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The Sheraton Salobre Golf & Spa Resort.

Gran Canaria is one of the largest islands in the Canary Islands archipelago, part of the Kingdom of Spain, in the Atlantic Ocean. Located off the coast of southern Morocco, these volcanic islands are a magnet for visitors from Europe, especially in the winter months. When I was asked what I would do with 100,000 Starpoints, I decided on a winter getaway to Gran Canaria for a good dose of sunshine and warmth. I wasn’t disappointed.

With temperatures hovering around a (very) pleasant 23 degrees Celsius, the winter chill in Amsterdam immediately felt like a distant memory! I stayed at the luxurious Sheration Salobre Golf & Spa Resort and spent four days exploring the island. Here’s a short video compilation of my photos:

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Exploring Gran Canaria

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The popular Maspalomas beach.

Gran Canaria certainly is an island of contrasts. Tourists tend to crowd into the southern corner of the island which boasts a warmer climate and some of the best beaches. Most of the hotels and tourist facilities can be found here in a broad swathe stretching from San Augustin/Maspalomas to Puerto de Mogan. Most of the tourists never leave this area and that’s a big pity as the centre, western and northern parts of the island offer some of the most spectacular scenery, an incredibly diverse flora and culturally-rich villages and towns.

Four days weren’t sufficient to explore the island – I had to skip the west coast and only managed an afternoon in the gorgeous capital city of Las Palmas. However, what I saw truly impressed me, especially the majestic mountain scenery and the picturesque mountain villages and towns. Lovers of nature and active holidays (like cycling and hiking) will be spoilt for choice up in the mountains! I drove the GC-60 road from Maspalomas through the mountains, passing places like the charming Tejeda (fab place for a lunch stop by the way!), Artenara and Teror. I ended up in Las Palmas where I strolled around Vegueta, the historic quarter. The atmospheric streets and the imposing Cathedral were sure highlights!

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Majestic mountain scenery along the GC-60.
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Cacti and white-washed villages.
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The impressive cathedral in Las Palmas.

I also drove along the south coast route (GC-500) from Maspalomas to Puerto de Mogan, passing various tourist towns. The towns were busy but the stretches in between offered stunning views of immense cliffs and the bright blue Atlantic Ocean. Puerto de Mogan was my favourite as it’s slightly smaller and has a lovely beach boulevard. From here, I drove inland on the GC-200 past the village of Mogan toward the west coast. I had to turn around at a certain point due to poor weather (fog and drizzle) but not before seeing some of the most dramatic vistas on the island!

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I spotted this windmill along the GC-200 road to Mogan.

On my last day, I went on another drive before heading to the airport. This time, I chose a short route through the eastern mountains, where I stopped at the lovely town of Agüimes.

For my research, I loosely followed this seven-day suggested itinerary in Gran Canaria.

Gran Canaria is easily reachable by air from major cities in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. Airlines such as Air Berlin, Ryanair, Transavia, Iberia, Norwegian Air and Air Europa offer frequent services from many cities across Europe.

Note: this trip was made possible by American Express and Starwood.

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