GRAN CANARIA TRAVEL GUIDE
HOW TO GET THERE?
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is located in the north of the island of Gran Canaria.
Unless you decide to arrive by yourself we will pick you up from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Airport (LPA). www.grancanaria-airport.net
We will meet you just at the outside when you are leaving the baggage collect area holding up a signpost with Safari Surf Adventures.
Gran Canaria Las Palmas Airport is the largest in passenger and cargo traffic between the airports of the Canary Islands, plus the sixth in the state of Spain received more than 13 Million passengers in 2017.
Hence many Airlines from all over Europe are flying to LPA airport – so best you do some internet research and pick your best option.
During the camp we will pick you up and drive you around for all our surf activities.
PASSPORT & EMERGENCY CONTACT
The Canary Island belong to Spain and therefore are part of the European Union. EU Citizens do not need a visa – only their ID to carry with them. Citizens outside of Europe need to apply for a Schengen Visa according to the regulations of their country with the EU.
Emergency Contact Info
In case of an emergency, the local authorities can be contacted at the following numbers:
Emergencies – 112
Ambulance – Dial 112 and the operator will put you through
Police Station – 091
The water is relatively mild tempered the whole year around due to its location off the African Coast, between 19 degrees centigrade in winter (February) and up to 23 degrees centigrade in summer.
WHAT TO BRING?
Hence you might want to bring your 3/2 suit in early spring, and a steamer / neoprene shirt in the other seasons. Booties might be good in early spring and/or will offer you a little comfort & protection on some of the rock bottoms.
Other than your personal necessities such as a special diet or medicine you do not need to bring anything but good vibes and energy since everything such as restaurants, cafés, supermarkets, pharmacies, shops and surf-shops are just around the corner and in walking distance from your hostel – so bring just yourself and your good energy.
An important landmark for the cultural development of the Canaries was the incorporation of the islands into the Castilian Crown at the end of the 15th century. This marked the beginning of Hispanic culture and tradition spreading across all the islands of the archipelago.
After the subjugation by the Spaniards, Gran Canaria became a famous port of call for travellers and many of them settled with their families on this island, bringing with them their own cultures and traditions.
Gran Canaria’s society has always been open to influences from beyond the seas, which has enriched the island with visiting cultures over the years. However, it has always been important for the island to preserve its ancient traditions and to keep its original identity alive. Due to its long history, this cosmopolitan island has become a synonym for cultural blending with a rich archaeological, architectural, ethnographic and artistic heritage – a rare quality for a place as small as Gran Canaria.
The Canarios like to celebrate festivals, be it of religious or cultural nature, and there is always something going on somewhere on the island. Internationally-renowned festivals include the International Film Festival of Las Palmas, the Festival de Música de Canarias (Canarian Classical Music Festival) and the Festival de Ópera. Other events such as the WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) and the Festival de Teatro y Danza de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Theatre and Dance Festival) bring still more influences from the international cultural panorama to this magnificent island.
WHAT TO EAT AND DO
The cuisine of the Canary Islands combines traditional Spanish recipes with African and Latin-American influences. Some recipes have been imported from the Spanish mainland, but many original flavours can be found in the Canarian specialities. You will find Spanish food on the menu of many restaurants, as well as a wide variety of international food. It is well worth searching for genuine local cuisine – your taste buds will not be disappointed!
Tipping in Gran Canaria and all over the Canary Islands is straightforward and the rules are the same for locals and tourists. In restaurants, tip up to 10% of the bill if you are happy with the service and food you received. In bars and cafes, tip up to 10% of the bill. If you only have a coffee or a drink, then leave a few coins as a gesture.
Taxis don’t expect tips but do appreciate them. It’s polite to round up fares to the nearest euro as drivers often run out of change.
Please note that the 7% IGIC charge added to most restaurant and bar bills in Gran Canaria is the equivalent of VAT and has nothing to do with a service charge. Most restaurants now quote prices without IGIC so that they can keep menu prices lower.
Of all the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is easily the most diverse. From the surf of the surging Atlantic to the turf of its lush north, Gran Canaria is an island of microclimates:
- Moonwalk at Roque Nublo – in the centre of the island, this little and large rock pairing is well worth a visit. The relatively short hike up to this unmistakable landmark is hot work, so get hydrated with a fresh juice from the van in the car park. Standing 80 metres tall and 1,813 meters above sea level, the Roque Nublo isn’t actually the highest point on the island (that accolade goes to Pico de la Nieves), although with its exposed position rising out of the Caldera de Tejeda, it is certainly the most prominent. You can enjoy panoramic 360-degree views of the island from on top of the peak, but the quasi-lunar landscape itself is the real draw.
- Scubadiving – Gran Canaria boasts incredible biodiversity, both above and below sea level, so take the plunge with a scuba dive to see an impressive variety of marine life. Get up close and personal with a manta ray or sea turtle, or lose yourself just gazing at the remarkable colours of fish and crustaceans found in abundance at sites like the El Cabrón Marine Reserve. What’s more, the island’s turquoise waters couldn’t be more inviting, with a year-round temperature of 23 degrees C.
- Go stargazing – Is there life on Mars? Thanks to the island’s position on the equator, low-level cloud phenomena that filter out light pollution and a law that regulates air traffic, Gran Canaria is one of the best places in Europe from which to see the stars. The unusually clear and bright skies allow for cracking views of constellations found in both northern and southern hemispheres.
- Visit the Vegueta old town – Towards the south of Gran Canaria’s capital city, Vegueta was the original settlement that gave birth to Las Palmas at the end of the 15th Century. Its streets and squares contain historical buildings such as the Casa de Colon mansion, Santa Ana cathedral, the Museo Canario museum, Gabinete Literario club, town hall and Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno gallery. The area around the market, built in 1856, is full of shops and over the road is the Triana shopping district.