The island that thinks it's a continentPosted on: 03 April 2017 by Michael Edwards
Visiting Anfi del Mar, on Gran Canaria's sophisticated south west coast, Michael Edwards checks out today’s – and tomorrow’s – holiday trends.
Gran Canaria, once a mere Tomato Republic, now gives its 3 million annual visitors, seeking a safer holiday destination, a seriously warm welcome. For all the Spanish chorizo and churros, Gran Canaria has kicked the ‘mañana’ out of tourism. Cleanliness and punctuality satisfy demanding North European visitors fleeing chilly winters. Yet cooling Trade Winds keep summer temperatures comfortable, even though baking Africa is just 130 miles away.
And surprisingly, despite the bad press, top-of-the-market timeshare is thriving. With 33,000 owners in their vacation club already, Anfi, have the footings in for their fifth hotel in the Mogan region.
Anfi? Back in 1988 Norwegian Bjorn Lyng was sailing off the coast of Arguineguin when he saw a natural ‘anfiteatro’. Abbreviated to Anfi, it became his vision of the resort of Anfi del Mar, building the heart-shaped island of Maroa as a tribute to his wife.
In the 21st Century the concept of "holiday" is frequently reinvented, often borrowing from the rest, recharging and renewal implicit in the original Holy Days. But some people use holidays to explore, both themselves and their surroundings.
Anfi has developed a range of packages to meet the esoteric needs of contemporary travellers: take a day trip to the Teror and San Mateo markets high in the hills, enjoy an Anfi Wellness Body wrap, learn to wind-surf or scuba-dive, sign-up for a day of island exploration with a hire car and GPS, submit to Image Assessment from Susanna Alvarez, follow the Tapas Trail through Las Palmas, tour the city and its museums or simply enjoy a one day pass for Lopesan Costa Meloneras Spa.
Perhaps the ultimate physical challenge is allowing an Anfi trainer to guide you and a bike around the island’s 260 miles of coastline, passing 60 miles of beaches. Another challenge is the 18 hole Championship Course, it cost 45m Euros to dynamite this stunning course out of the volcanic rock. There can be few players who do not echo the sentiments of designer Von Hagge, “The golfer must think between blows, “Boy, how lucky I am to be able to play here.”” Alternatively, you could do nothing other than sun bathe on the island of day beds, fine dining and wellness that is Maroa.
Gran Canaria aficionados claim that the Island, with seven microclimates - walk the Saharan Maspolomas Sand Dunes in the morning before cooling off trekking the high-altitude rim of the volcano in the afternoon - is virtually a continent. In fact some of Anfi’s owners have been returning for 25 years and the island still has sufficient diversity to spring a surprise or two.
Gran Canaria is a tale of two halves. The moist Passat wind, originating from the Azores brings 150 wet days a year and delivers a verdant landscape to the North. But the hills act as an insurmountable barrier to the rain clouds, depriving the spaghetti western terrain of the south from rain on all but 15 days a year.
Looking ahead, Anfi is planning a 500-berth marina, at the foot of their Emerald Club Golf Course. With weather better than the Med - Gran Canaria has an annual average temperature of 24 C - and world class cuisine, Anfi may yet lure yachts to its azure waters.
Another challenge for Anfi is the growing number of travellers demanding that their holiday accommodation is better than their everyday lifestyle. Lyng began with the principle of “home from home” but today’s guests expect luxury in every room of their apartment.
And for fortunate retirees, seeking longer holidays, Anfi is developing a condo-hotel where you can buy an apartment. If you want to return home for the summer Anfi will maintain your apartment, rent it out, and provide an income.
When General Franco ordered the development of the Autovia network of motorways on Gran Canaria he could never have imagined what it would lead to.
Take a look at Anfi for further details. For special offers and further information please contact below, quoting code 50+Connect:
Tel: (+34) 928 152 990 * option 4
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