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

Staying There Forever (Retiring)

This is a preview to the chapter Staying There Forever (Retiring) from the book Going Local in Gran Canaria by Matthew Hirtes.
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It’s not quite a Spanish Florida (that would be Tenerife) but Gran Canaria is becoming an ever-more popular retirement destination. For every pro (the sun), though, there’s a con (isolation). When we lived in the UK, for example, the weekend (football permitting) was an excuse for a cheapo, long weekend in mainland Europe. Because of the Canaries’ location, this isn’t an affordable option.

Consider that while your loved ones will be still be able to reach you by phone, by car is now out of the question. Flights from northern European countries average around four hours. Although in and around the southern resorts, there are expat communities aging from gap-year travellers up to senior citizens to make you feel more at home than you might have imagined.

For those of advanced years, there are a good selection of residencias de personas majores (residential homes) especially if you’re living in the north of the island. Possibly my favourite street in Las Palmas, Calle Perojo, boasts Ballesol (928 38 44 66; www.ballesol.es), one of the group’s many centros residenciales para la 3a edad. When they were first converting this, I was curious of what it was to become: bar, nightclub, restaurant? Residential home I hadn’t bargained on.

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"A few years ago an American travel writer admitted that he hadn't even been to the country (Colombia) that he'd..."

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