Gran Canaria Camping Holiday
For Christmas 2014 we decided at the very last moment to go on holiday – or on what my pregnancy app called a ‘Baby Moon’. One last adventure without having to think about packing nappies and toys and all the other things that will shortly be coming into our lives! Scanning over the cheapest available flights we came across some for Gran Canaria and suddenly it was all booked and we had two days to prepare before we were off!!
Since we love camping and the great outdoors and also like to have the freedom to explore as many places as possible on our hols I started researching campsites on the island and discovered that as well as various private sites there are 14 free state campsites! The only snag is you have to visit an office in Las Palmas to get a (free) permit and book the campsites you want to visit for specific dates which meant a more organised approach than usual! This gave us plenty of options of where to stay but the island is so varied and we wanted to see it all it was still hard to choose our route! It was decided…we were off on a Gran Canaria camping holiday.
When we arrived our first port of call was Decathlon which is conveniently located 20 minutes drive from the airport – I was not going camping without an airbed and blow up pillow!! we also stocked up on gas canisters for our camping stove and Dave got an Indiana Jones inspired hat!Our first night was spent at Camping Playa de Vargas, (full address and details at end of post). It is very close to the airport and each tent gets a little concrete ‘pod’ which shelters it from sun and wind. There is a restaurant and it is close to a pebbly beach. Not our favourite site as the ‘pods’ are quite tightly packed and you don’t get a view from your tent but convenient and friendly so was perfect for our first night.This was the view from our second campsite Camping Temisas (full address and details at end of post). Lovely helpful people and a swimming pool! The garden had a great barbecue area which we made full use of cooking up chicken skewers, burgers and corn on the cob for tea. Dave + barbecue = happy husband! There are also nice looking cabins if you want them. The only other campers were staying for a month of cycling. There are apparently lots of great routes from the campsite (if you don’t mind terrifyingly twisty roads with crazy drivers on them!)
On Monday morning we headed into Las Palmas to find the camping permit office (see below for details) and do a bit of sightseeing at the same time. It didn’t take long to get our official stamped pieces of paper in duplicate for each of the state campsites we planned to visit. Soon we were strolling down colourful sunny streets into the historical area of the city to see the Cathedral and Casa de Colon where we made a new friend…
One day we would love to have a dog and so couldn’t resist this full-on tourist photo opportunity!
Cafe time! We had the 28mm wide angle lens on the camera which is why our noses look so big in these close up portraits! Don’t worry I use my super flattering 85mm or our 70-200mm zoom when I take portraits at weddings!!
Our third campsite was at Cueva de las Ninas (full address and details at end of post). Our guidebook described it as a ‘beautiful reservoir surrounded by pine trees’ so how could we resist! One thing we had discovered by this point is that travel time and distance are not easy to judge in Gran Canaria. While you can easily whizz round half the island on the motorway in under an hour, once you embark on one of the incredibly thin and winding roads that lead inland you can be at it for quite some time before arriving at your destination. Not that I don’t trust Dave’s driving but two way traffic on roads only just wide enough for one vehicle almost completed constructed out of hairpin bends do not make for relaxing journeys – however breathtaking the views!On the way to Presas de las Cuevas de las Ninas where our campsite was located we took a look at several other reservoirs along the way. This beautiful view was by Embalse de Soria and Soria itself had a couple of very useful little shops including a fresh bread shop which also sold meat, cheese, cakes and lots of other yummy things, and a basic food store where we stocked up on mandarines and avocados! You will need to take all your provisions to the campsite as the only ‘shop’ we saw once we arrived was a van selling hot, cold and alcoholic drinks, and cheese!This is the view from our tent at the state campsite at Presas de las Cuevas de las Ninas which made us both very happy. There were only a few other campers and loads of space so we felt that we had the place pretty much to ourselves. Whilst facilities are on the basic side – toilet block (no showers), barbecues and picnic tables – the state run campsites have definitely picked some fantastic spots! If you were thinking of trying to camp without a permit all I can say is that the campsite rangers are very thorough and we were always approached and asked for our permit – I think you get fined if you don’t have one.You can easily walk around the lake and there is also a path to Soria with amazing views but if you want to explore more you will need a book of walks and/ or a detailed map as the trails aren’t marked.
I discovered that asking Dave to take a ‘bump’ photo also meant I had a good excuse to sit down and have a rest!
We’d love to be able to pop over to this campsite whenever we felt like it. There were also loads of friendly sparrows who come right up to you if you give them some crumbs which kept us entertained for ages.
I got Dave to lie on his back to take this one as if I had taken it I might never have got up again!! Starting pregnancy yoga as soon as we are back!
These kind of shots often work best if you get down really low so that you can use the sky as a backdrop and to help separate the figure from the landscape.
Since getting down low is a lot of effort for me at the moment Dave has the landscape rather than the sky for a backdrop here but luckily the beautiful evening light on his arms and face help him to stand out enough and I rather like the way his brown clothes make him ‘part’ of the rocks surrounding him.
CAMPING PLAYA DE VARGAS (1st campsite) Campsite is near a pebbly beach and apparently lots of campers are there for surfing and other watersports. There is also a restaurant and games room and it is only 20 minutes drive from the airport.Address: Playa de Vargas, Aguimes, Phone: +34 928 188 037 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (10 euros for 2 people and a tent and 20 euros for a ‘cabin’ which is actually literally a garden shed with no electric!)
CAMPING TEMISAS (2nd campsite) Some lovely views despite the large metal fence which surrounds the site. Great swimming pool and barbecue area. Good shower block and friendly owners. Address: Lomo de Cruz 27, off GC551, 35260 Agüimes (drive along the GC551 and look for the road marker number for km 4, shortly after this you will see the name of the campsite painted on a rock wall pointing to a steep side road – travel up here past lots of small holdings until you come to the campsite inside a metal fence) Phone: +34 928 79 81 49 | Fax: +34 928 79 81 49 (11.50 euros for 2 people and a tent) Great feeling that you are ‘away from it all’ here.
CAMPING CUEVA DE NIÑAS (3rd campsite) Stunning location, basic facilities – toilets, picnic tables and barbecue areas. Good for walking and meeting hungry sparrows! Address: Tejeda – Gran Canaria (Free but you need a permit – see below)
CAMPING PERMIT: Go to the Citizen Attention and Information Office (OIAC) of the Cabildo of Gran Canariaon Bravo Murillo street (entrance on 23 Pérez Galdós) in Las Palmas and ask for a camping permit. You will need your passport and be able to tell them where and when you want to camp – if you don’t know which site you want they can show you the options and make recommendations. Office hours are 8.30 – 14.00 Monday to Friday and 9.00 – 12.00 noon Saturday. Phone: 928 21 92 29, Fax: 928 21 94 25 Web: www.grancanaria.com. For more info Click Here
Disclaimer: whilst as far as we know the info in this blog post is correct things may have changed and/or there may be errors so please look things up and double check before heading off! We hope you have a fabulous time!!WHEN RUTH AND DAVE AREN’T CAMPING THEY LOVE PROVIDING CREATIVE DOCUMENTARY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY FOR LEICESTER, THE EAST MIDLANDS AND THE UK. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT MORE WHY NOT GET IN TOUCH BY CALLING RUTH ON 07807419140 OR EMAILING RUTH@RUTHJOYPHOTOGRAPHY.COM THEY WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.