Google Gran Canaria Blog: guide to culture,beaches,food and accommodation

The Sunshine Guide to Gran Canaria

The Sunshine Guide is the blog for Gran Canaria Info, the biggest and best Gran Canaria website. We skip the guidebook hyperbole and tired old clichés and show the best Gran Canaria beaches, restaurants and activities. Enjoy Gran Canaria and let us know what you think!

17 Apr 2013

The Funniest Tourist Complaints From Gran Canaria

Cheap booze is one of the bizarre tourist complaints from Gran Canaria
Cheap booze ruined my Gran Canaria holiday!
Here's the Top Five most absurd tourist complaints that we've heard over the last year in Gran Canaria: Have you got a better one? Let us know for next year's post!

Not all inclusive!?

A large family sat at a beach front restaurant in Amadores and ordered a big meal. Then they ordered desserts, followed by coffees and liqueurs. Then they got up and walked off. A confused waiter ran after them with the bill but the family just looked at him blankly. He explained that they had forgotten to pay. Our family waved their "all-inclusive" bracelets at him and headed for the beach. 

The restaurant owner, after a few deep breaths, had to go and explain that it was their resort, and not the whole of Gran Canaria, that was all inclusive.

6 Mar 2013

Gran Canaria Foods That The Locals Love

Not all Gran Canaria foods get onto the restaurant menus.
Leche y leche: Canarian food and drink the locals love

Canarian restaurants all serve delicious papas con mojo and goat cheese but there are lots of Canarian foods that don't make it onto the menus. Here are the top ten local favourites that you have to track down on your own.

26 Feb 2013

The Historic Maspalomas Space Station Has Saved 10,000 Lives

Distressed sailors in need of the Maspalomas Space Station
The Maspalomas Space Station picks up distress signals from around the world

The Maspalomas Space Station has saved 10,000 lives in 20 years by detecting distress signals from ships and planes. This is on top of its historic part in the Apollo moon landings.

19 Feb 2013

Come To Las Palmas For Culture, Stay For Food And Fun

Gran Canaria's modern city of Las Palmas, with its surf and beach culture, is far more interesting than the historical city.
The two sides of Las Palmas city
In brochure-land Las Palmas is full or tourists wandering around cobbled streets between museums and galleries. They eat authentic Canarian food, buy arts and crafts, and enjoy themselves in a demure, cultured sort of way without breaking a sweat.

You can do Las Palmas without stepping off the 15th Century cobbles of Vegueta. As the first Spanish city founded in the New World, it's gravid with history. It was attacked by cavemen, visited by Columbus, fought off an attack by Sir Francis Drake and got sacked by Dutch privateers. Vegueta is the perfect cultural destination: Compact, well-preserved and full of small, interesting museums.
However, there is also a spicier side to the city that you miss if you focus on the past.

16 Feb 2013

Gran Canaria: Las Palmas Carnival 2013 Photos

The 2013 Gran Cabalgata parade in Las Palmas: 110 floats and a whole city in costume. This is Gran Canaria's biggest fiesta, and one of Europe's biggest street parties.

Read more about carnival in Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands in this post.

The Las Palmas carnival 2013 in Gran Canaria

13 Feb 2013

Carnival Photos From Gran Canaria

The Carnaval al Sol procession in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on February 13 2013. Dance groups, drumming dands and costume groups parade down the Las Canteras beachfront in a celebration of colour and fun.

Read more about carnival in Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands in this post.

Fantastic costumes at the Carnvaval al Sol in Las Palmas Gran Canaria

7 Feb 2013

Gran Canaria Weather: What To Expect In February

The weather in Gran Canaria in February is variable but mostly sunny
February weather in Gran Canaria: Variable but better than anywhere else

The average day temperature in Gran Canaria in February is "only" 18ºC and it rains fox six days during the month. February is the coldest month of the year and also one of the wettest.

That's the bad news! The good news is that Gran Canaria gets an average of seven hours of sunshine per day during the whole February. It was 28ºC at midday in Las Palmas two days ago (see photo for proof, taken on February 2nd 2013

Gran Canaria: The Island Of Eternal Cliches (And How To Stop Them)

Looking past Gran Canaria's many travel writing cliches

Travel writers always use their first paragraph to criticize Gran Canaria for having resorts, as if they pollute the whole island. Then they vomit forth a plethora of cliches the likes of which have never been seen before. Just like that!
Most articles about Gran Canaria are written by people who have never visited, or spent a week in a resort attacking the free buffet. Instead of documenting their own experiences they do a bit of Googling and churn out dross.

26 Jan 2013

Vicia vulcanorum: A New Species From Lanzarote

Vicia vulcanorum: New Lanzarote species

Botanists have discovered a brand new species of plant in the lava fields of northern Lanzarote. It's only small but produces pretty white flowers and highlights the importance of the Canary Islands as a biodiversity hotspot.

25 Jan 2013

Columbus In Gran Canaria

The Casa de Colón in Vegueta, Gran Canaria
The Casa de Colón museum in Vegueta, Gran Canaria
Christopher Columbus spent a month in Las Palmas in 1492 on the way to the Americas because his crew had sabotaged the Pinta's rudder. They weren't as convinced as their boss that sailing west was a good idea. 

19 Jan 2013

Gran Canaria: The Weather In January

Gran Canaria has sunny weather almost every day in January
January Beach weather in Mogán, Gran Canaria

Yesterday (January 18) the sun shone all day and the thermometer's on the beach front in Las Palmas reached 25º Celsius. It was a degree or two warmer in the resorts. Today it is cloudy in the capital but the temperature is still 23º C at midday. It is sunny in Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés.

17 Jan 2013

The Gran Canaria Marathon 2013

The Gran Canaria Marathon 

You can hardly move in Las Palmas at the moment because of all the runners getting in a few final miles before the start of the Gran Canaria marathon on Sunday (January 20).
10,000 people from 40 countries will pound Las Palmas' pavements in the 10km race, the half marathon and the full slog. There are also children's races and para-events on Saturday.

The route this year is great for runners and spectators alike. It goes from the port all the way along the Las Canteras beach front and then through the city into Vegueta (to give the runners the chance to give the cathedral a wave). Then the full marathon runners have to do a second 21km lap.

The weather forecast for Sunday is a mix of sun and light cloud with temperatures of about 20 degrees during the race. Perfect for running and for photographing runners. Good luck to all the participants and remember to smile when a fool in a straw hat points a camera at you.

Registration for the 2014 event opens on Sunday and continues until October 31.

Photos from the 2011 Gran Canaria marathon

Gran Canaria: Far More Than Just Resorts (Says Lonely Planet)

Gran Canaria is full of gorgeous spots but all you ever hear about is its resorts. Not fair!
Gran Canaria away from the resorts (Temisas town)

Most travel articles about Gran Canaria mention its resorts in the first paragraph. It's as if the whole island is tainted because lots of people want to spend a couple of weeks in the sun. This travel industry cliché drives us mad but there are encouraging signs that things are changing.

The Lonely Planet, long the sneerer-in-chief, now admits that there is more to the islands than chicken and chips for €3.99. In its section about Gran Canaria's resorts it even manages a compliment:

15 Jan 2013

Gran Canaria Oilve Oil: There's Gold In Them There Hills

Olives ripening at Temisas: The heartland of olive country in Gran Canaria
Olives growing at Temisas in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is lucky that olive trees live a long time and don't bear grudges. For centuries the island's olivos were used as windbreaks and goat shade, their fruit pickled in mojo sauce or left to rot. Then, about 10 years ago, someone decided to crush a few olives and taste the oil. 

Gran Canaria olive oil turns out to be delicious and farmers lucky enough to have olive trees on their land are relearning what their grandparents forgot. Our olives have gone from aperitif to the stars of the table.

14 Jan 2013

Gran Canaria Secrets: The Cider Of Valleseco

Valleseco town square, one of Gran Canaria's many hidden spots

Valleseco is one of the prettiest and least visited towns in Gran Canaria. It makes its own cider, although it is even harder to find than the place itself. So far we haven't tried a drop!

Dry In Name

The name Valleseco means "dry valley". Unless this refers to the lack of cider it's a misnomer: The town, tucked away in the north central hills above Teror, is one of the wettest places on the island. It even sells itself as a "green oasis of life" on its tourist website.