Autumn is here and with it the coolness that is beginning to invade Europe. Some people may already be thinking about their future holidays and the pleasure of walking around in mild temperatures. Only a few hours' flight from France is a destination with an average annual temperature of 24°C, a little corner of paradise on the Atlantic Ocean. That place is Gran Canaria. The island, which is part of the Spanish archipelago of the Canaries, is known for its great diversity of landscapes. On both sides, you can walk through mountainous areas, forests, large sand dunes, before reaching the beach for swimming and lazing around. For the active tourist, a multitude of outdoor activities are possible, both on the coast and inland. And there's no shortage of opportunities to stroll through the most emblematic towns, where architecture, culture and gastronomy await travellers. Here are some good reasons to plan an autumn getaway for two, with family or friends in Gran Canaria, the jewel of the Canaries.
A wide variety of natural environments, between outdoor activities and unusual discoveries
One of Gran Canaria's great assets is its variety of natural environments, which are a delight for hikers. As the island is known for its varied and preserved landscapes, one of the first things to do after flying from Lille to Gran Canaria is to hike among the reliefs. You can start by trekking through the heart of the barranco de Guayadeque to walk along a dry river bed amidst lush nature and the sounds of animals. The territory is also home to the beautiful troglodyte village of Cueva Bermeja. The barranco of Guayedra is also rich in exceptional flora and fauna. It also offers the opportunity to spend a few hours on the eponymous beach, one of the most beautiful in Gran Canaria with its palm trees, rocks, cliffs, black sand and clear waters. Another choice walk is the one that takes hikers to the Tamadaba Natural Park, an area declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. It is a spectacular place to walk along the cliffs of the coast and then into the heart of fragrant pine forests. The GC-200 road, which crosses the park from north to south and which is recommended to be ridden on a motorbike, is one of the most impressive in the Canary Islands.
On another day, you must visit Roque Nublo, a basalt monolith that is one of the largest natural rocks in the world. On the way, you will discover another treasure, the Roque El Fraile, and when you reach the initial objective, you will find yourself at 1,813 m above sea level for a breathtaking view of the lunar landscape that surrounds the massif. Gran Canaria is also about the steps that take place between the trees around the Pico de las Nieves, the highest point on the island. Once you reach the mirador, the view of the island's jagged and steep landscape gives you the feeling of being alone and at the end of the world. All this jagged landscape is perfect for walking, mountain biking or climbing, but you shouldn't miss out on a unique experience in Gran Canaria either! This experience is to ride a camel over the dunes of Maspalomas. These large sandy reliefs offer the feeling of crossing the Sahara, with the view of the ocean nearby. And for those interested in the details of nature, the beautiful Viera y Clavijo botanical garden offers a glimpse of the various plants and flowers found in the archipelago
Flying to Gran Canaria from Toulouse is a great opportunity to reconnect with the pleasures of the beach when autumn has settled comfortably over Europe. On the one hand, there are black sand beaches. One of the most beautiful is the beach of Gui Gui, which is easier to reach by boat. The cocoa-coloured sand, the high cliffs, the crystal-clear waters, the setting is perfect to enjoy the sun. Still in the heart of a granite setting, the beach of Aldea on the edge of the natural park of Tamadaba is simply divine. If you want to see white sand, one of the best options is to put your towel down at Playa del Inglès. Located near the Maspalomas Dunes Special Nature Reserve, it offers the perfect setting for sunbathing, swimming and splashing around with the family. The popular Amadores beach is ideal for snorkelling and swimming in the turquoise waters. There are also translucent waters at Sardina del Norte beach, which is a popular spot for scuba diving at the foot of the cliffs. Water sports activities are another must for a holiday in Gran Canaria. Between Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Gáldar, you can take advantage of the windy days to go sailing or surfing. On the south coast, sailing is practiced from Puerto Rico, Pasito Blanco or Puerto Mogán. Impossible to evoke the aquatic pleasures without mentioning the magnificent Salinas de Agaete. Here natural pools are protected from the ocean and offer a serene setting for swimming.
It is because of the importance of preserving this nature that Binter offers trips from France to Gran Canaria on modern and more environmentally friendly aircraft. Binter has been awarded several times due to the positive feedback of its numerous travellers. In addition to being committed to sustainability, which can be seen in the services on board (use of recycled paper cups and paper napkins, etc.), the company emphasizes a premium flight experience, including more comfortable seats, entertainment and a gourmet aperitif offered. Binter knows how to make a difference, evolving with the times, and that's why it is developing and now offers flights from France to the Canaries
Stop in the most beautiful towns, between walks and culture
If Gran Canaria fascinates for its natural landscapes, a trip is also an opportunity to stop in remarkable towns and villages. After a flight from Marseille to Gran Canaria, you should take the time to visit the city and wander through the colourful Vegueta district, rich in historical monuments such as the Casa de Colón. The other district to see is Triana. Its 19th century architecture, bars, restaurants and the shopping street Calle Triana make it a great place to stroll around and have a good time. The Catedral Basílica de Santa Ana, with its different architectural styles, is also a must see.
44 km away is the beautiful village of Tejeda, one of the most beautiful in Spain. Not only because it is close to Roque Nublo, but also because of its remarkable architecture. It also has some interesting museums. The Ethnographic Museum traces the history of the island and the municipality, while the Abraham Cardenes Sculpture Museum reveals some of the work of this major Canarian artist. In the north of the island, Arucas is a must for architecture lovers. It is home to buildings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a pleasant botanical garden and the San Juan Bautista cathedral is one of the most beautiful on the island. The historic district of Agüimes is also worth a visit, especially its Templo Parroquial de San Sebastián, in the Canarian neoclassical style. In fact, Canarian architecture can be appreciated in the different corners of the island of Gran Canaria. On the coastline along the port of Mogán, the Venice of the Canaries; in Firgas, where you can follow an artificial thirty-metre waterfall that flows along the Gran Canaria promenade; but also in the mountains in the village of Teror, whose colourful facades are a call to take out the camera, before strolling through the many shops selling typical Canarian crafts.
Sitting at a table and discovering the gastronomy
The Canaries have their own culinary history, and a stay in Gran Canaria is also a great opportunity to discover local recipes. Thanks to the climate and the sunshine, fruit and vegetables have pride of place. These accompany meat, fish, shellfish and seafood, for dishes that are sure to please. Marinated tuna embarrado and dried shark tollos are best enjoyed with papas arrugadas. These potatoes are also served with chicken, beef and chickpeas in the ropa vieja. Lapas are delicious sea shells to be eaten a la plancha. It is impossible to miss the gofio, a mixture of grilled beans that can be eaten at any meal. Not forgetting the mojo, a local sauce, and the cheeses smoked with fig wood.
As for drinks, a rum is always appreciated as an aperitif. During the meal, we enjoy the flavours of the grape varieties grown on volcanic soils. Listan negro and tanajara are excellent reds. Those who prefer white wines can order a sabro or an albillo.