Our opinion on Las Palmas and Gran Canaria from a digital nomad point of view. After a month living and working from a coworking space in the Canary Islands we give you our opinion and more details on the cost of living in the...
Our travel guide to the island of Gran Canaria
Welcome to our page dedicated to Gran Canaria! We came to spend a month on this island in October 2019. On this page you will find all the practical and general information about the destination. To see more detailed articles on certain activities or regions, you are invited to visit the end of the page.
In Gran Canaria we did not only have a holiday, we originally came here in digital nomad mode. During our stay we stayed in a coliving and worked from a coworking space. Of course we have also been around a lot and if you plan to come and spend a holiday here you should also find your happiness in this post. ;)
Gran Canaria: The Map of our blog posts
During our stay we were based in Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria. Las Palmas is a city with almost 400,000 inhabitants and is therefore a very lively place with lots of activities to do and restaurants to discover. Afterwards, if you know us a little bit, you will surely know that we are also great lovers of nature and hiking. It is therefore quite naturally that we have left the city to explore the most beautiful areas of the island. To see all our blog posts on a map, click on the button below
When to go to Gran Canaria?
The Canary Islands are known for their very pleasant climate all year round. We had spent a whole winter in Tenerife, and we can confirm it to you: Gran Canaria can be visited perfectly every month of the year.
Statistically speaking, it rains mostly in winter. Between December and February, the island experiences an average of 5 rainy days per month (this remains very little we agree). ;) During the summer months? It usually never rains!
In terms of temperatures it's great too! The thermometer also never goes below 15°C and rarely exceeds 30°C. The winter months are of course the coolest. Theoretically, they are therefore a little less suitable for swimming, but on the other hand they are perfect for walks and hikes.
Getting around Gran Canaria
In Tenerife we rented a car for our whole stay. In Gran Canaria we have decided to use public transport instead. The reason? We lived in Las Palmas, the capital. And if it is easy to find a parking space for a few hours, it is much more complicated if you want to have your car parked permanently in the city centre (well, it's just a little expensive).
In Gran Canaria the bus network (called Global) is very well developed and you can easily reach the main sites and villages. However, frequencies are not very important for some lines. For example, when we went hiking from San Pedro to Agaete, we had exactly 4 buses to choose from during the day (only one in the morning). But a little bit of planning it's fine! ;)
To find out the schedules, we advise you to use the "Route" function of Google Maps. The schedules of the different lines are well synchronized and it is by far the easiest way to find the fastest route from point A to point B.
Afterwards, if you want to have more freedom in your travels, car rental is an option that is very often chosen. Many companies are present on the island.
Of the feedback we have received, there does not seem to be any in particular to avoid. Our advice here would simply be to look to rent the car directly from the airport as prices are usually much lower there! From Las Palmas, it is necessary to count approximately 30€-35€ for one day of rental (decreasing price according to the duration of rental). From the airport, cars are available from 7€ per day.
To find the cheapest company we recommend you as usual to look at Rentalcars.
Attention: If you are French, make sure you have a credit card and not a debit card. Many agencies request a guarantee from a credit card only. On Rentalcars it is possible to filter the results to see which companies accept debit cards.
If you arrive without a credit card, you will most certainly have to take out additional insurance (these are relatively expensive). This is the norm here... so really think about checking your card type! For our part, we always opt for the credit card guarantee option and never take out additional insurance.
Where to stay in Gran Canaria - our advice
The island of Gran Canaria is relatively large and there are many accommodation options. As you were told, we have made the choice to stay in Las Palmas. This choice was motivated by the fact that we also wanted to work and meet people.
Stay in Las Palmas
For a holiday, I'm not sure that a city of 400,000 inhabitants is ideal, unless you want to have a wide choice of restaurants (and enjoy being in the heart of the island in terms of public transport).
In Las Palmas there are mainly 2 districts that stand out for both travellers and nomads:
- Las Canteras: the beach district. It is the most lively and festive place with many bars and restaurants. The long beach of Las Canteras (5km long) is also very pleasant and we are a stone's throw from the typical district of Isleta. It is also in this area that the majority of coworking is located and it is the area we have chosen.
- Vegueta: The old center of Las Palmas. In our opinion, it is undoubtedly the neighbourhood with the most character. The colonial style is everywhere and the streets are simply beautiful. The atmosphere is more "local" and there are many shops and restaurants where many locals go. On the other hand it's less "festive" and we're further from the beach (the beach on the harbour side is really awful if you ask me)
If you are not yet on Airbnb and would like to test the service, we invite you to use our referral link. You will receive up to 25€ discount for your first booking.
Other places to stay in Gran Canaria
Beyond Las Palmas there are plenty of options to find accommodation! Here are the different areas and our advice:
- In a mountain village: The centre of the island is much less touristy and the landscapes are sublime. There are very nice hotels that are ideal bases for hiking in Tunte, Cruz de Tejeda, Teror, etc. There are also many options that are more "isolated" and beautiful. On the other hand, if you decide to stay in a village, we would clearly recommend that you rent a car.
- On the south coast: This is the perfect seaside destination. Many seaside resorts follow one another on the sunniest coast of the island. Places such as Puerto de Mogan, Arguineguin, Playa de Amadores. To us, it's not "top" from a charm point of view, but if you come for the beach it's probably where you'll want to go.
- The northern cooast of Gran Canaria: we found the small seaside resort of Puerto de las Nieves, which is right next to Agaete and the many hiking options, very cute.
If we can give you a personal advice: avoid Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles... there are a lot of hotels around there, but honestly it's really not great. It's really a very cliché "Resort" destination, miles away from the vibe of the canaries.
Getting to the canary islands- cheap flights
Gran Canaria is a popular holiday destination and says it is popular and also has many low-cost flights coming to it. The Canary Islands as a whole are one of the cheapest sunny destinations in Europe and flights from almost anywhere in Europe are available from €9.
We are not really convinced that this is a good thing from an environmental point of view, but it is like that. In short, to find a flight, you shouldn't have any problems when you go to Skyscanner.
During our second visit we wanted to see if there would not be alternatives to flying to come here... Unfortunately, there are no real other options... We briefly considered coming by ferry, but when we realized that it took 36 hours of ferry time and especially that the prices start at 400€ for a round trip, we changed our mind. :(
Gran Canaria for Digital Nomads
In recent years, the Canary Islands and Gran Canaria in particular have developed enormously to become a real "hub" for nomads. In Las Palmas there are many coworking areas and some coliving.
You can find out more about it in this article, but we really enjoyed our nomadic stay in Las Palmas, even if from an "infrastructure" point of view we were a little less excited than in Tenerife.
During our stay we stayed at the coliving called ReStation (and we also worked from their coworking space).
The most dynamic coworking spaces in Las Palmas: