Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Maspalomas vs. Las Palmas

So after spending some days in Maspalomas I have been mentally comparing it with Las Palmas.


In the post where I revealed how I ended up in Las Palmas, and how I learned that I had been totally prejudged about this whole island, I wrote about the tourist resorts in the south of Gran Canaria.

It feels like coming to another world. It's full of tourists and also built around tourists. Minimarkets selling products from other European countries (drinks, chocolates, chips, biscuits etc.).  Restaurants with glossy menus written in many European languages, all selling basically the same fastfood. Where is the local and Spanish food? Waiters calling out in German or Swedish to attract customers. Shop attendants not even speaking to you in Spanish, but directly in German or English. 

Although many many locals also go there, as well as people from other parts of Spain, the foreign tourists dominate. When I go to these places, my love for Spain gets confused. Cause it's not like the Spain I know and love. But to have the chance to jump on a bus for 45 minutes, and then come to this world for a little holiday is great, as long as I can come back to my real authentic Spanish city afterwards. Really, what a bonus! I love it in the south of the island, I just don't want to live there.

If all you look for is beach & sun, it's the perfect place. Really, it's lovely. The beaches are wonderful, and especially for people coming from a cold country it's like a little piece of paradise. What is no good is if you leave the island without having been outside the resort to see anything else, while judging how little true character and personality the island has, and that "this is Gran Canaria". The island has so much more to offer! I don't judge those who doesn't see anything else than the tourist resort, I just don't think it's fair to say that Gran Canaria is a place with no personality if you don't go outside the resort and see the real world. Cause it exists en Gran Canaria too!

For instance, Sunday was excursion day to San Mateo for the local farmers market, and my friend was so happy! She loved it in Maspalomas, but thought it was really nice to see something else, and she also said it was like coming to another world. The beauty of the mountains and the volcanic crater on the way was very much appreciated. As well as going to Las Palmas, and seeing normal people leading a normal life in a normal big Spanish city. 

Playa de las Canteras, Las Palmas
So, I can say I love Maspalomas, especially for the beautiful beautiful sand dunes, but also for the nice climate you find there, it being basically sunny and warm all year around. (Which is true for all of the south of the island.) And I think Maspalomas is one of the nicest tourist resorts on Gran Canaria. Ever been there or anywhere else on the island? 

8 comments:

  1. Isn't it so nice to run away for a few days? Even short trips allow for appreciation of your "real" life! I'm happy that you had a great visit!

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    1. I've always been a fan of short trips! It's so nice to escape every day life, although I can't really say I am getting bored in Las Palmas but you know, in general :)

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  2. I haven't been there yet but almost every single person I knew when I lived in Dublin holidayed there :)

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  3. I was just there this October (not for the first time) and the weather was amazing. it's true that the whole area was built for tourists but what can you expect of a place with sun the whole year and so close to Europe?

    waslking on the dunes is like walking in another country. amazing.

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    1. Hi Jesus! I agree that it's completely normal that it's built around tourism with the wonderful climate the island has, but what I wanted to say as that the island really has so much character and charm that I guess most tourist don't get to see. Pueblos con encanto, mountains, green lush valleys. But still, I love Maspalomas, the sand dunes are fantastic!

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    2. it completely true, Gran Canary is much more than Maspalomas. but it happens with the island as with any other touristy place, people normally stay at the resort and miss the rest. but it's nice you are discovering the rest of the island (and Spain)

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    3. Again, very true what you say. I hadn't thought about other touristy places, I just wanted to "defend" my island :) But it's really just how it is. Oh well! But yes, I want to see all sorts of places most tourists don't get to see! :)

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