Going Local

Matthew Hirtes

Matthew Hirtes found himself in an unfamiliar place. Sure, he’d been to Gran Canaria on holidays with his Canarian wife Cristina visiting her family. But he’d never seriously contemplated relocating there. Especially, as he’d made a glorious return to his east London/Essex roots and was feeling so at home. But then their youngest son Alex contracted leukaemia aged just eight months old. Following a six-month stay in Great Ormond Street, Cristina wanted a return to her home island.

And so Matthew made the move. Despite the regular hospital visits, his first year as a non home husband went well. The doctors said the beach was the perfect playground for Alex and who was his father to argue with medical opinion. But then Alex was given the all clear to go to nursery and Matthew reluctantly took up teaching.
A candid diary of the writer’s struggles to adapt to his new environment, Going Local in Gran Canaria also shares the experiences of fellow expats. But it’s not just a guide to relocation. But one which will suit the more intrepid traveller. One prepared to break out of their all-inclusive bracelet and explore what the rest of the island has to offer.


Matthew gives an expert overview of each municipality. This is not info he’s acquired Googling. He writes from experience of visiting municipalities from Agaete to Vega de San Mateo. Although he’s made it all of the 21 municipalites, he’s still got to travel to around 30 of the 80+ plus beaches on the island.

All in all, Going Local in Gran Canaria is a book to dip in and out of. To take on holiday with you for reference purposes. Making an itinerary will be a doddle with Matthew’s help. Or it’s the perfect moving-in present for those starting a new life on the island.