Vote For The 2017 Las Palmas Carnival Theme

Vote for the Las Palmas carnival theme

Vote for the Las Palmas carnival theme

Voting for 2017 Las Palmas carnival theme opens at midday April 28th. You can cast your vote until midday on May 9th.

The three options are

  • Eternal spring (eterna primavera)
  • La dolce vita
  • Around the world in 80 days (la vuelta al mundo en 80 días)

Cast your vote on the LPACarnaval website.

The results should be announced on the day voting closes.

Really Useful Online Resources For Gran Canaria Residents


Here’s a list of useful websites about Gran Canaria that we use all the time. 

General Gran Canaria Information

Gran Canaria Info

Gran Canaria Info is the biggest website about the island and is packed with photos and useful information about the island’s beaches, transport, and highlights. It focuses on Gran Canaria from a tourist’s point of view so it’s a bit light on events and details (we know, as we run it), but it’s still a great resource for residents.


La Brujula

A square monthly magazine in Spanish that also has an excellent website packed with island events, concerts and exhibitions. La Brujula appears in bars and cafes in Las Palmas and big towns and is well worth pocketing.

LPA Info 

This excellent English-language Facebook group lists as many upcoming events in Las Palmas and the rest of Gran Canaria as it can find. If you’re looking for something to do, it’s the place to check.

Canary News weekend tips

Tha Canary News website publishes a weekly weekend tips article in English featuring the best local fiestas, concerts and other events from all over Gran Canaria.

Agenda Cultural

The Gran Canaria government (Cabildo) publishes a comprehensive list of cultural events from all over Gran Canaria. It’s in Spanish.

There’s a similar list here.

Ocio Las Palmas

Lists a comprehensive set of events in the capital.


Here are the tops sources of online Gran Canaria news. They are all in Spanish except The Canary News.

The Canary News

News and views in English from Gran Canaria’s English language newspaper. It’s printed every month but the website is updated daily.

Canarias 7

One of the city’s two print newspapers. Canarias 7 is still free to view online, but its news isn’t as thorough as La Provincia these days.

La Provincia

Most of La Provincia’s decent online content is hidden behind a paywall these days but it still publishes some free content.

Maspalomas Ahora

News and events from the south of Gran Canaria including the San Bartolome and Mogan municipios.


News and events from north Gran Canaria. Info Norte Digital covers the Mancomunidad del Norte including Arucas, Guia, Galdar, Firgas and Moya (not that much happens in Moya).


What do you need a Gran Canaria weather forecast for? Well, despite what the brochures say Gran Canaria gets weather and it can be sunny in one place and raining in another at the same time. Here are the top weather resources so you can stay one step ahead.

El Tiempo en Canarias

By far the most reliable local weather resource, this Facebook page publishes daily forecasts and detailed information about the weather in Gran Canaria.


The Spanish national weather service issues extreme weather alerts and publishes daily forecasts. It’s great for general weather predictions but isn’t always accurate on a local level.

There’s lots of useful information buried in this site, including a dust forecast and satellite images.

El Tiempo

The most accurate weather forecasts for each area of Gran Canaria. This site also has a useful mobile app.

Gran Canaria Info

We publish a twice-weekly weather forecast that is basically a summary of the resources above. It’s not always spot on, but we think it does a good job of keep you informed about the weather over the next few days.

Also, see this useful webcam page for a selection of live webcams that show you what the weather is like all over the island.

Las Palmas Casting Call For Period Film

Casting call for major film in Gran Canaria

Casting call for major film in Gran Canaria

Production firm Sur Film is looking for extras for a period film shooting in Las Palmas in May.

The only one we know of is Allied, the Second World War drama starring Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard.

We can’t confirm that the casting is for Allied, but it’s likely as it’s the only super-production going on at the time.

When, How?

The casting is on April 20 in the Edificio Miller in the Parque Santa Catalina.

To even stand a chance of standing close to his Bradness, you need to preregister for the casting here, then turn up at the right time for a photograph.

Note: The production company asks for your 20-digit code bank account number in the inscription form. They say it is so they can confirm that you are able to work and be paid.

If you aren’t comfortable with it, you can still turn up on the day between 09.00 and 18.30 (we advise being as early as possible).

Don’t forget to take your NIE or DNI.

The classic look

The producers have stated that only people with an appropriate look stand a chance of becoming an extra.

That’s a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” for anyone with visible tattoos, a modern haircut, colourful hair, false nails, or visible piercings.

Men must be prepared to cut their hair and shave for the actual filming.

Gran Canaria casting calls

Keep up to date with all casting calls in Gran Canaria on this Facebook page.

Do Your TEFL/ CELTA Course In Gran Canaria

CELTA course dates for 2018 at the Irish Academy in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

To get an English teaching job in Gran Canaria, it helps to have a recognised qualification for teaching English as a foreign language (a TEFL or CELTA).

You can work without one, but your earnings and the chances of getting a job go up if you have a good certificate.

Until now, you had to get your qualification before you arrived on the island.

Not anymore; The Irish Academy in Las Palmas now offers the Cambridge CELTA course.

Of course, you don’t have to live in Gran Canaria to do it. Anyone come to Las Palmas, do the intensive month-long course, and then go anywhere in the world to teach English. The Cambridge CELTA certificate is widely recognised all around the world.

Getting your TEFL /CELTA in Gran Canaria

The Irish Academy in Las Palmas

The Irish Academy in Las Palmas

The Irish Academy is the only place in the Canary Islands offering the Cambridge CELTA course.

It is a full-time, four-week, intensive course aimed at people wishing to enter the teaching profession. No prior knowledge of teaching is required, but non-native English speakers are required to have a high C1 level of English.

Course requirements have been reduced so that candidates can be aged 18 and need not have a university degree. The CELTA can serve as the perfect tool for anybody wanting an alternative to university, or just wanting to postpone their degree for a year or two. Taken after a degree, the experience gives any CV an edge over recent graduates entering the job market.

It is an excellent way into teaching for people looking to forge a career out of it, both at the start of their professional lives or at any point after. There is no age limit meaning people can qualify even if they feel they have fulfilled their professional goals.

For more information, visit the Irish Academy.

Gran Canaria Barbeque Zones

Gran Canaria forest fires start easily and can be devastating

Gran Canaria forest fires start easily and can be devastating

Barbeques, making paellas and lighting fires of any sort in Gran Canaria’s countryside is only allowed in designated recreation areas and campsites.

From campfire to jail

Lighting a fire of any sort outside designated areas is a serious crime and people have been fined and even jailed for it. You can’t even camp in Gran Canaria without letting the authorities know where you’ll be.

While the rules may seem excessive, you have to remember that the islands forests, and especially the pine forests, burn ferociously when dry.

The huge fire of 2007, started by a disgruntled fire lookout no less, burned almost a fifth of the island’s surface area.

Gran Canaria flammable pine forests

Canary pine trees have evolved to withstand forest fires caused by lightning, lava and landslide sparks. Their needles burn fast which allows the buds in the centre of the needle clusters to survive. While this allows the trees to survive, it means that forest fires spread fast and are uncontrollable.

A cinder from a BBQ, a discarded cigarette butt, a spark from a car undercarriage hitting a rock or even discarded bottles can start a conflagration that burns for days and endangers lives, property, and rare species.

Summer is fire season

Gran Canaria is particularly vulnerable to fires during the summer when the forests are hot and dry and everyone wants to grill meat and make outdoor paellas.

The 2007 fire became an inferno because it was started on a sirocco weekend with hot dry winds and temperatures close to 40ºC.

Gran Canaria firebugs

Gran Canaria has had a serious firebug problem for years. The island has one or more people who get their kicks out of starting deliberate fires at times when they have the greatest chance of spreading.

Several serious fires have spread after some loon set fires on purpose. If you see any suspicious activity while in Gran Canaria’s highlands, please get a photo and inform the authorities ASAP.

So where can I barbeque in Gran Canaria?

You can have a barbeque on private property in most areas of Gran Canaria. The restrictions only apply to natural areas. You can’t barbeque on the beach although lots of people ignore this rule on quiet beaches during the summer.

See the  full list of Gran Canaria’s official recreation areas and campsites on the Gobierno de Canarias website.

You can use them for barbeques without asking for permission. Turn up early (before 13.00 at weekends and on fiesta days, especially during summer) to bag a spot.

If the fire risk is high, the government issues a warning and no BBQs or fires are allowed even in official areas.

Renting Out A Gran Canaria Property? The Taxman Is Watching

Gran Canaria tax: The Spanish tax man is watching people who rent property but don't declare the income

Gran Canaria tax: The Spanish taxman is watching people who rent property but don’t declare the income

Hacienda is cracking down on undeclared rental income all over Spain. Here’s what it means for Gran Canaria property owners.

Online crackdown on undeclared income

Spain’s tax authorities have warned that they now monitor property rental websites for owners who rent out property but don’t declare the income.

The Hacienda drive also targets people offering services online. Teachers, translators and handymen can expect to get letters too.

People advertising their property or services but not declaring the income on their annual declaración will receive a written warning.

Hacienda will cross-check information from rental websites with water and electricity consumption data from the utilities to identify active rental properties.

What it won’t be able to find out is how much a property is rented out for.

Paying tax on rental income in Gran Canaria

Resident property owners who rent out property in Gran Canaria have to declare the income on their annual tax filing and pay tax on the income.

Non-resident property owners have to pay 25% income tax on any money earned in Spain, even if the money they earn from renting a Spanish property doesn’t enter Spain.

Short-term rental rules and taxes

While you don’t need a license to rent property on a residential basis (for a period longer than 90 days), you do need a license to rent to tourists.

Short-term rental is only legal in areas that are residential (it’s illegal in resort areas).

To get a short-term rental license, you have to go to the island’s tourist board, known as the Patronato de Turismo, register the property, and get a blue plaque and ID number.

Do I need to be autonomo to rent out a property?

You don’t need to be autonomo to rent a residential property unless it is your main source of income.

You don’t need to be autonomo to rent a tourist property unless you offer hotel-style services such as cleaning and laundry. It’s fine to clean between stays, but if you clean while a set of guests are renting, it changes the activity and means you’d need to be autonomo.

Free Las Palmas Junk Collection

The Las Palmas ayuntamiento collects household junk for free

The Las Palmas ayuntamiento collects household junk for free

The Las Palmas Ayuntamiento (town hall) offers a free household junk collection service for items too large to dump in a skip.

It’s a great option if you have objects that have no value.

Call RETO first

But if you think your junk may be useful to someone else, call RETO first.

This charity works with drug addicts and collects old furniture to refurbish and resell. RETO will come round to have a look for free. If they see that the stuff is worthwhile, they take it away for free. Otherwise, they will say thanks but no thanks, or you can pay them (between 20 and 50 euros depending on the amount of stuff) to dump it for you.

Free Las Palmas junk collection

The free Ayuntamiento service runs one day a week in each part of the city.

Monday: Distrito Vegueta – Cono Sur – Tafira
Tuesday: Distrito Centro
Wednesday: Distrito Puerto – Guanarteme – La Isleta
Thursday: Distrito Ciudad Alta
Friday: Distrito Tamaraceite – San Lorenzo – Tenoya

To get your rubbish thrown away, call 928 448 517 between 07.00 and 13.00 (12.00 during the summer). Then you leave the rubbish outside your front door at the agreed time and the ayuntamiento’s crew come and take it away in the afternoon.

The service is meant for things like broken washing machines, old mattresses and useless furniture. The Ayuntamiento won’t pick up the following items.

Uralite roof panels and water tanks: They contain asbestos and must be removed by a qualified expert (although they are only dangerous if you smash them or drill holes in them).

  • Car tyres
  • Wooden pallets
  • Rubble
  • Cans of oil and other chemicals
  • Anything toxic or dangerous
  • Dead animals
  • Anything that could be dangerous to handle or move (broken glass).

If you don’t live in Las Palmas, phone your local Ayuntamiento to see if they offer a similar service. Let us know if they do and we’ll add the info. There are similar charities to RETO all over thye island so ask around for a number. 

Claim Your Gran Canaria Resident Travel Discount

How to claim your Gran Canaria resident travel discount for Canary Islands travel

This certificate gives residents discounted travel in the Canary Islands


A big perk of being a Gran Canaria resident is the 50% discount on all air and ferry travel between Canary Islands and between the archipelago and Mainland Spain.

How to claim your Gran Canaria resident travel discount

The system is now automatic and most people don’t need a bit of paper to prove residency. The ferry and airline companies should be able to check online whether you are resident. They use a computer system called SARA and don’t need your permission to check you residencia status.

The Gran Canaria resident travel discount system works well until ‘computer says no’. If you’ve just got your residencia, or changed empadronamiento, you may need a ‘Certificado de Residencia’ from the Ayuntamiento.

Most ayuntamientos now let you apply for a certificate online and issue it for free. For example, in Las Palmas you can get a PDF certificate here in about a minute.

If you have any problem with the online system, get an online certificate or go to the Ayuntamiento with your passport, residencia paper and photocopies of both (always take photocopies of everything). The process takes a few minutes (once you get through the queue) and costs a few euros max.

Travel certificates are valid for six months.

Once you present your certificate to an airline or ferry company, you’re registered with that company and shouldn’t need it again.

Getting the Gran Canaria resident travel discount for children

Las Palmas residents can apply using the same form as adults use, but some small ayuntamientos don’t off a children’s option online. You have to go to the office and get them.

You need passports and residencia papers for parents and adults, and the libro de familia (now you know what it’s for).

Familia númerosa discounts

If you have three or more children, you get further travel discounts thanks to the Canarian government. You’ll need an official certificate from their offices. Here’s what you need to qualify for familia númerosa status, and all the paperwork you’ll need to get  the certificate.

Bike Lanes in Las Palmas De Gran Canaria

Bike lanes in Las Palmas

Push but don’t ride on the beachfront

Getting around Las Palmas city by bicycle is easier than it seems as there is now a continuous bike lane running the length of the city.

It starts at Santa Ana and you can cycle all the way to Las Canteras beach and La Isleta.

And there’s the bike-friendly paseo along the whole Avenida Marítima down to San Cristobal.

See this map of the exact routes.

Anyone with an LPAMobility card can also use the yellow ByBikes that are parked at 13 points around the city. This is the same card you get when you use the yellow bus system and costs €1.50.

All you have to do is activate the card at one of these locations, then use it to release a yellow bike.

You’re not allowed to cycle on the Las Canteras beach promenade if you are over six years old. If you do, a policeman on a bicycle will tell you off.