This is a personal message from Lex and Alex at Gran Canaria Info.

It has been a loooong year since the first lockdown and the collapse of tourism here in the Canary Islands. During this period we have done our best to provide accurate and useful information about a wide range of subjects; travel restrictions, Covid rules, mask use, migrants, more migrants, etc. We feel like we have done a good job overall and we hope the majority of you do too. 

However, we also know that we have, at different times, annoyed a lot of people. Many of them haven't been shy about telling exactly why and most of the time we appreciated the communication and honesty. We did remove a small number of people from the group and from the page for consistently being rude to us and/ or other members, and for sharing fringe beliefs such as "Covid doesn't exist", "you are all sheeple", "the chemtrails did it", "migrants should be thrown in the sea", etc. Life is just too short!

2020: Fun, fun, fun in the sun

Back during the first lockdown we warned that Covid was going to take at least a year to sort out (based on official government estimates and the scienfitic consensus on vaccine development) and were heavily criticised for being negative. Unfortunately, we were right and even now in April of 2021, tourism is still at very low levels and even the optimists don't expect summer numbers to be above 50% of pre-Covid figures. 

We also covered the ever-changing mask, distancing and travel rules imposed by the Canary Islands, Spain and other countries in as much detail as we could. We were shouted at for encouraging people to follow "the stupid rules" and shouted at for not being strident enough about getting people to follow them. We have been frustrated at times by the many rule changes and by the need to wear masks at all times outdoors. However, we have also seen that there has been very little conflict here between the people and the police because of the simple mask rules. 

We also got the standard Brexit outrage from people at both ends of the argument. We were either too pro-Europe or too anti-Britain, or too pro-Britain and anti-Europe. For the record, as foreign residents living in Spain, we believe that  the EU is a good idea despite its flaws.

As for vaccines, we are in favour. We plan to be in the queue for ours with a bag of ice and a bottle of rum as soon as possible (even Lex, who very likely had Covid back in February 2020). Not everyone agrees with us about this either.

We have allowed plenty of debate in the Gran Canaria Info group but it really isn't the place for endless arguments so we have also deleted a lot of posts.

It is our deeply-held belief that there is no grown-up or friendly way of calling us or anyone else in the group "sheeple". 

Then the migrants hit the headlines and all hell broke loose...

As we said, fun, fun, fun in the sun!

Gran Canaria and the 'migrant crisis' of 2020

Migrants have arrived on Gran Canaria's shores in small boats for 25 years but they only became a story in 2020 due to Covid and messy Spanish politics.

Our position was and still is that the people arriving in Gran Canaria should be treated with dignity and allowed to continue on their journey as soon as possible. Almost all of them come with the dream of working to provide for their families back at home. None of the migrants arriving in the Canary Islands want to stay here. They all have a destination in mind somewhere in mainland Europe.  Many have borrowed money from family and friends to get to the islands and feel huge pressure to move on and start earning. 

To give a bit of context to this, here is a single statistic; those lucky enough to work in one of Senegal's fish processing factories make the equivalent of one dollar per day. 

Whatever your politics and beliefs about migration, the migrant's interests and the interests of the Canary Islands are pretty much the same. It is in all of our best interests for them to be allowed to continue to migrate from the Islands to mainland Spain and Europe. Why? Because as we saw this autumn, the Canary Islands do not have, and shouldn't need to have, the facilities to house thousands of people. Spain and Europe both have agreements in place to process and house migrants. and while Covid did make things harder, the only reason these agreements didn't work was due to politics. As one Spanish minister said, the Canary Islands were used "like a cork in the bottle" to stop migrants reaching Spain.

To us, this idea that treating people badly stops them dreaming is absurd. 

Almost all migrants have now been moved out of Gran Canaria's resorts and there isn't any reason why the islands will need to house migrants in resort areas again. Even at the peak of the wave almost all the migrants housed in resort areas behaved well despite the lurid press reports in Europe's tabloid press.

That said, we do aknowledge that many people living in areas like Puerto Rico experienced serious disruption from migrants housed in empty complexes. There were serious crimes, including a rape, committed by migrants and the noise and disturbance in some areas was considerable and constant. 

But the theory that the migrants have caused Gran Canaria's resorts to be empty, or will cause them to be empty in the future is pretty thin. Gran Canaria's resorts are empty due to Covid, not the migrants. And once Covid travel restrictions end, tourists coming back will find Gran Canaria is the same as always (better in the case of Puerto Rico thanks to the new malls and the refurbished main shopping centre). 

We make no apology for our position about the migrants. The fact that the islands have handled the migrants with dignity and respect is to our credit. We believe that the vast majority of people who want to come back to Gran Canaria will understand that the islands dealt with a difficult situation pretty well. 

We hope to see you all on the beach again very soon.

Lex and Alex

 

 

 

 

We have 

Published in News

Gran Canaria Info has been a labour of love for over 20 years and we want to make it even better than ever with our new concept; the Gran Canaria Info Club

The GCI Club is for people who love Gran Canaria and really want to explore the whole island. It's where we share the hidden spots and local places that you can't really reveal to everyone without spoiling them. It includes a map of all the best local places in Gran Canaria, a place for members to chat, regular meetups, and a small but growing set of discounts and offers just for members. 

The GCI Club is the first time we have ever charged for anything on Gran Canaria Info and we know that it has to be excellent if it is going to work. 

So, please read on for the top five reasons we think the GCI Club is a great idea for you...

 

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You help make Gran Canaria Info better

Lex and I have been working on Gran Canaria Info since 1998 when Lex first started the website. Since then we've taken thousands of photos, written hundreds of articles and made countless social media posts and comments. We run one of the busiest Facebook groups about Gran Canaria and the biggest Facebook page about the island. 

Over the years, the experience earned us some great photographer and social media jobs and we are very grateful for them.

However, we've never made any money directly from the site or the Facebook group. Ok, that's not completely true: We cover our server costs with ads and started to sell excursions at the start of 2020.

But we don't want to ruin Gran Canaria Info with adverts and sales. We want to keep doing exactly what we do; providing quality, independent information about Gran Canaria, showing you the best of your favourite island, and doing our best to support quality local businesses and restaurants. 

The Gran Canaria Info Club lets us do exactly that. You get the perks but you also support the whole idea behind Gran Canaria Info. 

You get detailed, fresh local info

As a member you get exclusive content written by Lex, Alex and guest local experts, and access to our huge map of local spots with all the best hidden bits of Gran Canaria. Natural pools, instagram photo locations, snorkelling spots, and local bars and restaurants. It's like a extra layer of Gran Canaria Info that lets you get the most out of your time on the island. When we find something new or exciting, you will be the first to know about it. 

Plus you'll get news posts from Alex covering the most important things that happen in Gran Canaria. 

We'll keep updating the content so that there is always something new for you to explore or try the next time you come to Gran Canaria. 

You can chat and network with other members

We want the GCI Club to become a place where true Gran Canaria fans can get together and talk about the island and also get to know each other, organise meetups and events, and help each other to enjoy Gran Canaria. 

We'll start by organising regular meetups in Gran Canaria's resorts for members and their friends and we hope this side of the club develops a life of its own.

Direct help and information from Lex, Alex and other local experts 

If you have a question about Gran Canaria and want an answer, ask the other members or contact us directly and we'll reply straight away.

If you need help in Gran Canaria, just let us know. Anything we can do, we will: We may not be able to get you out of jail in Gran Canaria, but we can come and visit you (joke). 

Discounts, offers and other perks 

Don't join the Gran Canaria Info Club just for the discounts, but please do take advantage of them. We'll be arranging exclusive offers and perks for members at many of our favourite places in Gran Canaria just for members. 

 

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Published in News

UPDATED 01/07 TO COVER NEW RULES: 

Gran Canaria travel requirements

Everyone entering Spain from another country, including international transits, must complete the Health Control Form and obtain their QR to present at boarding and health controls on arrival in Spain. This is required for all children of all ages as well as adults.

There are currently two sets of rules about travel to the Canary Islands from outside Spain.

1. The first is Spain's rules which are enforced at airports, ports and land borders. There are available in full here... https://www.spth.gob.es/info-pcr

In summary, all passengers* over the age of 12 from a country/ area that has a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus risk, must present ONE of the following...

  • A certificate or document (paper or electronic format) certifying vaccination against COVID-19. Your last jab must be 14 days of more before your travel date. 
  • A negative certificate of a Diagnostic Test of Active Infection. This can be a PCR, TMA, LAMP or Antigen test (check just before you book your test as this may change again). The test must be done within the 48 hours before arrival in Spain. It can be a PCR or antigen test.
  • A certificate of Covid recovery issued by a doctor or health authority.

*The UK was on a short list of non-EU countries exempted from needing a test of vaccine certificate. However, from Friday July 2nd, they will have to follow the same rules as other Europeans.

People arriving from a low risk area do not need to have a test or show their vaccination certificate to travel to Spain. However, they must still confoirm to the check in rules detailed below. 

2. The second set of rules are the Canary Island rules which are enforced at check in to all touristic accommodation (hotels, apartments, holiday lets, campsites, etc). The apply to all international arrivals, including British citizens.

The Canary Islands rules are here... https://www.hellocanaryislands.com/travelling-to-the.../

In summary, the Canary Islands rules state that visitors from abroad (over the age of 12) must provide ONE of the following at check-in...

  • A negative test for active COVID-19 infection in the 72 hours prior to arrival in the Canary Islands. The tests that are allowed are PCR (RT-PCR for COVID-19), Transcription Mediated Amplification (TMA), and Antigen tests. The test must be done in the 72 hours before arriving in the Canary Islands. In exceptional cases it can be done after arrival and before check in. 
  • An official document stating that they have been fully vaccinated within the 8 months prior to their trip or have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) within the past 4 months and at least 15 days prior to the trip.
  • An official medical certificate or public document stating that they have recovered from Covid-19 within the past 6 months.

The Canary Islands have their own website with more Corona information here. It is updated and the most reliable source of information: https://www.hellocanaryislands.com/coronavirus/ .

Gran Canaria Covid rules

The mask rules in Gran Canaria are simple and almost everyone follows them in public. Mask use outdoors is obligatory in all circumstances where it is impossible to maintain a 1.5 metres safety distance from other people. This includes very busy streets and crowded outdoor events. 

Mask use is still required in all public indoor areas (except when seated at bars, restaurants, etc. So, you don't need to wear a mask to sit at an indoor cafe but you do have to wear it to go to the toilet. 

Smoking is not currently permitted in any public areas where you can't stay more than two metres from others. As such it is not allowed in outdoor bar or terrace areas and you can't walk and smoke on the street. You have to find an isolated spot and smoke there. 

Gran Canaria curfews and opening hours

There is no curfew in Gran Canaria and it is unlikely to return. Bars can open until late under the current Level One rules but could close earlier if the island move up to Level Two due to a rise in Covid cases this summer. 

Gran Canaria mask exemptions

If you are exempt from using a mask on medical grounds you will need a signed doctor's letter or certificate as the police are asking for them and most shops wont let people in without them. These letters must be signed and theoretically need to be translated into Spanish by an official translator. Spain does not recognise lanyard or other voluntary systems. 

What hotels and restaurants are open in Gran Canaria?

A lot of hotels and apartment complexes in Gran Canaria closed during 2020 but many are now reopening. 

Renting a car in Gran Canaria

Long experience has taught us that the cheapest car rental deals are rarely value for money and often just a cover for bare-faced scams. Many of our group members have reported that cheap car hire companies  use bogus charges for damage, excess fuel charges, extra insurance demands and all sorts of other imaginative ways of getting money out of their clients.

Our members consistently advise each other to avoid GoldCar, EuropCar and Inter Rent. Be aware that if you use a cheap car rental website, you often don't know who you are signing up with until it is too late.

Our advice is to use reputable local companies. The cheapest deals are often with Autoreisen and Plus Cars while Cicar is also a good option if slightly more expensive. The best value option is often to use a specialist car rental broker who provides a quality car, personal service and enhanced insurance cover as standard. We recommend this service.

Gran Canaria airport transfers

Companies like Hoppa that offer the cheapest possible Gran Canaria transfer service are often unreliable because they automatically pass ylour transfer on to a local company. However, they also take a big commission so the local operatorsd don't liuke working with them. If there is a double booking or a shortage of cars, you are likely to get picked up late of left in the lurch. 

To avoid this, it's myuch better to book with a local operator who who can talk to directly if you need to make a change or if something goes wrong. We recommend this local service because they are good value, reliable and can communicate in several languages.  

Booking Excursions in Gran Canaria 

A lot of Gran Canaria excursions have gone into hibernation or cut back their timetables significantly. It is therefore important to use a reliable excursion booking service and to book in plenty of time to allow for changes to schedules. We'd advise against using unlicensed street excursion vendors because of the current uncertainty. If a trip is cancelled it can be hard to get your money back. 

Our online excursion booking service allows you to book in advance with a secure payments system and is provided by a quality excursion booking company with excellent personal service and full cancellation refunds. 

Public transport in Gran Canaria

All public transport is running in Gran Canaria although there are less taxis on the road than during normal times. Taxis accept both card and cash payments. 

You can pay for bus journeys on board the bus using a debit card (but not with cash) or get a travel card from a bus station for significant savings. The yellow buses in Las Palmas don't accept card payments or cash so you need to get a travel card from the bus station. 

Published in News

 

Gran Canaria's biggest music event, the annual Bioagaete festival, can't happen this year due to Covid-19.

However, the organisers have decided against taking a well-deserved year off and have instead launched a charity music playlist.

Dubbed the BIODISCO, it features 18 new songs from local famous singers and bands that always play for free at the festival.

To listen to the BIODISCO, please go here and make a small donation to the Bioagaete Foundation. The money raised goes to local families who have been left in need due to the Coronavirus, and to street children in Senegal. 

 

Published in News

Britain remains on track to leave the EU on January 1st 2021 and this will affect both British visitors and tourists, and British residents in Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands. 

From January, British visitors will have to use the non-EU passport queue at Gran Canaria airport and will be electronically logged in as a visitor to the Schengen Area

British citizens will only be allowed to spend 90 days within the Schengen Zone during a rolling 180 day period. This won't affect most holidaymakers but does pose a problem for those who plan to spend the winter in the Canaries. For example, you cannot avoid the 90 day limit by popping to Marrakesh for the weekend or spending a week back in the UK.

British citizens will not require a visa for entry for stays of less than 90 days, and where they will not be working. However, they will have to pay for the EU Visa waiver scheme to be called ETIAS. This will start at some point in 2021 and cost about seven euros. 

Pets: The EU Pet passport scheme will no longer be valid for British citizens and the new rules are not yet clear.

Roaming Charges: UK telecoms firms are not obliged to keep up with flat roaming charges but some have said that they will. 

Driving Licences: For now your UK driving license will be valid for car rental in Gran Canaria. This may change in the future but is unlikely. Residents should swap over to a Spanish license before the end of 2020. 

Healthcare: British citizens will no longer be included in the European Health Card (EHIC) system and will have to pay for comprehensive travel insurance that includes cover for any preexisting conditions. 

Customs: All good purchased in the UK will be subject to inspection and relevant import taxes. 

British Residents In Gran Canaria

All UK citizens should register with extranjeria and make sure that they are registered as permanent residents if possible. You can now swap the little bit of green NIE paper for a TIE card complete with photo; this is not obligatory but does give you legally valid photo ID with having to carry your passport at all times. 

Published in News

Gran Canaria buggy tourMorning or afternoon, a Gran Canaria buggy tour is the way to see Gran Canaria through fresh eyes and yes, the odd cloud of off road dust. This is the thrill seeker's Gran Canaria tour and it takes right into the island's heart away from the resorts. 

The Buggy Tour goes every morning from 10-12:30 and every afternoon from 13:30-16:00. Return transport is included from your hotel in all resorts in the South of Gran Canaria.

The buggies are very easy to drive and control and you can book one for yourself or fit two to a buggy. The buggies are in great condition and fully insured. Their small size and maneuverability means that the tour takes you to places that you just can't reach by car or bus. 

o 1bd23ihuu1nqft801l9cnok194qa 555x320You are in control as you drive through the rugged Gran Canaria mountains over rough terrain and you'll get a great overview of the islands rock formations, steep valleys, cave houses and mountain roads. The tour also includes stop that teach you about Canarian culture. Bring a camera or even better a GoPro because you are going to want to record the experience and the views.  

Book this wildly popular Gran Canaria buggy tour right here and reserve your spot in advance for just a small deposit. You won’t find it cheaper anywhere in the resorts.

Gran Canaria speedboat charterIf you want the full private boat charter in Gran Canaria, this is your trip. Book a private Luxury VIP speedboat with captain so all you have to do is party like a movie star

The boats depart from Puerto de Mogán marina and transers are included. 

Three-hour time slots are twice daily from 12.00 to 15.00 and 15.00-18.00. There is also a speedboat that holds up to 12 people plus the captain and six hours bookings are available for both. Transport is included from your hotel in most resorts in Gran Canaria, including Playa Del Ingles, Puerto Rico, Maspalomas and Meloneres.

A private boat tour allows you to explore the coast of south Gran Canaria at your own pace and in style. The tour takes you to a secluded beach and to a set of caves that are superb for swimming and snorkelling (snorkels are provided). 

Sangria, beer and soft drinks are included along with light bar snacks and lunch. You are also free to bring your own desired drinks or food. Both boats have a music system with Radio and MP3 and you can bring your own music to play via a bluetooth or cable connection.

This private Gran Canaria boat charter is ideal for couples and families and also for corporate groups and stag and hen dos. 

Return transport is included from your hotel in most resorts in Gran Canaria, such as Playa Del Ingles, Puerto Rico, Maspalomas and Melonares.

Party in style on your own private boat in south Gran Canaria; book here to reserve your day with total security...

There is no UK government travel advisory against travelling to the Canary Islands but UK citizens must isolate for 14 days after returning.

Published in News

Here are four tourists who are currently spending their holidays in the south of Gran Canaria. They talk about wearing masks, social distancing, travelling in airplanes and going through airports, using shops and enjoying restaurants. All of the interviews were done on July 21 2020. (At the bottom of this article you'll find useful links to more information.)

In English, at Puerto Rico:

In English, at Amadores Beach:

In German, at Maspalomas:

In Dutch, at Puerto de Mogán:

 

Here is more handy information regarding the rules and regulations:

Published in News

Gran Canaria Info has teamed up with the island's best independent car hire company to offer you the best service in Gran Canaria..

It's a simple, personal service that delivers the right car to the right place with absolutely no hidden costs. 

Please not that we don't say that this is the cheapest car hire on the island. However, the combination of full insurance, no-wait airport service or resort delivery and 24-hour assistance makes it the best value car hire service we known of in Gran Canaria. 

Here are the main benefits...

  • Multilingual service with 24/7 Personal Travel Assistance
  • Full All Risk Insurance SCDW with zero Excess
  • FREE Cancellation, and NO Deposit or NO hidden fees guaranteed
  • Wide Variety of cars; Small, SUV, Cabrio etc…
  • Airport pickup (met at arrivals) or free delivery at your accommodation in resort areas. Drop off anywhewre on the island.
  • No Desks, or waiting at the airport. Personal service in 2 minutes you're on the road. Help with your luggage and no need to search the car for yourself.
  • Clean and disinfected cars

To ask for a quote at the best possible price, please contact Mister Gran Canaria Car Hire (Nick) and use the Discount Code “GC-INFO” 

Ask for a quote from Nick via Whatsapp

Or fill in this form and Nick will be touch very soon...

Published in Transport, News
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