EXPLORED_ Jardín Botánico Canario

Botanical Garden of Gran Canaria - Hannelore Veelaert for Au pays des merveilles

While I’m already counting down to my next vacation (only 11 days until I’m cruising around Ibiza in a camper!), I wanted to share my last photos from Gran Canaria with you.  As a lover of all things botanical, a visit to the Jardín Botánico Canarian obviously made it on my to do list.  This garden was the life work of Swedish-Spanish botanist Erik Ragnar Svensson, who spent many years searching for a site where all of the highly diverse plant species of the Canary Islands could grow successfully.  (Gran Canaria alone has a wide variety of microclimats and both forests, deserts, beaches and volcanoes, so you can imagine the huge diversity of vegetation when looking at all of the Canary Islands!) He finally settled on a steep slope close to the capital of Las Palmas, resulting in a lushious garden dwindling down the slope along narrow pathways and staircases. My sister and I spent our day admiring the enormous cacti in the Garden of Succulents and, well, Cacti, bumping into surprises like a waterfall, caves and places with names like “The Road of the Dragons” and “The Fountain of the Wise”, wandering through the Garden of the Islands and the Garden of the World  and discovering the Hidden Gardens inside cute greenhouses.  With its 27 acres, approximately 500 different plant species and over 10 000 cultivars of succulents, the botanical garden of Gran Canaria definitely is one of the most beautiful gardens I have visited, and I’ve visited my fair share!

Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo, Ctra. del Centro, Km 7, 35017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain - website 

Read More

FRAGMENTS_ Acusa Seca

In my previous blogpost I raved about the cave dwelling we stayed at in Gran Canaria, so today I wanted to share more photos of that experience.  In this post I’m taking you on a tour of Acusa Seca, a small village of cave dwellings dating back to the 6th century with a breathtaking view over Roque Nublo (the appropriately named cloud rock).  During our hike through the surrounding valley we encountered even more breathtaking views, hence the picture overload.  Have a look at the photos below and wander through Acusa Seca with me!

Read More

EXPLORED_ a cave house in Acusa Seca

Explored_ acusa seca cave house in gran canaria

When I was planning last summer’s holiday, I came across an intriguing airbnb by accident.  A house carved into the rocks, with an incredible view right at its front door.  Thinking it was probably somewhere really far away and exotic where I wouldn’t end up in the near future, I saved it for “someday”.  A few weeks later, when I wanted to show that impressive Acusa Seca cave house to a friend, I noticed it was located on Gran Canaria.  The island where my sister was planning to spend 5 months for her Erasmus.

Read More

FRAGMENTS_ Las Palmas in pastel

FRAGMENTS_ Las Palmas in pastel - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles

Normally I would try to recap my holidays in a more or less chronological way, but once I started editing photos of our last evening in Las Palmas, I couldn’t wait to share these dreamy pastel fragments of Gran Canaria’s capital.

As you might have guessed from all the spamming I did on Instagram (you can find all images from our trip here), visiting my sister on her Erasmus destination was pretty spectacular.  The island of Gran Canaria truly has it all, from black beaches and deserts to lush vegetation and breathtaking mountains (more on that later!), while Las Palmas is one dreamy sequence of exotic palm trees and sublime pastel hues.  Quite the opposite from the all-in resorts that I imagined beforehand, but hey, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Read More