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Gran Canary--Don't Americans know about this place?

Gran Canary--Don't Americans know about this place?

Dec 1st, 2010, 03:58 AM
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Gran Canary--Don't Americans know about this place?

I just got back from Gran Canary (LPA) Spain. This was my third trip to Gran Canary and once again, I didn't meet any Americans there. Gran Canary is a good three hour flight south of Barcelona. I was there during Thanksgiving week and the weather was around 77 and 68 degrees. It was windy, tho.

I found an apartment for $45 a night. I took the public bus from the airport to Maspolomas on the south coast for 3.35 Euros each way. It was a good 30 minute ride. I found 1/2 chicken, fries and salad at a restaurant for 3.90 Euros. Also found fish, pototoes, salad and wine for 7.90 Euros. Great deals. There were many older Europeans from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark there.

It seems that only the budget airlines go to LPA. I flew Vueling, which is Iberia's budget airline and one has to pay for coffee and water.

A rental car is not necessary on Gran Canary but may be necessary on the other Canary Islands. There are many tours that one can take and many water activities. You can even take a one day tour to another island, Tenerife.

Last summer I was at Gran Canary at the end of June, which is their slow season and the weather was great--highs around 75 and lows around 70. I then flew up to Madrid and the temperatures were over 100, ouch.
wally34949 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 04:04 AM
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No, not one of the 300 million Americans has ever heard of Gran Canaria. Geez.

Of course many Americans have heard of it. We have. But as a vacation destination, it holds no interest for us. For a beach holiday, we'd rather go to La Baule in France or Sylt in Germany - but island/beach holidays aren't really our thing.

But it's nice that you enjoyed it.
FoFoBT is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 04:55 AM
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As FoFo said, it's nice you enjoyed.

Are you American yourself? If not, why do you care? (Ok, maybe it was not a real question, your title). Surely Americans have other beach holiday destinations, closer and cheaper from their home. They would travel a long way to Europe mostly for other interests (cultural e.g.).

I have been to Grand Canary once (flew from Europe), stayed at Playa de Ingles. I enjoyed it fairly, especially the dunes. Food was not good but that was 20 years ago and I didn't try many restaurants so my experience is old and limited. A thing I remember. After dark I was walking on a street (not a main road, not many people on the street), suddenly I realized there were cockroaches all over the street, not a few, not tens but as far as I can remember, hundreds of them. I wonder if it was a usual thing or exceptional. I hate those creatures but neverthless if I have another chance, I would like to travel there for the dunes.
kappa1 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 05:30 AM
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The Canaries as a whole are very popular with Brits, and other western Europeans to a lesser extent, mainly for cheap package holidays. I'd suggest that for a beach holiday. Americans are more likely to go to the Caribbean as it's a lot nearer - and a lot nicer.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 05:50 AM
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I know many gay men from the US who have been to the Canaries. But generally, as caroline_edinburgh says, the caribbean is a much nearer and lovely beach destination.
jubilada is online now  
Dec 1st, 2010, 06:52 AM
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Actually Gran Canaria, Tenerife and the smaller islands offer a whole lot more than a beach holiday, but it is true most people go on a package and never explore the rest of the island they are on.
Germans love the Canaries - it is the second language on some islands.
But I can understand why Americans don't visit them, except on a cruise.
hetismij is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 07:33 AM
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"Actually Gran Canaria, Tenerife and the smaller islands offer a whole lot more than a beach holidays"

Of course, the same holds true for many of the Caribbean islands and Hawaii.
FoFoBT is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 08:08 AM
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And mexico, Costa Rica, belize, etc.
Going across the pond is a major endeavor form North America and has gotten very expensive!
jubilada is online now  
Dec 1st, 2010, 08:09 AM
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We are Americans who have spent a great deal of time in Spain. If we go on an "island" holiday which is rare, The Canaries are a long way to travel from NY let alone California. Additionally, as noted above, there are plenty of islands for Americans to visit without such a long trip wherever you live in the country.

If I wanted to go a beach in Spain I probably go to Santander or San Sebastian or the beaches in Galicia which rarely get any tourists from other countries.

We once went to Madiera and that was a long day of travel.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 08:56 AM
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FoFo - I never said it didn't hold true for the Caribbean islands, I was just pointing out that there is more than just beach to some (but not all) of the Canary islands.

I also said I can completely understand why Americans, and many other nationalities don't visit the Canaries. I don't fly to the Caribbean when I want a week in the sun, and it is a heck of a lot easier (and cheaper) for me to fly there than it is for someone in the US to fly to the Canaries.

If someone had several weeks in Europe in winter and wanted some sun to round it off I might suggest a week in the Canaries, but for a two-three week trip to Europe at any time of year, no, not a good idea.
hetismij is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 09:40 AM
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Well my American husband and daughter went to Tenerife last March. I was supposed to join them, but they sounded a bit underwhelmed by the resort so I decided to save my vacation days for another time.

I think Americans have lots of beach options closer to home.
gruezi is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 10:29 AM
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One additional reason would be cost. I just compared the best price for us to LVA from SEA to our planned trip to Europe in May, (open-jaw SEA - CDG, AMS - SEA) and the cost would be about double. Your profile does not say where you are from Wally, but I assume it is somewhere in Europe, where some cheapo airlines offer very low fares to Gran Canary.

A chicken dinner for €3.35 is not nearly enough inducement.
nukesafe is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 11:36 AM
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There are beaches in the US, too. The Canaries offer nothing that isn't available in the Caribbean, Mexico, or even parts of the US. Traveling 5k miles to go to the Canaries is simply a waste of time and money for US travelers.
travelgourmet is online now  
Dec 1st, 2010, 11:50 AM
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I've never been to the Canaries but for a beach vacation I can't imagine anything can compare to Hawaii (maybe Tahiti). In a pinch we have the Caribbean to go to. I might be biased but for summer resort beaches nothing compares to the Cape Cod area although I have to say the beaches in the Basque country are just about as good and the food is a lot better.
Egbert is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 12:40 PM
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I got a flight from Miami to Barcelona on BA for $619.00. Flights from Barcelona to Gran Canary were very cheap. I have found apartments in Gran Canary from $27 to $45 a night. Yes, it was a lot of flying, but all of Europe was very cold. London was freezing at 32 F. Barcelona was in the low 40's.
wally34949 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 12:50 PM
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You went from Miami to Gran Canaria to escape the cold?

Am I the only one thinking "coal to Newcastle"?
FoFoBT is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 12:56 PM
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It's not a matter of being unaware. It's a matter of where I want to spend my money and travel time. If I were in Spain already I might check it out more, but I don't see myself making a special trip across the Atlantic for a beach vacation.

$619 may not seem like much for a transatlantic fare, but those transatlantic fares are very special occasion purchases for me, and that's a lot of money. If all I want to do is sit on the beach and eat good food, I could split a condo with a friend or two for several days for that and not have to worry about long flights, connections or jet lag.
jent103 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 01:14 PM
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4 hours from Cardiff, in the middle of winter the Canaries are perfect for that package 'lie by the pool or sea' type break where the book comes out and the mp3 player goes into overdrive.

Personally I don't like Gran Canaria due to a horrible visit a few years ago, but Maspalomas is the only place I would go if I had to go again.

We were in Lanzarote in March and going again this March, nothing more than a weeks chill, it's perfect for that.

I have never come across Americans there but plenty of Germans and Spanish too along with other Europeans.

But I agree, there are places as good if not better for Americans to reach, right on their doorstep.
Mucky is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 05:40 PM
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Got to go there courtesy of the US Navy. We anchored off Maspalomas one beautiful Sunday afternoon and the next day, we stopped in Las Palmas for a week. Great time. Spent most of the time back in Maspalomas though. So yes, Americans go there.
Franto is offline  
Dec 1st, 2010, 06:18 PM
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You're talking primarily a beach vacation - and while the trip from europe is easy that from the US not so much!

Also - for beach vacations we have FL, Mexico and the Carib right on our front door - at super bargain prices much of the year. And a good part of the rest of the country in summer. When many American go to europe they go for what is different - history, culture, castles etc - not what they already have on their own back door.
nytraveler is offline  
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