GRAN CANARIA

GRAN CANARIA

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Small but perfectly formed! Never has so much been crammed into such a tiny island, just 30 miles wide, it boasts volcanic slopes, verdant forests teeming with exotic flora and fauna then in the south, swathes of Sahara like sand dunes and spectacular beaches. Throw in the odd volcanic crater and Gran Canaria has it all!

Third largest of the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria offers 120 miles of captivating coastline, 40 miles of which are sundrenched, sandy beaches. For an island conceived from volcanic activity you could be forgiven for thinking that its topography would be boringly barren. However, nothing could be further from the truth! Due to the diversity of its micro climatic constitution, Gran Canaria is often described as a miniature continent. The northern hemisphere of the island is lush and green, tempered by the Trade Winds, whereas the south is dry and arid, the popular part for avid sun worshipers.

Las Palmas, the island’s capital, is the ninth largest city in the European Union! A major seaport, it serves as a crossroad between Europe, Africa and America. A fact recognized by none other than Christopher Columbus who made the city his first port of call after discovering the “New Worlds”.

Golf is not exactly a new sport to Gran Canaria. The Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas to give it, its full tongue twisting tag. is Spain’s oldest course, opened in 1891, more commonly known as Bandama. With the entire island available in which to locate the course, where was it built? You might have guessed…right on the rim of an extinct volcano, Caldera de Bandama. Astonishingly, it was another 77 years before the island’s second course, Maspolomas, was inaugurated in 1968, golf for Gran Canaria was certainly a slow burner! By the turn of the New Millenium there was a third course, since when there has been a mini-explosion to bring the number up to eight courses. Three are located in the north east, conveniently close to the capital, the remaining five are clustered close to Gran Canarias bevy of renowned beach resorts. Playas del Ingles, Maspolomas and Meloneras.

This terrific trio of tourist traps is centered around the magnificent Maspolomas Dunes, probably the most extensive and most photographed beach in Europe, if not the world. The resorts sit so close to each other they meld into one continuous conurbation. However, the contrast between the three towns couldn’t be more stark. Maspolomas exudes a quiet sophistication, home to an abundance of the islands most exclusive and luxurious hotels plus a plethora of excellent restaurants. Don’t expect to find too much Canarian tradition in Playa del Ingles, entertainment is most definitely of a neon nature, the perfect place for those whose predilection is to drink, dance and party into the small hours. Meloneras is a modern, purpose built resort where chic replaces cheap. The hotels, bars, restaurants and even the shops radiate understated glamour. Romantic restaurants and sophisticated bars allow patrons to create their own atmosphere, a place where those in the know just go with the flow!

Gran Canaria caters copiously for everyone’s tastes, whether it be lively Las Palmas, majestic Maspolomas or pulsating Playas del Ingles. For golfers, the island exploded into a premier destination, cloaked in year round sunshine with a collection of classic courses, it’s easy to see why golfers are arriving in droves to…

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