Going Local in Gran Canaria
How to Turn a Holiday Destination
into a Home

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1. A Brief History
"Contrary to popular opinion, the Canary Islands don’t owe their epithet to the real-life descendants of Tweety Pie. ... " - read more
2. People and Their Quirks
"The racial make-up of Gran Canaria is evolving – and quicker than at any other time in its recent history. ... " - read more
3. Language
"Mind your language. While in the resorts, you’ll be able to speak English and be understood. But venture out of these artificial enclaves, to the capital Las Palmas for example, ... " - read more
4. Culture
"I’m not going to lie. Having had the pick of the world’s greatest actors and musicians on my doorstep in London, the rather less-packed cultural calendar on Gran Canaria’s something ... " - read more
5. Food and Drink
"In the south, you’re never far from the familiar waft of a fry-up. The resorts pander to tourists’ home comforts. Which also explains the proliferation of Indian restaurants. ... " - read more
6. Transport
"Although their location would suggest otherwise, the Canaries are part of Spain. And therefore a member of the European Union. Usual travel regulations apply. ... " - read more
7. Climate
"Not for nothing is Gran Canaria known as a mini continent. ... " - read more
8. Economy
"A German, an Englishman, an Irishman and a Canarian enter a Playa del Inglés bar. The German pays for the drinks. ... " - read more
9. A Roof Over Your Head
"To buy or not to buy? ... " - read more
10. Working
"Your English will stand you in good stead for a position in the south with regularish service-industry work. It will also come in handy up north. But instead of being ... " - read more
11. Money
"With money too tight to, ahem, mention, banks are as keen for your business as you are for theirs. ... " - read more
12. Getting Connected
"Gran Canaria is certainly a lot more Internet-savvy than when I first moved here in 2004. ... " - read more
13. Healthcare
"As a tourist, you’re entitled to free basic healthcare as received by local residents. ... " - read more
14. Staying There Forever (Retiring)
"It’s not quite a Spanish Florida (that would be Tenerife) but Gran Canaria is becoming an ever-more popular retirement destination. ... " - read more
15. Education
"Relocating with school-age children is more difficult than without them. ... " - read more
16. Leisure Activities
"You’ll have just as much excuse to get fit, what with the excellent leisure facilities, on the island as to get fat, what with the sometimes stodgy food and siesta-inducing ... " - read more
17. Making Yourself at Home Plans: Families
"Invest in a two-parks ticket and spend a Saturday enjoying the shows featuring dolphins, parrots, birds of prey and exotic birds at shady Palmitos Park (Barranco de Los Palmitos S/N; ... " - read more
18. Making Yourself at Home Plans: Culture Vultures
"Boasting the most pedestrian-friendly centre in the whole of Gran Canaria, the beautifully-preserved heart of Arucas is the perfect place for a paseo – the stroll beloved of Canarians and ... " - read more
19. Making Yourself at Home Plans: Nature Lovers
"Follow in the footsteps of 16th-century Flemish merchant Daniel Van Damme by descending 200 metres to the bottom of the Caldera de Bandama. ... " - read more
20. Making Yourself at Home Plans: Sport Enthusiasts
"You really wouldn’t want to be in the spectacularly ugly Pozo Izquierdo were it not for the fact it’s the major windsurfing centre on the island. ... " - read more
21. Making Yourself at Home Plans: Hopeless Romantics
"Pamper yourselves doolally at the Spa Corallium in the four-star Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort (Mar Mediterraneo 1; 928 12 81 00; www.lopesan.com). ... " - read more
22. Making Yourself at Home Plans: Party Animals
"To generalize, the clubs in the south are a mecca for the tourists staying there whilst the northern clubbing scene attracts the locals. ... " - read more
23. Town and Country Guide: North Gran Canaria
"There’s a definite north-south divide on the island. Grey, miserable days occur in the north where in the south they’re the exception that proves the southern results rule when it ... " - read more
24. Arucas
"A is for Arucas, a lovely place dubbed the “pearl of Gran Canaria”. ... " - read more
25. Bañaderos
"Prepare to be initially underwhelmed by this north-coast town. ... " - read more
26. Firgas
"I first encountered Firgas on a balmy July evening having been sent there to cover a lucha canaria fight night. Arriving on the back of the photogapher’s motorbike, its whitewashed ... " - read more
27. Gáldar
"When we first moved to Gran Canaria, I was a house husband looking after our lovely boy Alex who had been diagnosed with leukaemia as a baby. His doctor over ... " - read more
28. Las Palmas
"At a reception at the plush Hotel Santa Catalina to welcome the new British Ambassador Denise Holt back in 2007, I got cornered by a fellow expat who was moaning ... " - read more
29. Moya
"The first time I chanced upon Moya was on a stretch-your-legs stop-off on a tour of the island with the Pequeño Valiente charity who help families with children suffering from ... " - read more
30. San Andrés
"José, Reyes and their daughter Julía are good friends of ours from Vecindario. Come August when the majority of Las Palmas migrate to the warmer climes of the south, they ... " - read more

"What this book is not is a rival for the Lonely Planet type guide that you would buy ahead of..."

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