Considering being a digital nomad in the Canary Islands? If you’re on the fence, then check out this piece and let us convince you!
If you’ve never heard of the Canary Islands, you’re not alone. While it’s a hotspot amongst Europeans, the “hawaii of Spain” is unbeknownst to many Americans. Plus, we’ll be honest: It’s not easy to get to from the U.S. There are no direct flights, so you’ll need to either fly in from Madrid, Barcelona or another major European airport. But once you’re there, you’ll quickly realize the trek was worth it.
The Canary Islands comprise a series of seven main – and several smaller – volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean. While they are Spanish territory, the Canaries are located just off the northwest coast of Africa and are closer in proximity to Africa than mainland Spain.
Over the past few years, the islands have become a hotspot for those chasing the digital nomad life, particularly Gran Canaria. With a near-perfect climate, an affordable high quality of life and more, it’s easy to see why.
Looking to quit your 9-to-5 and go remote? Here’s why you should choose Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria, as the place to be a digital nomad in The Canary Islands.
6.) There Are Loads of Affordable Places to Live
If island life suits you, and you’re interested in being a digital nomad in the Canary Islands, there’s no better place to stay in Gran Canaria than as close to the beach as possible. Las Canteras Beach has a small cove for surfing, and there are two great and affordable surf hostels located directly on the beach (with WiFi, meaning you can surf in the mornings and work in the afternoons).
- The Roof is a co-living space catering to digital nomads. While it’s a few blocks in from the beach, it offers a huge terrace encircling the apartment and hosts occasional seminars on digital nomad life.
- HiTide House is not located on the beach but has an amazing rooftop as well. Even better? Beds start at just $18.
- VA Hostel Gran Canaria is also beachfront and offers rooms starting at $18 (and surf packages starting at $30).
- AirBnb hosts have more than 300 apartments available in Las Palmas, and private rooms can be found for as little as $11 a night!
5.) There Are Plenty of Great Spots To Work
Worried you won’t have aplace to work as a digital nomad in the Canary Islands? Fear not! There is no shortage of WiFi cafes, co-working spaces and even digital nomad groups in Las Palmas. The meetup group Digital Nomads Gran Canaria has more than 1,000 members and counting, and the Gran Canaria Digital Nomads Facebook group has nearly 4,000 members. A few of their favorite places to work include:
- CoWorKingC: Just a short walk to the beach, CoWorKingC (pictured above)costs $18 a day, or $182 a month. It was also founded by Nacho Rodriquez, owner ofthe aforementioned co-living space, The Roof. According to Chris The Freelancer, who made Las Palmas his digital nomad spot for awhile, “[t]he members were friendly, the working space is comfortable, and the coffee machine is awesome!”
- COCO Coworking: Noted for its bright, natural light, COCO is a little less than $10 a day, or $160 a month. Reviews are positive, with Bellinda A. recently noting, “[t]he space has a lot of light with huge windows. Allwork places are close to windows and it is very quiet, so one can make calls if needed. The people are very nice and you will always find someone to go to lunch. It is in walking distance to the beach and there are plenty of nice cafes and shops around. You have good WiFi, free coffee, water or tea.”
- PlayaChicaWork: Just a two minute walk to the beach, this newly opened co-working space costs $8 a day, or $120 a month. Digital nomad Isa considers it her favorite place to work in Las Palmas, remarking, “[g]reat new coworking space in Las Palmas that opened just recently. Relaxed atmosphere, nice people and and attractive space. The location is perfect as it is in Las Canteras –only 1 or 2 min away from the beach, so you can see the sunset after work 🙂 Just opposite of the coworking space you have supermarket plus many nice coffee shops and restaurants close if you want to have a break or eat at the beach for lunch. The owner is very welcoming and helpful, that is giving the space a familiar feeling. For me it’s the best coworking space in Las Palmas!”
Not quite feeling a coworking space? Check out a few great restaurants and cafes with WiFi, including:
- The Couple: An adorable beach-front cafe with delicious pastries (and more), strong WiFi and a staff that doesn’t mind you using their tables for your office.
- Cafe Regina: A coffee shop that prides itself on its Colombian-sourced coffee. Coffee is fantastic, WiFi is strong and a variety of Spanish and non-Spanish food is available.
- Cafe Suecia: A Swedish cafe just off the beach with amazing sticky buns, good coffee, and (most importantly) free and strong WiFi.
4.) The Beaches Are Simply Amazing
While the Canary Islands boast over 500 beaches in total, Gran Canaria offers two main ones: Las Canteras, located in the north of the island, and Maspalomas, located in the south.
Las Canteras is more of a local’s beach and our top choice to be a digital nomad in the Canary Islands. Located in Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria, it offers more than a mile of golden sand, calm waters and excellent snorkeling. A promenade lines the entirety of the beach, offering cafes, restaurants, hotels and more. Playgrounds are set up for children, sun umbrellas and lounge chairs are available for rent, and there’s even a bay for surfing at the far end of the beach.
3.) The Cost of Living Is Super Affordable
If you’re starting your digital nomad life, chances are you’re on a tight budget, which makes the idea of kicking off your remote job and being digital nomad in the Canary Islands all the more appealing. Contrary to most beach towns in Europe, the Canary Islands are a steal. Just take a look at these average costs for Las Palmas from expatisan.com:
- Average monthly rent for a furnished studio: $495
- One night at HiTide House Hostel (beachfront): $18
- Monthly public transportation cost: $50
- Cocktail at a local club: $7
- Monthly gym membership: $43
- Cappuccino: $2.28
- Glass of wine: $2.50
- Basic dinner for two at an average restaurant: $31
Keep in mind these are avarages prices; we in the digital nomad community are good at budgeting and finding deals, and can definitely find cheaper options than the above!
2.) The Weather Makes Outdoor Activities Golden
The Canary Islands are often said to have “the world’s best climate.” The temperature rarely dips below 68F in the winter and 86F in the summer, making it perfect year-round. It rarely rains, there’s no humidity, and the only weather faux-pas you’ll experience is the occasional sandstorm brought in from the Sahara Desert.
As we mentioned, Gran Canaria offers some pretty amazing beaches; the island is perfect if you’re a sun worshipper and water enthusiast, as you can surf, scuba, snorkle, windsurf, kitesurf, and more. Not into surfing? Gran Canaria also offers golf, tennis and amazing hiking.
1.) The City Life Sizzles
In addition to its plethora of outdoor activities, Las Palmas isn’t just a quaint beach town, but also has a bustling city life. The old town, Triaina, features a main promenade with stores such as Zara, Desigual and Spanish jewelry designer Bimba y Lola lining the street. It’s also is dotted with dozens of tapas bars, wine bars and restaurants as well.
A second shopping district is located closer to the beach and features another branch of Zara, Massimo Dutti, as well as many restaurants, cafes and tapas restaurants.
Are you a digital nomad in The Canary Islands? Tell us in the comments where you’re located and why you chose “the Hawaii of Spain” as your base.
Need another reason to check out The Canary Islands? Click “Next Story” to check out the best beaches in The Canary Islands!