Puerto Mogán massive Friday market is so crowded that there's now a Monday handicraft market in the town as well. This focuses on handmade goods and all stallholders have to be certified as local handicraft producers.

The Monday Mogán market is behind the beach rather than along the harbour wall. The goods on sale tend to be better quality than on Fridays but prices are also higher. 

Published in Markets

San Mateo market, rather like the town, is a workhorse of a place that put efficiency ahead of aesthetics. Set in a whopping great warehouse it offers a huge range of local produce, has a good wine stall, and is the cheapest of the big north Gran Canaria markets. 

Despite it's size San Mateo market gets busy and parking in the town on weekend mornings after about 10.00 am is a nightmare. It's best to get there early for a spot in the car park right by the warehouse. Then you can stick your shopping in the car and head over the main road for lunch in San Mateo's old centre with perhaps a quick salsa dance on the way: There's a band every Sunday by the market. 

 

 

Published in Markets

The weekend markets at Santa Brigida and San Mateo are so popular these days that there's traffic jams on the road up. Fortunatley there's a Sunday alternative close to Las Palmas that doesn't get the crowds.

San Lozenzo market has about 20 stalls and is a genuine farmer's market with all produce grown locally. It even has a price board at the entrance listing the maximum and minimum prices for the fruit and veg on sale.

One highlight of the San Lorenzo market is the cheese stall right at the entrance. All the cheeses on display are made in the surrounding area and tasting is encouraged. They even cut your cheese with a traditional Canarian knife. Their lightly smoked goat cheese is fantastic and the stall next door does a great flor cheese suitable for veggies. 

As well as fresh produce San Lorenzo also has stall selling bread and local cakes as well as aloe vera products, Gran Canarian olive oil and local honey. There's a small cafe in the market square and another in the church square a couple of minutes walk away: It's only got six tables so be prepared to wait for a seat. 

Get to San Lorenzo from Las Palmas by car (there is parking right next to the market), taxi or on bus 335. The market runs from 0.900 to 15.00 but quite a few stall sell out well before the end. 

Published in Markets

Puerto Mogán on a Friday is the island's biggest outdoor market with stalls all along through the town and along the harbour wall.

There's hundreds of stalls selling everything from embroidery to fresh fruit and vegetables and you're bound to find something to take home. Combine it with lunch in the marina or a day on the beach and it's a great Gran Canaria day out. 

We always recommend getting to the market early to avoid the crowds, especially if you drive and need parking. 

A lot of people come by bus, but if you want to get the real holiday feeling why not take one of the glassbottom ferries from Arguineguín or Puerto Rico?

Published in Markets

Arguineguín market is one of the big three in south Gran Canaria along with Mogán and San Fernando and fills the town every Tuesday morning. The stalls are all along the seafront on the cement factory side of town. 

Most stall holders at Arguineguín also work the Puerto Mogán and San Fernando markets so there isn't much on sale that you only find at Arguineguín. That said, you can buy everything from silver jewelry to African baskets and it's a great day out. Look out for the smoothie stand at the south end of the market. 

Getting to Arguineguin on a Tuesday is tricky if you leave it late as the buses and ferries are often full. Parking is a nightmare so consider hopping in a taxi rather than driving.

Avoid the crowded restaurants on the market side of town by heading back towards the beach for food. There's a string of restaurants facing the beach, including the excellent Taste Mesón.

Published in Markets

Santa Brigida town was used by the British as their summer Hill Station when they controlled the coal trade in Las Palmas port in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Nowadays it a quiet residential town with a great weekend market (and a great wine stall) and a couple of excellent restaurants.

 

 

 

Published in Resorts & Places

Moya has two claims for fame: Biscuits and a cliff-edge church square with a view of the deep Barranco behind the town. The view is spectacular, the biscuits not so much.

Moya church is a whitewashed Canarian church with stone edging in Neoclassical style. It's pretty but nothing more. However, it stands in a square right on the edge of the deep Barranco de Moya ravine. The view from the edge makes your tummy flip and is well worth a stop. 

The town's famous bizcochos de Moya are much less exciting: Just dry biscuits with sugar on top that everyone in Gran Canaria has in the cupboard but nobody ever seems to eat.

Perhaps the real highlight of Moya is the walk around the Los Tilos de Moya laurel forest about five minutes drive from town. This is one of only two patches of laurels that survived the deforestation that followed colonisation and is one of the most biodiverse spots in Europe with dozens of rare Canarian plants. The circular walk takes you up the side of the valley and through the laurels.  

 

Published in Resorts & Places

It says a lot about Guía that it's cheese is more famous than the actual town. It's pretty enough but a sleepy kind of place, especially compared with Galder next door.

Santa Maria de Guía's church square and the cobbled streets running off it have their charm. The problem with Guía from a vistor's point of view is that there isn't much do there except for look at it. The Sunday market in the square only has five stalls: It's the place to go to get great Flor de Guia cheese right at source but doesn't sell much else.

Flower cheese

Flor de Guía is a soft, creamy and slightly bitter goat and sheep cheese with a faint odour of socks. It comes in wheels only a few inches thick and tends to sag with age. It's great stuff and is made with cardoon flower sap rather than rennet, making it the only local cheese suitable for veggies.

Cheese festival

Guía perks up during the annual Fiesta de Queso (cheese festival) in April/ May. It's the time to visit with lots of cheese and food stalls and general celebrations of anything cheesy. 

If you're in Guía outside fiesta time, head to La Quesera organic cafe for a great selection of local cheese and wine. It's in a 19th Century house and chapel and has an organic garden in its courtyard. The address is Calle Pérez Galdós 27.

Published in Resorts & Places

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.

 

Published in Resorts & Places

"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 only coffee crop
  • It's the island's most musical town but it's best musicians don't play local folkloric stuff
  • It has Spain's highest unemployment rate but doesn't have a sign welcoming tourists
  • It hosts the island's biggest party but is quiet the rest of the year

Sunken gardens, hidden graves, etc

Almost everything that makes Agaete such an interesting town is hidden from plain sight. The entrance to the gorgeous Huerto de las Flores sunken garden is down a lane, round the corner and through an arch, while caveman necropolis just outside the town is hidden on a lava flow.. The music scene only starts in the evenings once most visitors have driven back to their resort. 

Do a 2,5h tour in english with a young inspiring and enthusiastic local, learn all about this beautiful village and pay as much as you like. Good deal? We certainly think so!

Yearly blow out

The annual Bajada de la Rama fiesta in Agaete is epic with almost 100,000 Canarians invading the town for a whole weekend. It's good natured bedlam and the procession, with thousands of green branches and giant papaguevo papier mache figures, is the island's best. 

The valley of longevity

The deep Agaete Valley, the most fertile on the island, cleaves it's way to the sea from the high Tamadaba massif. The valley's inhabitants swear that drinking it straight from the rock springs brings good health and longevity. Filtered by pine forests and kilometres of rock it's certainly makes the plants grow. There more variety of tropical fruits and flowers here than anywhere else in the Canary Islands. 

The other Gran Canaria

The Agaete Valley is where Gran Canaria's other tourists go: The walkers and winter visitors who wouldn't be seen dead in a resort but still want the island's great weather. As a rural tourist destination is has everything: Traditional houses, great walks, a quiet town full of character, a seaside enclave and even the island's highest rock climb.

We think the Agaete Valley is the island's most comple rural tourism destination and the place to go if you want to experience local life and still get a tan. 

 

Published in Resorts & Places
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