The recent heatwave has had residents and tourists seeking relief on the southwest of Gran Canaria and another warm episode is expected from this weekend. In the resort town of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, as with much of the rest of the south, temperatures have surged beyond 30ºC for prolonged periods this month, after one of the hottest Julys on record, prompting both locals and visitors to adopt various strategies to cope with the heat.
This Friday the mercury will be hitting 30ºC+, in the shade, much hotter in direct sunlight. The popular beaches stretching along the Arguineguín to Patalavaca promenade are awash with colourful, vibrant umbrellas, chairs, and well-stocked coolers. Swimmers and beachgoers have sought respite from the intense daytime heat, as the municipality of Mogán swelters under a red advisory warning for high temperatures declared by the Health Department of the Canary Islands Government. The State Meteorological Agency has also issued a yellow weather warning for the rest of region.
While the charming resort town of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria is known for its vibrant bars, eateries and idyllic beaches, the recent heatwave has created exceptional conditions. Tourists, along with many Canarian families who holiday in August, have been making their way to favourite beaches like the Costa Alegre beach, locally known as La Lajilla, just along the coast in Arguineguín. This beach underwent recent renovations and has become a hotspot for those looking to cool off in the sea breeze. Visitors have been enjoying the sound of waves, the chatter of conversations, and the laughter of children playing in the sand.
Itamar Santana, a young local, speaking to Spanish language daily, La Provincia, suggests that this summer has been milder, comparatively, than past ones, with less intense heat and Calima haze. Santana, described as wearing a yellow swimsuit with delicate white stripes, praised the recent improvements to Costa Alegre’s surroundings. He notes that while La Lajilla’s surroundings were in poor condition previously, recent renovations have made it a more appealing destination. Others, though, say they have been surprised to see signs of wear and tear at the newly conditioned beach so soon after the renovations were completed. Most agree though that the space is much improved.
Families staying at the ‘Hotel Dorado Beach & Spa,’ a Bull hotel chain property, have also been enjoying the Costa Alegre just steps away, encouraging many to walk barefoot despite the high temperatures of the concrete pavements.
The Charco de Las Graditas is a favourite spot for cooling off and, has become a refuge for both locals and tourists seeking respite from the soaring temperatures. Antonio Medina and his wife are among those seeking shelter from the sun’s rays under a large umbrella, enjoying music and a good book respectively.
Despite the sweltering conditions, the temperatures on this particular day, while high, haven’t yet reached the extreme levels witnessed during the recent heatwave. Just last weekend, temperatures soared above 45º Celsius in some areas during a blistering episode of Saharan heat. Nonetheless, the residents and visitors of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria are adjusting their routines and seeking comfort in various ways to combat the relentless warmth. Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria has seen an influx of both Canarians and foreign tourists seeking solace from the high temperatures, on Spain’s first ever artificial beach in this picturesque natural bay, and the heatwave has also prompted visitors to explore other more sheltered spots.
Amidst the challenges of the heatwave, Gran Canaria authorities are reminding residents and visitors, especially vulnerable individuals such as the elderly, babies, pregnant women, and those with medical conditions, to take necessary precautions. These precautions include staying in shaded and cool areas, staying hydrated, reducing physical activity during the hottest hours, and avoiding caffeinated, sugary, and alcoholic beverages.
There have been some casualties also with beach users not heading warnings, and hikers heading off against advice into the hills.
Additionally, the region has also been grappling with the presence of microalgae in the water, affecting some beaches. While specialists assure that these microalgae are not toxic in low quantities, caution is advised, as they can release toxins when in decomposition. Authorities have recommended vigilance, particularly for those planning to swim or spend time in any affected waters.
As the heatwave continues to impact southwestern Gran Canaria, both residents and tourists are making the best of the situation, seeking refuge on the area’s beautiful beaches, shaded spots, and well-placed umbrellas to beat the heat.