A diary of an Irishman who moved to live permanently in Las Palmas Gran Canaria.
The past month has been the hottest I can remember in Las Palmas. Temperatures have been in the mid to high 30s most days. Nighttime temperatures have dropped a little under 30c most nights.
Usually, the temperature in Las Palmas is perfect. Low 20s to mid-20s during the winter and high 20s during summer.
The north of Gran Canaria is always a few degrees lower than the tourist south.
In Las Palmas, there usually is no need for central heating or air conditioning.
During a recent visit to Playa del Ingles, the temperature was almost 40c. There were very few people on the beaches as people preferred to stay at their hotel pools.
So far, I have survived the nighttime heat by sticking my face near my fan.
Playa Las Canteras is a special place to be this time of year. During school holidays, the beach is full of activity from early in the morning to late at night.
Many people from mainland Spain also visit Las Palmas for the summer holidays to escape the heat of cities such as Madrid and Seville. Although it is sweltering now, it is still cooler than many places in Spain.
I have always said the positives of living in the Canary Islands outweigh the negatives. One big negative here can be customer service. This is especially so in Las Palmas as it has less experience with tourists.
I had a friend visit recently, and we had a few issues. He noticed more than I, as I probably have adapted to it somewhat.
We spent two days down in Playa del Ingles in a bungalow. My friend went into his bedroom to rest and jumped out of bed in a few minutes.
The bed had 100s of ants on it, and he received a lot of bites very quickly.
I understand the climate here means insects are the norm. What can not be the norm is the customer service response.
We explained the situation to the receptionist and got what can be the normal response. Silence or a shrug of shoulders.
As no manager was on duty, we slept on the sofa and the floor for the night.
The next day the solution offered was to change the bed sheets. We demanded and received another bungalow.
I have worked in the hotel business for thirty years, and this type of service is not normal in my experience.
Other than the ants, the complex was great. Everything goes well in the Canaries until it doesn’t go well.
During the week, we visited a restaurant in Las Canteras for a pizza. We sat down at 7 pm thinking we had plenty of time as we were due to meet friends at 830pm.
We were the first at the tables. After a few warnings, we got up and left after waiting an hour and a half for the pizza and to pay for our beer.
Instead of getting an apology from the manager, we got a bad attitude. We returned fire. Don’t mess with two hungry Irishmen.
That morning we had a coffee and a sandwich for breakfast in a cafe. My friend asked if they had anything else to eat. He was told to eat his sandwich first. We both laughed loudly at the same time at the response. That was the last time the waiter returned to our table.
If you take these situations too seriously, it is not a good idea to live here. My workaround is to try to go places where the owner is also the person taking the order. I find the service is mostly excellent then.
The post covid tourist recovery continues. Average tourist accommodation occupancy in the Canary Islands during June was 73%. That is just 5% less than pre covid June 2019.
The difference in January was 33%.
Prices are rising, as can be expected with inflation and higher energy prices.
The average daily price for a hotel room in June was €71.53. 14% more than June 2019.
The average daily price for an apartment in June was €62.73. 18% more than June 2019.
Spain has extended its covid restrictions on visitors from non-EU countries, including the UK. The restrictions have been extended until the 15th of Sept. They will then be reviewed again.
Currently, Non-EU counties require one of the following to enter Spain.
Double vaccination within 270 days from the second dose ( if you have had a booster shot, there is no time limit on this)
Firefighters are currently trying to control a woodland fire in North Tenerife. Officials have said the fire was started by an arsonist. This seems to be a regular problem on the islands.