Updated: Jun 4
I’ve just returned from Gran Canaria, it was our first visit to the Island and we loved it. There was 4 adults and two, two year olds. We had such a great time, I wanted to share my experience and adventures with you all. Keep reading for all the details.
Before you continue I think its important to understand why we booked a Villa and why we chose Gran Canaria, I think this will help you decide if its a holiday you wish to book too.
We travelled with friends so in total there were 4 adults and 2 infants, Daisy and her friend are both 2. We wanted a villa with a swimming pool and where the girls could have their own rooms and we wanted a villa where we could walk to a shop or restaurant. Next on our list was price and lastly was the location. I had never even looked at the Canaries before as I thought they were all super windy and a bit under rated but I was wrong and judgemental.
We flew from Gatwick Airport. I won’t lie, my experience was horrendous. It was all down to flight times though not the airport or airline. We departed at 1530 which meant we had to leave home at 1000 to sit in a taxi for hours then sit in an airport then sit on an aircraft. Not ideal, Daisy was exhausted and grotty and she didn’t sleep until 1130 that night. Great for you if you have a child who will nap anywhere but unfortunately that’s not me – insert sad face here!
The return journey was much better because we flew at night, we departed at 2055 and so Daisy had been running around all day and was sleepy. She had also had an afternoon nap and the airport had great facilities for children too including park equipment and soft play type equipment in their air conditioned feeding and changing room which by the way was amazing. This time Daisy only took 2 hours to fall asleep after screaming and crying, poor girl but after 2 hours the crew turned the lights off and ‘BAM’ she closed her eyes! We actually had to wake her to get off.
Flight times roughly 4.5 hours.
VILLA – Luxury Villa Lucia
I booked the Villa through Airbnb and for the same week next year, 31st August – 7th September 2020 it costs £1880 which works out at £269pn. The Villa has 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms upstairs one being an en suite, 1 bathroom downstairs also an en suite and 1 downstairs toilet. The villa had wifi however this didn’t work upstairs. The host provided us with two cots and bedding. There were no stair gates but there was one high chair, I’m sure I could have requested these items though so worth asking.
Our host met us at the Villa upon arriving and showed us around. He also sent me messages with all the restaurants, shops and beaches he recommended, this helped us decide where to go. On day 2 we had no hot water and after messaging him he sent someone over that night to fix it, we were out but they came back the next day. Nothing was too much trouble and it got fixed fast. After this we had no issues.
Only one bedroom had air conditioning which we didn’t realise until we arrived and also the large living room had air conditioning. There were plenty of large fans in the bedrooms. I think we we only felt the heat when getting ready but other than that, the house was fairly cool. The daily outside temperature was around 30 degrees. The house was clean however some of the facilities needed updating for example the upstairs massage shower and glass shower trim and downstairs kitchen taps. They both looked a little dirty and in need of an update but overall the house was pleasant. It was a little out dated but for the price, size, location and pool size we couldn’t complain and we really enjoyed our stay.
There is a locked UVPC front door to the garden and another front door to the house which made us feel very safe. The garden wrapped around the whole house which we loved. There was comfortable seating under the shade by the pool and a dining table around the side of the house. Further round the garden was a little play house which the girls adored. Upstairs there was also a balcony which we didn’t use but it was lovely with sun beds and comfortable seating.
The swimming pool was large with steps on one side and was slightly shallower on one side, it can be heated in winter if needed. The pool had a cover however this wouldn’t really help if your child fell in. Both our girls are at an age where they’re cautious and we could tell them to not get too close, younger or more boisterous toddlers may not understand as well. Of course we never left them alone but it made me at ease and so I wasn’t too worried about the lack of a barrier. There was a large container to the side of the pool with floats, balls and toys. We left a little paddling pool there too for the next guests. There were plenty of sunbeds to lounge on as well.
Towels and beach towels were provided along with spare pillows. There was an iron and ironing board, cleaning products, washing machine and dishwasher. The only thing lacking was hand soap but we purchased some from the shop.
LOCATION & DAY TRIPS
The Villa is located in Tuaro. You have beautiful views of the sea however its too far to walk. There is a SPAR shop and a restaurant which were a 10 minute walk and a small park which was just around the corner.
We hired a car which we collected from the airport. The journey was easy and mostly dual carriageways and this took 40 minutes.
We visited Amadores Beach which was a 10 minute drive, we had lunch there and the beach was stunning.
We visited Mogan twice and the journey took 15 minutes. Once to the Marina and the next visit was to the beach which is very small but lovely. This was my favourite place. It had an ‘unspoilt’ vibe, it was beautiful and seemed nice and quiet. The Marina was beautiful too, you could clearly see the fish swimming around the boats. We enjoyed a lovely Paella here which was 40 euros for 2 people however it fed 2 adults, 2 children and we had some left over. We spotted a few parks, Mogan also has some nice shops and bars.
We spent the day at Anfi Beach which was absolutely beautiful and took 15/20 minutes to get there. It had a Caribbean vibe and the water was Crystal clear. We parked at the top of the hill where the Anfi Beach club is, its a multi story car park. We then spotted a lift which takes you and your buggy easily down to the beach where there are shops and restaurants. There is also a heart shaped island which you can walk around, its lovely and green with nice gardens and a nice restaurant in the middle. I loved visiting Anfi Beach and I’d definitely recommend you visit. I’m scared of the Sea but I did go in it as its super clear. I could even spot tiny little fishes, they were less than an inch long!
Lastly we visited Maspalomas one evening around 5pm, the journey took us 20 minutes. We dined in the most wonderful Italian (linked), I know its not local food, but it was delicious. They really accommodated the children bringing out their meal with the starters and not on a hot plate. I had fresh pasta with saffron, asparagus and parma ham, every one of us said this was one of our best dinners. My partner had beef and he thoroughly enjoyed it. We then walked around the town but it was quite busy and by this time it was dark, it was mainly shops and restaurants and had more of a shopping centre busy vibe. I felt it was too busy for Daisy to be honest as she likes to run around and I couldn’t keep up safely. We went back to the beach end, had a drink and then went home. I would have loved to of returned during the day as the beach was huge and the sand dunes looked awesome.
We went out for dinner most evenings however we had most of our lunches at the villa and had a few BBQs as well. You didn’t need to drive far to find a SPAR and we even had one within walking distance but we found the best place was good old Lidl which was in Maspalomas. We also bought some pizza bases and toppings as an activity for the little ones to do out of the sunshine and for us to enjoy for lunch, it was yummy.
What wind is all I can say! I had been put off going because I’d always been told it was windy and the pools could be chilly but we didn’t experience this at all. Each day was 30 plus degrees with little to no wind. The evenings were cooler though, not cool enough for a cardigan though but pleasant.
We saved a bit of money hiring a car I think as all the journeys we did cost us 20 euros total in fuel. We hired a 7 seat car which cost £220 split between 4 adults. You could get much cheaper regular cars but we needed one to fit us all in.
The lads said the beers ranged from 1.50 euros to 4.50 euros depending where you were. I had a few non alcoholic cocktails which cost the same as an alcoholic mojito! So watch out.
Our first meal in Mogan came to 189 euros but the lads had Beers, and we had pretty expensive mains with Paella and half a leg of lamb to name a few. We also had 3 desserts. The Italian meal came to 130 euros with alcohol, starters, mains and 3 desserts! You might guess that I swapped alcohol for dessert with the girls. At Anfi beach, we all grabbed a cheese and ham baguette for 4.50 euros.