Gran Canaria: Puerto Mogán, March 2010
In March 2010 we took our first ever family package holiday, opting for the guaranteed good weather of Gran Canaria. We chose the fishing village of Puerto Mogán on the Atlantic coast, far from the party towns of Playa Inglés etc.
We quickly fell in love with the valley, with it's dramatic volcanic landscape and picturesque town centre, apparently known locally as the Venice of the Canaries due to it's many canals and bridges. But to be honest, we didn't do very much exploring, being quite happy to enjoy the hotel premises and the occasional walk down to the cosy but not particularly crowded beach.
The hotel, Cordial Mogán Valle, was superb, complete with all the conveniences for families with small children. We were given a handicap-friendly room on the ground floor just beside the kiddie pool, which was absolutely perfect for our purposes. The local supermarket was just next door, so we opted to make our own meals for breakfast and lunch and took advantage of the restaurant buffet for dinners. Most of the other guests were also Northern European, especially Scandinavian, so Thomas had no trouble making friends in the pool. He divided his time between frolicking in the (warmer) kiddie pool and jumping into the big (rather chilly) pool with his various inflateable toys, keeping his dad on the go after him. His new penguin towel came in very handy to keep the chill off on the short distance back to the room, where he became quite comfortable with using the hair dryer to warm himself up. James meanwhile only took short dips in the pool, but enjoyed the shower afterwards almost as much. It didn't stop him from trying to crawl back to the pool at every opportunity!
The beach was a pleasant 20-minute walk from the hotel, and hardly populated at all during the morning hours when we chose to visit. James thoroughly enjoyed his first beach experience, although the Saharan sand here is particularly sticky and seems to get everywhere! Luckily it was also quite hard, and easy to bring the stroller down so he could snooze a bit. Both boys loved wading into the water even though it was not particularly warm, but they can now claim to have dipped their toes in the Atlantic (or at least a very calm cove beside it).
The strip next to the beach had the usual assortment of tourist restaurants, but we mainly frequented the "Tapas Tapas" establishment which had the dual advantage of a) a children's menu and b) location next to a playground. Thomas and James enjoyed their first seesaw ride together, especially the bumps as they went up and down. They also enjoyed the fresh fruit smoothies and the homemade Italian ice cream from the local gelateria!
All in all the holiday was a big success, despite being (like most holidays) too short. The flights were fine (though we could have done with more leg room on the Thomas Cook charter flights, the service was good including baby and child food served as ordered); the hotel was superb and the staff exceptional, and the weather was absolutely perfect: about mid-20's every day, light breeze, sunshine. Not bad for early March, when snow still covered most of Copenhagen!