I live and work in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and I love the pace of life and the lifestyle you get in the Canary Island’s biggest city. Here are five reasons why living in Las Palmas is a healthy choice.
The Spanish lifestyle: A longer, healthier life
According to The Lancet, Spain is the healthiest country in Europe; Spanish people and residents have the longest life expectancy in Europe at an average of 81.3 years and also the highest number of years in good health at 70.9.
Spain’s healthy population has been attributed to the healthy Mediterranean diet, plenty of Vitamin D-boosting sunshine, one of the best value healthcare systems in the world, and, of course, the laid back lifestyle that prioritises living over working. Add to this the huge range of healthy local produce like tropical fruit and veggies available in the city, and Las Palmas is an easy place to live well and be healthy.
As an extra bonus, if you’ve ever noticed that you feel happier when you’re close to the sea, there’s a good scientific explanation. Mineral ions dissolved in the sea air are absorbed by the skin and the ion-charged air may well boost mood all on its own. And that’s before the feelgood factor of jumping into the ocean for a daily swim; a massive benefit of living in Las Palmas.
The cleanest air of any Spanish city
Because Gran Canaria is in the middle of the ocean, and because the Trade Winds constantly renew the air, Las Palmas has the cleanest air of any Spanish city. The World Health Organisation (WHO) checked air quality in 46 Spanish cities and Las Palmas came top along with Arrecife in Lanzarote.
Living in Las Palmas and the world’ most pleasant climate
Las Palmas city consistently comes top or close to the top of studies that rank climate. A Syracuse University study found that Las Palmas has the world’s most pleasant urban climate.
Notice that they study says most pleasant rather than sunniest. It measured the average temperature, rainfall, number of severe weather events, etc and found that Las Palmas’ climate was the most pleasant on average.
A separate Weatherwise study put Las Palmas second on the global list behind Viña del Mar in Chile. You may get more air miles but, otherwise, South America’s probably a bit too far away for most people.
The Las Palmas pace of life
You can’t say that living in Las Palmas is stress-free; we have traffic jams just like every city in the world, getting your paperwork done can be frustratingly slow, and sometimes it rains when you’ve left the house in flip flops.
But no matter how stressful your day, there’s always a beach or a local tapas bar just around the corner. There isn’t much in Las Palmas life that doesn’t feel better after a coffee or a quick swim.
The lowest tax rates in Europe
Death and taxes are inevitable but in Las Palmas, you can put the first off the for a few years thanks to the healthy climate and lifestyle, and pay less tax at the same time.
The Canary Islands charge a 7% IGIC tax (VAT) compared to 21% IVA for the rest of Spain. This makes lots of goods cheaper than anywhere else in Spain. And while supermarket shopping is slightly more expensive than in the Mainland, petrol prices are low and you get some excellent resident discounts on travel, insurance, and leisure.
If you’re moving to Gran Canaria to start a business, you may be able to benefit from one of Europe’s lowest tax regimes; The Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC) allows new companies that invest here to pay just 4% corporate income tax.
By the way, the capital investment you have to make when you start a ZEC company can be in property. Just saying!
Overall, if you’re looking for a place to live that has all the benefits of a modern Spanish city but also offers everything you need to live a healthy, laid-back life, Las Palmas is the place to be. If you’re looking for property in Las Palmas, you know who to call.