We spent up to three months in Las Palmas. We chose this place, owing to the temperature, the European time zone (which makes our work decisively easier), the possibility of learning surfing, the relatively short distance from Poland to Gran Canaria and, what turned out later, direct flights from Warsaw to Las Palmas offered by Ryanair. I have mixed feelings towards Gran Canaria. It is definitely a great choice, when we have autumn or winter in Poland and you want to warm up in the sun. However, this was not always possible, because when we were there, the weather was changeable and sometimes we had cold and windy days. Additionally, Gran Canaria is a specific island – in the North of the island (Las Palmas) it is sometimes cold and in the South the sun is blazing all year long. But there is a catch: Las Palmas is a really cool and sophisticated place, where there are not many tourists, there are cool pubs and great surf sports. In the South, however, dominate all-inclusive hotels, and for me, this is the realization of the worst nightmare – it’s really thrilling to me. So, you need to take the weather conditions into account. Either you are enjoying the sun surrounded by nude men in cowboy hats, wearing golden chains… Oh, no, no thanks. Good news is that there is relatively cheap in Las Palmas, a lot cheaper than in other European cities on the continent. There is a lot of groceries, big supermarkets and a great choice of pubs. Summing up, Gran Canaria is an excellent place for spending interesting 2 weeks. If you are looking for accommodation, I can send you the contact details of a flat, which we rented. The flat is lovely (with a view on the ocean), it’s big and for a very good price (provided nothing changed). Ok, let’s start a trip to the best places in Las Palmas.
1. Las Canteras – final section
Las Canteras is the biggest beach in Las Palmas, which goes around for miles. I recommend the part, more or less from No. 40 and up, where the coolest restaurants begin, pensioners don’t come and surfers are in the area. At the very end, there is a huge shopping center for those yearning for shopping.
2. La Bikina (Paseo de Las Canteras 63, Las Palmas)
My favorite and beloved beach, not just because we were renting a flat here for 3 months. The cool factor reaches the highest level, when I mention, great waiters, who are calling you by your fist name, an international menu with ridiculously low prices (I recommend tacos, quesadilla, samos and generally the most of the menu. The only missed dish, in my opinion, is Pad Thai:)), night parties with wine and an excellent design. The beach is a meeting point for those, whom you want and must meet when you are in Las Palmas.
3. Don Quixote (Calle Diderot 3, Las Palmas)
A restaurant specializing in meat. It was a Las Palmas restaurant mostly recommended to us. It is near Las Canteras and is famous for a very original way of serving meat. You order the kind of meat you want and some side-dishes, next, you get an extremely hot stone, on which you can do your own meat as you like. It is like a mini grill with a great show and marvelous taste. The prices are low just like in Las Palmas. One portion of meet will easily satisfy 2 people. Oh, and remember about the desserts – they are delicious.
Cliffs are the only reason, for which it is worth passing No. 40 on Las Canteras and go to the decreasing numbers (where you will find “the pensioners’ oasis”) and pass the pier. Exactly behind it, you will find the high cliffs. You can observe from the benches long the seaside, the waves hitting the shore. If you are still in a good shape, you can go to the very end of the shore, where there is a great wild beach with regular waves, which are perfect when you are learning how to surf.
5. El Dorado (Calle Numancia 3, Las Palmas)
El Dorado is at the beginning of Las Canteras, exposed and by the promenade. With the view on the ocean, so theoretically having all characteristics of a restaurant, which you should avoid. But still… it is an exceptional place specializing in tapas made from seafood. It captivated our hearts and also the hearts of Las Palmas citizens, who join their tables on Sundays and are feasting for hours. I also recommend cheese with marmalade, stuffed mussels, chorizo roasted with wine and desserts. Of course, everything, which we ate there was delicious and the mussels were the work of art.
6. Amazing natural pools
To get there, it is necessary to rent a car (car rental companies are everywhere and are relatively cheap) and drive the way to the North. Near Las Palmas, there are two natural swimming pools. More details about how to get there you will find here.
7. Zoe’s food (Domingo J. Navarro 35, Las Palmas)
It’s an exceptional place, which has its headquarters in the Old Town. Here, you will find creative cuisine for vegetarians and vegans, delicious cocktails, great lunch sets and bagels. It’s quite a change after the traditional Canary cuisine, in which you will find mostly fried dishes. If you want to buy some great food, here you will find full shelves. I recommend it strongly!
8. Old Town
Contrary to what one might expect, Las Palmas is a really big city. From Las Canteras to the Old Town it’s quite a distance, which you can overcome on foot or by taxi (it is around 8 km). But I strongly recommend you to get lost in the streets next to St. Anna’s Cathedral and go towards Calle Triana, where you can do great shopping.
9. Plac Santa Catelina
A colorful square between Las Canteras and the harbor. It’s a great place to read a book on a bench, with gorgeous buildings and sea breeze. On the bench, next to yours, you can meet a Canary grandad with a smile on his face and with a friend, which I like on Canary Islands. It looks as if the life of an old gentleman was amusing on Canary Islands.
10. Surf Spot
Of course, at the end I left “crème de la crème” of Las Palmas, which is learning to surf. Las Palmas is not a place, which will rise the blood pressure of professionals, but a place for the people, who start their adventure with surfing and it is really cool. You have a few schools to choose from. I recommend OCEANSIDE, which is a little more expensive than MOJO chosen by us, but there were always fewer people during their trainings and that’s why, they devoted more attention to each learner (and as a result, people did more progress). On the other hand, in MOJO school, the atmosphere was great. They have very handsome instructors, which ends up in not paying attention to learners, but to women on the beach. But it depended mostly from who was on the shift, because there were also instructors, who taught very well. Generally, I recommend both schools.
11.The Tower of Saint Anna Cathedral
During 2 months, which I spent in Las Palmas I resisted to going to see the typical touristic sights, till my sister came and then we thought, why shouldn’t we climb to the top of the observation tower of the Cathedral? Thank God, we didn’t persist in my decision of avoiding the monuments. What a relief, because the view was incredible. Just look at the pictures, you don’t expect such architecture and geography in Las Palmas. Believe me, it has been the best choice ever.
Translated by Atlantica Biuro Tłumaczeń J. Gaertig