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Fondest memory: "The people and the warm weather"
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Cheap to live
Favorite thing: The best thing about Gran Canaria is getting away from the resorts and into the interior of the island where we have forests (slightly burnt now) and when it rains (very rare), waterfalls.
The flowers are a riot of colour and when you drive along with the windows open or the top down it smells like furniture polish has been sprayed over everything.
There are bar-b-que areas near Roque Nublo where you can take and cook you own food.
The tourists think it is expensive over here now with the Euro but those that live here can live on 30€ a day if they like although you have to cut out things like jet skiing and tandem parachute jumps.
We shop at the Spar and Herdisa supermarkets and leave the tourists to get ripped off at the Netto and drink in the 1€ bars in Puerto rico while the tourists go to the "Happy Hour" bars where they can buy a drink for 2,50 - 4,00€.
Fondest memory: Trying horse riding for the first time in my life; what an experience, especially with a fear of heights. For those visiting the island I can recommend it and the good thing is they pick you up and drop you off included in the price. The Black Horse stables is the one we use.
- Horse Riding
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: As a walking-guide to the island, we used the "Deltas Wandelgids Gran Canaria" (Dutch), translated from the German "Wandern Kompakt: Gran Canaria" by Karin Pegoraro and Manfred Foger.
This very complete booklet describes 35 walks, complete with clear starting points, distance, time, difficulty and interesting things to see along the way.
The hikes described in my other tips are found in this book. A must-have for hikers, I hope it is available in your language as well!
- Hiking and Walking
Favorite thing: On a Friday there is a market in Puerto de Morgan but it does get very busy during the summer months and the public transport gets very crowded (buses and water taxi's) and you tend to get pushed along with the crowd whilst your there but you can buy some good produce and the strawberries we bought never even made the return journey they were that nice
Favorite thing: Here are some links to different webcams around the island:
Playa del Inglés
Las Canteras beach, Las Palmas
good local pilsner beer.
Favorite thing: the local beer tropical is a very tasty pilsner beer that is above average when compared to beer worldwide.
it has a sweet and yet fresh taste that makes it perfect for the warm climate.
Fondest memory: the beer was almost as sweet as the girls :o)
- Beer Tasting
Favorite thing: the guanches inhabited the canary islands when the spainsh arrived to the islands.
it's not exactly known who they decend from.
phoenicians, berbers, vikings.
lot's of things has been guessed, but the scientists are still not sure.
they lived in a stoneage culture, mostly in caves and went hunting for a living.
there is a very good museum in las palmas giving you lot's of insight to these mysterious people who lived in the canaries for centuries before the spanish armadas arrived.
- Historical Travel
islands of the dogs.
Favorite thing: the canary islands did not get their names from the canary birds like most people think but from dogs as the islands were inhabitet by thousands of wild dogs when the spanish arrived to the islands.
canary islands come from the word cannis, which means dog in latin and that is how the islands got the name.
las palmas is full of dogstatues for the same reason.
- Travel with Pets
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: We stayed in Puerto Rico. It was our first every holiday so we thought it was great. It was hot for September but Puerto Rico is not the most lively place in the world! It was cheap to eat and drink and we were only there for a week. I think any longer would of been too long. the water park was good!
Fondest memory: The Foam Party (JOKE)!
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
TOUR SUGGESTION - The mountains
Favorite thing: The island is almost a perfect sircle, and the highest point Pico de las Nieves (1949m) is situated almost in the middle. There are many beautiful places situated up in the mountains and they are worth a visit.
Even if you are very afraid of heights (like me...) it won't be too much of a problem to drive around in the mountains. A few times you have to drive high up on the outside of steep cliffs, but normally you won't even notice that you are very high up in the mountains.
A beautiful little city in the middle of the mountains. White houses with red roofs clings on to the hillsides. Great view to Roque Nublo and Roque Bentayga.
CRUZ DE TEJEDA
Higher up in the mountains from Tejeda, and has an excellent view to the mountaintops of the island.
A charming little village situated high up in the mountains. Has a church inside a cave, and also a fantastic view to the mountaintops.
POZO DE LAS NIEVES
Close to the highest mountain Pico de las Nieves, and almost in the middle of the island. Right before you reach the top you have a great view to the north of the island, and just a few minutes later you have an equally beautiful view towards the south and especially the dunes of Maspalomas.
Perfect view towards the rockformations Roque Nublo, Fraile and La Rana. It's also a good base for walking to these rocks.
TOUR SUGGESTION - The west
Favorite thing: The western part of the island consists mainly of steep cliffs falling down to the sea. But there are also many places worth to see here.
PUERTO DE LAS NIEVES
A beautiful and charming fishingvillage. Famous for the rockformation 'Dedo de Dios' (God's finger). Many great restaurants with seafood here. Ferries to the other islands also departs from here.
Lies in the end of Barranco de Agaete, and is the most fertile area on the island. Some of the things that are grown here are papaya, coffee, mango and avocado.
LOS PINOS DE GALDAR
Lies high up in the mountains and has an excellent view to the north and Tenerife, plus the crater below. Has many hundred pine trees that are centuries old.
There are very many archeological sites in this area, and it is believed that many of the guanches lived here, including the 'Guanartemes' - the guanche kings.
PUERTO DE ALDEA
A small fishing village on the west coast. Has a promende with many restaurants serving seafood.
A beautiful nature park with many pine trees, different bird species and a large variety of flowers.
TOUR SUGGESTION - The north
Favorite thing: The north of the island is totally different from the south. Because of the tradewinds this area is much more fertile and green. There are many beautiful villages here, and they are most easily reached by car.
The third largest city on the island. Visit the Cathedral and Montaña de Arucas where you have an excellent view of the north of the island. On clear days you can also see Tenerife.
A very beautiful and charming village. Has many typical canarian buildings, and a famous church. The market on sundays are one of the most popular on the island, and absolutely worth a visit.
A small and charming village with beautiful wood carvings.
CENOBIO DE VALERON
About 500 caves that were made and used by the guanches. It is believed that this was an important storage place for them.
CALDERA DE BANDAMA
A large crater not too far from Las Palmas. From the nearby Pico de Bandama there is an excellent view to Las Palmas and the north of the island.
Has an open-air museum called 'Mundo aborigen' where you can see how the aboriginals of the island used to live. Also has a famous laurisilva forest, and a beautiful church.
Beatiful chestnut tree forest around the fresh water lake; Laguna de Valleseco. The name means 'dry valley' even though the tradewinds bring much rain to the city, and the lake is made of rainwater.
TOUR SUGGESTION - Las Palmas
Favorite thing: This is the capitol of Gran Canaria, and is absolutely worth a visit. Easily reached with both bus and car. Here are some examples of places to visit.
CASA DE COLON
Christopher Colombus lived in this house when he stayed at the island and prepared his journey to 'the new world'. Today a museum dedicated to his travels and explorations.
The most important collection of guanche-items on the Canary Islands are gathered here. Also has many old maps and drawings of the islands. Try to visit if you have the chance.
A beautiful beach that stretches out almost 3 km. Protected by a barrier reef that keeps the water warm and calm. Has a beachpromenade that is perfect for a walk.
The old district of the city. Many old and beautiful buildings, plus museums here.
Popular shoppingstreet close to Vegueta. Also has many beautiful buildings, and it's nice to sit down and relax on one of the many streetside cafées.
PARQUE DORAMAS and PUEBLO CANARIO
A beautiful park between Las Canteras and Triana. Has a copy of a typical canarian village made by a canarian painter named Néstor de la Torre.
ERMITA DE SAN ANTONIO ABAD
Beautiful little baroque church in Vegueta. The streets around here give a very good impression of how it used to look like in the colonial times.
El Muelle and Las Arenas are two of the most popular shoppingcentres. Has a wide range of shops, bars, restaurants, discos and cinemas.
Read more on my page about Las Palmas.
TOUR SUGGESTION - The east
Favorite thing: In the east you can find many beautiful places to visit. They are easy to reach if you rent a car, but can be a bit more difficult to see by bus. Most people drive by all of these places on their way to the north, but they are worth a stop if you have the chance.
An archeological site with caves and paintings by the guances, close to Telde. Signs gives you good info in english and spanish.
BARRANCO DE GUAYADEQUE
The valley lies between Aguïmes and Ingenio. It drops from 1500m down to the east coast with many steep cliffs and ends at Cuatro Puertas.
CALDERA DE TIRAJANA
This is an impressive crater that lies within a very varied nature reserve.
A small city by the sea. Not so much to see here, but the beach is very beautiful. There are not so many people here and you can have it almost to yourself.
It's the second largest city in Gran Canaria, and it is very beautiful. Visit the Cathedral, the narrow streets of San Francisco and the large park.
Calls itself the 'artisan village' of Gran Canaria and also has a famous museum called 'Museo del Piedra'.
TOUR SUGGESTION - The south
Favorite thing: Most tourists stay in some of the touristresorts in the south, so exploring other parts of the south might be the only option for many people. Especially if you don't want to hire a car, as most of these places can be reached by bus. Here are some examples of places you can visit in the south.
PUERTO DE MOGAN
Originally just a small fishing village, but is today one of the most charming touristresorts in the south with beautiful houses and canals. Absolutely a must see!
The original village of Puerto de Mogán. Charming little village a few km from the coast.
PLAYA DE AMADORES
A small manmade beach about 30 min walk from Puerto Rico. The sand is brought from the carribean, but the beach can be too crowded sometimes.
Has some of the best weather in the south, and lots of activites like sailing, windsurfing, diving, deepseafishing and many different boattrips.
The touristic part doesn't have so much to offer, but the original fishingvillage nearby can be worth a visit. Especially on tuesdays when they have the weekly market.
Walk through the dunes and escape all of the tourists in this crowded and popular touristresort. They also have camelrides here.
Has a promenade along the coast which is nice to go walking along.