Friday, November 13, 2009

Playa de Las Canteras - Europe's Copacabana

Las Palmas is Europe's southern most metropolis. The city enjoys as pleasant climate all year around, and has one of the best beaches in Europe as one of its biggest assets. Playa de Las Canteras follows most of its seafront, and it is protected by shallow reefs. The Las Canteras beach is Europe's closest rival to the Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro!

Above is a picture from my first visit to Las Palmas in 1995. The wide and beautiful beach of this large city outside the northwest African coast made an impression on a visiting Scandinavian, and when traveling to Gran Canaria in March this year we decided to revisit.

Most of the tourists visiting Gran Canaria end up on the resorts on the southern tip of the island. The location of these new developments are very understandable. As the interior of Gran Canaria is dominated by high mountains, the northern part is more humid, but is in contrast to the south, covered by beautiful green vegetation.

The first charter tourists from Scandinavia to the Canary Islands went to stay in Las Palmas, and the city has had a renaissance as destination these last years. In spite of the more unstable weather conditions, it is a vibrant metropolis of around 400 000 inhabitants, with so much more to offer than the newer gigantic tourist machines further down the coast. Here you can visit the old historic part of town, but one of its biggest assets, in my opinion, is the Las Canteras beach.

I remember it as wider back then, but I believe that this time we were there during high tide. We did not bring our swimming gear, but walked along the seafront. We watched surfers riding the breaking waves, as well as those take a swim, or working on a nice tan.

My sister and her husband is one that always come back to Las Palmas. They rent a beach front room every year and are thrilled by all Las Palmas has to offer. By the beach front there are many places to eat, have a snack or just enjoying a glass of wine or beer. Then you can just cross the street and have a swim.

I think I will follow their example and try this urban alternative at Gran Canaria. What we may miss in form of a stable climate, we may find in the form of entertainment.

More beach stories on Enjoy Food & Travel
More on Gran Canaria

See this map for more information on sights, bars and resturants, hotels, and travel stories from our visit to Gran Canaria.

Vis Gran Canaria from A-Z 2009 i et større kart

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