For a 2019 adventure that oozes charm, character and intimacy, you can’t go far wrong with a holiday to Puerto de Mogan. Tucked away up the coast from the sweeping sandy beaches of Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles, Puerto de Mogan is nestled around a horseshoe-shaped beach and picturesque little harbour. Surrounded on both sides by tall rocky cliffs, it’s almost as if the town has been hidden from the outside world. A visit to Puerto de Mogan is like taking a step back in time, a unique glimpse into the heritage of the Canary Islands before they became popular with tourists.
Owing to its intricate network of canals, bridges and whitewashed villas covered in dazzling bougainvillea flowers, it has earned the nickname ‘Venice of the Canaries’. It’s a picture postcard old world Spanish town, home to fabulous restaurants, pretty plazas and a glorious sandy beach. Close enough to the buzzing nightlife of Playa del Ingles and historic architecture of this island’s ancient capital, Las Palmas, Puerto de Mogan makes for an ideal base from which to experience all the joys that holidays in Gran Canaria have to offer.
Owing to its seafront location, Puerto de Mogan holidays are synonymous with days spent on the sparkling blue ocean. There are several companies in the harbour offering deep-sea fishing boat trips. Revel in the chance to enjoy the Atlantic winds in your hair as you attempt to land tuna and marlin. If hauling in maritime game isn’t your thing, there’s also the opportunity to don a snorkel and flippers and go for a leisurely paddle around the breakwater where the waters are calm. Or why not jump aboard a ‘Supercat’ catamaran and cruise along the coast in search of bottlenose dolphins?
Back on dry land you can take a 4x4 adventure into Gran Canaria’s famous and spectacular Fataga valley, or hop atop a camel and go for a ride across the vast sand dunes of Maspalomas. Keep walking a little further along the beach and you’ll arrive at the charming Faro de Maspalomas, a 19th century lighthouse close to some excellent local shopping outlets. Or finally, get wet and wild at the infamous Taurito Waterpark, known for its thrills and spills aplenty such as the ‘kamikaze flume’. You won’t be short of things to do on a holiday in Puerto de Mogan.
Much like trips to other parts of the Canary Islands, holidays in Puerto de Mogan promise to offer up culinary experiences to live long in the memory. There’s everything here from cheap and cheerful to haute cuisine, with a large selection of shaded waterfront taverns and earthy bodegas nestled down hidden side streets and on leafy squares. Head to La Bodeguilla Juanana on Plaza Mayor, an African-styled eatery right next to the harbour, to feast on dishes such as black pudding fried with avocado and garlic, as well as an array of local cheeses.
Nab yourself a spot on one of the two terraces at Patio Canario and tuck into oven baked prawns and cold glasses of beer. An original fisherman’s cottage is home to Jack el Negro. As the name would suggest, deliciously blackened barbecue food is the order of the day (and night) here, with the steaks coming highly recommended.
Families, and especially those with children, are well catered for on a holiday to Puerto de Mogan. While there isn’t a huge array of activities catering specifically to children, the calm waters by the town’s beach make for a great place for a paddle. Older children will love exploring the canals and bridges of the town centre and the option to take a submarine out to sea to look at colourful marine life will surely delight visitors of all ages.
As far as watersports go, the parasailing operators at the harbour will allow you to undertake your flight with a younger passenger, whilst there’s plenty of pedalos to potter around the Puerto de Mogan cove in. Visits to the sand dunes of Maspalomas, and camel rides in particular, will go down a treat with kids young and old. Bring out the intrepid adventurers in them on a Puerto de Mogan holiday.
You won’t be short of action and adventure on this volcanic rock surrounded on all sides by the windswept Atlantic Ocean. Imagine venturing across the lunar landscape and epic valley roads in an open top 4x4, learning to kite surf alongside epic sand dunes, taking a hike up a dormant volcano, or mountain biking through lush forests to the top of rocky outcrops. Gran Canaria is all this and more.
Experience the thrill of scuba diving, deep-sea fishing or jet skiing. Hurtle down the flumes at high speed at Taurito waterpark or venture out across vast expanses of sand atop the camels of Maspalomas. Puerto de Mogan may be a place of mostly peace and quiet, but do not underestimate the potential for adventure on this entertaining island.
The town is home to a charming waterfront. A short walk from the boats and restaurants of the pretty harbour lies Puerto de Mogan’s long sandy beach. Plenty of sun loungers and parasols are on offer, although it never gets too crowded. At its far end, away from the relative hustle and bustle, there’s plenty of natural shade under the overhanging trees, not to mention turquoise rocky waters just waiting to be explored. Waterfront bars and boutiques line the beach, so there’s always a place to indulge in a spot of beachside retail therapy or to relax with a cool glass of wine and a plate of seafood. Pedalos and canoes are available to hire, should you fancy taking an adventure onto the water, whilst it’s usually calm enough for all ages to enjoy a dip. Couples should head to the nearby Playa de Amadores, or Lovers’ Beach, for wistful sunset wanders through the surf.
The after-dark activities of Puerto de Mogan revolve around the intoxicating and vibrant atmosphere associated with its restaurants and bars. As is the Spanish way, dinner is often enjoyed at around 10pm, often accompanied by live traditional music, meaning that what the town lacks in clubs it makes up for in character and charm.
The resorts of Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles are well known for their clubs that stay open until the early hours, so if it’s an all-nighter you’re looking to pull on your Puerto de Mogan holiday then that’s the place to do it. Otherwise, grab a table in a local bar, immerse yourself in the town’s culture and enjoy live Canarian songs played right alongside you in this peaceful yet atmospheric waterside location. The Olivia cocktail bar, next to the bandstand in the main square, boasts an extensive drinks list and of course regular live entertainment.
You’ve heard about the romance of Venice; now imagine it transported to a quiet fishing port on the Gran Canaria coast! Lovers will want to take a stroll through the quaint backstreets here, find a shady bench in one of the several plazas on which to relax, and toast the sunset with a cold drink in the harbour. Lovers’ Beach, or Playa de Amadores, is a Blue Flag-rated beauty just a little way along the coast and is the perfect place for a twilight stroll, quiet swim or lazy day in the glorious sun.
There are several nighttime adventures you could undertake, such as a drive into Gran Canaria’s volcanic heartland, to enjoy a traditional candlelit dinner in a quiet village in the shadow of Roque Nublo, the island’s ancient volcanic rock. Or head out to sea onboard the supercat catamaran to go swimming in secluded coves, spot bottlenose dolphins and relax in an onboard Jacuzzi!
You don’t need to go far in Puerto de Mogan to get a taste of its rich culture and heritage. A walk along its charming canals to the 19th century Church of Saint Anthony (Iglesia de San Antonio) makes for a good starting point, whilst the patron saint of the region is celebrated with a festival taking place in June each year. Expect to witness colourful processions, alongside offerings of fruit and local produce, not to mention folk music from groups spanning the Canary Islands and beyond.
Plenty of culture can be found in Puerto de Mogan’s array of food offerings too. Look out for age-old island classics such as wrinkled potatoes with mojo sauce, boiled salt fish, stewed goat and fish soups. Tropical and Dorada are the two main beers of Gran Canaria, inherent to an outdoor relaxation culture that relies on good company and good weather. You’ll discover both in abundance on your Puerto de Mogan holiday.