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Three simple ways to find cheap Gran Canaria holidays

July 15, 2014
Cheap Gran Canaria holidays mean shared accommodation

We’re not a directory. But we do cover accommodation. This much you should know by now. You searcher of cheap Gran Canaria holidays, you.

And accommodation is what we’re highlighting in our latest blog post. Specifically, take heed of our recommendations to save money on your Gran Canaria holiday. One way of keeping out of the red, eh?

The last time Mr Gran Canaria Local stayed in a hostel, he was relocating to London. Arriving late to his dorm, those bright lights just proved too diverting, he found the snores from his fellow lodgers too loud to drown out. He didn’t sleep well that night, the complete opposite to his recent sleepover at Big Fish Las Palmas.

So, taking into account our experiences of accommodation on the island, here are our top tips to help you find cheap Gran Canaria holidays. 1, 2, 3. They’re as easy as A, B, C.

  1. Find cheap Gran Canaria holidays with an all-inclusive break
  2. Book cheap Gran Canaria holidays with a self-catering package
  3. Stay at one of the island’s hostels, another option on the cheap Gran Canaria holidays front

1. Find cheap Gran Canaria holidays with an all-inclusive break

Although, we’ve shown you that Gran Canaria’s got a lot more to offer than its consistently sunny weather, it’s this consistently sunny weather that makes it such an ideal holiday destination.

So, if you’re interested in topping up that tan, switching off, or eating and, indeed, drinking as much as you want, an all-inclusive break could be for you. Some include flights, all include accommodation, and many offer snacks as well as three full meals. If it’s cheap Gran Canaria holidays you’re looking for, this is a good place to start.

Our first experience of an all-inclusive stay came at Hotel Viverde Las Tirajanas, an alpine retreat without the snow. It was Mrs Gran Canaria Local’s birthday, the year before soon-to-be-four-year-old Gran Canaria Local Jr Tom was born. The funny thing is that we hadn’t opted for an all-inclusive break.

It was a German acquaintance of ours we ran into that was proudly sporting an armband. He revealed that he’d asked himself, “How do I get a free run of the place?” However, he was more than a bit peeved when he discovered the all-you-can-drink-without-paying-extra bar stopped at midnight. So, do read the small print on your all-inclusive deal.

More recently, we’d been promised an all-inclusive break at the Dunas Don Gregory in return for a review. Except when we turned up, the reception insisted we were being entertained on the half-board category instead. Even when we went to the trouble of printing out the email and showing it to them.

This slight hiccup didn’t spoil our one-nighter. Especially as this San Agustín hotel was the setting for the first part of Mr and Mrs GCL’s honeymoon. And without the kids in tow, it felt like a second luna de miel.


2. Book cheap Gran Canaria holidays with a self-catering package

As a family of five, this is our most popular option when it comes to cheap Gran Canaria holidays. If you delve into the Gran Canaria Local archives, you’ll find more reviews of casas rurales than any other type of accommodation. It’s something we can write about with authority.

The first casa rural we reviewed was Artenara‘s Casa Cueva El Mimo. Cave houses are tiny. Which keeps the price down, as does, no doubt, the pool shared with the neighbouring property.

But we’ve reviewed self-catering apartments too. The Cala D’Or in Puerto Rico, for example. We definitely felt like tourists, as we enjoyed the winter sun on Mrs Gran Canaria Local’s December birthday weekend.

Other favourite self-catering breaks include the stay at the Casa Rural La Asomadita in Agaete valley. Looking at the prices, this doesn’t seem to fit in with the concept of cheap Gran Canaria holidays. However, there are four double bedrooms with the possibility to convert a living room into a further bedroom. So, this might suit a larger family or group or friends.

And how can we forget our successive weekends in Tejeda? First, at Casita Bentayga, boasting views of the rock of the same name. Followed by a finde at Casita Nublo, boasting views of, you guessed it, the rock of the same name.

Our most recent stay at a casa rural, however, was at El Risco’s Las Rosas. Set in the island’s north west, it didn’t matter that the weather was a little Mancunian on our visit. That hasn’t stopped the owners inviting us to revisit when the climate’s rather more Canarian.

3. Stay at one of the island’s hostels, another option on the cheap Gran Canaria holidays front

The first hostel we stayed at on the island was in Santa Lucía. Las Tederas, though, is not really an option for tourists. We were staying with families from Pequeño Valiente, the charity which Mrs Gran Canaria Local is the president of.

But the last hostel we stayed at together as a family (minus Mrs GCL who wimped out) is definitely for you. Big Fish Las Palmas lays claim to an enviable location, just 20 metres from Las Canteras’ Playa Chica. If you’re on the lookout for cheap Gran Canaria holidays, they don’t come much cheaper.

We, as in Mr GCL, teenage Dani, pre-teen Alex, and post-toddler Tom, were staying in the hostel’s largest dorm. Comprising three bunk beds, its bathroom boasted the largest shower we’ve ever seen. We shared the dorm with two Italian guys, ciao Massimiliano e Matteo, who had travelled to the island separately.

After stowing away our valuables in a locker, rooms don’t have locks at Big Fish, we headed to the beach. Enjoying the late-afternoon sun, it was still 28 degrees at 6:00pm, we cooled down further with an ice-cream at the popular Helados Peña La Vieja. Before watching some air football at Temudas Fest.

Big Fish Las Palmas keeps costs, and ultimately prices down, by employing one full-time manager and five volunteers who receive free lodging. It was one of the volunteer staff, Londoner Merri, who prepared the ratatouille which we gratefully wolfed down on the hostel’s roof terrace. And another, Germany’s Josefina, who was the architect behind the moreish brownies which were served as a dessert. Washed down with ice tea for the boys and white wine for Mr GCL.

The first Big Fish opened in Budapest in 2007 with the Las Palmas version opening last year. Recently a third opened in Mexico’s Cozumel, targeting divers. The next one should open in Barcelona in August, to be followed by hostels in London, Munich, Paris, and Tenerife.

Owner Marton Palinkas explained the Big Fish concept to us. “The philosophy here is that we’re your home away from home. Big Fish, despite the name, never will be BIG (with less than 50 beds to keep the atmosphere). We’re here to help you.”

We were struck by the hostel’s cleanliness. And also by its friendliness. At one point, Mr GCL looked up and saw Irish volunteer Aoife chatting away to Dani about surfing, in fluent Spanish.

The perfect end to a perfect stay came next morning at breakfast. As well as some of Josefina’s delish brownies which magically lasted the night without anyone polishing them off, there were freshly-prepared pancakes. We couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome.

Disclaimer: We were treated to a free night’s stay plus food and drink at Big Fish Las Palmas. Although our opinions remain resolutely our own. You can’t buy us, although feel free to try. Of more interest to you, however, is that we’ve highlighted another way to bank one of those cheap Gran Canaria holidays.