As Expats living and working on Sal Island it was good to see that Binter Canaries started offering a summer flight direct from Gran Canaria to Sal. A 2 hr flight to the Canaries for a family holiday sounded good.
We did some research on Trip Advisor to read about the resorts and the attractions on Gran Canaria before going.
It cost 300 euros per person return to Gran Canaria from Sal direct. We booked our flights through a Travel Agent on Sal but it’s cheaper to book online. The Binter Canaries plane was small but loads of room. No duty free on plane but they come round with soft drinks, (no alcohol), there was a choice of 3 sandwiches which was good. Although allocated a numbered seat at Sal Airport you can sit anywhere you want on the plane.We decided to book a hotel in Porto Rica resort which was some distance from the airport. Again you can book transfers online, unless you want to pay higher prices on arrival for a taxi. I am sure there is local transport but with two young children and luggage this was not an option.
Porto Rica resort was at the top of a hill, our accommodation was self-catering but had a good balcony with sunbeds if you didn’t want to go down to the pool. Fantastic views overlooking the sea. The hotel was really fantastic, couldn’t fault it. We booked the hotel through www.booking.com. Our accommodation cost 46 euros a night for a 1 bed with sofabed in main room.
We like walking but up down the hill to the restaurants got a bit too much over the 3 weeks we were there, especially with the children. There were other places nearer that we could have eaten in but we like to have a good look around and see the shops. There were plenty of places to eat out.
Food and booze is really cheap to buy in the shops in the Canaries. There are lots of Spa shops. The Food in restaurants was cheap too and there were some great choices, but sometimes portions were too big. We found a place to have a drink where we paid 95 cents a pint; other places were 1.50 to 2 euros a pint.
Trips out for a family of four (two kids) are quite expensive. Taxis in the resort were cheap but travelling to other resorts or venues by taxi are expensive. At Palmitos Park there are dolphins, mere cats, eagles, parrot show etc. The park is in a forest, lots of walking through the hills.
We went on a boat trip, there were lots to choose from, ours wasn’t brilliant for seeing sea life, maybe we were just unfortunate that day. The staff on the boat kept trying to sell us other stuff. You could go jet skiing or snorkelling but it was a bit too choppy for kids to go in the water. That trip cost us 40 euros each without paying for anything else on the boat.We would definitely go to Gran Canaria again from Sal if there were more direct flights with Binter Canaries, they only did a summer flight service this year, but that was the first time this was available. Next time we go to Gran Canaria we would stay at a different resort, one which was nearer the attractions for the kids (taxis were expensive). Some people who live on Gran Canaria suggested hiring a car, but we would need to look into that to see if we can un-hide… those hidden costs!
If wanting to do a bit of clothes shopping I was told there are a Primark and a C&A near the airport at Las Palmas. Not sure if there is an IKEA or Lidl’s on the island, but a 2hr flight instead of 6hrs to UK for a holiday or to stock up on goodies, sounds a good alternative…and you have the weather too. We went in August, it was very hot.
We’ll be back!
Vikki & David Bailey
If other Expats can recommend or provide some suggestions about Gran Canaria, please send in info to: firstname.lastname@example.org