The 3 Worst Things About Gran Canaria

You might think that living in Gran Canaria is like living in paradise but it isn’t actually that different from anywhere else apart from the sun! With all the questions about which are the best resorts in Gran Canaria you might think it was just a continuous holiday here. But it isn’t. Whether you are on holiday here or living here, these are my 3 worst things about the island. Feel free to join the debate! (Just so you know I’m not a whinger I’m going to be a 3 best things post later too!!)


1. The Touts

These are just as irritating for the residents as the tourists. I’ve worked on the Barakuda Dos fishing desk in Puerto Escala for the past 2 and a half years and have been asked pretty much EVERY SINGLE DAY if I want to buy a camera for 5€.

Photo by Whirling Phoenix

Photo by Whirling Phoenix

You’d think the camera sales touts on the way into the harbour would know me by now. When you manage to escape from one, the next one jumps out at you and they have a new act of trying to shake everyone’s hand, which means you have to leap into the road (mind the cars) to escape. Very irritating. Not only that but they rip you off with reconditioned cameras, ones without memory chips (they want another 300€ for those) and non-valid guarantees. Don’t buy anything in there.

If you thought “well that’s easy, just walk on the other side of the street” you’re wrong. That is where the timeshare touts lurk! They will ask “have you seen the new shopping centre yet?” or “would you like a scratchcard? Oh…my…god…you’ve won a big prize!” (yes they say that to everyone) “you have to go to the ‘new shopping centre’ to pick it up” (and listen to someone drone on about 3 hours about timeshare before you realise your “big prize” is a t shirt).

Photo by Angelita

Photo by Angelita

Why at Mogan market can you not browse the stalls without your wrist being grabbed by a vendor? Why can’t you eat at an outdoor restaurant without Chinese woman holding flashing rubbish in your face or black guys holding sunglasses and cheap “gold” jewellery in your face and suffering from temporary deafness when you say “go away”?

Does “just browsing thanks” not mean “leave me alone” any more? Why does every bar and restaurant have a tout outside? Why are the touts abusive when you say no or ignore them? Why do we need touts at all? We don’t! They are the no.1 irritant here!!

2. Mañana Mañana

Everything is mañana here and this one applies more to residents (unless you’ve lost your suitcase or wallet then it might apply to you). Nothing is rushed. I had to wait 4 months to get the internet. I have to wait 2 weeks for the post office to bother to tell me they have an urgent package for me. I had to wait 9 days before I could convince a plumber to repair my loo. Our fishing boat had to wait FOUR MONTHS for a mechanic (and they get 50€ an hour for working!)

3. Food Quality & Choice

Now if you have read about canarian cooking you will know that it can be very good. However, don’t expect any fresh food in most of the restaurants here (apart from the very good ones like La Taberna Puerto Rico Gran Canaria, Restaurant Picasso and a couple of others). Nearly everywhere serves defrosted vegetables despite fresh ones being widely available. Most restaurants in Puerto Rico serve defrosted fish (amazing since there are 2 harbours nearby) because the commercial fishing boats are in Arguineguín and Mogán.

The milk is always UHT rather than fresh. You might not mind these things but I do! That’s why I normally eat at home. Also, why oh why do 90% of the restaurants in the tourist areas have the exact same menus? The only differences are the prices. And the touts outside vary slightly.

In M&Ms bar in Puerto Rico you can get a pint of beer for 90 cents. In Restaurant Puerto Escala in the port it will set you back a whopping 3.50€ – for exactly the same thing! With the exchange rate in Gran Canaria being what it is, that is 3 and a half quid. So if you were wondering how much is beer in Gran Canaria it’s more expensive than some bars in the UK!

What do you guys think? Have I missed anything? 🙂


Oh – and check out The 3 Best Things About Gran Canaria just to see I’m not a doom and gloom merchant 😀



  1. Val Jenkinson

    well at least u have fab weather all yr round with occasional showers of rain, yr winter is like our summer in England so enjoy!

  2. Victoria (Post author)

    Are you kidding? It’s about 12 degrees C at night here and we don’t have central heating!!!!! (And just you wait until summer when I moan because it’s too hot ha ha!!)

  3. marilyn Cullum

    Stop whinging Vic, you love it out there , if not you would have come back and i cant see that happening lol xx

  4. Victoria (Post author)


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  6. Leo (Healthy Tips For A Healthy Lifestyle)

    This is interesting!
    I wish my stay though will be pleasant, hehe!
    My first time in Gran Canaria. 🙂

  7. Victoria

    I hope it will be, Leo! Where are you staying, Puerto Rico or Playa del Inglés?

    Victoria 🙂

  8. Dan

    This was very helpful, g8 work, flying out on the 17sept would love to go on ur fishing trip, can u send me some info

  9. Victoria

    Thanks Dan, there’s another post on here called the 3 best things about GC, just so you can see it isn’t all doom and gloom, lol. The fishing trip sets off from Puerto Escala from 9am and is back at 3pm. It’s 60 euros for the day including all equipment and lunch. You can see more info here:

  10. Victoria

    Puerto Escala is one of the fishing ports in Puerto Rico. You can email [email protected] for more info about the fishing if you want.

  11. Alan

    Mañana does not mean “tomorrow” it means “not today” basically sometime in the future

  12. Mark

    Gran canaria is a dump there is nothing to do there is no entertainment no bars only restaurants that sell beer for 3.50 euros once you have had your tea than that’s it may as well go home to bed it’s just a food place.. you are also forced to buy a drink before you get your meal at some places just stick.with the rest of the canary islands and avoid this place at all costs

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