Mogan

Puerto Mogan in Gran Canaria is the most charming, most relaxing resort that I have been to in the Canary Islands. Of course, I haven’t been everywhere in the Canaries, but I’ve been there a lot. For me, Mogan takes the prize as the most chic place to stay. It’s classy. I should know, I’m from Oldham after all.

Gran Canaria itself is a fairly, not totally, barren, rocky island. Its resorts nestle in valleys which open out onto the coastline, which gives them a beach. Puerto Mogan has a beach, and a cute little harbour filled with expensive yachts. Each of these areas is backed up by bars and restaurants. There’s the usual array of resort shopping available and, once a week, an enormous market descends on the town, filling the place with stalls.

My wife and I thought the place was superb, but that doesn’t mean to say it’s everyone’s cup of tea. Some would argue it’s too quiet, and rather small, so there’s not a lot to do. Generally, it attracts an older clientele who like it quiet and don’t want to do much. Horses for courses. The attached video isn’t very long because Mogan isn’t packed with sightseeing options.

We stayed in an apartment in a little complex called Golden Beach for nine nights. It cost around €1000. The apartment was nicely furnished and had all the fixtures and fittings you would expect, including an outside eating and seating area. A welcoming bottle of wine was a nice touch and the kitchen had all the little extras like bin bags, washing up liquid etc, so we didn’t have to buy that in.

It had a rather chilly pool; I’ve noticed Canarian pools tend not to be heated very much. It certainly cooled you down after lying in the sunshine and I went in it every day. We were on the ground floor and so right by the pool and sunbathing area. There’s a park facing which was quiet most of the time and is locked up at 10.00pm. It is well equipped for exercise and workouts, if that’s your bag. As for it’s location, we were only 300 metres from the beachfront with all its bars, yet we never heard a dicky bird.

I feel a bit guilty picking out a few restaurants for a mention as the standard seems to be very high throughout the town. We didn’t have a disappointing meal anywhere, and we ate out every day, sometimes twice. We only had main courses, and we always had a couple of glasses or half a bottle of wine each. Prices ranged from €40 – €55 that’s pretty reasonable for a couple in my book.

Asia House served excellent Chinese food, it did Japanese too, but we didn’t try it. We went a couple of times. La Fenice is a good Italian. My wife enjoyed her sausage and truffle risotto and my gorgonzola, olive and truffle pizza was yummy. The Irish Tavern came highly recommended, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s very popular, quite small, and you need to book a few days in advance to guarantee a table in the evenings. I had a super homemade burger while my wife had a lovely fillet steak. The harbour area is surrounded by classy restaurants and the view is ‘aspirational’. You would be wise to book in most places if you want a table at the front so you can eat, drink, people watch and guess the prices of the yachts.

The ‘event’ of the week is Mogan Market Day. It takes place every Friday and is the biggest, longest market I have ever seen; about two miles of stalls. It swamps the town. Visitors come from all over Gran Canaria to peruse this tsunami of cheap tat. There are multiple vendors selling identical goods; leather belts, handbags, jewellery, beachwear, fake replica football shirts, precision surgical instruments and baseball caps. The beachwear selection is very good, such a wide range is not available back home.

Typically in Mogan, a pint of lager is €2.50 or €3.00, house wine €3 a glass. We frequented a bar near our apartment called El Canario 2. It’s an unpretentious watering hole with a saxophonist performing live most evenings. He was pretty good, much more entertaining than the pan pipe guy who kept popping up around town. Mr Pan Pipes (his actual name) played way too loud over some cheesy backing tracks. He was skilful enough, but his choice of tunes was sometimes weird; “Simply the Best” was a stinker, and his version of “Firestarter” lacked the required aggression.

Outlaws Bar is a bar and music venue offering mainly country music. I’m not a big fan of the genre, but we gave it a shot as my wife likes a bit of Dolly Parton. In fact, I like some of Dolly Parton’s bits. The owner, Martin, sat on a stool selecting backing tracks from a laptop and singing along to them. Essentially this is a country Karaoke place but the problem was that only Martin (a fine voice) gave us a song, it really needed audience volunteers. I think that does happen on other occasions; one guy can’t do this alone (I’ve tried).

The prize for weirdest act goes to two crew on the ferry we caught over to Puerto Rico. They made balloon toys, used glove puppets, wore clown noses, sang and danced. As passengers we were a captive audience. It was a case of listen or jump overboard; only three did. There’s a little clip in the YouTube video. To be fair, it was a giggle and they put smiles on faces so – well done.

Should you go to Puerto Mogan?

Obviously, I’m giving it a big thumbs up. The only slight negative is that it does rather encourage indolence and laziness. It certainly did for a greedy old waster like me. At home I like to do a bit of keep fit, I walk or cycle most days. I put on a few pounds here. It’ll be sackcloth and ashes next week. I don’t think Mogan is for everyone, but it’s spot on for me.

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