Gran Canaria Local’s Mr Matthew Hirtes

Matthew Hirtes aka Mr Gran Canaria Local

Mr Gran Canaria Local

Hi, I’m Matthew Hirtes. I didn’t see myself as a travel writer until an in-flight mag sent me to the La Geria wine region in Lanzarote. Despite the same title having run a GC surfing article of mine. That fitted in with a past life of a sports journo, as deputy ed of the Official Chelsea mag. And so the seeds of Gran Canaria Local were sown.

Expat hell

At first, I was a sad expat, missing the southern comfort of the resorts by being in the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where we still live. The first year I was a house hubby, looking after our then youngest son Alex. He’d been diagnosed with leukaemia at eight months old. Then when Alex began nursery, I started to write about my GC exploits.

The birth of Gran Canaria Local

I use my GC base to my advantage. As well as covering the surf of the Atlantic and the turf of La Geria, I’ve narrated hotel stays and trips to out-of-the-way beaches. And after the release of my sleeper hit of a travel-guide-meets-expat-bible Going Local in Gran CanariaRadio 4 got in touch. Could John McCarthy interview me? As well as showing him a different Gran Canaria, I helped him to meet other Canarian characters.

My name could be Earl

Gran Canaria Local offers, amongst many, many other things, a pictorial introduction to my Gran Canaria. Brace yourself for a long-running series of Matthew Hirtes’ Random Photos of Gran Canaria. With even more entries than Earl Hickey‘s infamous list.

Call me maybe, email me definitely

To get in touch, drop us a line at grancanarialocal [AT] gmail [DOT] com. We love to help out with any queries. Also,  travel editors can reach me here.

When Spain Uncovered’s Pilar Orti grilled Mr Gran Canaria Local


  1. Amalia
    July 26, 2013 @ 11:48 pm

    Love it! Keep enjoying your beautiful place in the world and thank you for sharing it with the rest of us through your writings and pictures!


    • Gran Canaria Local
      July 27, 2013 @ 11:42 am

      Thanking you, Amalia. Brace yourself for Gran Canaria Local’s next post. With you shortly.


      • Amalia
        July 27, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

        Can’t wait! Especially to visit one day!


        • Gran Canaria Local
          July 27, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

          Every week we’ll give you another reason why you should stop by and spend some time with us, Amalia.


  2. gilda
    July 27, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this article. I look forward to reading more like that. I would like to get into the travel writing feild myself. Any openings or leads please let me know.

    Good luck!

    Gilda (Larkin-Sealey)


    • Gran Canaria Local
      July 27, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

      Thanks, Gilda. Well, you could always start your own site about the island. We’re the latest and we think the greatest. Why don’t you try and prove us wrong?


  3. Linda
    July 31, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

    I assumed you’d have an all over tan Matthew …. 😉


    • Gran Canaria Local
      July 31, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

      Hmmm, whatever gave you that idea, Linda? And not every beach is a nudist one.


  4. natasha
    August 1, 2013 @ 10:26 pm

    great new look Matthew – love the cool effect of the overall site. look forward to more posts 🙂
    natasha recently posted…A dog’s walking tour perspective of the Old Town of Nice in FranceMy Profile


    • Gran Canaria Local
      August 1, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

      Thanks, Tasha. Glad you like the site. Stand by for a new post next week.


  5. anna nicholas
    August 2, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

    Another interesting post, Matthew! nice happy chappy image too!


  6. Maria
    August 4, 2013 @ 3:40 am

    The photo has me intrigued – I’ll have to keep checking in to see if there’s any explanation… or which one I’ve created in my mind is correct. *laugh*
    Maria recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – Metal MariachiMy Profile


    • Gran Canaria Local
      August 4, 2013 @ 4:01 am

      We’re glad we captured your attention, Maria. Now we just need to maintain it. Stand by for next week’s post. Although feel free to return to this About Us page as many times as you like. One day you might grasp its secret meaning.


  7. Freya
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:37 am

    Hi Matthew great new site and beautiful about me post, the photo is indeed quite intriguing 🙂 Looking forward to read more about your beautiful Gran Canaria
    Freya recently posted…Travel with an Increased Green AwarenessMy Profile


    • Gran Canaria Local
      August 4, 2013 @ 11:38 am

      Thank you, Freya. Glad you liked this page and the intriguing photo. There will be more pics of the island updated every week, but, more likely than not, no more of me.


  8. Tiana Kai
    August 7, 2013 @ 11:43 am

    Great story! I love to know why people are where they are, so fascinating! Surfs up!
    Tiana Kai recently posted…The 5 unexpected things to do in Briançon, FranceMy Profile


    • Gran Canaria Local
      August 7, 2013 @ 11:52 am

      Thanks, Tiana. Look out for weekly posts updating where we are on the island. We’ll visit turf as well as surf, along with GC’s towns.


  9. Joanna Styles
    August 16, 2013 @ 11:13 am

    Good new look to site and especially like the photos. Not sure I recognise the author though… Keep up the great promotion of a great location. (Will be back for Fodor’s update so look forward to some insights).


    • Gran Canaria Local
      August 16, 2013 @ 11:16 am

      Thanks, Joanna. Unfortunately, I can’t afford a body double. Looking forward to welcoming you on your return.


  10. Gilda
    January 14, 2014 @ 11:29 am

    Hi Matthew,
    I hope all is well. Happy New year, a bit belated, but better late than never. Please note my new email address. I hope to meet up with you soon. Love to the family. Besitos, Gilda


    • Gran Canaria Local
      January 14, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

      Hi Gilda, All is fine, if not a little bit hectic on the work front. Happy New Year to you too. Let’s keep in touch, Matthew


  11. Jeannie van Rompaey
    February 9, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

    A very good website, Mathew. It should make people want to know more about Gran Canaria and your work in general. You really work hard at marketing yourself and your work. Well done.


  12. Jeannie van Rompaey
    February 9, 2014 @ 7:56 pm

    I really like your website, Mathew.


    • Gran Canaria Local
      February 9, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

      I’m sure you’ll love our next post, Jeannie. About a casa rural in Tejeda.


  13. Colleen Gray-Taylor
    February 23, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

    Found your website and hope you can help. My husband and I have just moved here from the UK – we are hoping to be here for some time. What’s the best place to meet other expats? Also, can you recommend somewhere that teaches Spanish for beginners (just so that I am able to make myself understood).

    Colleen G-T


  14. Julieta
    July 3, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

    Hi! We really enjoy the stuff you write and it has been getting us excited to make more posts on our blog!
    We have a Spanish and Latin American culture blog since last year. The blog is the official blog of Friendly Spanish, a Spanish language school based in London.
    The blog’s articles relate to travel and Spanish and Latin American culture. Our students seem to love it and we thought that it would be a great idea for them to visit other blogs.
    We would like to add a link on our “useful links” space on the right hand side of the front page as we think your blog is a great resource for our students.
    We were wondering if you would be kind enough to drop a link to our blog ( on your “Gran Canaria Local” page. It would be a big help for us!
    Don’t worry if you don’t want to add our blog, and please feel free to get in touch at any time though!
    Hasta pronto!


    • Gran Canaria Local
      July 4, 2014 @ 12:08 am

      Aw, Julieta, thanks for the lovely feedback. We’re glad you find our blog posts so useful. Best of luck with your language school.


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