Travel Tuesday: Gran Canaria (Maspalomas)

Travel Tuesday: Gran Canaria (Maspalomas)Maspalomas is one of the Canary Islands’ most famous resorts, but banish any fears of irresponsible overdevelopment – this Gran Canarian town is far more peaceful than certain other Mediterranean destinations and is the ideal location for luxury property developments and purchases.

Towards the end of October, when the majority of holidaymakers have long returned home, warm temperatures averaging 23°C remain. The absence of crowds makes it easier to appreciate Maspalomas’ authentic charms – what strikes most is the abundance of high-end hotels and guesthouses, and the blissful lack of English-style pubs.

The Maspalomas beach is among the best on the island and boasts an EU “Blue Flag” in recognition of its clear waters and cleanliness, as well as its range of private clubs, bars, and water sports facilities. Furthermore, at the west end of the beach stands the proud Maspalomas Lighthouse. Commissioned in 1861, and standing at 55 metres, this famous structure claims a position at the furthest southern tip of Europe.

The walk to the lighthouse can be enjoyed via a charming beach-side promenade, adorned with gift shops and restaurants where you can stop and enjoy a refreshing tipple whilst taking in stunning views of the ocean. A few steps away from the promenade, visitors will stumble upon the beginning of the sprawling Maspalomas Natural Dune Reserve.

This enormous 400 hectare conservation zone harbours three different eco systems: Sand, palm trees, and water. There’s also an additional fourth system which refers to a seaside lagoon. Protected since 1897, it remains a favoured pit-stop among migratory birds en route to the African continent from the European mainland.

The dunes inevitably evoke visions of the Sahara – after all, the world’s largest hot desert is located a little over 200 km to the east (by contrast, southern Europe is approximately 1,250 km to the north). Fascinatingly, the dunes are in fact a natural extension of the Sahara, with scientists believing its origins can be traced to a huge tsunami that struck here in 1755.

Many visitors are drawn to Maspalomas because of the juxtaposition of outstanding natural beauty with luxury hotels and excellent entertainment. Next door to an impressive 18-hole, par-73 golf course, is the Parque Botánico Maspalomas, home to 500 different species of flora including those exclusive to the Macaronesia region.

The resorts of Playa del Ingles, San Agustin and Puerto Rico tend to rival Maspalomas in the real estate popularity stakes, with many buyers attracted to Gran Canaria’s status as a ‘mini continent’ and location in an extremely diverse archipelago. Despite measuring only 29 miles from point to point, Maspalomas’ distinct and favourable weather patterns reflect its geographic location between Africa, Europe and America.  Indeed, Gran Canaria as a whole is something of a real estate hotspot – partly because the buying process is simple, but also because house prices continue to rise at above the rate of inflation.