Last August, I had the opportunity to fly to Gran Canaria for the very first time. And here is what I saw there. Gran Canaria is one of the islands on the archipelago of the Canary Islands. It is a small part of Spain on the coast of Africa. The flight from Berlin was over 5 hours, but at least it was a direct flight.
I decided to go there for a few reasons. First and most important because it was one of the few places that matched the three most important points I had for traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic: it is a new place, it wasn’t anywhere near a risky area, and it was a beach destination.
How much was everything?
For this trip, Fotostrasse went without any sponsorship or press trip of any kind. We wanted to get out of Berlin after months of being lock inside our homes.
Having a vacation feeling to this trip was essential for me. I went there without the intent of creating content for you guys, but the place was so mesmerizing that my travel blogger side spoke louder than my lazy side, and here we are.
Marian and I paid around 400€ each for a direct flight from Berlin to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, airport transfer, and eight days in a hotel-apartment around 50 meters from the beach.
The place was great and had a kitchen, so we had 100% freedom to arrange the day. The name of this place is Apartamentos Tinoca in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and here are some photos of the place.
Our studio was very modest, but we had fresh towels every day, a small set of pans, and cutlery to cook; the supermarket was less than 5-minute walking, and the place had countless options for breakfast/brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Food, drinks, and overall prices in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is a paradise for South Americans dying of how much they miss the flavors and spices from home. There was a very generous selection of restaurants from Cuba and the Caribean, as well as an astonishing number of places serving sumptuous local delicacies and seafood for a sincere price.
Consider that a complete meal of seafood, a huge salad, veggies, and bread accompanied by water or beer and dessert will cost something around 12-15 euros if you decide to go near the beach and 8-10 if you walk 2 or 3 blocks inwards.
An example was a seafood paella we had by the seashore and paid 15 euros each. This was the first meal we had, and we were so hungry that it wasn’t really time or will to search for a better deal. Two days later, we had a way better and more flavorous paella just 100 meters from the original location. Each portion was 6 euros and came with a lot more shrimps and mussels!
Another remarkable finding was the Cuban restaurant a little over the corner of Apartamentos Tinoca. One of the best arepas I’ve ever had, and each was less than 2 euros. They had a massive portion for two people with a bit of everything for 16 euros.
Marian and I were super hungry, and we couldn’t really finish the whole thing, so if you’re going in three people and you don’t come with the hunger of 1000 soldiers, maybe it can be shared between more than just two.
I genuinely recommend Amigo Camilo, Restaurante Nuevo Gran Playa, and Restaurante Los Botes for a real, local meal filled with calamari and octopus and great prices. This last one being a bit far from the beach, so you’ll need to either go by bike, bus, or taxi.
Amigo Camilo and Glan Playa are super close to where we stayed. I strongly suggest lunch in Glan Playa for checking the life around this place and dinner at Amigo Camilo for the outstanding sunset you can see there. The sunsets on the island of Tenerife and this view is just amazing. Amigo Camilo really needs reservation with at least one day in advance. Avoid making the same mistake that we did and give this place a call before.
Restaurante Los Botes is around 40 or 50 minutes by bike from where we were in a different area of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. You’ll also need to wait a bit if you go without a reservation, but it is super worth it. The view is mainly the angry Atlantic Ocean giving you a show of waves versus rocks. It is so hypnotizing that you barely feel time passing by. Go on a sunny day and grab a table outside for the best experience. And getting a sunny day shouldn’t be hard since the island of Gran Canaria has almost no raining days!
In those three last places, we ordered the same thing. Octopus, fried calamari, fish, and papas arrugadas, a special potato dish from there that tastes like regular potatoes, but locals insist that it is unique and different (it isn’t.) Just eat your potatoes and agree with them, okay? It is good food, don’t get me wrong. My issue is simply that they taste like regular potatoes.
After those two galleries of photos there is a map with all the places I’ve recommended.
What can you do in Gran Canaria?
As previously mentioned in this post, this trip’s whole point wasn’t about content creation at all. And because of that, I didn’t do much to explore the island like I usually do when I travel with fotostrasse. I can say that my exploring side was more directed to finding the best Aperol Spritz rather than finding cool sites to write about it here. But since I was there for over one week, I did indeed visited some cool places and did some cool things, and that is what you’ll read now.
Go below the water lines.
The first point, if you’re into snorkeling like we are, don’t fall for tours. Just get your gear, check the tides and go yourself around the reefs in Glan Playa – the main beach near where we were staying. You will have a lot of fun almost every morning doing this, and you’ll see a lot of marine life. I recommend paying for a tour if you want to check turtles and something else, where you actually need to hop on a boat and be taken to a specific location for that.
My advice is here because you’ll see loads of offers for tours where you will walk to a point on the beach and voilá. And for that, my friend, you can have all the fun for 0 euros.
Bike around Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Another cool thing you can do while you’re in Gran Canaria is exploring the city of Las Palmas by bike. If you go by the shore, there’s not so much up and down, so it is pretty easy. Remember to take sunscreen with you because you’re still in a tropical location under the same sun as the south of Morocco. And we don’t really want to end up with fever due to sunburn!
There are several bike rentals around Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and google maps work fine. We paid 8 euros each for the whole day, but you can save some money if you want less than 10 hours with the bike.
If you’re holding a European number and have enough data, you’re safe. If you are unsure if your roaming 3G will be enough, we used Keepgo, and we were pleased about it. It is a mobile wifi hotspot that allows you to connect more than just your phone because the island’s wifi situation was below the acceptable line. Keepgo is especially great for people who travel a lot since it works in over 100 countries. And if you use the cod MARCELAFAE, you get a nice discount! *wink wink*
This is actually how we reached the Restaurante de Los Botes, in case you’re wondering. It was only 40 or 50 minutes by bike, stopping for photos and map checks.
We didn’t want to leave the island without going somewhere else besides Las Palmas. Our choice was to check the dunes in the very south of Gran Canaria. The place is Las Dunas de Maspalomas.
To get there is more straightforward than I thought; you will need to get a bus in one of the major bus stations in Las Palmas and check the bus back timeline, so you don’t end up strained in the south of the island. In our case, it was an hourly bus. Each way was a bit over six or seven euros per person, and the bus trip is around 1 hour. It is the same bus you take for the airport in case you’re wondering.
Maspalomas is 100% made for tourism. It is super pretty and clean and all that, but everything is more expensive and made for British, Russian, and German tourists. Las Palmas is more real-life and real-people. We were super glad to have chosen Las Palmas as our base to be 100% honest here.
With that said, I urge you to pay a visit to see the dunes. But please take note of one thing that wasn’t very clear for us: it is a cruising place.
If you guys want, I can do a video telling how a naked 70 years old guy was explaining to Marian and me how the dunes are a place where swingers meet to have sex with each other. Just leave a comment here or on our Facebook group asking me for it.
If enough people show interest, I promise that I can tell you all in detail. For the time being, I will leave you with this warning: It is one of the most beautiful places on this island, but you will see some dicks and some touching.
The nudist beaches over there are far from the concept we know from the FKK here in Berlin. It is 100% harmless, and at the end of the day, we were the ones in the wrong place.
We laughed the whole time, and I didn’t feel uncomfortable or violated as a woman! So girls, please be calm.
The prettiest side of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
If you’re looking for a deserted beach where on one side you have the blue ocean water and from the other, a bunch of cacti and arid landscape with a pinch of modern architecture, La Playa del Confital is what you are looking for.
It was roughly 25 or 30 minutes walking from Apartamentos Tinoca to this piece of heaven. Before you reach the beach, you will have to pass through a metal path walk that goes around some of the enormous rocks giving you one of the best views of how beautiful the nature in Gran Canaria is.
Bring your water and food since there is nothing besides the sun, rocks, and cold ocean water. And also a trash bag to pick up all your stuff afterward, including cigarette butts, okay?
The conclusion and extra points for Gran Canaria
Besides ticking all the right boxes when it comes to a perfect getaway from the city’s craziness, Gran Canaria offered much more than just a beach destination. The mood and vibe were very close to home for this Brazilian here. Gran Canaria is filled with great locals that are beyond friendly and polite. And there are many dogs for you to play with while strolling around the city, taking photos of this mixture of Europe and Africa.
And when I say many dogs, I mean it. If you’re a bit familiar with Berlin, you know locals here hate when you acknowledge their dogs, and god forbids you to pet them! Blasphemy!!! That is what you’ll feel you’re trying to do when dealing with Berliner dog owners. But in Las Palmas was precisely the opposite! I even had those two fluff balls brought to me by a local who recognized us and said Coco and Caramelo wanted to wish us a safe flight home.
And with those cute faces, I will say goodbye, and if you ever in Gran Canaria, tag me on your Instagram photos. We are @Fotostrasse there, and we can’t wait to see your photos!