The year-round mild temperatures make it possible to enjoy beach life in winter and there are plenty of beaches in Gran Canaria; From endless sandy beaches with tourist infrastructure to pristine and deserted bays off the beaten track.
Gran Canaria’s best known beach is between the Maspalomas lighthouse and Playa del Inglés. With its famous dunes it resembles a desert landscape.
In the south of the island there are further popular beaches like San Agustín, Amadores, Puerto de Mogán and Puerto Rico.
In the north of Gran Canaria, the urban beach of Las Canteras in Las Palmas city is one of the world's most beautiful city beaches and is well worth a visit.
Puerto de Mogán
Near the harbour lies a small sheltered beach, ideal for families with children. Those who want to do more than sunbathe can rent kayaks or pedalos or even marvel at the species-rich underwater world on a trip in a yellow-submarine.
The Playa de Maspalomas is a mile long spectacular beach with golden sand and a fascinating dune landscape.
As well as being one of Gran Canaria's most beautiful beaches, it also offers excellent standards of safety, cleanliness and water quality and has a Blue Flag Award.
The Maspalomas resort consists of luxurious hotels, small apartment buildings and the biggest golf course on the island.
It’s neighbouring resort of Playa del Inglés is separated from Maspalomas by a dune-filled nature reserve.
The famous dunes – one of Gran Canaria's top landmarks - can be experienced on foot or on a camel’s back during a camel safari. The dunes are full of fascinating local plants.
At the west of the dunes a protected lagoon called the Charca de Maspalomas provides a natural habitat for migratory birds on their way between Europe and Africa.
As well as the lagoon, Maspalomas is home to another famous Gran Canaria landmark; The Maspalomas lighthouse. At about 60 m, the Faro de Maspalomas, designed by local engineer Juan de León y Castillo , first shone on February 1, 1890. Back then, it guided steamships safely on their transatlantic journey from Europe to Africa and the Americas. In 2005 the Faro de Maspalomas was declared a „Bien de Interés Cultural“ (a site of cultural importance).
Furthermore, Maspalomas offers a range of theme parks:
- Aqualand – Gran Canaria's biggest waterpark
- Holiday World – Leisure park and fairground
- Sioux City - Western Theme Park
- Palmitos Park – Zoo and Botanical Garden
Las Canteras, in the capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is a crescent-shaped, golden beach almost three kilometres long. It's often described as one of the world’s most beautiful city beaches along with Copacabana beach.
The Canteras is sheltered by a unique natural reef right off the beach which makes the waters at its north end calm and perfect for snorkelling. The south end however, gets waves and is an excellent surfing spot.
Playa del Inglés
Playa del Inglés resort, built in the 1960s, features a variety of hotels, apartments, restaurants and shopping centres. As part of the San Bartolomé de Tirajana municipality, along with San Agustín and Maspalomas, it is Spain’s biggest holiday area. Playa del Ingles' open minded and multicultural outlook is reflected in its varied cultural and gastronomic offer.
During school holidays families with children tend to holiday in Playa del Inglés and in the summer month young couples enjoy the beach and nightlife. In winter, Playa del Inglés is busy with long-term holiday makers escaping cold temperatures at home.
The resort attracts LGBT visitors from all over Europe and is famous for its Gay Pride events every May. In fact, Gran Canaria is one of the world's top LGBT holiday destinations.
Playa del Inglés really offers something for everyone. The area around the CITA shopping centre is tranquil while nightlife-lovers like to holiday near the Kashab entertainment centre and LGTB visitors flock to the Yumbo centre.
The 6 km long beach that connects Playa de Inglés with Maspalomas reflects this diversity. There are special sections for families with children, a zone for nudists and, close to kiosk No. 7, a gay zone.
San Agustín’s beach is about 300 metres long and consists of toasted golden sand. Calm waves and easy access into the water make it ideal for families, divers and snorkellers.
Caribbean flair: the white sand of man-made Amadores beach gives the water its dazzling turquoise colour. Crescent-shaped Amadores is between Puerto de Mogán and Puerto Rico. It's easy to reach by public transport and by car and there is free outdoor parking and a paid underground car park.
The most beautiful way to reach Amadores is on foot along the cliff-top path from the western end of Puerto Rico resort.
In 2014 Playa de Amadores again received a Blue Flag Award.
Once a small fishing village, Puerto Rico now stretches out on both sides of the valley and has a wide variety of restaurants, shops, bars and discos.
The wind-sheltered Puerto Rico is considered to be a water sports paradise and one of the most sun kissed places in Gran Canaria.
This golden beach is perfect for families with children, snorkellers, jet skiers and sailors. A truly unforgettable experience is a dolphin and whale watching boat trip from Puerto Rico’s harbour. About 27 species of whales live in the clear waters of the Canary Islands and with a little luck you'll see swarms of dolphins and also large whales.
Furthermore, the new Angry Birds Activity Park in the centre of Puerto Rico guarantees fun for the entire family.
Luxury hotels, restaurants, casino, exclusive shopping centres and a few apartment complexes make up Meloneras, a resort adjacent to Maspalomas.
A nice promenade leads from Faro de Maspalomas, the lighthouse, to Meloneras beach. The natural beach is just a 20 minute walk away from the famous Maspalomas dunes.
This quiet bay enjoys views over Meloneras Golf; An 18-hole golf course (Par 71) that is one of Gran Canaria’s newest golf courses and is right by the beach.