Resorts & Places

Resorts & Places

The ultimate guide to Gran Canaria's resorts, towns and local villages. 

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Playa del Inglés

Playa del Inglés

Playa del Inglés is a huge resort dedicated to keeping tourists from all over Europe happy in the sun. If you come to Playa for unrestrained fun, you picked the right place.

If you came looking for authentic culture and Spanish food, sack your travel agent and learn the local bus timetable. But don't worry as Playa del Inglés is a big place and has something for everyone.

PDI is a big resort so when you first arrive, get your bearings with our newbie's tour of Playa del Inglés. Then, spend a day relaxing on the resort's vast, golden beach, or walk around the corner to Maspalomas beach.  

There's plenty to do and see within the resort itself including the shopping centres and hundreds of restaurants. For shopping, see out Playa del Inglés shopping guide

Playa del Inglés is a safe and friendly resort but like most places, there are a few local annoyances that it's good to know about in advance. 

Once your holiday is over, here's how to get back to the airport.  

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Las Palmas

Las Palmas

Gran Canaria's capital city offers great food, a gorgeous old town and the world's best city beach. 

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Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is the closest Gran Canaria gets to the Spanish Costas. There's British breakfast by the beach, karaoke bars in the shopping centres and lots of foreign residents who never learn the local lingo.

However, there's more to Puerto Rico than the stereotypes suggest: great places to eat, quality bars and of course two of the island's warmest and sunniest beaches.

The resort fills a valley with a sand beach and two marinas on the coast. Its bungalows and apartments are mostly quiet as the nightlife is focused in the giant Puerto Rico shopping centre.

Puerto Rico attracts British tourists during the summer and Scandinavians during winter. They all come for the almost-constant sunshine and lively bars and restaurants.

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San Agustín

San Agustín

Sleepy San Agustín stays under the mass tourism radar despite its golden sand beaches and sunny weather. Lots of Germans and Scandinavians own property here and do their best to keep it neat and peaceful. 

San Agustín beach is like a mini version of Playa del Inglés just to the west although it is often much quieter. The beach gets some fun-sized waves but is safe for swimmers and sunny almost every day.

The resort is easy to reach as it's the first major resort as you head south from Gran Canaria airport along the GC1 motorway. San Agustín is well connected to the airport and the island's other resorts by local bus. A taxi from San Agustín to the airport costs around 35-40 euros, but you can also book a private transfer service

San Agustín has two shopping centres; the vast San Agustín Shopping Centre and the smaller El Portón which is also home to the tourist information centre. Shopping in San Agustín is fine for basics, but you'll have to go elsewhere for fashion and serious souvenir shopping. 

If you are visiting San Agustín for the first time, here's how to find your way around

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Maspalomas

Maspalomas

Maspalomas resort is basically a huge sprawl of bungalows, hotels and palm trees that sits on a flat plain just behind the dunes. It's a quiet place to stay with a nine-hole golf course and a huge public park complete with climbing wall and lake.

Much quieter than Playa del Ingles next door, Maspalomas doesn’t have any nightlife to speak of. Most of the best bars and restaurants are down on the seafront at Meloneras, especially now that the Faro II shopping centre is almost empty. For music and fun you head to Playa del Inglés.

The main resort is best suited to those who want a quiet holiday in the sunshine. The newer Meloneras section of the resort is more upmarket with 5-Star hotels on the seafront. 

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Puerto de Mogán

Puerto de Mogán

There was a mix-up in the planning department when Puerto Mogan got built. Rather than another generic, modern resort, they built an original and rather beautiful marina with charming buildings and bougainvillea arches.

While it's now spread back a long way up the valley from the original marina, "the Venice of Gran Canaria" is still the island's most attractive resort.

With its little sandy beach, dozens of fish restaurants, and more bougainvillea and coconut palm trees than you can shake a selfie stick at, Puerto de Mogán is on every Gran Canaria bucket list.

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Arguineguín

Arguineguín

South Gran Canaria's most authentic local town with a pretty beach and plenty of restaurants by the sea. Popular with Scandinavians.

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Teror is on all the lists of places you have to see in Gran Canaria and is one of the island's prettiest towns with lovely cobbled streets and wooden balconies. That said, the religious angle overwhelms all others in Teror, apart from the pungent sausage.  
"Come and visit, look around, then go away". Agaete's unofficial motto isn't exactly tourist board stuff but then this is a town that marches to the beat of its own drum. While most Canarian towns are much of a muchness, here's a few ways that Agaete stands out: It grows Europe's…
Puerto de Las Nieves is the prettiest coastal village in Gran Canaria and while its iconic rock lost its finger in 2005 the village still has its fishy charm. The houses are all whitewashed, the window frames blue, and the beachfront restaurants serve local fish. And it's sunny: The area …
History hasn't recorded which maniac decided to build Galdar town on one of Gran Canaria's most recent volcanoes, but the result is there for everyone to see. As a long-term real-estate bet, it's not the greatest, but the houses clinging to the steep sides of the cone certainly liven up…
Visit Bandama at dawn when the caldera is full of mist and the picon lava is glowing, and it's one of the island's great spectacles. Visit any time and there's plenty to do and see from a secret bunker to classy wineries.
Arucas town is famous for its colossal Gothic church built with bug money (see below). Oh, its also got a rum distillery and one of the best preserved town centres on the island.  
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  • How To Choose A Legal Gran Canaria Airport Transfer
    How To Choose A Legal Gran Canaria Airport Transfer

    Gran Canaria's hotels have to be licensed and offer a quality level of service as well as having insurance and complying with fire regulations. The same goes for the boats that take people out to watch dolphins, the companies offering jeep safaris, and even the holiday let apartments. 

    However, not everybody in Gran Canaria follows the rules. For example, there is a significant industry running illegal and uninsured transfers between Gran Canaria airport and the island's resorts. These cars, driven by locals and foreign-residents, are just private vehicles and the drivers are unregulated and uninsured. They don't pay tax and there is no way to hold them responsible if something goes wrong. 

     At Gran Canaria Info we believe that all people and all companies offering services to tourists should legal and above board.

    So, how do you know that your airport transfer service is legal and registered with the Gran Canaria authorities?

     Using legal Gran Canaria airport transfers

    It is quite easy to know if your airport transfer service is operating in a legal way because all registered transfers have the following...

     A blue license plate: Taxis and other public service vehicles in Gran Canaria all have blue plates.

    A VTC sticker in the window: This stands for Vehículo de Transporte con Conductor, the official designation for licensed transfer drivers ans chauffeurs.

    An SP sticker on the car: This indicates that the car offer a Servicio Publico or public service and is therefore allowed to pick up and transfer members of the public. 

    Parked in the transport zone: Official airport transfer vehicles don't park in the public car park of the airport. Instead they have their own parking zone right by the arrivals gates at the airport (next to the taxis and package tour buses). Your transfer driver therefore should not have to pay a parking fee before leaving the aiport. 

    How to spot an unlicensed transfer service

    Unlicensed drivers get away with offerring their service because they claim that they are just members of the public picking up a friend. They are allowed to stand at arrivals with a sign (just like any member of the public can).

    However, they also have to park their car in the public car park and will walk you there with your luggage, stopping to pay the parking fee at the meter. A licensed transfer driver does not need to do this because they have their own parking zone right by arrivals.

    Some unlicensed drivers don't even wait at the arrival gate because the official drivers recognise them and get annoyed. Instead they have to stand further away (often by the Spar supermarket or the car rental desks). 

    When an unlicensed driver drops you at the airport they will not want to be paid in a public area because this proves that they are charging rather than "transporting a friend" for free. 

    An unlicensed car will not have a blue license plate, or a SP or VTC sticker, and will often look like a private car (because it is a private car). 

    What's the problem with unlicensed airport transfers?

    Some people use unlicensed cars because they are the cheapest option and don't realise that they are unlicensed. 

    There are several problems with unlicensed services. The most obvious is that they are uninsured so if something goes wrong or there is an accident, you are not protected. The price that unlicensed drivers offer is only low because they cut corners (hopefully not literally). You have no way of even knowing if your unlicensed driver has a Spanish driving license, insurance and a good driving record. Licensed drivers are vetted regularly and must be fully insured and licensed to work.

    Another problem is that unlicensed transfers undermine the legitimate transfer drivers and businesses in Gran Canaria. Local drivers make a living from transfers and offer a legal, regulated service with minimum standards. Every time an unlicensed service undercuts them, it is effectively stealing from local people and the island economy.

    We believe that everybody in Gran Canaria deserves better!

    Gran Canaria Airport Transfer Services

    To find out more about the Gran Canaria airport transfer, see our Gran Canaria airport transfer article which explains the three different models; man/woman from pub with car, online transfer websites, and local transfer services.

    Or you can book a legitimate Gran Canaria airport transfer at a great price right here. Our service uses local drivers and supprts the island economy because all the money you spend stays in Gran Canaria.

    Alex Says: Using our service also helps the Gran Canaria Info team to keep providing quality local information here and in our Facebook Group

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