One of the last trips we took as a family of 3 was to Gran Canaria, a place we had never been to before but was recommended to us for the climate and child friendly beaches.
Rather than book an all inclusive, we decided to book a DIY trip, with Ruby being only 2, we felt she would not eat/drink enough to warrant the all inclusive price.
What we booked…
Firstly, we used SkyScanner to check the flight prices and flight times, we tried to avoid very early/late flights as the routine is always harder to get back into with late nights! We actually found flights from Gatwick with TUI to be at the best times and the most reasonably priced, for the three of us it was £194 and then we paid £46 for one 20kg bag between us. Ruby had her own seat this time being over two so we had three in a row. We took various things to entertain her including a colouring pack, books, plenty of snacks and we did cave and download a few children’s programmes on the iPad using Netflix as you can access these offline. On the way home we had a two hour delay so in the end this was needed!
For accommodation we used AirBnB and found a lovely two bedroom place in the south of the island. The host was very easy to communicate with and even found us a bed guard, she also added extras such as a bottle of wine which was a nice touch! There was a large communal pool you could use too, although it wasn’t heated so a tad cold in April! The nearest shopping centre was a few minutes walk away and we found a nice restaurant in the complex to eat one evening.
As we like to explore, we hired a car through Cicar who operate in the canaries and we had previously used them in Fuerteventura. Cicar provide child seats for free and do not add on hidden charges like other companies we have used in the past. Their vehicles are not as new and shiny as some other firms but perfectly fine for touring round the island.
The other advantage of hiring a car is being able to do a supermarket shop, we stocked up on breakfast and lunch bits, tending to go out for dinner instead. They have the likes of Lidl and Mercedona, both are good value for money and hold a good variety of stock.
Holiday highlights with a toddler…
Beach beach beach! After a few days we found the most amazing child friendly beach that would rival some of the beaches we have been to in Asia. The water was calm and clear, the sand was powder white and most importantly the area was very safe for young children. The beach is called Anfi and is located near Patalavaca, there are plenty of shops and restaurants within easy walking distance and we never had a problem parking, we tended to arrive about 10am to get a good spot.
A few other beaches worth a mention are Playa de Amodores, the dunes of Maspalomas and the beach near Meloneras which makes a lovely walk, there are good restaurants around that part too.
If you want a bit of a break from the beach, there is a great park nearby called Parque Urbano del Sur. There is a little cafe there but we often took our own picnic. It’s a great space for children to burn off some extra energy!
Now for food! There are hundreds of restaurants to choose from so I’m just going to pick our top three….
The first one took us ages to find in a random shopping centre with multiple levels but I’m glad we didn’t give up as it was amazing! Dua Bapa is an Indonesian restaurant, the quality of the food was fantastic and the service fabulous, they also made a huge effort with Ruby and made her up special dishes to try which was very sweet. The meal was also very reasonable and we would definitely go back.
The second place was in a run down shopping centre close to where we were staying, El Nublo is a family run Steakhouse and again we were very impressed with the food and the way they interacted with Ruby. It wasn’t busy, probably due to the location, however we didn’t mind having the place more or less to ourselves!
Finally, on our last night we chose a restaurant on the beach called La Proa Casa Reyes. This one was probably the least toddler friendly but they still had high chairs. I think it would have been a lovely place to go to relax but Ruby wasn’t in the mood to sit still for too long. The food here was lovely and although a little more expensive that the other two, the food was very fresh and location far superior.
I was six months pregnant on this trip and I found the climate perfect in early May, the flight was also only 4 hours from London so manageable, even with a wriggly toddler.
We enjoyed this trip so much we are going back next year with both children!
Please feel free to comment or contact me if you have any Gran Canaria questions.