Gran Canaria; A Veritable Gay Playground
Gran Canaria offers a plethora of activities to keep vacationers busy and happy. As is commonly known, Masapalomas is home to the Yumbo Center. This massive complex is overflowing with restaurants and bars. It’s home to the majority of the gay scene in Gran Canaria and it’s definitely a place that shouldn’t be missed. In fact, most European gay men who visit Gran Canaria don’t get much further than this and the gay beach.
But when I agreed to attend the press tour organized by Paso Chico and the Patronato de Turismo de Gran Canaria earlier this year, I expressed to the organizers my desire to see more than just the gay scene. They certainly did not disappoint.
One of my favorite days was when we hiked a bit and had a wonderful meal at a farm. Our hike took place deep in the mountains as we made our way to see Roque Nublo up close. It’s the highest point on Gran Canaria and sort of a spiritual place. You really feel on top of the world up there. The hike isn’t too difficult once you adjust to thin air and the payoff is incredible!
Agronomic History & More!
But my favorite part of the day was visiting the only Coffee Plantation in Europe called Los Berrazales. The farm produces bananas, oranges, lemons, grapes, mangos, and coffee. It was such a beautiful setting and the family who owns and runs the farm were very kind and proud of their fifth-generation operation. Of course, I am partial to agrotourism with my professional and educational backgrounds in agronomy and sustainable agriculture.
When we arrived at the farm, our guide walked us through the coffee and banana production zones. She gave us a brief historic lesson on a certain type of bug which was used to make red die in the old days. Then she took us to the winery to show us the different wines and how they are made. An interesting side note…the farm used to produce oranges for all of Europe but the European Union regulated trade and caused that industry to crumble on Gran Canaria. The coffee produced in Gran Canaria is limited and rare as it is only produced in small batches.
Following the tour, we were treated to something very special. The plantation prepared and served us a traditional Spanish multi-course meal which was wonderful. The meal itself was prepared by the mother of our tour guide and we sampled all of their wines. Now, this isn’t normally offered to tour groups but they made an exception for us. The farm does, however, offer a class during which participants can learn to make Adobo, a traditional Canarian sauce.
After lunch, we walked around the farm for a bit and explored the shop. Make sure to bring some cash as you’ll definitely want to purchase some wine, coffee, and other items from their shop. The family farm also has a natural spring which bubbles up mineral water available for purchase. Let me tell you, this water is delicious!
If you are ever in Gran Canaria, I highly recommend you rent a vehicle or a driver and head to Bodega Los Berrazales to learn about the agronomic history of the island and sample some of their agricultural products on site. It was definitely an experience I won’t soon forget and I’m sure the other bloggers who were with me loved the experience as well.
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