Matthew Hirtes, our resident broadsheet journalist, moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He's travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert.


  1. Dr M E Piper
    April 27, 2015 @ 5:40 pm

    We were hoping to retire to La Palma ,avoiding the noise, inefficiency and health issues related to wind farms.Is anywhere free of these things?
    Yours, Mary

  2. Sheila
    April 27, 2015 @ 10:09 pm

    There are wind farms dotted around La Palma, but I think the biggest installation is 6 of them in one place. I’m not sure what kind of wind farms you’re used to, but I can only hear the ones here if I’m within about 0.5 km of them. If I’m standing right underneath one, they do sometimes sound very creepy. I’m not aware of any other health problems associated with them.

  3. Abena
    October 15, 2016 @ 2:58 am

    Thanks for this article. Interesting in particular to hear about the schools. I wonder if there are any established homeschooling networks on the island, especially in the north.

  4. Elle Draper
    October 17, 2016 @ 11:51 am

    Homeschooling is still not legal in Spain I’m afraid x

  5. Richard and Pat Bamford
    October 26, 2016 @ 12:49 am

    My wife and I have just moved to Los Norias, La Palma, and we need to learn Spanish.
    Can you help us please with any tutors ?

  6. Elle Draper
    October 27, 2016 @ 10:04 am

    Hello Richard and Pat – congratulations on your move!

    We don’t know of any local tutors unfortunately. A couple of things you could try though.
    1. Ask around on any La Palma or Canary Island groups on Facebook
    2. Consider finding a tutor who provides lessons from Skype (you’ll need a decent internet connection for video chat). That’s what I do and it’s working well… although my tutor is now full for the next few months.
    3. Contact Sheila whose link is at the end of the article (click the words “La Palma” next to her name). She lives in La Palma and may be able to recommend someone
    4. Go to your local Ayuntamiento. They may know someone. But Google how to ask in Spanish first and write it down. Write down (in Spanish) that you want to learn Spanish and if they can help. Most town halls will know someone they can phoen who may know, even if they don’t know a tutor themselves.

    Good luck!

  7. Abena
    December 2, 2016 @ 10:26 pm

    Thanks for replying to people’s queries and sharing your insights.

    Seems homeschooling is a grey area, and I do know of people on La Palma doing it now. I wonder how it would apply to immigrants who have never been part of the schooling system. Guess we’ll find out!

  8. K.
    December 23, 2016 @ 1:25 pm

    Yes it is.
    It is not illegal in Spain. A lot of families actually homeschool and are being left alone. Sometimes a family is sued for a short amount of time, but it has been a long time since they did that.

  9. Harry
    January 8, 2017 @ 9:54 pm

    Moved To Tenerife now over a year and loving it, Started a new business so I guess semi retired

  10. AHM
    October 31, 2017 @ 8:14 am

    I’m considering a move to La Palma and as a keen gardener, am interested in whether I can bring some plants with me. Does anyone have any information about whether this is possible? I’ve been unable to find relevant resources for such things.

  11. Elle Draper
    November 3, 2017 @ 11:16 am

    Hi AHM. I would speak direct to customs so you don’t put the current ecostructure at any risk.
    In the meantime – have you seen this article?
    E x

  12. Justin
    November 16, 2017 @ 4:09 pm

    Visiting La Palma in two days. Can’t wait, looks great. Hopefully looking at ways we could move over some time next year.

  13. AHM
    November 21, 2017 @ 12:30 pm

    Thanks Elle. This is my concern. I just need to find some contact details for them now!

  14. Maggie
    April 10, 2018 @ 11:17 pm

    Is it easy to move to La Palma. We have been a few times. How do you go about looking at property and the process of buying.Would love to live there.

  15. Elle Draper
    April 11, 2018 @ 3:22 pm

    Yes it’s easy.
    Start by Googling for “Estate Agents in La Palma” or “Property for sale in La Palma” and the agent will help you through the entire process if you buy through them.
    Remember to add 10% on top of your purchase price to cover taxes and legal fees.
    Good luck!

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