Ever wondered if Gran Canaria locals ever get bored of the beach?
Well, they do and when they do they head for green spaces for a change. Many go up into the mountains for blast of nature and fresh air but there are lots of spots closer to the resorts that do the trick.
If you are in Playa del Inglés in south Gran Canaria and feel like lying on grass rather than sand for a few hours, head here…
The Parque Sur is a vast green park at the inland end of Campo Internacional resort. It’s mostly lawns shaded by palm trees but it also has a succulent garden, a big lake, a circular running track, parallel cycle track, plenty of benches, and a huge climbing wall.
By the lake, you’ll also find an open air cafe that sells coffee, beer, snacks and good-value local food. There’s also a big kiddie’s play park by the cafeteria so it really is the perfect place for families to come for a quiet morning or afternoon.
During the week, Parque Sur is often empty apart from a few joggers. However, at the weekends it fills up with locals having family picnics and birthday parties on the lawns. Luckily, Parque Sur is so big that there is plenty of room and peace and quiet even on the busiest of Sundays.
I recommend a weekend visit because you get to see how the locals like to spend their free time. The cafeteria even does a BBQ and puts on live music on Sundays.
Parque Sur is full of wildlife such as wild Canaries and the lake is home to ducks, moorhens, wagtails and terrapins. Keep an eye out for the pinkish ruddy shelducks, a recent colonist that has just started to breed in Gran Canaria.
Look out for the Bismark palms with their huge leaves and, if you visit in Spring, don’t miss the jacaranda trees in the south west corner because they will be covered in violet blue flowers. In early summer the flame trees take over with the bright orange flowers.
Cyclists and rollerbladers are welcome in Parque Sur but it is currently a dog-free zone.
Parque Sur is close to the Holiday World theme park and the San Fernando market building at the inland end of Campo Internacional resort. Anyone who goes to the Aqualand waterpark or Palmitos Park drives past it because it’s on the corner of the last roundabout before you turn up the valley.
It has a large car park and is easy to get to by taxi from Playa del Inglés and Meloneras. Blue Bus line 1 stops right by the south gate.
If a visit to Parque Sur whets your appetite for more greenery, visit the nearby Maspalomas Botanical Garden, or head up to the north of the island to the superb Jardín Canario Viera y Clavijo: One of the largest and most impressive gardens in Spain.