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Gran Canaria information - General information

Page Contents

Banks

Beach Safety

Climate in Gran Canaria Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Currency

Drinking Water

Health

Shopping

Size

Sunburn

Taxes

Timeshare

Tipping

Travellers Cheques

Transport

Tourist Offices

Visas

Bank information

Bank opening hours


Mon-Fri 09:00-14:00
Sat 09:00-13:00 (No Sat opening Jun-Oct)

General bank information


Outside these times you can usually change money at your hotel or apartment, or at Cambio de Change. Note: The exchange rates may not be as good as the banks.

You will require your passport to change Traveler's cheques. More Traveler cheque information

Major credit cards are accepted at most shops, hotels and restaurants.

Beach Safety

Always supervise children when near water and obey the beach warning flags

Red

 

Strong currents do not swim

 

Yellow

 

Strong winds and turbulent sea conditions take care.

 

Green

 

Safe to swim

 

Hotels in Gran Canaria

 

 

Health Info.

Insurance information

Ensure you have adequate insurance to cover Medical Expenses and dental treatment. To claim you may need to show that you requested treatment under the E111 scheme. Check your policy.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

Ensure you takea European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) , obtainable FREE online.  Beware of unofficial websites, which may charge if you apply through them.

 

The card provides you with the right to access state-provided healthcare on temporary stays at a reduced cost or, in many cases, for free. This includes treatment of a chronic or pre-existing medical condition that becomes necessary during your visit.

 

Does not cover dental treatment

 

The actuel benifits do vary by country visited

Medication information

Take your prescription medication with you.
Popular over the counter medication is available from pharmacies.
Any medicines prescribed by a local Doctor have to be paid for.

 

Asking a hotel for assistance with a health problem will mean that you end up with private pay for system

 Call the Emergency telephone number 112 & ask for an ambulence to take you to the nearest public hospital.

 

If you need to call out a doctor in an emergency, make sure you have a valid EHIC and ask for state-funded healthcare.

 

Hospital information

 

Sun Burn

Tenerife is at the same latitude as the Sahara desert and 700 miles nearer the equator than the UK. The sun is powerful even in mid winter. Beware a coolish wind can lead you into a false sense of security - the suns rays are still there.

 Sun Burn Prevention

Prevention is better than a cure

 

 

Currency information

The Island uses the single European currency, the euro €.  For a rough and ready conversion reduce the euro € price by a third to convert to sterling £.

Money - Cash


The denominations for the Euro bank notes are 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 euros. Coins are 2 and 1 euros. Smaller coins are 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 centimes.  There are 100 centimes in 1 euro.

Bank notes are designed to help any body with visual impairment, with large numbers, different sizes and touch differences.

The notes are universal for all the counties using the euro. Coins are the same on 1 side for all countries but are different on the other side and bear the counties name. They are accepted in all euro counties.

 

Travellers Cheques


We have a Currency Converter link on our Expedia page

The denominations for the Euro bank notes are 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 euros. Coins are 2 and 1 euros. Smaller coins are 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 centimes.  There are 100 centimes in 1 euro.

Bank notes are designed to help any body with visual impaiment, with large numbers, different sizes and touch differences.

The notes are universal for all the counties usoing the euro. Coins are the same on 1 side for all countries but are different on the other side and bear the counties name. They are accepted in all euro counties.

Travellers Cheques are safer than carrying large amounts of cash, and are easily changed in Banks, Cambios (Money change offices) and hotels.  Banks give the best exchange rate but may not be as convienient.  If comparing prices take into consideration both exchange rate and commision charged. You may need you passport to change travellers cheques.

Credit Cards / Debit Cards / Bank Cards


A very popular way of handling you money. Usually you get the best exchange rate using these cards.

Please note that if a charge is made for using an ATM it is usually a fixed charge per tranaction, therefore small and often withdrawals can be expensive.

Shopping

Shop Opening Times


Gran Canaria boasts an extensive network of shopping areas in the island’s main urban and tourist areas.

 

Most shops open Mon - Sat 09:00 / 10:00 - 13:00 / 13:30

then                                     16:00 / 16:30 - 20:00
Some shops may open only for the morning on Sat
Sun and Bank Holidays Closed

Souvenir shops and shops in tourist areas tend to open for longer hours and often 7 days a week

Pharmacies


Similar to shops. Usually closed Saturday afternoon.

Check the window for sign re Emergency supplies.

Commercial centres (Centro Commercial)

Commercial centres are generally areas of concentrated shops, bars, restaurants supermarkets and nightclubs. Commercial centres are usually have CC after there name on maps. The ones near the town centre are very tourist oriented, towards the towns outskirts they are oriented towards the Spanish population, and usually goods are cheaper . This cheaper price difference which is very noticeable in supermarkets catering mainly to the locals, but Spanish brands will be less known and labeled in Spanish so a little harder to find what you want if a United Kingdom tourists.

Duty Free


Unlike mainland Spain Tenerife and the Canary islands are duty free. To generalise duty free goods are alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco and perfumes. It is cheaper to buy these goods from supermarkets than in the airport duty free shops.

On returning to the United Kingdom you are restricted in the amount of duty free products that you bring back.

The Island has a sales tax (VAT) of 4.5% making it one of the cheapest destinations in Western Europe

 

 

 

Visas, Passports and Requirements

Visitors from the UK

Check latest information with the Spanish Embassy.
20 Draycott Place,
London SW3 2RZ

Tel 020 7581 5921

 

Drinking Water

The tap water in Gran Canaria is drinkable but has a strong salty taste due to high mineral content. Therefore most tourist prefer bought bottled water the supermarkets. The cost of a 5 litre bottle is around 60p.

.

Sun Burn Treatment

Remove the heat by applying cold water to the effected part. a long cold shower is ideal if sun burnt all over.
Asprin or Paracetomol can ease the pain. Do not give Asprin to children under 12. Follow the doses provided.
Calamine lotion or after sun may help.
Consult a doctor if severe.

Language

The local language is Spanish, but English is widely spoken in the resorts.

Island Size

Gran Canaria is approximatly 50km across at the widest point and 50km North to South and just a little under 2000 square kilometre .

 

Tourist Offices

UK Spanish National Tourist Offices

22-23 Manchester Square
London WIM SAP
Tel 0171 486 8077
Website

Taxes

The Island has a sales tax of 4.5% making it one of the cheapest destinations in Western Europe.

Transport

See the transport page

Timeshare

Gran Canaria has it's share of timeshare touts. The first question will always be "do you speak English?". After that you may be asked to help them with a holiday questionnaire on behalf of the Spanish tourist board, or the more common scratch card. These scratch cards are all winners. Prizes may be 3 days car hire, water park tickets, duty free packs or the star prize of £1,000. Unless you want to sacrifice 1/2 day of your holiday to a relentless hard sell, do not go with them to collect your prize! Remember, only the foolish or greedy will really believe that they are getting something for nothing

Tipping

It is normal to leave a tip of around 10% of the total bill in Gran Canaria.

Police

The free emergency telephone number is 112

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