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Gran Canaria (Spain)
Member Name: jaylad
Gran Canaria (Spain)
Date: 13/05/01, updated on 13/05/01 (1250 review reads)
Advantages: Warm all year round, Hardly any street sellers etc.
Disadvantages: Over four hour flight
Having been to Gran Canaria three times recently, I think I can say I have found it very enjoyable and would recommend it.
Gran Canaria, along with its capital city Las Palmas, is the capital of the Canary islands. It is the second largest of the islands (although everyone seems to debate about this!)
The climate is hot all year round and this means during the winter you can still sip from a drink whilst sunbathing on the beach!
The water is very nice, almost tropical looking and very blue and clean, so very nice to go swimming or even diving as many do.
The beaches are one thing that I dont like - most brits get here and think "wow a beach!" and hence they are always packed with fellow english people along with loads of Germans!
But the main thing is that the beaches arent even that good - they are more like charcoal than sand, but then the islands are the result of a volcanic age.
As I said, the capital is Las Palmas and my oh my why does this place not surprise me! It is like any other Spanish city (which all tend to look the same!) but Las Palmas seems to add factory, after factory, after factory to it and the city is about as interesting as downtown Brixton!
Bars/restaurants wise, there are very few of and the 'retail experience' extends as far as the high street! I think the most visited attraction is the McDonalds.
Anyway, most people stay away from Las Palmas and stay in the large resorts which are (thankfully) on the complete opposite of the island. I will add that the north is intensly windy and the south is not. The main resort is Peurto Rico, which is home to hundreds of hotels, apartments and god do I say it - timeshares, of which there are loads of reps on each street corner trying to get you on a tour so that you will fall in love with the "lovely timeshare" which of course we would never do!
There is a nice harbour and selection of shops here too.
Playa des Ingl
es is the competing resort which is nearly of the same scale and offering a similar experience.
The airport is located on the west coast of the island and is classed 'Las Palmas' when your flying there. As with Tenerife, its pretty much in the middle of knowhere but flying into the airports quite interesting. If you approach the runways from the South on landing then you fly past the capital and then fly round this like mini-mountain whilst the aircraft is banking giving you great views of the island and the many 'wind generators'
As with Tenerife, if you take a taxi, make sure your 'in for the ride' as they say. The Spanish driving will soon have you awake if you slept on the plane and many decide now to take the bus which is an equally scary experience that somtimes envolves cornering cliff-side roads at about 80mph! and then accelerating as fast as the bus will go so the hole things vibrating to the point where all your luggage is falling off the shelves!
Like Tenerife, there are also many clubs, bars and places to hang out at night. There are loads of clubs for younger clubbers and quiet traditional pubs where you walk past and all the old ladies are singing to the 'Grand old Duke of York'!
The main thing you also notice is that there are few if any street sellers or staff trying to get you in there clubs! Unlike Tenerife where you cant even cross the road without being jumped on, you never get this here, and I hear its because its against the law. If thats true then why cant all the canaries adopt this rule!