Go Local Gran Canaria
This is a locals guide to Gran Canaria. Some things the locals like doing. Things my family and I like doing. Disclosure: even though I´m not a native Canarian, I am married to one which means I needed to integrate into the culture, learn the language, and so much more…
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So here´s my locals guide list to Gran Canaria. There is so much more to share but I´ll have to leave that for another post. In the meantime, click here to read more about Las Canteras Beach (Gran Canaria´s very own urban beach) and here to read all about my Top 5 beaches in Gran Canaria.
Pérez Galdós Theatre is the main theatrical compound in Las Palmas of Gran Canaria. It is situated close to the well-known historic Vegueta, Triana (main shopping street with the architecture of the 1800s) and right next to the sea. It is one of the most iconic monuments of the city, and also one of the most modern theatres is Spain. You can watch many different shows during the year. Some past ones have been: Lady Day (Billie Holiday’s life story), Sister Act… It was named after the famous mid 1800s novelist Pérez Galdós.
This is the big auditorium at the end of Las Canteras beach. It has Alfredo Kraus’s name, the Canarian tenor known internationally. This one is honouring all his work in the music world. Next to the auditorium is a massive statue of this singer looking over the sea. This shows you can see here are related to classical music, Russian ballet productions, etc.
There are two main sports supported in Gran Canaria:
The local team is the Unión Deportiva de Las Palmas (UDLP). This team is in the first division of Spanish Football League, yellow (and blue) is there colour and is extremely important to the Canarians. They play at the Stadium of Gran Canaria and their mascot is a Canary bird. If you go to a game and you hear everyone scream “PIO, PIO” (imitating a bird’s sound) and clap their hands three times, don’t be confused, that’s their way of supporting their beloved team. For those few who are not really football fans (or are fans of both), basketball. The team is called Herbalife (sponsor) Gran Canaria.
Basketball is a very big sport (although not as much as football) in the island. They are in the first division in the Spanish League for basketball, they play at the new Gran Canaria Arena, right next to the football stadium, and their mascot is a presa canario (a dog of Canarian origin).
Food & Restaurants
The typical dishes you will find are: Papas Arrugadas with Mojo (literally meaning wrinkly potatoes, boiled in salt, with a special red sauce that cannot be explained, but you must try!), Potajes (chunky vegetable soups, they’re one of the main ways Canarian people eat their vegetables. The ingredients can vary largely, depending on the island. One of the most popular is the potaje de berros (watercress soup), tinto de verano (red wine mixed with lemon soda, perfect for all the hot weather they get… it is truly a favourite); Sancocho canario, which is a meal consisting in boiled fish with potatoes, sweet potatoes, gofio (a flour created by grinding roasted sweetcorn) and mojo… Nevertheless, people still rave pizza (of course), ice cream and foods from all over the world.
The local beer
When in Gran Canaria order a Tropical beer. The Gran Canarian´s love their local beer brand and to be honest so do I. Try the limón version for a refreshing and zesty lemon taste!
This restaurant is by far one of my favourites. They take traditional Canarian food, but add a gourmet twist of their own to make it different, and so delicious. I must add they make some of the best tintos de verano.
Tagoror in Guayadeque
This restaurant makes some of the best food on the island, in my opinion. Traditional Canarian food, but made amazingly! And the best part of this restaurant is the fact that it is built into a cave. The tables, the walls and the seating is all made of rock! This really takes you back into Canarian history since the people that lived there (the guanches), before the Spanish conquest, lived in caves.
Places to see
Las Canteras is a beach right next to the City Centre. It is a great place for surfers, morning runners and hungry people. La Cicer is the area where the surfers do their thing right next to the Auditorium. There are many restaurants along Las Canteras that are great for eating an ice cream, getting drinks or have a relaxing lunch while you look over the beach. People love to snorkel to La Barra, which is a natural low rock wall in the sea, and around this area there are many different coloured fish and beautiful bright green seaweed.
This is where you’ll find fresh air and beautiful forest like surroundings. The massive amounts of pine trees are extremely tall. People do barbeques and camp here, a must when you go to Gran Canaria.
Roque Nublo is a massive famous rock, to get to it you have to hike. While this hike isn’t easy if you aren’t used to this activity, you get a stunning view of the mountains and the sea. I highly recommend you do this and take a picture once you touch Roque Nublo.
The Canarians use this term very often to say that are going to the touristic beach areas. It is very common to hire an apartment or go to a hotel during the summer months (when it´s vacation). A list of beaches you must go to are:
This is an artificial beach with Caribbean like water, white sand, an incredible beach club and lots to do with kids (paddle boating, inflatable water park…)
Anfi del Mar
Another artificial beach, has the same feel as Amadores and also an amazing beach club.
I wouldn’t say it is the best beach (though it isn’t terrible), but there are some incredible hotels, a Lighthouse, a Moonlight Cinema (the only open air cinema in Europe), a beautiful golf course and lots of fancy restaurants. It´s the best place for a moontlight stroll on the island!
This beach is in the North of the island and it´s a stone beach. The amazing part is, that while you are relaxing on the beach, there are ferries (boats) coming and going right before your eyes; the area looks like you are somewhere in Greece with all the little white houses with blue window frames and doors, there are really great restaurants you can go to, to specifically have some delicious seafood. One of the best ones is called “Dedo de Dios” and it is situated right on the beach front.
Let me know in the comments if you have visited Gran Canaria before, and what you really liked about this island?!
Hapy weekend guys!