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English: Beach of Playa del Ingles, general vi...

English: Beach of Playa del Ingles, general view. Gran Canaria, Canary Islands (Spain). Year 2006. Español: Vista general de la playa de Playa del Inglés. Gran Canaria, Islas Canarias (España). Año 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May 2nd 2011 was the date of my first holiday in over 5 years.

I had booked the holiday the year before, giving me plenty of time to save for a well-earned break. As we do not get the real nice hot sun in the UK, my idea was to go somewhere that is not too hot for the time of year, and not so far from home.

It was a 4 hour flight from Gatwick airport, and it was an early flight.

The day I was travelling, I was very excited as this time I would not be going into an apartment, but booked a villa instead.

There were 3 of us going, and it would be a holiday we all deserved. I was so glad the flight was over as I really do not like flying, as after a few hours I get bored and fidgety.

At arriving at Las Palmas airport, we made our way to the hire car station. This was included in the booking of the villa, so no need for reps to keep hounding you to take up their sightseeing tours.

When we finally arrived at the villa, it was more than I could have imagined. The villa was totally beautiful and quiet, in the peaceful resort of Maspalomas. It had the basics in a kitchen. Both bedrooms had their own en-suite, and I felt like a king.

I decided to go to Maspalomas for the peace and quiet, and for the fact it was nearer the beaches and dunes. It was only a short journey into the main centre of Playa del Ingles, where the nightlife was full of everything you wanted. From restaurants to bars, family ones as well as the most famous gay drag bars. Though I did not plan to go out every night, the cabaret bars kept calling, which made for a very entertaining evening, making a few friends on the way. The restaurants were excellent, esp. the larger family run eating houses, but you have to shop around. Some look completely dodgy i.e. avoids the greasy style burger shops and go to a decent restaurant. Meals were anything from €6, and the Chinese style eat as much as you like for €10 was excellent value. The taxi fare from our villa to playa Del ingles was in the region of €3 to €4 so it would definitely not break the bank.

For relaxation we stayed by the pool during the day, before venturing to the famous beaches. Like a fool, I thought it would be far easier to walk along the dunes, only to find that the sun was so hot on the sand I burnt all my feet and toes. Upon reaching the beaches, the sea was far warmer than the pool at the villa.

Dunas de Mapalomas

Dunas de Mapalomas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We did eat at the villa too, as they had the basic in cooking, but what we found nice was the built in bbq area. And the two spaces in which you could eat.  You had the dining room indoors if it got chilly, then you could eat outdoors in the patio lounge area if it were warmer.

We also made our own excursions, and by having a hire care we went up in to the mountains, to a hideaway paradise. Palmatos Park, a visit that I feel everyone should go to. Either on your own steam or with a tour rep plus for €20 you get a chance to have your picture taken with the dolphins, or some lucky children are picked to swim with them.

Should you have children, and then I would recommend water world or Water Park which is on the way to Palmatos Park, as it is a fun day just for the children, with a chance for them to swim with sea lions. The tour rep only came to see you once, which was nice as she left you to have a holiday. She left as brochure of tours and her number should we have problems. It was far better than my last experience when the reps kept hounding you to hand over your money, for rubbish tours.

7 days was not enough, as I was soon to come back home to the UK. The island captured me, as well as the Canarian people. I found them all to be very friendly and helpful; and what with the locals and the bar and restaurant folk. It all captured my heart.

It is one of the Canary Islands I would most definitely visit again, and I would certainly recommend it. If you are a person or people who do not want the hustle and bustle of apartments or the nightlife. Then Maspalomas is definitely the place to go. And Villa Maria is definitely a villa I would choose again and again.

A most relaxed and enjoyable holiday, leaving the hassle of the UK behind

Next time why not book a villa as I did, it is not that much more expensive than an apartment or hotel.

Plaza de Maspalomas in Playa del Ingles

Plaza de Maspalomas in Playa del Ingles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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