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Guayedra beach is where nature-loving locals from all over the north of the island go for nudist sunbathing in the west coast sunshine.

Friday, 09 January 2015 00:00

The San Lorenzo Farmer's Market

The weekend markets at Santa Brigida and San Mateo are so popular these days that there's traffic jams on the road up. Fortunatley there's a Sunday alternative close to Las Palmas that doesn't get the crowds.

San Lozenzo market has about 20 stalls and is a genuine farmer's market with all produce grown locally. It even has a price board at the entrance listing the maximum and minimum prices for the fruit and veg on sale.

One highlight of the San Lorenzo market is the cheese stall right at the entrance. All the cheeses on display are made in the surrounding area and tasting is encouraged. They even cut your cheese with a traditional Canarian knife. Their lightly smoked goat cheese is fantastic and the stall next door does a great flor cheese suitable for veggies. 

As well as fresh produce San Lorenzo also has stall selling bread and local cakes as well as aloe vera products, Gran Canarian olive oil and local honey. There's a small cafe in the market square and another in the church square a couple of minutes walk away: It's only got six tables so be prepared to wait for a seat. 

Get to San Lorenzo from Las Palmas by car (there is parking right next to the market), taxi or on bus 335. The market runs from 0.900 to 15.00 but quite a few stall sell out well before the end. 

Published in Markets

History hasn't recorded which maniac decided to build Galdar town on one of Gran Canaria's most recent volcanoes, but the result is there for everyone to see. As a long-term real-estate bet, it's not the greatest, but the houses clinging to the steep sides of the cone certainly liven up the view.

Published in Resorts & Places

Gran Canaria's North Shore, sandwiched between the breakers and the banana plantations is riddled with authentic seafood restaurants. Ignore the roadside warehouse restaurants between Bañaderos and San Felipe and head for these tried-and-tested spots instead.

Puerto de las Nieves

Puerto de las Nieves in the far north west of Gran Canaria caters to mobs of seafood-hungry Las Palmas locals at weekends. You won’t get a table at the beachfront restaurants after 13.30.

Visit during the week and Puerto de las Nieves reverts back to its natural, peaceful state. The odd carload of intrepid tourists that have driven from Las Palmas or along the West Coast road are often the only people on the terraces.

Puerto de las Nieves shuts up shop during the evenings. Most restaurants close but you’ll always find somewhere to knock out a plate of calamares.

Top Picks

El Dedo de Dios restaurant is the only one to the left of the old jetty. While it doesn’t have outdoor seating you can sit by the big windows if you arrive early.  The food excellent and the best value in town. The Dedo opens at night.

The quintessential Puerto de las Nieves seafood restaurant with a whitewashed terrace right by the beach and fishing nets on the walls. The seafood is good and the slight premium you pay is worthwhile if you can get an outside table.

Sardina del Norte

This tiny fishing harbour clings improbably to the narrow platform at the base of a high sea cliff in north west Gran Canaria. It’s a popular local spot because of its sandy beach, value restaurants and top-notch dive spots

The beach is small and sometimes gets washed away in winter but is the only sandy beach along the north coast. It has toilets, showers and sunbathing platforms.

Sardina’s restaurants serve seafood and Canarian dishes and their prices are local.

Top Picks

Right by the diving jetty the ramshackle El Ancla restaurant does great seafood, serving it without a trace of irony to divers just out of the ocean. The seafood and vegetable fry up is superb.

Embedded in the cliff overlooking the beach Mama Lolilla has to be one of Gran Canaria’s Top Location Restaurants. Arrive early (before 13.30) and you get the one-table terrace with the best view.

La Puntilla

Las Canteras beach ends at La Puntilla but the walkway continues all the way to El Confital beach two kilometres north. It’s a much quieter part of the city with residential streets and little rocky bays.

The restaurants here are local and serve seafood at lower prices than along the beachfront.

Amigo Camillo is first restaurant on the front as you walk north from the big square at the north end of the beach. It's right on the edge of the rocks with greats views from its covered terrace. The calamares and puntitas (deep-fried baby squid) are delicious and there’s always fresh fish on display.

Las Coloradas

The most northerly village in Las Palmas is tucked away in the La Isleta Peninsula and surrounded by a military base.

Las Coloradas isn’t by the sea and its restaurants don’t have a great view. However, its been a city hotspot for seafood for decades and after a lull is coming back onto the radar.

The Mirador del Atlante

Drive west out of Las Palmas along the coast road and you soon get to Tony Gallardo's amorphous but feminine sculpture. It represents the legend of Atlantis and looks like a giant woman facing the ocean.

Just past the sculpture is the Mirador del Atlante outdoor restaurant serving seafood and local dishes. It’s the only decent restaurant along the north coast with a good view of the city although you do pay for the location.

To reach the Mirador as you come into Las Palmas you have to drive past and turn around in the city: Just take the first exit past the bridge and use the roundabout by the Las Arenas shopping centre.

 

El Roque

Every house in colourful El Roque village sits on a huge rock sticking out into the ocean in north Gran Canaria. Perched right at the tip is the Italian run Locando El Roque. It does a range of pasta and fresh fish and while it's more upmarket than most seafood places in north Gran Canaria, its location is exceptional.

Puertillo 

The only sandy beach along the Gran Canaria North Shore, El Puertillo has a couple of fantastic local seafood spots right by the sand. There's not much to choose between them and they fill up fast at weekends. 

Drive into Las Palmas along the coast road from the airport and you can't miss La Laja beach and its mob of seagulls. While everybody sees it, only boogie boarders and locals appreciate it.

There are quiet local beaches dotted all around the north coast of Gran Canaria. If you get sick of long sand beaches covered in sun loungers and parasols then head to one of these secret spots. All of them are great for snorkelling.

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