With package tourism falling out of fashion, the number of websites offering independent flight and accommodation booking for Gran Canaria has skyrocketed. Most of them are kosher but every now and then a website pops up, takes a load of bookings and then disappears with everybody’s money. If you book your hotel or apartment online, double check the website’s credentials before you pay up.
All the websites mentioned below have English language versions:
www.gran-canaria-info.com is a wiki website all about Gran Canaria that allows people to update reviews and information whenever they want. The site is run by an eccentric Dutchman living up in the mountains and is by far the best independent website about the island. It even has a forum where locals and expats offer advice to visitors and a huge collection of photos of Gran Canaria. There is another useful forum at www.canaryforum.com.
The government website at www.grancanaria.com is the official one promoting the island. It does a good enough job but is rather stiff and doesn’t have that much useful local info. It does have a nice collection of photos and a useful events calendar.
If you plan to spend a bit of time on the island or even work on Gran Canaria, look over www.grancanariaguru.com, a site run by a British expat that is aimed at foreign residents but has loads of useful general information as well as a growing restaurant guide and an events calendar.
Rural tourism is taking off on Gran Canaria as visitors discover the incredible pine forests and deep valleys of the interior. There are now loads of little hotels and cottages that can be rented for a night or two by walkers and Romeria goers. www.ruraltourismcanaries.com is a decent stab at getting a lot of them in one place.
Keen walkers should also look at www.ramblingroger.com, a fantastic site run by Rambling Roger, a retired Brit who just loves walking on Gran Canaria.
Gran Canaria has an extensive bus system and the blue buses that run between towns are cheap and reliable. Timetables can be checked at http://www.globalsu.net/index_en.php. For car rental, www.cicar.com is a local company with a good selection of vehicles and an online reservation system.
It is always useful to know what the weather is like if you are going to explore the island or try out surfing or windsurfing. www.grancanariawebcams.com has a great collection of links to different webcams all over Gran Canaria.
Image: Lex Thoonen