Gran Canaria Facts File
The second largest canary island of Gran Canaria sits just 70 miles from the North African coast and shares the same latitude (and therefore weather conditions) with the renowned holiday destinations of Florida and Mexico. With over 150 sandy beaches you'll always have room to do your own thing. The main resorts of Caleta de Fuste, Corralejo, Costa Calma and Jandia all offer an array of seaside facilities including bars, cafes, restaurants and the beach offers all the usual amenities plus some great windsurfing schools.
Vaccinations and health
There are no certificates required for vaccinations. UK tourists should take a European Health Insurance Card to avail themselves of free health checks at State hospitals in case of emergency. An all-inclusive Health Insurance is recommended. We advise that you always check with your local GP regarding to vaccinations. Do not leave it to the last minute. Some vaccinations can take a length of time to start working properly. Allow at the latest 8 weeks before departing.
The climate in Gran Canaria is hot and humid. Always drink plenty of water and keep hydrated. Remember that alcohol has a stronger affect in hot temperatures.
220 or 225 volts, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.
Euro. ATMs are widespread and are generally the cheapest and most convenient method of obtaining money. Money can be exchanged at bureaux de change and major hotels, but banks give the best rates.
The dialling code for Gran Canaria is 00 34
Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October).
Spanish is the official language, but English is widely understood in areas frequented by tourists.
Visa and passport
Currently British holiday makers do not require a visa but it is always worth checking as rules can change. You must have a passport with at least 6 months validity.
Getting to Gran Canaria
There are several airports within the UK that fly direct to Gran Canaria. If departing from a smaller UK airport you may have to try using a few days either side of your desired date as many only offer weekly flights on a particular day of the week. The flight time for direct flights is between 4 and 4.5 hours.
Gran Canaria Transport
There is a local bus service which is very cheap albeit the journey time can vary. The local bus system (http://www.globalsu.net/index_en.php) and the local "guaguas" in Las Palmas (http://www.guaguas.com). Travelers should be able to easily understand and use the bus system in order to navigate to most major local tourist attractions. You can also hire a car and there have been recent improvements to the road network. To hire a car you need to be over 25 years of age, been driving longer than 2 years and hold a full international license. Taxis are the best way but try and get a price from the driver or hotel receptionist before starting your journey.