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  • Writer's picturesi newell

Canary island hopping '22...

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Gran Canaria to Fuertaventura to Lanzarote


We left the grey autumn British November skies and four hours later were transferred back to summer - the flip flops and shorts were out once again!

First stop Gran Canaria for a long weekend at Winter Pride - after a siesta at the hotel and a quick watercolour sketch from the balcony, we walked into the centre of Playa del Ingles to see the colourful Pride Parade and in the evening watch the Friday concert at the Yumbo centre starring amongst others 'What Is Love' Haddaway


After breakfast we got ready to make the long trek to the beach - in actual fact not far to the beach itself, but rather the half hour it takes to cross the dunes to the sea!

After a few swims in the refreshing Atlantic, we walked across to Maspalomas for lunch and a wander around the shops.

On our return to the resort centre, we headed to Yumbo for a coffee (and an experiment with a line sketch and coloured pencils) before enjoying the big concert of the week which included the return of Cascada.


We decided to get a bus to the capital, Las Palmas, for lunch and a wander. There are lots of attractive buildings and spaces in the historic centre and we settled for lunch in pretty Plaza Cairasco.

As we walked around the Plaza de Santa Ana adjacent to the cathedral, we noticed numerous dog sculptures - realising after some research that the name Canaria refers to dogs rather than canaries!

We returned to Maspalomas spending some time at the T Party Pride event before attending the final evening concert for this year.


Up early and hopping on the convenient and reliable bus service to the airport to catch our CanaryFly flight over the islands to Fuerteventura. After our arrival we had to get a bus from the airport to the capital Puerto del Rosario in order to travel to the north coast and our hotel.

After lunch and a look around the capital, we caught the bus passing through the amazing dunes along the eastern coast before reaching the cute resort of Corralejo and checking in to the stunning small Avanti Boutique Hotel - such a beautiful base for the next few days.


A lazy start and a walk along the the waterfront and on to the surprisingly extensive main retail street before a relaxing Aperol Spritz by the beach whilst tackling a quick watercolour of the bay.

As the evening approached, I returned to the small beach outside the hotel to draw the informal beachfront architecture before dinner.


In the morning we headed to the marina to catch a ferry to Isla de Lobos - a beautiful small protected island around 15 minutes from the north coast of Fuerteventura.

The island has numerous secluded beaches linked by walking trails and a spectacular lagoon - a perfect place to chill and sketch for the day.


A road trip day and a chance to explore the coast and the rugged inner landscape of this majestic island.

We started driving towards the west coast and the dramatic remote cliffs overlooking La Escalera beach, before continuing on towards one of the island's major volcanos, the Calderon Honda said to date back 50,000 years. After a long hike we reached the top which offers amazing views over the island and towards the coast. We were also very fascinated by the tame cute ground squirrels that would approach you when offering food!

In the afternoon we motored on to Betancuria - a white picturesque small town. We found a lovely bar with an outdoor terrace for lunch before I sketched in the small square opposite the pretty church of Santa Maria de Betancuria.

On the way back to the hotel, we travelled back along the east coast through the Corralejo National Park with its dramatic sand dunes that surround the main road - a very surreal landscape!


It was really sad to check out of the superb Avanti Hotel, but we had to move on to the final island of our trip this year, Lanzarote.

We had booked a Fred Olsen ferry taking us on the short trip across to Playa Blanca. The weather in the morning was overcast and it started to rain during the crossing but by the time we reached Lanzarote the sun had reappeared.

The waterfront at Playa Blanca is vibrant with restaurants, bars and shops - over a coffee I produced a quick watercolour - actually one that I quite like and feel that if I had had more time, I would have overworked it.

Passing a series of beaches, we finally reached Marina Rubicon (actually more lively than I remembered from a previous trip). We found a waterside cafe to have a glass of refreshing sangria and lunch allowing me time to draw a quick pen and ink line drawing of the cafe.

We had booked to stay up the coast in Puerto del Carmen so later in the afternoon found the bus station and made our way to our hotel, the impressive La Isla y El Mar where we chilled by the pool until sunset.


After a quick breakfast we walked down to the old port and then along the promenade passing beautiful golden sand beaches. Stopping for a coffee, I drew the coastline using coloured pencils to colour the line drawing - the course watercolour paper not providing the best surface for this medium.

The afternoon was spent chilling around the hotel pool - between dips in the water, I painted a watercolour of the grounds before going out to a fabulous local restaurant that was run by a very charismatic and friendly lady who helped to create a really memorable evening.


Looking at a map, we decided to hire bikes for the day and cycle to the capital, Arrecife. After a bit of research we headed into the resort and picked up two bikes from a friendly italian couple who ran a cycle hire shop.

The weather was fine as we cycled north along the long promenade in Puerto del Carmen but as we approached the airport, strong winds not only made cycling more difficult but also blasted us with sand from the beach!

Eventually we approached Arrecife and found a lively cafe for lunch with great views of the inner harbour - great to sketch of course!

On the cycle home, we stopped briefly for a bit of plane stopping - fortunately the wind had died down so the return cycle was far more pleasant.

I decided to stay close to the old port back in Puerto del Carmen to sketch a little cove as the evening sun created a warm glow that highlighted the landscape - a perfect final evening for travel in ‘22.


I was determined to make the most of the final few hours of our trip, so I woke early and sat on the balcony in the morning sun, sketching the view across the town towards the sea.

We had a chance for a final chill around the pool before catching the bus back to the airport. Summer for ‘22 finally finishes.

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