We found a small and informal but delicious Thai restaurant in Playa del Inglés and we think everyone should try it.
Sawadee in San Agustín, and soon also in Meloneras where the outdoor cinema used to be, is a great Thai restaurant but it is also quite big and even over the top. It's almost like eating in a Thailand theme park. Fun definitely, but not really what we associate with authentic Thai food.
The best we've eaten has always been at a roadside restaurant, often cooked on a tin sheet, or in a family-run restaurant by the beach. Ok, so they have a few flashing lights and maybe even an electric flamingo; but not a whole flock!
So while we approve of the Sawadees, we were really excited to find that the Thai Bangkok Street Food restaurant does really good, authentic Thai food.
This little place, at the back of Playa del Inglés at the bottom of Apartamentos Los Molinos (no longer rough and ready), is basically a standard Spanish cafe with outdoor tables. There's no airs and graces at all.
However, the food is clearly made by a Thai cook who knows her stuff and is spot on. We had the Pad Thai and Green curry and both were tasty and spicy with the right balance of Thai flavours.
If you can do Pad Thai right, you can pretty much do the rest so we are more than happy to recommend this place to everyone.
We'll be going back soon to get the whole story about how the Thai Bangkok Street Food and to try the rest of the menu.
The only cure for buffet belly is to get out there and burn off those extra calories. Here's where to do it in Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas resorts.
Gran Canaria's liveliest resorts draw in the party people, but are they just nightlife spots, and which one is best for you?
How do you choose between Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés resort when they are right next to each other and share the same sand? Here's everything you need to know to make up your mind...
A recent draft law released by the San Bartolomé de Tirajana town hall (Ayuntamiento) has generated widespread confusion and worry in Gran Canaria. However, there is little to be concerned about as the situation is being hyped up for political reasons. Here's a concise summary of what's going on and what it means.
We have updated this article to take into account the important effects of the 1995 Ordenación del Turismo de Canarias law.
There's a resort for everyone in Gran Canaria so, whether you're a sun-worshipper or a party-animal, here's a guide to all the top spots. Take your pick and enjoy the sunshine.
Playa del Inglés must be Europe's busiest and most famous beach; its three kilometres of sand are packed every day and it gets millions of bums on sand each year.
You've arrived in Playa del Inglés, unpacked your flip flops and want to explore the resort. Well, Playa del Inglés stretches right along the coast so you're not going to do it all on your first day. Head to the sea and the dune front promenade for an overview.
Why it's called Pig Beach we'll never know but El Cochino is a great alternative to the crowds of Playa del Inglés beach right next door.
Gran Canaria's local bus network is excellent and gets you to anywhere on the island within a couple of hours. Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas have two departure points:
Playa del Inglés is about half an hour down the motorway from Gran Canaria airport and you can't really get lost. You can rent a car or get a bus or taxi to the resort.
Playa del Inglés has an incredibly low crime rate given the number of people and the late opening hours. Most crimes are opportunistic and can be avoided by using common sense. Serious crimes such as muggings and break-ins are extremely rare but happen here as they do everywhere.
Playa del Inglés' shopping centres aren't always the best place to go shopping as they are mostly packed withrestaurants and bars. Here's where to go to stock up on everything you need in the resort.
Standard resort cuisine in Gran Canaria hasn’t changed much since the 1970s. Prawn cocktails comewithout an ironic wink and the banana split rules the dessert menu. Is this because restaurateurs and chefs are stuck in a time warp? No, it’s because they serve what you guys want, and what you guys want is retro comfort food and old favourites.
You are never more than a few minutes walk from a shopping centre in Playa del Inglés. To be honest Playa’s shopping centres are showing their age; most were designed back in the 1970s and need a lick of paint. However, they are great places to visit for the huge choice of bars, restaurants and nightclubs they offer.
There is only one place in Europe where thousands of people gather every day to lounge around naked in the sunshine: Maspalomas Beach in Gran Canaria, Europe's unofficial nudist capital and the heart of the Gran Canaria naturist scene.
Gran Canaria’s resorts, clustered along the south coast, get the most sunshine on the whole island. They are sheltred by the rest of the island and exist in a permenant bubble of blue sky.
If you come to Gran Canaria for a week’s holiday you are virtually guaranteed plenty of sun. With minimum winter temperatures over 20ºC they are the best place in Europe for topping up your winter tan.
Playa del Inglés Weather
Even when Gran Canaria’s mountains are covered in cloud Playa del Inglés is sunny. The clouds seem to burn off when they float over the Maspalomas sand dunes in front of the resort.
Minimum temperatures during the day never drop below 20ºC and rarely rise above 33ºC. Combined with the sunshine this makes Playa del Inglés a fantastic sunshine destination all year round.
For more on Playa del Inglés click here for our resort guide.
With it’s enormous beach and dune system Maspalomas has its own microclimate. The hot air rising from the dunes keeps the clouds off the resort and blue is the default sky colour. You can sunbathe all year round on the beach and the water is warm enough for a dip even in the winter.
Maspalomas is the Gran Canaria’s flattest resort so it does sometimes get windy on the beach. If the palm trees are swaying back and forth take a windbreak, head to sheltered Meloneras Beach at the end of the promenade, or just stay by the pool for the day.
Like the sound of Maspalomas? Click here for our resort guide.
Mogán is the prettiest resort on the island and the weather is dreamy too. It’s as sunny as it gets anywhere in Europe with 320 days per year of sunshine and is rarely windy. For the absolute best chance of getting a winter tan, Mogán is your spot.
For more on Mogán, click here.
Puerto Rico Weather
Puerto Rico is a couple of days short of being the sunniest spot in Gran Canaria behind Mogán but is still basically set to ‘permanent sunshine’. With the beach, a short walk from all the accommodation, and with stunning Amadores beach just around the headland, Puerto Rico is the sunbather’s resort.
Click here for our Puerto Rico guide.
San Agustín Weather
San Agustin gets the blue skies and hot sun of Maspalomas without the crowds. The beaches are stunning but can be windy. If you get a blowy few days head along the promenade towards Maspalomas. The sheltered beaches along the way, like Las Burras, don’t get the gusts.
Click here for our Puerto Rico guide.
Las Palmas Weather
Gran Canaria’s capital city is tucked up in the north east of the island and has much more varied weather than the resorts. It still gets seven hours of sunshine per day on average, but cloudy days are more common. During July and August Las Palmas is often cloudy due to the Panza de Burro or Donkey Belly cloud that lingers over the city.
During the winter, Las Palmas gets plenty of sunshine and is an excellent spot for a city break that includes tanning time on the beach along with great nightlife and culture.
For more on Las Palmas, click here.
The Cumbres Weather
Most of the real weather in Gran Canaria happens up in the mountains or Cumbres. In the winter the very top gets frost and even snow. Even in the summer it can be chilly in the mornings and evenings and in winter it gets bitingly cold if the clouds are low down.
The weather up top changes by the hour. Take a windcheater and a couple of extra layers if you plan to walk about. We can’t tell you how many times we have seen poor tourists in shorts shivering away up there. They always say the same thing: “Nobody told us it gets cold in Gran Canaria”.