The journey from Gran Canaria airport to the south is via a drab, grey volcanic landscape, interspersed with occasional prickly pear plants. Not the most prepossessing of starts to a holiday, so we were delighted when we arrived at the luxurious timeshare Holiday Club resort of Sol Amadores. Our huge, two-bedroom, two bathroom apartment with its modern open-plan kitchen lounge area, had all mod-cons; I needn’t have brought the portable kettle. The boys jumped around with excitement when they saw our large terrace with the big blue Jacuzzi. It was their favourite place to chill out at all times of the day and night.
My 15 year old son, his best mate and I had escaped England for a week’s holiday in Amadores in the south of Gran Canaria, one of the Spanish Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa. I wanted somewhere with guaranteed sunshine and the boys wanted a pool with some activities to keep them occupied. The view from the terrace was very impressive – down the valley (fifteen minute walk but the resort has a courtesy bus – much needed in the heat) to the curvaceous sweep of palm-bedecked Amadores beach.
It’s got gloriously golden sand, jumbled ranks of beach brollies, sunbeds and the Aqua Park – a green play area of inflatable trampolines and slides that kept the boys happy most days – at €5 for 40 minutes well worth it. Spread out along the edge of the beach was the usual collection of tourist restaurants serving up reasonably priced meals with cheap beer and a few local delicacies to tempt the more adventurous palates. We spent one very pleasant evening at Ciao Ciao, an Italian restaurant serving the boys’ favourite pizzas. Sunsets are stunning here.
We had a really memorable meal at Memsaab Fusion. The smell of Indian cooking wafted across the road, past the palms and cacti, onto the long, curving sandy beach and drifted out over the Atlantic Ocean. We were delighted to discover this classy restaurant, with its mix of Asian, Mexican and European food, right on our holiday doorstep.
The pool area at Sol Amadores was a welcome escape from the busy beach. People of all ages enjoyed the sunshine, from babies in the paddling pool, children laughing happily during the organised activities, teenagers playing pool and darts, mums reading Kindles, dads swapping stories in the bar and older holidaymakers simply relaxing in the sun. Belinda and other bar staff served us freshly made baguettes, tasty meals, ice cream and drinks – my favourite tipple was a tall glass of rum & coke with lots of ice 🙂
Although predominantly British, there were also French, Dutch and Germans staying here. It seems that timeshare is not only really popular with all ages and nationalities but has a lot more variety than I had realised. People staying in the apartment next to us had recently exchanged one of their weeks for a stay in a villa in Finland and another family were looking forward to a break on a houseboat in Venice. Everyone we spoke to really enjoyed the flexibility and standard of accommodation and local people said it benefitted the economy as visitors spent more in the shops and restaurants than the ‘all-inclusive’ package deals.
As well as our time by the beach and the pool, we visited nearby tourist hot spot Puerto Rico, very popular with families and younger people on Gran Canaria. We had our very best meal there in a tiny fish restaurant in the old harbour.
The highlight of the holiday for the boys was a scuba diving session with the excellent team at Top Diving Puerto Rico; really well-organised and lots to see in the clear blue Atlantic. We went on a fascinating VIP tour of the mountainous interior of Gran Canaria and I overcame my fear of heights to drive our hire car over along the very windy, cliff road to the pretty fishing village of Puerto de Mogan.
It’s known as Little Venice because of the tiny canals that link the harbours. Luxury yachts look down imperiously onto little fishing crafts and during the day there’s a steady stream of tourist boats from all around the island. Bougainvillea drapes colourfully from all the buildings. Souvenir shops and restaurants line the quaint quay. Eating out in Spain is always a pleasure and the boys loved the tasty tapas we had for lunch; grilled octopus, baby squid, mussels and canarian potatoes.
On our last night on Gran Canaria, Isabel, one of the trio of incredibly helpful and friendly reception staff, took us all out to see the silky soft sand dunes at Maspalomas and then on to chic Meloneras to see the lighthouse and artisan market. We heard a lively performance of traditional songs and music and bought some lovely craftwork from the little stalls. As we ate our ice creams and watched the sun setting across the ocean, my son said, “This is the best holiday I’ve ever been on …”
Many thanks to everyone at Holiday Club for making our stay so special. They are members of the timeshare trade body Resort Development Organisation and their owners can stay in a wide variety of different properties around the world.
Such a lovely, relaxing holiday … First time in the Canary Islands and can see why so many people enjoy going there 🙂
This is such a fabulous report, the best one about Gran Canaria that i have read and we have been going to the island since for the past 12 years. Your photo’s are superb showing what a varied island this is as has something for everyone. The resort Sol Amadores where you stayed is the only one which i have seen that has even higher standards than Anfi del Mar which is a 5* timeshare where we own. I would definately look into staying at Sol Amadores in the future and shall be looking into how to go about booking this resort after seeing the photo’s and gorgeous views.
We have been all over the island and my husband Nick’s favourite moment was when he went on a Jeep safari into the mountains, i did not go as get very travel sick and he said this was a very bumpy but exciting experience. They went up high into the mountains, swam in a lake, did off-road spins in the dust and returned back at resort as black as ace of spades all smiles having bought the video and t/shirt and has been on it again with a friend we took with us last year. So would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who wants that extra bit of adventure with some sightseeing into the mix.
I would also recommend getting the ferry to Porto Mogan which is a very quaint town with canals and super eating places along beach, the ferry is a lovely way to travel and goes every hour so you can choose whether to stay all day wandering around the unusual shops or sit on their beach enjoying an ice cream or just go for the morning.
Thanks again zoe as viewing the island through your eyes has made it even more inviting, the perfect place for every holidaymaker whether you enjoy sightseeing or just relaxing round the pool there is something different for everyone and thanks for reminding me of how truly lovely this island is as we are going for 2 weeks in September and now can’t wait.
Luv Mo x
Also we coming a lot of years on this island, very relaxing and we LOVED it
Its exactly as Mo said: a fabulous report Zoe! And it is a realy lovely island to do what you want, nothing, go into the mountains what is great, or doing excurions on your own or with more people
I am waiting now on this moment on our taxi to bring us to the airport to spent a few weeks on GRAN CANARIA and our cosy place is Palm Oasis – Maspaolomas.
Thank you so much for taking time to comment Mo & share your experience of Gran Canaria, which you know so well. That jeep trip your husband took sounds very exciting, but like you, I’d be nervous of the terrain. If we went back I’d love to do the boat trip to Mogan – much more fun than the road! I’d recommend the Taberna del Puerto for the tapas. Enjoy your holiday next month 🙂
Oh lucky you to be going off to Gran Canaria Ada. Have a lovely time & thank you so much for your comment.
In the tapas photo the canarian potatoes are covered in Mojo sauce. We brought a bottle back but it’s going fast. Thanks to Canary Islands Tourist Board Face Book page //www.facebook.com/Canary.Islands.Tourism for the recipe! Here it is:
“Everybody loves tasty MOJO SAUCE! It goes perfectly with wrinkly potatoes, sweet potato and fish. Here's an easy recipe for the CANARY ISLANDS' most famous food:
Grind up a whole head of garlic, a big pinch of sea salt, a pinch of cumin seeds, a teaspoon of paprika or pimentÃ³n and two hot chilli peppers in a pestle and mortar or a food processor. Add a good glug of olive oil and white wine vinegar until you have a thick sauce that coats the back of spoon.
Mojo lasts for months in the fridge. ENJOY!”
I’ve never been to Gran Canaria and have always been a bit nervous about the standards in the Atlantic and Mediterranean islands but this looks amazing! No wonder that your son said it was the best holiday he’d ever had! Lovely photographs and a good down to earth recount of what was obviously a super, relaxing holiday in fantastic surroundings. Even more importantly, it’s obviously a place where families with members of all ages can enjoy.
It was great to have you here and a pleasure to having been able to contribute to your experience. Don’t hesitate to contact us whenever you want to get away to chill in paradise.
As soon as I saw the photo of your terrace with private jacuzzi, I was weak with envy and then you went and published a few more, one of which was the scuba diving and at that stage I was weeping!!
But seriously, I’m so glad you and your son had such a fabulous time and were so well looked after by the wonderful team out there. I haven’t been myself, but this is now definitely on my list of â€œcan’t miss” destinations.
Thank you for the great report about Gran Canaria.I even like it more now and I live here already 15 years…..and yes Gran Canaria is a perfect place to chill and enjoy.
I am glad that the boys enjoyed their underwater experience with Top Diving and as I said before these boys are natural divers!
Thank you very much for your visit and you will always be welcome in Top Diving.
Ingrid and the boys
Please don’t be put off Med or Atlantic resorts Liz. For every poor one there are plenty of very good ones. And you’re right, this holiday was perfect for all the family and a lot of fun!
I envy you your job Ilona – what a lovely place to work 🙂 You and all the team at Sol Amadores share a passion and dedication for the island and the resort that is totally captivating. Think of us back in the cool UK whilst you have year-round sunshine and a much more relaxed lifestyle …
Sue – that terrace & jacuzzi was just prefect. My favourite time was on the last night; the boys were in bed, the packing had been done, I poured a large rum & coke and lay back in the warm water looking up at the inky black skies and thanked my lucky stars for simply being there. Sure you would love it. Great place for a summer holiday but even better to get a winter break from the UK cold and soak up some much needed sunshine.
Ingrid, the boys absolutely loved their scuba dive and Alex is going to follow your advice and go for his Diving Licence – he wants to do it with Scuba Mike & Cool Chris in Gran Canaria 😉
This is a great story and I would very much like to include it with your permission in the next Sharetime magazine which is produced by TATOC, the consumer association, representing 450,000 timeshare owners in the UK and across Europe.
Sol Amadores is one of nearly 100 member resorts and it is always great to hear good reports of timeshare accommodation. You obviously had a wonderful holiday and it would be great to share your experiences on the island with other timeshare owners.
So glad you enjoyed it Zoe. i look forward to seeing you out here with me next time!!!
Emily – I’d be delighted for you to include the story in your magazine. I had a really positive experience of timeshare at Sol Amadores and can see why it is so popular.
I enjoyed your article very much and love this island even more. I have lived here for over ten years and it is often described as a mini-Continent. I wish the Tourist Board would publish the temperature for the South of the Island instead of the Capital, Las Palmas in the North. Especially in the ‘Winter’ months, it is at least 10 degrees warmer here.
The South of Gran Canaria has statistically the best climate on the Planet; with beautiful Spring days being the norm in November, December, January and February! If you want a relaxing, perfect weather holiday (with 350 Sunny days a year), there is no other place on Earth (and I have been to forty other countries) where the locals are so friendly, the streets are so clean, there are fabulous restaurants of every description and importantly, it is safe to walk home at any hour of the day or night.
Sorry to miss you Liz. We went past the port in Las Palmas and saw where your boat is moored. Lucky you to be going back there whilst the rest of have an English winter to look forward to …
You are a great ambassador for your adopted home George. Certainly agree with you re the temperature publicity – the iPhone App showed it cloudy in LP when it was sunny every day in Amadores. Everyone we met was very friendly and, apart from some restaurant owners hassling us to eat & getting a parking ticket, had absolutely no problems whatsoever. Sounds like you have found you own personal paradise …
Great article ZoÃ«. Just reminds me again how fortunate we are to live and work in a place like thisâ€¦
You are so lucky Orsolina – and now it’s cold & wet Autumn here we’re hankering even more for some of your lovely sunshine …