Given how many boxes they tick, it is no surprise that the Canary Islands have developed into a major hotspot for remote workers. The subtropical archipelago is made up of eight main islands and split into two provinces with the greener Santa Cruz comprising the western isles of El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma, and Tenerife and the more arid Las Palmas made up of easterly Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote.
Throughout the islands, the number of coworking spaces has increased to meet demand. Internet connections are generally fast but the less-populated areas can see speed decreases. If you choose an Atlantic-facing location, there is no need for air conditioning because you can just open the window and let the ocean breeze cool you down. The best home offices are balconies overlooking the beach but you obviously have to pay more of a premium for, say, a first-line property in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's Playa de las Canteras.
The capitals of the neighboring provinces are home to two of the bigger cities in Spain: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. These pair have populations dwarfing the likes of the mainland's Cádiz, Granada, and Salamanca. They are lively island capitals with bars, restaurants, and venues holding regular music events and festivals. Generally speaking, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is rougher around the edges than its great rival, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. This does give the Gran Canaria city a bit of an edge that the pristine Santa Cruz lacks.
When deciding between islands for your remote work adventure, you must weigh the pros of getting back to nature in a more rural location against the cons of missing out on the vibrant nightlife. You’ll find a balance between the Spanish and indigenous traditions of the islands, but might have to compromise on slower-than-average internet speeds.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the ninth-largest city in Spain and it is made up of many distinct neighborhoods. In Vegueta, the original Las Palmas de Gran Canaria neighborhood, cobbled streets will lead you to the city's oldest market, Mercado de Vegueta, and Catedral de Santa Ana de Canarias. Nearby, you can log in some work hours at Hashtag WorkSpace - Coworking Gran Canaria which features a kid’s area that can entertain while parents work and a pop-up market with local brands, food, and music.
Heading north, the next barrio you will encounter is Triana. This pedestrianized area is the Gran Canaria capital's premier shopping area. Still, there are more interesting discoveries to be found off the main drag of Calle Mayor de Triana than on it, such as fine restaurants like Deliciosa Marta. The menu is meat and fish heavy but one of the signature dishes suitable for vegetarians is their gnoquis trufados con parmesano.
Continuing your northern route, you will soon hit Arenales and Paseo Tomás Morales whose Petit Café will pep you up with their signature devil coffee shot that throws in a dash of pepper and pure cocoa. This area takes its name from the fact it was once all sand, but the development of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria saw it blossom as a residential area. Out went the central banana plantations, and in came the university that now regularly shows English-language films free of charge. The House Coworking is split over three floors of a converted government building and features two covered roof terraces plus regular ecological fruit and veg box deliveries from Eco Finca Diente de León. Nearby Casa África is a non-profit organization bridging the gap between the African continent and Spain, and their temporary art and photography exhibitions are well worth checking out.
Next door's Ciudad Jardín is the greenest and most pleasant residential area in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. With UK roots, it also has an Anglican church and a British Club that Winston Churchill visited. Michelin-starred Poemas by Hermanos Padron is housed in the elegant Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway.
Closer to Playa de Las Canteras, arguably Spain's best urban beach, is the eye-catching Repeople Coworking, the headquarters of the team behind the largest teleworking conference in Europe. You can surf at the La Cicer end of Las Canteras, snorkel in the middle at Playa Chica, and dine fine at the La Puntilla end at nouveau La Macarena or more traditional La Marinera.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife feels more ordered and European than Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It also has a large population of Venezuelans and the city’s carnival celebration is the second most popular worldwide after Rio de Janeiro's celebration.
Panzaburra Gastrotasca in the Los Hoteles neighborhood has a zero-kilometer approach to sourcing ingredients with fruit and veggies grown on their ecological farm certified by the Canary Islands government. Edible flowers adorn colorfully-plated creations in a restaurant named after the big black cloud, the donkey's belly, which keeps the temperature down in summer. Another way to cool off is to walk the shaded lanes of the nearby Parque García Sanabria.
Coworking spaces include the large Workeamos, which is situated just around the corner from Santa Cruz de Tenerife's main square, Plaza Weyler. A good central cafe to work from Cafeteria El Aperitivo in Calle Carmen Monteverde. This Italian joint opens from breakfast until late afternoon and offers a menú del día, set lunch that is easy on the wallet but generous for the stomach. Join the matchday faithful at the Estadio Heliodoro Rodríguez López to cheer on the local team, CD Tenerife.
Arrecife wouldn't win many beauty contests but as the capital of Lanzarote, it offers a functional base for remote workers thanks to the easy access to the airport. Like the rest of the island, architecture is mainly designed to blend into the landscape. Lanzarote's great champion, the artist and architect César Manrique, instigated this approach.
The exception proving the rule is the Arrecife Gran Hotel & Spa. This five-star skyscraper is home to Restaurante Alarz Bahía Club where chef José Francisco Medina has revolutionized Canarian cuisine. Sip on craft beer at the bar of the island's leading microbrewery, El Camarote de Nao, or check out Lanzarote Coworking in Playa Honda, which is conveniently situated close to the airport.
You can bypass the capital Puerto del Rosario and follow the great north way to Corralejo. The route that you take from the airport that becomes the FV-1 is unforgettable. As it enters the Parque Natural de Corralejo, it cuts through dunes, so you have sand to the left and right of you. Once you arrive, head to the old harbor to see the beautiful whitewashed buildings.
Restaurant Rompeolas on the promenade allows you to watch the teenagers jump into the Atlantic from the wall. CoNomad has a roof terrace that you can use all year round. This community also offers a gateway to discovering and understanding the archipelago's underrated gastronomy. Although principally a resort, Corralejo started off as fishing village and retains much of the charms of its past life. As well as visiting tourists, many British and Italian expats have made a more permanent new life here.
Los Llanos de Aridane
Situated in a valley on the west side of the island to the bijou capital and port Santa Cruz de La Palma, Los Llanos is slightly more populous—as in around 20,000 inhabitants rather than roughly 15,000. This is the western frontier of the Canary Islands that the bucket and spade brigade didn't invade.
You can learn about the original inhabitants of the island at the Museo Arqueologico Benahoarita. These were Berber-descending cave dwellers whose existence was largely wiped out by the Spanish colonizers although there is still much local reverence for their traditions. Nearby Cafe Marex makes for an ideal remote work spot, as does Cowork Café en La Palma in Plaza Constitución.
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