The non-touristy tourist resort El Medano

Tue, November 30th, 2010 - By Meryl

I received a phone call from a distant relation saying they were holidaying on the Golf del Sur and could we get together.  As it happened, I was about to spend the afternoon in El Medano, just past the south airport, so suggested we meet there.  This delightfully windy corner of the island is a big favourite of mine and although it does get tourists, it is very different from the resorts of Playa de Las Américas and Los Cristianos further along the coast.

Having managed to park by the harbour, we walked back towards town through the old twisting streets where tiny shops, crammed with handmade jewellery, hippy clothes and everything a surfer dude could possibly think of, make a pleasant change from the usual tourist souvenir shops.
We had arranged to meet at the Hotel El Medano, so distinctive perched on its stilts as it extends into the ocean, they couldn’t miss it.  The hotel is on the edge of the traffic free town Plaza surrounded by a host of pleasant cafes where locals can be found carrying on their daily business as they sip their coffee.  While we caught up on years of gossip, Katy and Louis burnt off some excess energy on the climbing frames in the children’s playground at the edge of the square.  From the cafe, we could also see the children were safe as they wandered across the Plaza to the town beach.  This is a favourite with the locals, the sand is clean and golden and the whole beach is sheltered from the wind by the hotel.  They were soon chatting to a local family and joining in their ball games.

After coffee and beers, we walked along the wooden boardwalk, which is relatively new.  It runs out to the west, one side lined with what appear to be apartments for those who can afford to spend more time surfin´  than workin´ and the other lined with what look like ideal homes for cave dwellers where the rocks have been worn away by the sea and the wind.  From our vantage point, at the end of the walkway, we watched the multi coloured kites in the distance as they harnessed the ever-present wind with great skill and standing on the top of the rocks, we could see the antics of the boarders and surfers closer to shore. Before wandering back, we tried out the small exercise frames that attract a regular stream of curious visitors.

On the way to the car, we stopped at Timón and were able to grab one of the two outside tables on the terrace above the pounding sea.  El Medano is the ideal place if you want natural beaches, the best windsurfing in the Canaries and excellent bars with friendly staff.  If however you want McDonalds, Sky football, nightclubs and five star hotels you are in the wrong place.

Posted : Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 at 10:18 am
Category : days out
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