“We started researching potential winter getaways in Europe. That’s how she stumbled upon Las Palmas de Gran Canaria”.
Robert Vlach is a business consultant, author of The Freelance Way & proud founder of Freelancing.eu and Navolnenoze.cz, one of the largest national freelance communities in Europe. He works for European freelancers and companies and moved to Gran Canaria with his family with two kids, 2 and 6 years old. In the last years he has been visiting countries like in Europe, Central America and North Africa.
I’m a business consultant specialized in supporting independent professionals and business owners. I wrote the bestselling book The Freelance Way, started one of the largest national freelance communities in Europe, as well as Europe’s first think-tank for freelancers. Freelancing.eu is my latest project dedicated to supporting freelancers and their business all over Europe.
A decade ago, I realized that Central-European winters are simply too dark and cold for me. Every winter, I felt tired and slightly depressed, no matter how much exercise or vitamin D I got. My spouse Lenka Paprok, who is a freelance slogan writer and name-maker and I had already been traveling as digital nomads and our work had always been remote-friendly. So, we started researching potential winter getaways in Europe. That’s how she stumbled upon Las Palmas de Gran Canaria — a city praised for its Canteras beach, great year-round weather, and as one of the cities with the best climate in the world. That was 8 years ago. Since then, we have spent every single winter in Las Palmas and we love it.
Not really. We never had any problem coming, staying, or leaving. It’s just that great. However, I can imagine that the cost of living that comes with the unique qualities of this place may be too high for some. That's where coliving options come in handy, I guess.
At first, we rented apartments through HomeAway, Idealista, and Airbnb, until we found a place that we liked and stuck with it — near Parque Santa Catalina, perhaps 3 minutes from the beach. We didn’t really want to live at the beachfront, since it can be quite windy and unpleasant some times in winter. The 2nd or 3rd street, where we live now, is calmer and still very close to the beach. It is also slightly cheaper and the occupancy rate is lower.
"Over the last 8 years, we have met perhaps hundreds of digital nomads, local freelancers and other great people, all of whom contributed to our deep and lasting feelings for this place".
We live a simple family life here, with our little kids. At times, friends or other family members stay with us in the apartment. There are also many friends living nearby, either locals, expats or fellow freelancers who come to stay for a month or two in winter, just like us. 2021 has been a special year though, because we stayed almost 6 months, from January to June. Usually it’s less than that, perhaps two or three months.
The beautiful beach strip and calm weather. Safety and quality of life. The urbanistic development of Las Palmas, with new pedestrian zones every year. The local people, who are kind and nice to each other. The city doesn’t feel like a tourist resort at all; it has this great metropolitan vibe.
Yes, very much so, and we are seeing lots of friends, both locals and from elsewhere.
I am an entrepreneur dedicated to supporting all European freelancers and remote work enables me to reach out to people without prioritizing one part of Europe over another. I really like the egalitarian aspect of it, as well as the personal freedom it gives me, of course.
Yes, absolutely. Over the last 8 years, we have met perhaps hundreds of digital nomads, local freelancers and other great people, all of whom contributed to our deep and lasting feelings for this place. It is very special and unique, in my opinion.
I often say that Las Canteras is the most beautiful city beach in Europe and that the climate is just incredible, almost the same all year long. You have to live it to believe it. Come and see.
As a writer and public speaker, I am always willing to speak and share my expertise at local events for freelancers. I have also written about Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in my book, The Freelance Way, in an article for Forbes, etc. I hope it contributes to raising awareness and brings more remote workers into the melting pot.
I usually say that if they want to try it for the first time, they can do it rather safely in Europe and closer to their primary time zone, rather than in some more distant exotic destination. And guess what my top-of-mind suggested destination would be for them? :)