The Ultimate Spring Break: Canary Islands

Stephanie Matsen is a student at the University of Utah and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Valencia, Spain.

A few weeks ago for spring break, a few friends and I packed our swimsuits and headed for the Canary Islands. We were craving a place with warmth since Valencia is still a bit chilly. We went to the island Gran Canaria, where we spent three days in the north in Las Palmas and four days in the south in Maspalomas. The trip was full of adventures and discoveries. It was definitely one for the books.

Las Palmas

When we arrived, much to our dismay, it was rainy in Las Palmas. However, it was a blessing in disguise because it pushed us to go out and explore the city and island. Las Palmas is a laid-back beach town. Along the beach, you can find rows of restaurants, surf shops, and beach bars. When we went to see the ocean, I was in awe. There were so many different shades of the prettiest of blues.

Spent the afternoon walking along the beach.

Spent the afternoon walking along the beach.

We also took a 30 minute bus to Andalusia where we explored the old town and went to an amazing viewpoint over looking the city.

Overlooking the view with friends.

Overlooking the view with friends.


When we got off the bus in Masopalmas, we all looked at each other and smiled because it was finally warm! We immediately changed into our swimsuits and made a bee line to the beach. Most of our days were spent hanging out by the pool or beaches. It was a blissful few days of total relaxation, which was much appreciated since we just had mid-terms back in Valencia.

Sunset on the beach in Masopalmas.

Sunset on the beach in Masopalmas.

There was one day when we decided to get off our towels and go on a hike. We took a taxi to Fataga. We were told by some people that there were numerous hiking trails to the top that we could easily do. In Fataga there is a quaint little village at the bottom of the mountains. We walked around there and ran into a bit of a glitch because there were no signs for hikes. We asked a few different people and they all said that the hikes were very difficult and we wouldn’t be able to do them without a tour guide. We decided just to walk around and see what we could find. We stumbled across a trail and we were all game so we decided to see where it would take us. Little did we know that that trail led to the top of one of the mountains! It was just what we wanted. Once we got to the top I was in disbelief. It was so beautiful. There was a 360 view of mountains and nature. There was so much depth; the mountain ridges just kept on going. I had never seen anything like it, and the best part was we had no idea we were going to see something like that that day. It ended up being one of the best days of the trip.

View from the top of a mountain in Fataga.

View from the top of a mountain in Fataga.

The world awaits…discover it.

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