I recently received the following email and thought I would answer it here to benefit anyone else who wants to get away from it all and stay out of the main tourist areas on their Gran Canaria trip. I’ve already talked about how to select the best resort in Gran Canaria, but this question is from someone who wants to the exact opposite. No, not a worse resort, but something that is best but is not a resort!
QUESTION – Victoria – do you know how many km the road circumference of GC is? We only have 3 days but I’d like to drive around the whole island. Also I can’t find any smaller, quaint hotels, just mega-resorts. we like character and don’t need a pool. Smaller town is fine. Thoughts? Thanks
ANSWER – The first part of your question is easy. It is possible to drive around the island in one day. Although I’m not sure exactly how many kilometers this is, it can be done. Driving in Gran Canaria isn’t as hair-raising as you might imagine, although some of the smaller roads in the mountains are narrow 😮
Also, it’s a good idea to keep as far right as possible on any road and be careful on roundabouts. In the Canarian driving test, Canarians are taught that on a roundabout whoever is on the outside lane always has priority. Beyond that they don’t know what a roundabout is for, so take extra care when using them. Don’t be surprised if you’re tailgated or overtaken on blind bends. That’s just the way (many) Canarians drive 8)
Oh, and the door handle doesn’t work as a gear stick or handbrake, but if you’re used to driving on the right when you’re away you shouldn’t have any problems. Personally I’ve never driven around the whole island in a day but I have been to Agaete and back and that was about the same distance since it’s as far from Puerto Rico as you can get.
When you rent a car you will get a map of the island. Explain what you want to do and they should be able to give you some pointers about which routes to take, which ones to avoid, how many hours each stretch of road takes to drive, places to stop, etc.
Now, as for getting away from it all and finding somewhere a bit more tranquil than Playa del Ingles, Puerto Rico or any of the other resort areas, I would suggest you have a look at this website:
There are some more links here:
and also here: http://www.grancanariafincas.com/uk/index.html
If none of those are doing it for you, just do a Google search for “Gran Canaria rural” and you’ll get plenty come up. I haven’t stayed in any of the rural accommodations personally so I can’t recommend one in particular but judging by those links it looks like you’ll be spoilt for choice.