The public buses we found were excellent are very good value for money,it can be a bit nerve racking if you don't like heights,an example was from Amadores to Puerto De Mogan was a few euros the same with Puerto Rico.
They were clean pleasant and the drivers understood English and were very helpful.
If you are not one for buses ,then i suggest you try it at least once they are very good value and well run.
Travel by ferry to Puerto Rico and Arguineguin and Mogan with Bluebird or Lineas Salmon - it's a great way to see the cliffs and some of the smaller, inaccessible bays. On Friday mornings the incoming ferries are packed with visitors to the market at Mogan and in the afternoon there a long queues waiting for the outbound one, so unless you love crowds, plan your voyage accordingly!
Return trip from Puerto Rico to Mogan is €10
The Green Taxis are a good quick way of getting from A to B,for example from Amadores to Puerto Rico was approx €4 they are clean and most are air conditioned too.
We did use use the Taxis a lot at night ,after a longs day exploring the thought of the Hill was enough to get a Taxi back.
Most are Mercedes and there are plenty of them,they do have meters in them but if your not sure just ask.
If you are staying at a Hotel just ask reception to call you one ,we found most nights they would arrive within 5mins and the Hotel tell what number your taxi is,so there's no confusion.
Gran Canaria is not so big, it's actually just 200 km around. There is one big highway that goes all the way from Puerto Rico in the south to Las Palmas in the north, and the other mainroads are also quite good so it's very easy to find your way around.
If you happen to get lost, just stop and ask someone. People here are very friendly and helpful, but many don't speak much english. If you don't speak spanish, just show them your map and they will point you in the right direction.
You can also take the bus, but the best is to hire a car. In one day you can see much of the island, but if you want to see many places and don't just stress around it's better to hire a car for two days or more. Then you can combine the sightseeing with swimming and relaxing at beaches where you can be almost alone.
spanair serves gran canaria with several flights a day and is a good reliable airline with more legspace than on most flights.
prices are good and service is friendly.
it's possibly the best short haul airline i have flown in europe.
Although there are busservice in the busy tourist area and the city of Las Palmas, the bus is not convienient if you want to go inland.
Better to hire a car. There are loads of carhire companies. But be aware, the rates they advertise do not always cover all insurance.
We rented with Duna Car. They offer rates all inclussive, the only thing you have to pay extra are petrol and if you get a ticket for speeding or something....
And if you want to see the island, not only the beaches rent it for at least three days !!
Las Palmas airport is located in the middle of the east coast of Gran Canaria. It takes about 20 min. on the motorway to the city of Las Palmas and 25 minutes south on the motorway to Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas.
For airlines flying into the airport see this website: http://www.grancanaria.com/patronato_turismo/4808.0.html
How to reach your destination:
- If you booked a package tour from europe, the bus to your accomodation is almost always included. Find your travelagent waiting for you at arrival.
- Several rent-a-car companies (Avis - Hertz - and more) have offices on the airport. It is wise to make a reservation in advance.
- Taxi are availlable in front of the terminal, it will cost about 35 - 40 Euro to Maspalomas.
- Public bus: to Las Palmas every 20 minutes during the day. Playa del Ingles buses (no 66) leave at a quarter past the hour from 07:15 to 22:15.
In this picture you see a new roadnumber, like we talked about in the previous tip.
These numbers all begin with GC, and don't relate to the old numbers in any way.
All the signs you will see when travlling have these numbers on them and when you have the right map it will be easy to navigate.
Or as our tourguide said: When you are staying in the Maspalomas area you can't get lost: Just go down the mountains untill the coast and drive around the island... (that will cost a few hours though)
Most roads on the island are good, but sometimes you will encounter something different like this.
The 7 km road to the beach of Tasarte is narrow but good untill a kilometer before the Playa. There the road is going through a dry riverbed (when you are lucky like we were). When it is raining or has rained the road can't be driven on, because it is a river......
Travel between the Canary Islands can be done by ferry. We have not done this because we only stayed one week on Gran Canaria, and we needed all that time to see the island.
But if you want to:
The ferry to Tenerife leaves from Puerto de las Nieves (near Agaete and sometimes called Puerto de Agaete), 8 times a day and in the weekends 6 times a day.
The ferry is operated by Fred Olson.
Another possibility is to travel by ferry from Las Palmas.
A couple of tips of how to park like a local in Playa...
The blue bays. These are pay and display bays. But do the locals always pay? Not necessarily. If you're leaving your car for ages then it's probably worth paying for a ticket, but for shorter stays, parking in the evening, or flying by the seat of your pants there's an easy way to avoid a big parking fine and not buying a ticket.
If you get a parking ticket you just pay on the spot and put a small fine into the parking meter. When my sister goes to the video shop, to park would cost 40 cents. If she leaves her car without a ticket and gets ticketed it will cost her about 2 euros if she pays the fine off immediately. And she's certain that she gets ticketed less than one time in five.
The figures are only a rough guess, but it's nothing to get worked up about though. When they're on duty the inspectors do check tickets quite often so it's worth paying, but for a short stay or for parking just before the restrictions end you can often get away with it!
I've also experienced the tow trucks more often than I'd like (I wasn't driving though!). In Playa, they might pick you up if you're parked somewhere you shouldn't be, usually marked by yellow lines along the edge of the pavement. I've never seen them pick anyone up just for overstaying on pay and display. If they do tow you, the charge for getting it released is about 30 Euros, definitely less than a parking ticket in the UK. Cars get towed to an office just behind Holiday World behind the Campo de Golf in Maspalomas.
One word of warning though, if it gets towed they want every document in existence for the car. I've never tried it in a hire car so I don't know how easy it would be to get hold of everything.
You can check bus lines and schedules from the website linked below. These are public interurban buses. You can pay cash (no large bank notes, though) or buy a pass of some sort.
The company is the result of a merger pf two companies: Salcai (green buses and signs, used to do the southern areas) and Utinsa (blue and orange buses, used to do the northern area lines). Their present color is a shade of teal but you can sometimes still see the older versions.
An old network of ancient paths is present on Gran Canaria. After the Spanish occupied the island, these paths were protected by small walls and paved with rocks.
They got the name "Camino Real" or "King´s Road" because this restoration was directly paid by the Crown.
With the rise of the "turismo rural" these Camino Reals are restored once again and are excellent paths for hiking around the island.
The map we got from the rental company was not very detailed. Sometimes the roads were not on the map, sometimes we already passed it before the village when the map said it was after the village. But at least it had the right roadnumbers. Recently the numbers of the roads changed. In the picture you see an old number (C-815) along the now called GC 55. So be sure you have a good map with the right numbers, or get lost completely..
Every hour from morning to sunset a glass bottomed ferry boat runs from the village of Puerto Rico to the even prettier village of Mogan.
We stayed upstairs on the open deck, even though it was chilly that evening, as we wanted to see the coastline. Such beautiful views.
Downstairs, in the glass bottomed area, you can get beers and other drinks as you watch the world go by.
Once a day the boat takes a detour out to the whale and dolphin watching area. The trip is the same price!!!!. We paid €6 each for the standard one way trip. It's €10 round trip. A taxi one way cost us just over €12. The boat Leaves Puerto Rico to travel to Mogan every hour on the hour from 10am to 5pm. It returns from Mogan to Puerto Rico at 45 mins to the hour from 10.45 to 17.45.
You pick up the ferry at the marina in Puerto Rico - it's clearly marked "Salmon Line Glass Bottom Boats."
In Mogan the pick up point is at the entrance to the port by the building which is white and, marked in green, "Puerto de Mogan."