous direct and competitively priced flights from Irish airports, picturesque and safe beaches, friendly locals and glorious sunshine, there are numerous reasons to choose the Canaries.
Gran Canaria, undoubtedly my favourite of the Canary Islands, ticks all the boxes regardless of the type of holiday you are seeking.Among the most popular destinations for holidaymakers on Gran Canaria are the well-known resorts of Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas.Many Irish visitors will also be familiar with Puerto Rico.Further down the coast is the lesser known resort of Puerto de Mogán where I recently enjoyed a week’s stay.
This gorgeous fishing village has earned the name ‘Little Venice’ due to its beautiful canals.It’s also known as a ‘mini Marbella’ because of its upmarket feel and the large presence of yachts.The resort is a popular stopping off point for tourists enjoying day trips around the island, with many arriving by boat.To access the resort by road, you travel along the impressive GC-1 motorway which traverses through numerous tunnels constructed in the mountainside.Perhaps it’s thanks to this geographical location that Puerto de Mogán possesses an enviable feeling of seclusion.
Rest and relaxation are the order of the day in this sophisticated resort and what better way to pleasantly pass a few hours than strolling around its bougainvillea filled streets.Puerto de Mogán has a pleasant and well protected beach, Playa de Mogán, which is located within a sheltered bay and was constructed using sand imported from the Sahara.For shoppers, there is a very popular market in Puerto de Mogán each Friday which attracts tourists from all over the island.There are also a number of upmarket shops offering designer labels including Fungrubbe which is located alongside the beach and boasts a wide selection of clothing, sunglasses, fragrances etc.
Located behind the Fungrubbe store is the Ermita San Fernando Catholic church where we attended a Sunday Mass presided over by a gregarious singing and guitar playing priest who brought a welcome vibrancy to the ceremony.The congregation consisted of a mixture of locals and tourists.While the ceremony was conducted in Spanish, we followed proceedings thanks to pamphlets printed in English which were distributed.The simple church has an interesting background as it was originally constructed in 1935 by a local family and was used by the wives of local fishermen to pray for the safe return of their husbands, brothers and sons.During our stay in Puerto de Mogán, we stayed at Apartamentos Cordial Mogán Valle located around 600-800 metres from the centre of Puerto de Mogán.
Our apartment boasted a huge balcony (almost another room in itself) with private shower, two sunbeds, a table and four chairs – providing ample opportunity to soak up the sun’s rays from the comfort of our own lodgings.Ideal for all sorts of holidaymakers, Apartamentos Cordial Mogán Valle offers three pools and I became well acquainted with its stunningly located quiet pool.Importantly for self-caterers, a shopping centre and supermarket are conveniently located across the road.If you decide to seek some pampering during your stay, there are a range of tempting treatments available at Spa Las Salinas located within the complex.Located alongside Apartamentos Cordial Mogán Valle is its sister hotel Cordial Mogán Playa which is based on a traditional Canarian village.
The sheer size and scale of this four star hotel complex is truly mindboggling – the site even has its own church located within its beautifully manicured grounds.Cordial Mogán Playa offers an oasis of calm and great efforts have been undertaken to ensure that there is an authentic Canarian feel (even the friendly employees wear traditional Canarian attire).This authenticity is enhanced thanks to the ornate small courtyards which contain various different trees, flowers and vegetation.The hotel’s reception area and lobby are located within an impressive atrium which will undoubtedly wow visitors on entering.Visitors should also check out Cañada de los Gatos archaeological park which is accessible from within the hotel.
Built more than a thousand years ago, the site includes a Guanche burial site,During our visit to Cordial Mogán Playa, we met many guests who extolled the virtues of Los Guayres restaurant where the meals focus on Canarian cuisine with a blend of traditional and new recipes.We dined in one of the hotel’s poolside restaurants where we enjoyed a scrumptious lunch, with the highlight being my divine dessert which consisted of warm bananas and gofio, a popular Canarian choice.Nightlife options in Puerto de Mogán are quite limited but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – especially if you are seeking a relaxing break.
Thanks to its wide selection of quality restaurants, Puerto de Mogán offers something to suit every palate.Dining out in Puerto de Mogán presented an opportunity to reacquaint myself with the famed Canarian potatoes which are generally served with a chili pepper garlic sauce known as mojo rojo.If you feel like engaging in some activity to work off these indulgences, there are many activities available in and around Puerto de Mogán.Numerous boat trips are available from the marina, including to Puerto Rico and Arguineguin.However, we opted to stay on terra firma and chose instead to explore the interior of the island and its capital Las Palmas.
More next week! details on Flights & Accomodation Below
Apartamentos Cordial Mogán Valle – Three star apartment complex attractively constructed into a hillside which provides a wide range of facilities.
Cordial Mogán Playa Hotel – Four star hotel set on beautifully manicured grounds which offers a wide range of dining options and resembles a traditional Canarian village.
We flew with Aer Lingus from Cork to Gran Canaria. For timetable and fares visit www.aerlingus.com Direct flights are also available from other Irish airports.
Gran Canaria’s airport is situated south of Las Palmas and around 40 minutes from Puerto de Mogán.