By Barrie Mahoney

Fernando del Castillo and his family are very much Gran Canaria and have been an important part of the island for generations. Fernando del Castillo kindly agreed to talk to me at the Monte Leon home of Antonio and Rolande, whose well established and highly respected company, Cárdenas Real Estate, are promoting the sale of properties in Monte Leon.

The Castillo family were rewarded by the King of Spain for their loyalty and support in the Spanish conquest of the Canary Islands. Fernando’s ancestors were given most of the southern part of Gran Canaria from Juan Grande to Arguineguin. Gran Canaria had been a popular place for holidays for many years, but this was mainly centred in Las Palmas until around thirty years ago. The Castillo family were responsible for developing the south of the island for tourism from the early 1970’s.

Fernando’s father, Alejandro del Castillo, is the present El Conde (Count), and Fernando is continuing his family’s interest in the development of the south of the island. Amongst a number of other projects, Fernando is now focusing on developing the Monte Leon area, where he also lives. Monte Leon is surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery and ravines yet is just ten minutes away from the beaches and facilities of Playa del Ingles. This is very much an exclusive area to live with magnificent properties set in large beautifully landscaped plots of land. However, Fernando talked about plans to offer more quality homes in this area, but at more affordable prices in Monte Leon 2.

Building has already begun with a good infrastructure already in place for water, drains and electricity, and the new homes will have spectacular views across the ravines towards the sea. This area will quickly become an aspiration for many people. There are also plans for a Medical and Therapeutic Wellness Centre in Monte Leon. This will be a centre offering a wide range of therapies and treatments, together with a hotel offering a strong health component. Guests will be able to stay in any of 80 residencies or 70 wellness suites and can take advantage of such treatments such as medicals, spas, sports rehabilitation and plastic surgery. This centre has taken much planning and a specialist German company will soon start building two new such centres in Europe – one in St Moritz and the second in Monte Leon.

The new development at Monte Leon 2 will also include a small shopping centre, mini market, restaurant and quality boutiques for residents and visitors. A Beach Club at Maspalomas is also planned, whereby visitors can take a regular bus service from the mountain area to the beach. Gran Canaria has been extending the provision for tourism for several years now by promoting eco-tourism – exploring this beautiful island – with trekking, mountain biking and walking and Fernando del Castillo is very much part of these exciting new developments.