Water coming from the tap is drinkable, but it is not recommended because of its taste. The water tastes saline and the chlorine level is high. Better buy water in bottles. There are several brands availlable. Some are from Gran Canaria like Firgas, named after the small town it is bottled in.
Firgas, the town, is nice to visit too....
Favorite thing: As the agriculture needs a lot of water and rain is not very abundant they have to store water in reservoirs. Driving through the mountains you will encounter many of dams holding the water behind it. But when you see the water it immediately becomes clear what the problem is. The lakes are not filled, there is not enough rain. Which is great ofcourse for us on a holiday there, but not so great when you live here.
Favorite thing: Due to this great climate agriculture is a booming business here. Everywhere you go you will find this gray plastic covered tomato plantations. Next to that there are many banana plantations. Most of this plantations are in the north of the island, as that region gets the most water (rain).
Favorite thing: Driving around Gran Canaria you will certainly encounter some goats. Goats are kept for their milk, from which they make cheese. As it was in time the time of the Guanches, the original inhabitants of the island.
Be aware of the siesta... Most shops close for a few hours in the middle of the day. Even if they say they are supposed to open at 16.00, they might not open untill 17.00 or even 17.30... ;)
Many of the shops in the big touristcities don´t close for the siesta, but most of the other shops on the island will close for a few hours after lunchtime.
The climate on the island is like it is spring all year round. In winter (december / january) the average temperature is 21degrees centigrade and in summer it is about 25 degrees centigrade.
The climate is dry and sunny almost all year in the southern coastal regions. More inland, the mountains retain the clouds, and the sea has not so much influence. It is possible there is snow in the mountains, but you can still be sunbathing on the beach an hour drive from there.
When there is rain on the island, it usually carries a lot of sand from the african dessert. In the picture you can see how your beautifull car looks like after such a day.
In and around Santa Brigida you can find a lot of great villas and buildings. Like this one on the picture. It's an old abandoned house, completely surrounded by the forest.
One day I will buy this house and renovate it. And just like Colombus I will use Gran Canaria as a base for my travels around the world.
Favorite thing: Almost every small bay along the south coast ist occupied by big hotels. Puerto Rico is not far away from Playa del Ingles. The hotels seem to be highrise buildings, but they are just build along the steep mountains.
Favorite thing: Between Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas are the famous dunes. It is said, that the dunes are from sand blown from the Sahara desert. The dunes are an extraordinary nature spectacle. One should not go into the dunes, so not to disturb birds living here.
Gran Canaria is the island of sun, sea and beach. The area between Playa de Ingles and Maspalomas is one long beach of several KMs. There are very and less crowded places. So, there is something for everybody's choice.
North of the beach lays the protected area of the Dunas the Maspalomas. A lot of people go there for walking (there are some tracks) or for sunbathing. The area is so huge, that you hardly see back any sunbather between the dunes.
West from the lighthouse of Maspalomas is a long boulevard of several KMs.
Early in the morning I walked from our hotel near the lighthouse to the western end of the boulevard for some exercise after a minor operation at my leg. At that time there were only joggers and walking people at the quiet boulevard.
Near the lighthouse are some fancy boutiques and some nice terraces at the boulevard.
San Augustin, Playa de Ingles and Maspalomas is the largest concentration of tourist industry in the south of Gran Canaria.
Two million visitors a year !!
Maspalomas has the most quiet atmosphere of these three.
The lighthouse is a important landmark between the oasis and dunes of Maspalomas at the east side and the many new huge hotelcomplexes with large green parks and gardens at the western side.
We saw still many new developments going on in this area. At some places it looked like one large building trench.
Favorite thing: Even though Playa del Ingles means "Beach of the English", this beach is mainly occupied by German tourists. Along the beach there is a promenade, where you can find all sorts of German restaurants and beer.
Favorite thing: I just loved the smell and the beautiful colours of the flowers found in and around the Island, you only see them in places like here never, at home
Fondest memory: What everybody wants to see is the ocean. These waters have washed the shores of even more remote and far away places. You will love the grandioso waves.