With over 4 million international tourists arriving per year to its international airport, Gran Canaria is Tenerife’s great rival to cope for the visitor’s attention. Here again we have an island full of vegetation and tradition on the north, and with memorable beaches and landscapes at the south. As is the case with Tenerife, the international expat choosing to buy a property in Gran Canaria will find plenty to choose from: he can either build his refuge in some of the more remote villages, such as Tejeda -right in the centre-, or feel closer to his countrymen community if he chooses to buy a property in Puerto Rico or San Agustín. In either case, he would be wise to first explore all of what the island has to offer, and to appreciate the strong contrast between the northern and southern parts of the island.
Those contemplating settling north might better start their property search in the island’s capital of Las Palmas. Just as its neighboring rival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, this is a fascinating city that mixes modern apartment buildings with traditional Canarian architecture, a touch of old Spanish colonial urbanism and a deeply established seafaring soul. But for the MiMove staff, the greatest allure of Las Palmas is its urban beach of Las Canteras. Very rarely can you find a wide and long (over 3km) stretch of sand such as Las Canteras so intimately entrenched with the urban city. This makes the beach in Las Palma the heart of activity in the city, which makes sure that you find plenty of life in its sandy lengths all year round. But besides the beach, Las Palmas has plenty to offer. You can take a walk along the traditional Canarian traditional colonial houses of the Vegueta neighborhood and stop at one of the terraces in Mendizábal street to refresh yourself with some Canarian culinary delights (you can never get enough mojo!). While you are at it, you could stop at Casa de Colón, a house where Colombus stopped during the journey in which he discovered America, and today transformed into an interesting history museum. If you choose to buy your home away from home in Las Palmas, you will be living in a city soaked in history and bursting with life with one of the best urban beaches that Spain has to offer.
While you can find in the lush north many rural villages surrounded by green banana trees, which are ideal as a base for great hiking trails and traditional festivals, such as Arucas or Firgas, our preference lies in the direction of Agaete. Agaete, with its port, Puerto de las Nieves, is a wonderful seaside town on the western part of the island. If you decide to look for a property for sale in Agaete, you will find yourself in an authentic white village with traditional Canarian architecture that has not been given up to overdevelopment. You will be able to enjoy secluded beaches with difficult access that are not yet overwhelmed with tourists. You will live in the middle of a flourishing valley that includes Gran Canaria’s largest pine tree forrest. And you will have a wide choice of restaurants where you can sample the region’s seafood delicacies as well as its local goat cheese. Yes, you heard right: goat cheese. Need we say anything else?
If you want to imagine Gran Canaria’s south, you should think about incredible beaches of yellow sand where you can lie down and let time slip away. As we go south from the island’s central peak at Pico de las Nieves, we can notice that the rocky landscape is becoming more arid in comparison to the north, and the climate is now drier and sunnier. This is perfect as the abrupt interior ends up in the coast in fabulous stretches of beaches. The largest sandy plot of beach finds itself at the very southern tip of the island, just below the towns of San Agustín and Maspalomas. We have here the long stretch of Playa del Inglés, which joins with the beach of Maspalomas, an amazingly wide triangle of sandy beach, famous for its lighthouse and its dunes. If you take a stroll down the dunes, you might imagine yourself in the desert of Sahara, were it not for the occasional bush and the sight of the ocean in the distance. Given the quality of these beaches, this area is where most of the international communities have decided to settle. Consequently, if you decide to buy a property in Maspalomas, you will most likely be able to build new friendships among a community of yours and other nationalities. Since this is a hot spot for tourism, a property purchase here will likely be easily rented or resold. Maspalomas is also a very open-minded town that has attracted a great number of members of the LGBT community. It is very common to see same sex couples holding hands and leisurely walking in Maspalomas’ streets. Yumbo commercial centre, right in the middle of town, is the heart of the lively gay scene in this area.
Further west, you also have the opportunity to look for a property for sale in Puerto Rico (Gran Canaria), another beloved spot by the different international communities. A beautiful and wide beach with all the facilities, a decent marina, good resorts and all types of restaurants can be found here to make sure that you relax and just focus on enjoying what life has to offer. This area has recently attracted a large community of Norwegians, so you should probably check it out if you want to hang out with Scandinavian peers. Finally, on the southwest part of the island, you may find that the best option for you is to buy a property in Puerto de Mogán. This is a beautiful fishermen’s town with Canarian architecture that in recent years has attracted a higher number of visitors. Here we have a quiet and family friendly area, where time passes more slowly and with much less fracas than in the beach towns to the east. And for sure, also here you will enjoy a mild climate year around and a fabulous cuisine.
You may prefer to live near the urban beach of Las Palmas or perhaps some rural and traditional village surrounded by banana trees on the island’s north might be your better choice. Or it could be that the resort towns of Puerto Rico and Maspalomas are the best fit to search for the property of your dreams. In any case, take a good look at what Gran Canaria has to offer. Your new Spanish life may begin in this island.
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