El Pajar is a small Canarian village just outside Arguineguin, which offers a relaxing pace of life. This small area has many residents who all enjoy the quiet beach, bars and restaurants. El Pajar can be easily accessed, although during fiestas and at the weekend you might struggle to park.
We normally see lots of “wildlife” walking from the road down to the beach. Look out for the cats and birdcages on terraces and balconies.
The beach front dominates this area and this is where you will find all the locals, but very few tourists. The beach is considered to be one of the few remaining natural beaches on the island. There are barely any facilities and amenities although it’s ideal for sunbathing and swimming. I’ve also snorkeled there.
Hire kayaks for a very reasonable 10 euros a day or bring your own jet skis and inflatables. This beach is perfect for families with small children since it’s flat and the tide’s not strong.
Restaurant Bar Playa
There is one main restaurant along the beach in El Pajar, which is owned and run by a local family. Bar Playa has been here for many years and excels at fresh seafood and local dishes. The tapas are yummy and quite cheap too.
You’ll find the service and decor in Bar Playa pretty basic, so don’t expect too much from the experience. However, the food is fantastic and at weekends there aren’t many tables left.
Further down the beach there’s a small bar, which offers cheap beer and soft drinks. You can also find a limited range of snacks and ice creams.
There are only a few chairs and tables, but if you ask they will provide plastic cups to take to the beach. Sometimes we sit under one of the trees on the grass instead and eat our ice cream there. People pop back and forth to this bar throughout the day.
Tags: El Pajar
September 30th, 2012 · No Comments
Arguineguin is not a typical tourist resort so you might be surprised to discover that there are some brilliant live music bars in the area. If you look closely, you will soon discover that there are several different ones to choose from. These bars are fantastic and every nationality is welcome to enjoy the different styles of music.
Where to find them
Head for the rather old-fashioned Ancora shopping centre, you will discover a treasure trove of different bars, cafes and restaurants. The layout of this centre can be confusing, although when music is playing, you can just follow your ears. There are several different bars within the Ancora to choose from, so you might be able to pick out some Spanish, Norwegian and classic British rock anthems if you listen closely.
Music for every day of the week
Many of the bars focus on weekend entertainment only, although Buster Bar ensures that there is some form of music on nearly every night.
Arguineguin by Dmytrok
The aftermarket entertainment on a Tuesday is excellent, and the ideal way to finish your day. Not only can you listen to the sounds, but you can join in by singing and playing the various instruments on offer.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday the bars come alive, and there are various different artists playing a huge range of sounds. Whether you want rock, classical or Irish melodies, there is something for everyone.
Many of the locals will attend these evenings, and it is a nice way to mingle with the people who live in the area.
Enjoying the local hospitality
Mandy’s Den is another place to visit, and you will find that there are live acts on several nights. The bar is welcoming to every nationality and offers a friendly atmosphere too. The local artists are really good, and you will be surprised how talented people in Gran Canaria are when it comes to these acts and shows.
Arguineguin is a quieter resort but the bars stay open until the early hours, with no complaints from the local residents. The acts are varied, although if you are expected a loud, nightclub experience you will be disappointed. Most of what is on offer is designed for easy listening, and getting the audience involved, so head to the Ancora centre any evening and see what you can find.
Tags: Live Music
Although you can use a British, Irish or European driving licence if you’re on holiday, you might want to get a Spanish driving licence if you’re going to be living here long term.
This is what a Spanish driving licence looks like (the front and back):
The exchange is voluntary but the local police prefer you to do it if you plan on being in the Canaries longer than six months. You can still keep your UK one as long as you do it online and have a digital passport (one with a chip on it) as well as a UK address.
You will need to speak Spanish at the DGT (Direccion General de Trafico) office, and also to get your medical done. If you can’t, then take someone with you who can or hire a translator. Don’t expect them to speak English.
Where to Go
Go to the DGT office, which is near the Fuente Luminoso in Las Palmas. Go to window 18 and ask for a ‘solicitud de canje del permiso de conduccion’ form. Fill it out, then go to window 15 and pay about 26 euros.
They will stamp the form to show you have paid and they will give you a number. Go and sit down and keep an eye on the screen for your number to come up.
It will say on the screen which window you need to go to. You will need your passport and a copy of it, your NIE (or residencia) and a copy of that, your driving licence and a copy of that, as well as some passport photos.
They will take your copies and forms to say you have submitted the forms and they give you the originals back. Keep the form and your licence.
What to Do Next
Expect a call or email from the DGT, asking you to return with the photos and your medical, within a couple of weeks. They will contact the British DVLA (driver and vehicle licensing agency) and check there isn’t anything outstanding, and then the new Spanish licence can be issued.
Take your medical forms when you go back, as well as your passport photos and the form you completed on the first visit and got stamped.
Where to Get the Medical
You can get the medical done in the Centro Medico in Arguineguin (it’s next to the whale’s tail roundabout) or somewhere closer to where you live.
You will need to ask for the ‘reconocimientos de conductores’ medical which involves blood pressure, height, weight, a simple eye test and some basic coordination exercises, as well as a short chat with a psychologist. Expect it to cost around 55 euros.
You can get more information at the http://www.dgt.es/portal/ website, which is the equivalent of Spain’s DVLA.
San Fernando is considered to be for the locals so very few tourists will stay in this area of the island. However, if you take the time to explore the quaint back streets and quiet tapas bars on offer, you might be surprised.
This town is situated just behind the Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas area and offers a traditional Spanish feel throughout.
Shopping centres and small shops
There is plenty to see and do here and shopping lovers will enjoy the vast array of shops on offer. There is a small shopping centre called Bella Vista, which has clothes and shoe shops, as well as cafes and bars.
You will find that the prices are very affordable and you will be able to find many bargains. There are very traditional shops ranging from hardware stores to fruit and vegetable shops where the locals buy their produce. As you wander through the streets, you can embrace the laid-back way of life as the locals go about their daily business.
Language and local people
Throughout San Fernando, the language will be Spanish, and very few of the shop owners speak much if any English. However, they are always friendly and willing to help you, regardless of the amount of Spanish that you speak. There are several different schools, leisure facilities and government buildings in the area, and very few tourist attractions.
Visiting San Fernando can provide you with a different aspect of the island that you were previously unaware of though. The local San Fernando market is a hive of activity twice a week, and you will find local produce, butchers, flower stalls and local crafts on offer.
Photo by Azuaje
Where to stay
There are hardly any hotels in this area, and the property is more residential with cheap apartments and accommodation. If you prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas, and enjoy spending time with the locals then it could be a place for you to stay. The local public transport and taxis are affordable and easy to find, ensuing that you can explore further afield.
If you want to hire a car, be aware that parking is an issue, with very few car parks on offer. Many people find it easier to park elsewhere and then walk into town to enjoy the shops and bars.
San Fernando proves that there is a different side to the island away from the beaches and commercial centres, and you do not have to venture into the mountains or to the other side of the island to explore this traditional Canarian lifestyle.
Tags: San Fernando
Gran Canaria Gay Pride 2013 is considered to be one of the largest events on the island and attracts over 150,000 extra visitors to the south coast.
This exciting and vibrant event is the second largest gay event in Spain. For one week during May thousands of people from all different backgrounds, cultures and religions come together to party.
Events and parties
There is a huge number of different activities throughout the week, and many bars, resorts and excursion companies plan their events months in advance. Many of the events are designed for a gay audience only. However, the main parade, which takes part on Saturday, is a fantastic, fun event for everyone.
Join in the fun
Thousands of men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, take the opportunity to dress up, jump on the numerous floats and party in the sunshine.
The atmosphere is exciting and incredibly friendly with hardly any trouble. The parade ventures up the main street in Playa del Ingles, and finishes in the Yumbo Centre.
Where it all happens
The Yumbo Centre is the main focal point of all the shows, dance acts and foam parties, which take place throughout the week.
Every day there is a different event, ensuring that everyone’s taste is taken into consideration and that all visitors have an amazing time. Whether you want to join in the official Pink Party, or enjoy the Diva Drag Gala, there is something for everyone.
Photo by CuteMosaic.com
Exclusive gay events
There are several exclusive events for the gay men and women that attend Pride, and these are held in various complexes in resort.
You might want to be part of the exclusive men’s pool party, where over 1,000 hot men can help to choose Mr Gay Gran Canaria. Not wanting the ladies to miss out, there is another event to help select Miss Lesbian Gran Canaria.
Planning is essential
The south of Gran Canaria will come to life during this time and everyone in the area will enjoy the extra attention. So, with so much to do, you need to ensure that you plan your week wisely, or you might not have the energy for the closing party on Sunday. With boat trips, late night club sessions, concerts and pool parties, you will never have time to be bored during this exciting week.
Why this event is so important
Alongside the party atmosphere, there is a sense of pride with every event that is organised and attended. There are millions of gay people that never believed they would be able to openly display their love or commitment to one another.
The Gay Pride events reaffirm the positive messages against violence and discrimination. Regardless of why you want to attend, you can be proud afterwards that you were part of such an amazing event.
Tags: Events · maspalomas · Playa del Ingles
The Romeria is one of the traditional customs enjoyed throughout Gran Canaria, and everyone can join in with the fun. A Romeria is a traditional pilgrimage, which every village and town will perform throughout the year.
This fascinating Catholic celebration is amazing, and you will have an immense amount of fun if you are lucky enough to be part of one whilst in Gran Canaria.
Photo by Rafa
When they begin
The celebrations start in April and continue over several months, ensuring that every village and the town has a celebration. The party will last for several days and in some places even weeks, where everyone will be part of the festivities in some way. The street parties, which take place are fun, and very traditional.
All the villagers dress in traditional Canarian clothes and encourage visitors to do the same when attending. The men and boys will wear suits, waistcoats, sashes and hats, ensuring that they look incredibly smart.
The woman will wear long, flowing colourful skirts, blouses and bonnets, and there are a number of different colours to choose from.
Food and drink
The food and drink at the Romerias is really good, and there is always plenty to sample throughout the party.
The floats that pass by will offer the people papas con mojo (wrinkly potatoes with a Canarian sauce) barbecued meat, paella and other Canarian cooking, and of course ‘ron miel’ or honey rum. You will find that the food stalls keep cooking for many hours, as Canarians love to eat.
Photo by Abhay Kumar
Floats, music and dancing
The people in the village will fill their floats with fruits and vegetables as an offering to the saints, and these are typically given to the poor after the Romeria.
Music is really popular at any Canarian party, and the locals will enjoy the music, while playing traditional instruments such as the bandurria.
Lasting, memorable experience
The size of the Romeria will depend on the place where it is being held, althought you are guaranteed an incredible time at every single event.
Canarians love to party, and they will ensure that everyone is having fun. Young and old will come out for the Romeria, and with such an incredible party atmosphere, it is difficult not to join in with everything.
Tags: Entertainment · Events
Pio Pio is a beach bar on Tauro beach, which is one of the few natural beaches that remain in Gran Canaria. This beach is a short walk (maybe 20 minutes) from the lively resort of Puerto Rico and can be seen from the main road to Mogan.
How to get to the bar
Access to the bar and beach by car can be tricky, and you are better parking further away and walking the last distance. From Puerto Rico, if you’re on foot, follow the beach path to Amadores then continue another 10 minutes. The next beach after Amadores is Tauro beach and that’s where the bar is.
The bumpy road which passes by Pio Pio has been destroyed several times in the storms. This is why taxis refuse to drive down the road, which you need to bear in mind if you want one at the end of the night – you’ll need to walk up to the main road first.
Food and drink
This beach bar is considered to be a unique, no frills bar, which serves basic food and cheap drinks. This is part of its charm.
The menu has improved a huge amount over the years but it is still pretty basic. You will see English breakfasts served alongside traditional Canarian tapas, which makes it ideal for everyone. Regardless of your taste and budget, you will find something that you enjoy.
Sunset and music
There are two main reasons why people choose to visit here – one is the breathtaking sunsets, and the other is the live music. The location of the bar provides you with an incredible viewing platform for the best sunsets on the island. You will be able to see the highest point of the neighbouring island of Tenerife too, which is magical.
The music at Pio Pio is popular, and people of all nationalities travel to the bar to listen, dance and join in with the locals. The bar offers both live music and a DJ, who will play anything that you request. This bar is considered to be a hidden gem on the island, and you will amaze how many people visit every year.
The Cordial Mogan Valle is in the beautiful fishing village of Mogan and is ideal for older visitors wanting peace and quiet.
The apartment complex is in a subtropical garden and within walking distance of the beach. The apartments are large and very well decorated, making you feel at home in the tranquil surroundings.
Photo by Furya
Puerto Mogan Resort
The resort of Puerto Mogan is quieter than most of the other resorts found around the island and is brilliant if you simply want to relax. There are plenty of bars and restaurants down by the beach, and you can easily hop on a ferry to nearby Puerto Rico.
You’ll find everything you need for your self-catering holiday in one of the nearby supermarkets, and if you have hired a car you can venture further.
The rooms are spotless, and you can have the maid tidy every day and give you clean towels, which is important to many people.
The entertainment in the complex is fantastic and offers something for everyone staying there. The balconies are huge, and have both loungers and a table to eat at, which is unusual in holiday apartments.
Teenagers and young adults will struggle to find things to do, and this resort may be too quiet for some people. The layout of the apartments can be confusing when you first arrive, and the map that you are given is not the best.
The kitchens in the room are also a bit of a letdown and can only really cater for breakfast and lunch style cooking. The pool area can get very busy and feel overcrowded easily.
Our conclusion is that if you’re perhaps an older couple, looking for peace and quiet, rather than noise and nightlife, Cordian Mogan Valle Apartments would be absolutely perfect.
Tags: Playa Mogán · Puerto de Mogan · Puerto Mogan
Maspalomas is the oldest of all the tourist resorts on the island of Gran Canaria and is the ideal place to stay regardless of your budget.
There is a vibrant, party feel throughout at night, although during the day it is far more relaxed. The location of Maspalomas makes it an ideal base to explore other parts of the island.
Photo by Bortescristian
There are plenty of different activities to enjoy in Maspalomas. This part of the island is considered to be incredibly beautiful, providing you with plenty to explore for free.
Here are 7 ideas for you, if you want to know about things to do in Maspalomas while you’re there:
Dunas de Maspalomas- This amazing area of Maspalomas will provide you with plenty to see and do. The dunes are breathtaking, and the beach stretches for about 4 miles, ensuring that there is plenty of sand for everyone. In 1994 these dunes were declared a national park and are protected. You can walk on the dunes but do be cautious of the midday sun, and take plenty of water.
Camel safari- If you want to explore the dunes but do not fancy the long walk, you could try a camel safari. These daily trips are popular with tourists and will provide you with the perfect transportation across the dunes. Lunch is often provided, and you can enjoy a relaxing break in the Bedouin tent. As you trek across the dunes, you will feel as if you are part of the film crew in the Sahara.
Holiday World- this leisure park is ideal for families, with plenty on offer for everyone to enjoy. The small fair is suited to younger children but there are also bowling alleys, arcades, and bars for the older generations. You could spend a fun day enjoying all of the facilities, before eating in one of the restaurants.
Palmitos Park- although this is located just outside Maspalomas it deserves a mention. Palmitos Park is a fascinating subtropical oasis filled with exotic plants and animals. There is a regular bus service to the park, ensuring that you can reach it easily throughout the south. If you’re in Maspalomas already you can just get a cab for a few euros.
Photo by El Coleccionista de Instantes
Within the park, you can enjoy over 1500 different species of birds, alongside the exciting new dolphinarium. This is one of the favourite things to do whilst in Maspalomas and is suited for all the family.
Moonlight Cinema- this open-air cinema is an experience that you will not receive anywhere else. You can enjoy your favourite movies, under the stars whilst relaxing on the comfortable sofas. There is pizza and drinks served throughout the movie, and kids go free, which make it an affordable family night out.
Faro de Maspalomas- this area of Maspalomas is considered to be one of the best for having an evening stroll and a quiet drink. The promenade is beautiful and provides you with several bars and restaurants to enjoy. The lighthouse stands at one end of the promenade, and is the best place to begin your walk. There is a small shopping centre at the far end, which sells local produce, clothing and gifts.
Playa de Maspalomas- this beach is perfect for everyone, and provides different areas depending, on what you are searching for from your holiday. There are areas along the sand that are considered for adults, as nudists enjoy the area. However, they are clearly marked and nowhere near the family areas. Water sports are popular along this beach, and you will find that there is something for everyone.
Tags: General · maspalomas · Maspalomas
Hardmel Rock Bar is located in Las Palmas in the north of the island, away from the typical tourist resorts. However, you will be surprised to see how this venue comes alive at the weekend, offering an exciting alternative music venue.
Opening Times and Location
The bar only opens on a Friday and Saturday evening between 10pm and 3.30 am; there is still plenty on offer though.
The bar is situated close to the main shopping district in the heart of Las Palmas and is easy to get to by taxi.
What the Rock Bar Offers
If you’re searching for an alternative music venue while in Gran Canaria, Hardmel Rock Pub is the place to visit, especially if you enjoy alternative music. You will be able to enjoy a vast array of different music genres, including everything from classic rock and blues to extreme death metal.
Fans of Queen, Deep Purple, Kiss, Metallica and Motorhead will love this venue, and the huge selection of music ensures that everyone has an incredible time.
Promotions and Atmosphere
The drinks promotions are fantastic, and there are always different events being organised, but the atmosphere in the bar is basic and relaxed.
Holidays, fiestas, and special occasions are celebrated with total enthusiasm, and everyone is encouraged to join in with the party. Hard rock and heavy metal enthusiasts will love the atmosphere and the music which is played.
Music Memorabilia Collection
You need to be prepared for a no-frills place to drink and appreciate top quality music, and the decor is brilliant too.
Music memorabilia fills the walls, and you will see programs, tickets, shirts and posters from music legends who have toured the world.
So if you want to escape the traditional tourist areas, and listen to some amazing music the Hardmel Rock Pub in Las Palmas is well worth a visit.
Tags: Alternative · Entertainment · Las Palmas · Live Music · Rock