Tourist rental law changed in Gran Canaria (and all of the Canary Islands) in May 2015. It is now legal to rent residential property to tourists on a short-term basis.

Published in Alternative Tourism
Monday, 19 January 2015 10:43

Carrizal de Tejeda: Gran Canaria's Masca

 Tiny Carrizal de Tejeda is Gran Canaria's Masca hamlet but without its Tenerife twin's souvenir shops and coach queues. 

The only access, unless you hike or bike in, is via the tortuous GC-606 road between the Cumbres and La Aldea. It's narrow, windy and barrier-free in parts but well worth the effort.

There's not much to do in Carrizal de Tejeda except wander about and enjoy the tranquility. Have a drink at the bar and enjoy the view from its rooftop terrace. 

Stop at the viewpoint just above the hamlet for a bird's eye view of Gran Canaria's least known volcanic monolith: Roque Palmes is a stunning mini Roque Nublo sitting right in the middle of a steep gorge. 

Published in Day Trips
Thursday, 15 January 2015 17:24

GC 15: The North Route Up To The Cumbres

The GC 15 is the main northern route up from Las Palmas to Cruz de Tejeda and the Gran Canaria highlands. It's windy but wide and runs through the green valleys and hillsides of northeast Gran Canaria and a series of interesting towns and villages. 

 

Published in Day Trips
Thursday, 15 January 2015 16:11

GC 200: Gran Canaria's Most Spectacular Road

The GC 200 has it all from hairpin bends to sheer cliff-edge drops. It's Gran Canaria's most spectacular road and takes you right through the Biosphere Reserve along its most remote coast.

Published in Day Trips
Thursday, 15 January 2015 15:52

GC 210: Dropping Into Wilderness

Steep and hair-raising, the GC 210 road drops from the pine-shrouded cumbres right down to the west coast town of La Aldea de San Nicolas. It's the kind of the road that fries brake pads and makes grown men cry (we've seen it happen).

But wow, is it spectacular.

GC 210 starts between Cruz de Tejeda and Tejeda on the GC 60. First you drive through Artenara, Gran Canaria's highest village: Stop for views of the island's central caldera and its iconic rocks. Further on the road drops steeply in a series of hair pin bends and get glimpses of the cave village of Acusa Seca (look behind you) and the emerald green Presa de Parralillo reservoir.

The most famous viewpoint here is by the renovated old windmill: A great spot for the photos without having to stop in the road.

This is Gran Canaria at its wildest with huge masses of volcanic rock cleaved by deep ravines. Nobody has lived here since pre-Hispanic times apart from a few goatherds.

The GC 60 links up with the GC 606 that takes you back up to the main road, but it's a steep old climb with huge drop-offs and no barriers.

Otherwise, you come out in La Aldea and have to choose between going north or south along another lunatic road: The GC 200. North takes you along the cliff edge route up the west coast to Agaete and south heads inland through the steep Degollada de Tasarte back to the south.

Published in Day Trips
Thursday, 15 January 2015 14:28

GC 606: The Wildest Drive In Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria's least-driven road takes you to white villages surrounded by palm and almond trees and past Roque Palmés: Little brother to Roque Nublo.

The GC-606 road is only 12 kilometres long according to Google Maps but takes a good hour and a half to drive as it is barely wide enough for a car and long stretches are barrier-less. It's spectacular or terrifying, depending on how you handle heights. 

Starting as a fork on the GC-60 between Tejeda and San Bartolomé (Tunte) it winds downhill to the tiny hamlets of El Toscón and Carrizal de Tejeda before linking to the GC 210 that links Tamadaba with La Aldea. Between the two is a viewpoint overlooking Roque Palmés.

The lower half of the road is the scariest as there's nothing between you and the Barranco bottom hundreds of metres below. Stop for great views back towards the Tamadaba massif and the Presa de Parralillo reservoir in the valley.

This pie slice of the island tucks into a fold and is hidden from the main Cumbre roads. That and the fact that it links up to another crazy road: The GC 210 between Artenara and La Aldea, make it Gran Canaria's least driven tarmac route.

For an idea of just how wild and rugged west Gran Canaria is we recommend it: Just takes things slowly and use the horn on the blind bends. 

Published in Day Trips

Santa Lucia has quietly become south Gran Canaria rural tourism centre. With its palm-filled valleys, traditional houses and mellow way of life it deserves to be better known. Perhaps it's best if it stays out of the brochures.

 

Published in Resorts & Places
Monday, 12 January 2015 14:22

Santa Lucia's Sunday Market

If there's a rural idyll in south Gran Canaria, then it's Santa Lucia with it's mountain scenery and palm-filled valleys.

The Sunday morning market is a local affair and there's always seasonal produce on offer at superb prices. 

 

Published in Markets

Tunte or San Bartolome de Tirajana market is a local affair held in the hill town early every Sunday morning. 

Published in Markets

San Fernando market is one of the big three in south Gran Canaria along with Puerto Mgán and Arguineguín. The location isn't as pretty as its rivals but it's far more convenient if you're staying in Playa del Inglés or Maspalomas.

The stalls here sell everything from local produce to Moroccan leather (most are also at the other markets). 

Published in Markets

Faneroque beach makes the more famous GüiGüi beach feel like Puerto Rico on a busy Sunday afternoon. If you make it, and few do, you'll have it all to yourself except for the rusty bulldozer.

Monday, 12 January 2015 13:25

Popular Pebbles At Puerto de las Nieves

Puerto de las Nieves in north-west Gran Canaria is more famous for its seafood than its beach. A shame, as few realise that the area gets some of the best weather on the island and that PDLN beach is a calm, sunny haven with fishing boats on the pebbles rather than sun loungers.

Monday, 12 January 2015 13:00

The Canary Islands Tree That Makes Rain

The Canary pine (pinus canariensis) is a miracle tree. Its needles make rain from the clouds  and protect the tree from intense forest fires.

When the Trade Winds blow clouds and mist through the Gran Canaria pine forests the mist condenses on the long, droopy needles and falls as rain. This allows the pine forests to grow in areas with little rainfall, provided that they are high enough to get covered in cloud during the winter. The same long needles protect the trees from fires by burning fast before the heat damages the growing buds. 

Canary pine grows all over the mountains of Cumbres of Gran Canaria, as well as on Tenerife, La Palma and El Hierro. It can reach 45 metres with a trunk at least 1.5 metres in diameter. The island's pine forests are home to a number of endangered animals and plants, including the Blue Chaffinch.

Gran Canaria's forests are recovering after centuries of over-exploitation and most of the forest you see was planted after the 1960s: Big old pine trees are rare as most were cut down for timber and charcoal.

Canary pine trees have lots of other uses: The seeds are edible, and a needle tea treats colds, coughs and bronchitis. Canary pine oil from the needles makes a powerful rub for arthritis and rheumatism, as well as being antiseptic. Canary pine wood is excellent for making furniture, but is no longer harvested. 

The best way to see the Canary pine is to head up to Roque Nublo in the centre of the island. The whole surrounding area is covered with pine forest and there are plenty of walking tracks. Be careful with cigarettes, and never leave glass bottles behind,  as the pine forests catch fire easily!

Published in Alternative Tourism

Gran Canaria's sun is African and in the summer it fries pale northern bodies in minutes. If you want a tan, take it easy for the first couple of days until your skin has a chance to adjust. 

 

Published in Tip of the day
Monday, 12 January 2015 12:02

Arinaga: Gran Canaria's Most Improved Town

Arinaga's attractive promenade, a great natural swimming pool and decent seafront restaurants make it an excellent east coast lunch and swim stop. Just up the road is the world-famous El Cabron dive site and the unassuming but ecologically important Arinaga dunes reserve. 


Published in Resorts & Places
Monday, 12 January 2015 11:17

Agüimes Hill Town

The cobbled old town, with its vast church and squat, heat-proof Canarian houses is the prettiest example of a Gran Canaria hill town in east Gran Canaria. It's well worth a wander.

Published in Resorts & Places
Monday, 12 January 2015 10:15

Caves, Bees And Blossom At Guayadeque Gorge

The Guayadeque gorge is easily the most interesting day trip in East Gran Canaria, especially combined with Aguimes old town and an afternoon swim at Arinaga. It's also a pain in the neck for visitors.

You'll get one from looking up at the high cliff walls and cave houses, then from ducking into the cave houses and chapel. Even the restaurant at the end of the road is carved into the rock. 

The hum

Sound carries in the gorge and you'll hear dogs barking from their cave kennels and the shrill cry of kestrels as they harry the buzzards overhead. And then you'll notice the hum.

From their hives clustered high up on the valley sides Guayadeque's bees feast on a rolling buffet of flowers. The first course is a feast of pink and white almond blossom in January, followed by yellow broom, purple lavendar and blue bugloss flowers. There's always something in flower here: Guayadeque is one of the most biodiverse spots in Europe, home to dozens of unique Canarian plants. 

Try the honey in the cave shops by the chapel half way up the valley. 

Cavemen

Guayadeque was a stronghold for the island's original inhabitants. They were the valley's first troglodytes and their traces are everywhere. Visit the interpretation centre at the beginning of the valley road for details on their lives here and the traces they left behind. 

Modern day locals still live in cave houses in the valley, although many have turned them into rural houses for visitors. In the old days it wasn't just the people that lived in cavesbut entire farms with everything from cows to rabbits dwelling inside the rocks.

 

 

Alex Says: Guayadeque is vertigo-sufferers gateway to the landscapes of central Gran Canaria. You get the monumental cliffs and rocks of the cumbres without steep drop offs.

 

 

 

Published in Resorts & Places
Sunday, 11 January 2015 10:24

Do I Need A VISA To Visit Gran Canaria?

This depends on your nationality.

No Visa is required (for tourists) for visits of up to 90 days if you are a citizen of ehe European Union, Norway, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland or the United States as well as several other countries.

If you are unsure, check with your Spanish Consulate/Embassy well before your flight day.

Your passport or identity card needs to be valid for a minimum of 3 months (and 6 months for certain countries).

Published in FAQ2
Sunday, 11 January 2015 10:08

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Here's a growing list of FAQs that we get at Gran Canaria Info. If your question isn't here, then please ask us in an email or via a Facebook message. We'll answer ASAP.

Can I drink the Tap Water in Gran Canaria?

The island's tap water is perfectly safe to drink, wash in, cook with and brush your teeth with. It just doesn't taste too good as it's made from desalinated seawater. Nobody on the island drink the tap water unfiltered and most buy drinking water in five or eight litre bottles. 

Are there cockroaches?

There 

Can I get marmite, sausages, teabags?

What’s the weather

Which resort

airport transfers

Nightlife

 

Touts

Published in Other
Friday, 09 January 2015 00:00

San Mateo: Gran Canaria's Farming Town

You don't see many wellies in Gran Canaria but San Mateo, as the island's main farming town, is where they are concentrated. With rich soils and plenty of rain, it's main focus has always been agriculture rather than tourism. Despite a madcap plan for a cable car that doesn't look like changing anytime soon. 

 

Published in Resorts & Places
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