History

Las Palmas city's first 100 years of history were violent and bloody. And several of the city's most famous attackers shared grisly fates. The curse of Las Palmas sent them to early graves.
Sir Francis Drake, along with his cousin and fellow privateer (legal pirate) John Hawkins, attacked Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1595 but failed to breach the city's makeshift defences. 
Before Columbus 'discovered' America and decades before Hernán Cortez and Francisco Pizarro were even born, the Spanish Conquistador emerged from the blood and dust of the 1478 Battle For Las Palmas. 
Everyone that visits Las Palmas stops in old town Vegueta and admires the stone carvings and massive doorway of the Casa de Colón museum; The house where Columbus stayed on his way to discover America. But is is what it seems?
The Beatles' 10-day holiday in Tenerife is famous thanks to Astrid Kirchner's candid photographs, but we think they spent one day in Gran Canaria as well. Here's why...
Where did the Canary Islands get their name? Well, it's not from the Canary, as the bird is named after the islands rather than the other way round. Most people seem to think the islands are named after dogs, but we have our doubts. Here are the different theories.
When Atlantis sank into the ocean its highest mountains remained as islands. These islands still exist today and are known as the Canary Islands. Their original inhabitants, the Guanches, were the descendants of the last surviving Atlanteans. That's the legend and some people are sticking to it.
Gran Canaria startede under the ocean and that's the way it'll end up. In the m,eantime, it's had a pretty eventful history. 
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. The Maspalomas Space Station, also called the Canary Islands Space Centre, detects signals from distress beacons on ships…
Christopher Columbus stopped in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1492 on his way to discovering the Americas not because he wanted to, but because his crew sabotaged his ship within three days of setting sail from Spain.   

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Tip of the day

  • The Parafarmacia In Gran Canaria Is Not A Chemist!
    The Parafarmacia In Gran Canaria Is Not A Chemist!

    If there is one thing we hate it is visitors being tricked in Gran Canaria. In the past we've warned about overcharging at Gran Canaria chemists, and rip off electronics shops in resorts. 

    In this Tip Of The Day we return to the island's chemists or rather, to the island's fake chemists.

    A chemist in Gran Canaria is called a Farmacia and always has a green cross sign. Farmacias are the only place tobuy medicine in Spain, even basics like paracetamol.

    However, there is another kind of shop in Gran Canaria that looks and sounds like a chemist but doesn't sell medicine. This is the Parafarmacia and it also uses a green cross sign.

    A parafarmacia is a herbal medicine shop that is not allowed to sell any normal medicine such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or antibiotics. 

    Instead, parafarmacias sell herbal alternatives to medicine but don't have to prove that they work and they can charge whatever they want.

    We recently heard from a visitor to Gran Canaria who went into a parafarmacia and was charged 40 euros for a herbal alternative to Ibuprofen. It was only when they read the label that they realised what had happened. 

    To locate a genuine farmacia, see this website and search within your municipio (Puerto Rico is in Mogán, Playa del Inglés is in San Bartolomé de Tirajana). At weekends and on fiesta days many farmacias close but there is always one open, known as the farmacia de guardia, in each municipio.

    Search for the nearest one to you with this tool

    Lex Says: To keep costs down, see this article for the way to ask for generic medicine rather than expensive branded alternatives. 

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