Thinking about going to the Canaries. What's it like?

(41 Posts)
LowLevelWhingeing Fri 08-Jan-10 13:39:26

Looking for somewhere to go around Easter time, ideally a villa near a beach/restaurants etc, but what's it like there? Hoping to just spend days on the beach with the DCs (2 and 4).

Are the islands very similar or are they much of a muchness?
Anywhere that should be avoided? We don't want a party town, but some nice restaurants would be a bonus - are we likely to find any?

TIA

DecorHate Fri 08-Jan-10 13:44:13

Have only been to Lanzarote (in winter). Was quiet, hired a car for 3 days which was enough to see everything there was ( you can easily do the whole island in a day tbh). Some lovely empty beaches on the north side of the island. If I was going back I would stay at Playa Blanca - seemed to have the best facilities for kids, etc, nice beach.

LowLevelWhingeing Fri 08-Jan-10 13:51:29

Thanks for that Decor, very helpful. I'll have a look at that.

LowLevelWhingeing Fri 08-Jan-10 14:09:20

Playa Blanca looks nice! Found a tourist info site that says it's less raucous than other towns on the island, so that's good to know.

LowLevelWhingeing Fri 08-Jan-10 17:46:45

I've found a perfect villa in Playa Blanca... Any other opinions? I'm getting excited!

I've been to Playa Blanca and it was OK. Tbh I didn't like Lanzarote much but went with 2 friends and we were a bit bored, it is probably much more of a family holiday resort. I didn't like the landscape - it was all very brown. I think that the other islands are quite different and that Tenereife is much greener.

As Decor says you can see the whole island in a day really - we hired a car for a week and it didn't get used after the first couple of days. On the upside we went in November and it was still very warm and I think if you are looking for a beach type holiday with good weather and not worried about much sightseeing then it would probably be a good choice. It is possible to {or it was when we went } to do day trip to Africa if you want a bit more variety.

LowLevelWhingeing Fri 08-Jan-10 18:39:39

Thanks Wine (I liked writing that grin), that's useful. I think beach will be our main activity as I really don't fancy dragging whingey kids around the sights! So if it was a bit dull for you maybe that will be perfect for us? Quite happy to avoid the hoards.

puffling Sat 09-Jan-10 23:05:02

Try La Palma. You can go with Thomson Fly. it's lushe than the others. Not a lot of Brits there.

LowLevelWhingeing Sun 10-Jan-10 13:25:57

Thanks puffling, I'll have a look.

geordieminx Sun 10-Jan-10 15:19:14

Rubimar Aparthotel - 10 mins walk from Playa Blanca, in new marina development.

Lovely restuarants, shops/bars, all very child friendly but not overly "english" - 10 mins walk to Playa Blanca with more touristy stuff.

We went b&b, but had kitchen etc for preparing snacks for ds

LowLevelWhingeing Sun 10-Jan-10 17:52:12

Thanks Geordie, I did look at the place you recommended on my other thread a while ago but it's fully booked up.

canella Sun 10-Jan-10 18:01:48

dont go to puerto rico on gran canaria - like weston super mare on a very steep hill!!!

seeker Sun 10-Jan-10 18:03:36

We LOVE Lanzarote! I can recommend a lovely but very expensive hotel if you like!

geordieminx Sun 10-Jan-10 18:16:24

Princess Yaiza Seeker?

ProfessorPoopyPants Sun 10-Jan-10 18:18:20

Have been to Lanzarote and Tenerife.
Lanzarote = smaller, less to do/see, less spoilt, playa blanca is indeed nice.
We went to Los Gigantes in tenerife and it was more english, louder bars etc, but also v pretty and nice.
Am thinking of going back - what do you think of Fuerteventura, anyone?

Montifer Sun 10-Jan-10 20:13:22

We stayed at this place in Tenerife and would recommend it highly.

I didn't really rate other places we visited on the island but loved Garachico and the banana plantation where we stayed which was fantastic, a really beautiful location.

I was pregnant with DS at the time of our visit but there were other families staying there with young children.

There's a fantastic little restaurant / bar just at the top of the driveway of El Patio grounds which we ate at nearly every night.

There's a beach in Garachico with bathing pools which I think would be ideal for children.

I think the iescape website is great and would definitely use it again.

seeker Sun 10-Jan-10 20:53:58

this one, geordieminx!

One day i will be able to afford to go again!

geordieminx Sun 10-Jan-10 21:13:20

That looks rubbish Seeker wink

E45 Sun 10-Jan-10 21:18:44

Lanzagrotty.

seeker Sun 10-Jan-10 22:14:25

I must have very low standards then!

SixtyFootDoll Sun 10-Jan-10 22:18:19

Playa Blanca in Lanzarote is lovley.
Not a lot to do there, but nice beaches, lovley climate.
Very expensive though at the moment with the Euro.
Difficult to self cater I found too as the supermarkets werent great.
Lots of Netto's there!

LowLevelWhingeing Sun 10-Jan-10 23:29:24

Grotty? Is it? I really want to know!

<shows cards> Ok, I'm a snob. I want a naice place with naice food and no horrid folk. blush

I couldn't get the iescape links to work but we've decided we're definitely looking for self catering - we've never had a holiday with just us and it would be great to not have to share!

But does that mean we'll be struggling for nice food? Is it not like other parts of Spain/France where there's weekly markets for fresh fruit/veg/meat?

I don't need fancy, I would just like some nice beaches and ingredients for nice dinners. smile

SixtyFootDoll Mon 11-Jan-10 07:44:08

Playa Blanca wasnt grotty, was naice.
But you dont get the weekly markets with lovley fresh food/ fruit and veg.
It was £2 for half a cucumber.
Fresh meat was almost impossible to buy.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 11-Jan-10 07:53:02

I really liked Lanzarote, we stayed in Playa de los Pocillos, which is at the end of Puerto del Carmen, which is quite a brash resotrt however where we stayed was quieter. Lovely beach but god it was windy.

If I went to Lanzarote again i would stay in Playa Blanca as it is far quieter.

I really liked the landscape - yes it is not exactly green and verdant but it is sombrely beautiful in its own way.

AVOID the south of Tenerife i.e. Playa de las Americas and Los Christianos, unless you are 19 and want to go on a piss up.

Gran Canaria - we stayed in Maspalomas, which was fine, the nicest thing about the whole place was the sand dunes stretching over to Playa del Ingles. I didn't think that much of the rest of the island, tbh I thought it was very unfriendly. And Puerto Rico is vile, really grotty apartment blocks built on the side of a cliff.

geordieminx Mon 11-Jan-10 08:16:34

Was kidding Seeker - it loks amazing.

Aside from Seekers link, if you want a posh hotel in Playa Blanca then I suggest the Princess Yaiza, they also have great kids facilities. It is on the outskirts of Playa Blanca, which is a bit touristy in parts - but if you have kids you need a few bits like this.

The Rubimar Aparthotel isnt posh - I wouldnt say basic but maybe 3*? It does however have great facilities at the hotel, and is about 10-20 mins away from Playa Blanca in Marina Rubimar - which is very exclusive. It has about a dozen fantastic restuarants/cafes/ice cream parlours, some really nice shops inc Hugo Boss and Timberland, and Cafe Del Mar (sister to one in Ibiza).

If you dont fancy Lanzarote then we went to Tenerife to this hotel which was amazing, and miles away from the grotty touristy bits - its on the outskirts of a lovely fishing village. It had amzing kids facilities/spa/rooms, but it was all inclusive, although the food was out of this world!

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