Enjoy the silence
The very antithesis of Gran Canaria’s average resort, San Felipe is a north-coast beach not many bother to turn off the GC-2 for. With good reason. I’ve yet to see any other flag flying there but red. Well, it’s one way of deterring the bucket-and-spade brigade, I suppose.
Many tourists aren’t ready for the rough non-sandy beaches that greet them on the less-cultivated north coast. Accustomed, as they are, to the mellow yellow of Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés. San Felipe reminds me a little of La Gomera’s Hermigua. It was here I asked local tourism chief Fernando Méndez why they’d built a swimming pool. He replied, “Matthew, the current here’s so unpredictable that if you go under a wave, there’s no telling where you might pop up.”
San Felipe’s very much a beach to hit with a board in tow. Which explains the local surf school. Along with the attitude of the locals who, if they were even more laidback, would surely qualify for an honorary Aussie passport.
Eat out in San Felipe
When I wrote the Going Local in Gran Canaria entry for San Felipe, I went big on El Rifeño, a Berber restaurant. This veggie-friendly establishment has now relocated to the Monopol complex in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. But on my latest return to SF, I was very much taken by the simple pleasures to be had dining alfresco at La Avenida.
The Avenue is a a classic picoteo, a neighbourhood joint where you order half or full raciónes (portions) of local delights from ocean deep including calamares saharianos and valley green like queso frito con mermelada arandanos. With the beach as the perfect backdrop to an afternoon of grazing and chatting.