If you are planning to come to Gran Canaria, this is probably the first and most important question you need to solve: Which part of the island are you going to live in?
The answer will mainly depend on the reasons bringing you here!
There are several option upon the table but I would gather them into three main areas:
- Las Palmas. The biggest city of the island with a population of 380,000 inhabitants and the preferred place for most digital nomads.
- The South. That is, the southern part of the island, which is more a touristic area and your choice if you look for sun, beaches and relax.
- Other parts of the island. Small and mid-size towns in the eastern and northern coast of the island, usually least known and more exotic.
Well, Las Palmas is my city and The Lofito is located there, so I’m not being 100% fair, but the city is the best place for digital nomads in my opinion!
As I have said, this option is the best one for digital nomads. And it’s not only a personal view. I would even say it’s the preferred one by most of you as far as I have seen.
Las Palmas: live a true experience
Why? Well, every person is different, but I have observed that most digital nomads share some values. Of course, you, dear reader, might disagree, but it’s not crazy to assume they travel around the world to live new authentic experiences.
And they will find that in Las Palmas. On the other side, Southern Gran Canaria is made for tourism. That is, lovely weather all year round and sandy beaches… but also hotels, resorts, international cuisine and fast-food restaurants. This is not what locals would say is an authentic Gran Canaria experience!
Advantages of living in Las Palmas:
- A true local experience. At least, more authentic than what you will find in the South.
- Better connections. Especially if you are planning to move around the island in public transport.
- More gastronomic options. Much more good restaurants on average than anywhere in the island, including tapas, local cuisine and exotic restaurants.
- Better beaches for surfing. The best surfing spots are located in the North, but the city has a couple of interesting beaches. And also… if you want to go north, it’s nearer!
- Better social life. Maybe the nightlife in the South was great before pandemics, but afternoon and evenings in Las Palmas terraces are great!
- The Lofito. Last but not least… isn’t this a good reason to choose Las Palmas?
Obviously, there are some cons of living in Las Palmas too. Let’s say the weather is not as sunny as in the South so you can find some cloudy days… Temperature is great though. It’s like living an eternal spring in the Canaries.
Also, there is another thing to consider. Not everyone speaks fluent English, so it’s a bit more difficult to communicate with locals!
Check these websites if you need further info:
The South: best option to enjoy sun and beaches
What is The South exactly? Well, even among locals, there is no consensus. If you ask any native what is “El Sur” (this is what we call it), you will probably find as many answers as people you ask.
However, the great majority of us would agree that El Sur is the coastline from Bahia Feliz to Playa de Mogan: plenty of leisure, beaches and resorts, and ready for tourists to enjoy Gran Canaria and its incredible weather all year round!
At the time of writing this post, the world is still suffering from pandemics, so tourism is being severely affected in Gran Canaria. The situation now is very different than before the virus appeared, so you will find a different place.
At this moment, there are many hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars closed. That is, less tourists and limited activity. The South is a further quiet place now, which is good news if this is what you are looking for. Not sure how the pandemics will evolve, but the trend is for the South to recover its lively rhythm soon!
Advantages of living in the South:
- Sun and beaches. Didn’t we mention this already? Most of the best beaches in Gran Canaria (Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés, Amadores, Anfi del Mar…) are located in this area. And you’ll probably get sunny days most of the time!
- Land of eternal holidays. Life goes at another pace in the South! Yep, there are workers… but don’t forget most of the people are there enjoying their holidays.
- Much more people speak English. There are many foreigners from all over the world living in the south of Gran Canaria during the whole year that language won’t be an issue. English, German or Swedish are even more used than Spanish!
- Better leisure activities and nightlife. I have always disagreed with this assumption, but I recognise it’s just a personal opinion. Traditionally, it is said that you can party all the time in the South – and it’s probably true (however, the restrictions with the pandemics have dramatically changed this perception).
Check this if you need further info:
If you need more info about the South, I found this “Complete Travel Guide To The South of Gran Canaria” pretty cool to use as a reference, so it’s a good resource to read!
Other cool options to live in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is more than Las Palmas and the South, but these are more exotic places. But it it’s that what you need, then here you go a bunch of alternatives to live in our island:
Telde is a handy village between the airport and Las Palmas. It’s only 15 minutes from the city and I don’t think it will take longer than 25 minutes to get to the South. Telde has good beaches also (search for La Garita, Melenara o Salinetas on Google).
Best of Telde are the good connections if you are planning to have a private transport. Everything is more or less nearby. And it’s also a cheaper place to find a good rent. But it’s not a touristic place, so it would be a bit difficult (not impossible) to find a mid-term contract.
Arinaga and Pozo Izquierdo
I personally love these two villages located in the south west area of Gran Canaria but I recognise they are not for everyone. For instance, a first ‘must’ here is to have a private transport to move around.
Pozo Izquierdo is especially recommended if you are in love with watersports. In fact, Pozo Izquierdo is the venue for one of the Windsurfing World Cup events. It’s windy, for sure, but it’s a quiet place with an interesting environment mixing local people with young surfers.
Check this website if you want to know more about Pozo in English.
Are you mainly coming to Gran Canaria to surf? Then you should consider the northern part of the island to live. In the same way that it happens with “El Sur”, there is not a consensus among locals about which area exactly covers “El Norte” (The North) but anyway… you’ll find Gran Canaria’s best beaches to surf from Arucas to Agaete. I’m not an expert but some of them are El Agujero, el Frontón, El Circo, El Picacho…
Do not hesitate to contact me if you need more info about any of these beaches, as some of my best friends are surfers, so we can help!
If you are looking for something really exotic, I would take a look at places like Agaete. It’s a small village in western Gran Canaria but a beautiful one. Just take a look at the pictures you can find on the Internet and decide for yourself. A quiet place on the coast, far from big cities and a boho atmosphere…
Valsequillo, San Mateo or Tejeda
If you ever consider coming to Gran Canaria because you love the mountains, hiking, trekking and nature, maybe you should consider any of these three villages too. They are both nearby to the highest Gran Canaria’s peaks and plenty of nature activity.
However, although Internet connection should not be an issue in almost any place on the island, I would advise you to confirm it before! Let me know if you need more info about these as I’ve been a trail runner and know a lot of trails to discover in these three places!
There are many other places you can consider when coming to Gran Canaria. The island is so pretty that I could spend words and words trying to convince you about them. I would end up by saying that… please, don’t hesitate to contact me if you need further info about them.