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Best beaches in Gran Canaria

For most of us, a sandy expanse is an integral part of any holiday which is why you can’t go wrong with the great beaches of Gran Canaria. Of course, you’re surrounded by them, you are on an island after all…but which one do you go to and how do you find the one that’s right for you? Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday, an exciting family getaway or a spot for water sports, there’s a beach for everyone in Gran Canaria. Check out our guide below to learn more about the island’s best beaches.

  1. Playa de las Canteras
  2. Playa del Inglés
  3. Playa de Amadores
  4. Playa de Taurito
  5. Playa de Patalavaca
  6. Playa de las Burras
  7. Playa de Maspalomas
  8. Playa de Tarajalillo
  9. Playa de Mogán
  10. Playa del Águila

1. Playa de las Canteras

There is a glamour to a city with a beach, and for those who love the combination of city life and beach life, Playa de Las Canteras is the spot for you.This beach is a charming contrast to the lively capital of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and its picturesque, old town. The fine sandy beach extends over 3km with the beautiful city as its backdrop. At high tide you can see a lot of surfers (there are a number of surf schools to help if you want to get involved!)  and at low tide it is all about snorkelling. The spot is also great for families thanks to lots of play zones and sports areas for kids.  Along the promenade, there are countless bars serving traditional food and drinks. In December, one of the beach's great attractions is the sand sculpture of the nativity scene which covers almost 1500 square metres.Visitors come from all over Europe to admire it – it helps that the sun shines here in December. This is definitely one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria and should be a must on your trip!

Our tip: Stay on the beach until sunset and enjoy the romantic ambience.  

2. Playa del Inglés

Possibly the most famous beach in Gran Canaria, Playa del Inglés is one of the longest beaches on the island. The beach is wide, the waters shallow and warm and it is ideal for all kinds of beach lovers, from families to solo travellers. Find your perfect spot and set yourself up for the day. There are shelters, umbrellas, loungers, beach clubs and masses of cafes and bars to visit whenever you’re in need of refreshment. Looking for an activity? You can hire a jet ski, try your hand at windsurfing or give scuba diving a go.

Our tip: For some retail therapy, head to the nearby Yumbo Centrum.

3. Playa de Amadores

The so-called "beach of lovers" in the south-west of Gran Canaria is the perfect quiet and secluded romantic hideaway for couples. It’s a man-made beach that uses crushed coral sand from other parts of the island and is regarded as one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria. Because the bay is so well-protected, the waters are calm making it ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving (especially for beginners).  It’s also popular amongst families, as it is considered to be the sunniest beach in Gran Canaria and one of the best beaches on the island for building sandcastles. Playgrounds near the shore and a mini golf course also provide endless entertainment for the kids. There are also showers, sun loungers and many eateries – everything you ended for a day at the beach!

Our tip: In addition to a private pool, the Amadores Beach Club also has a spa – treat yourself to a massage for two on the beach! 

4. Playa de Taurito

Playa de Taurito, in the south-west of the island, is one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria  for water sports. It’s perfect for riding the waves on a banana boat or a jetski and visitors can also rent pedalos or kayak along the coast and admire the hilly countryside.You’ll also find three diving schools in the area (with courses for both beginners and advanced students) that’ll take you into the dazzling underwater world of the Atlantic! 

Our tip: Stay active on the beach's volleyball court.

5. Playa de Patalavaca

In the south of Gran Canaria, you’ll find the relaxing and quiet Playa de Patalavaca. Even in  winter, lifeguards will watch over the safety of the bathers. Two bays, divided by a stone plateau, welcome you in for a swim. Once you’ve finished sunbathing and paddling inthe sea, have a wander around the shops in the area. You might find a few souvenirs to take home with you!

Our tip: Head to one of the restaurants on the promenade to indulge in some Spanish specialties.

6. Playa de las Burras

Visit Playa de las Burras in the south of the island if you’re after a quiet and peaceful beach. The coastal section, known as donkey beach, is partly rocky with small, sandy coves. Since access to the clear sea is flat, families with children are also well accommodated here. There’s also plenty of space for ball games and jogging. 

Our tip: Since there’s plenty of parking spots, feel free to travel with your rental car.

7. Playa de Maspalomas

The most iconic of all Gran Canaria beaches – located on a long stretch of coast covered in  golden sand and gilded with the great sand dunes of Maspalomas Nature Reserve – this is one of the best places to visit in Gran Canaria. The beach itself is seductive enough with different sections devoted to quieter pursuits, families, the sporty types and nudists (nearer the dunes). Whatever you wish to do or find on the beach is there – showers, beach bars, water sports centres and cafes. Scuba diving is best near the Meloneras section, while those looking for the calmest water will find it near the lighthouse.  At about 6km long and up to 1.5km wide, it is the largest natural sandpit in Gran Canaria – take a stroll and explore it all! It is a great place to watch the sun set and you can stop for a sundowner at one of the beach cafes along the route. 

Our tip: Take a long hike through the impressive dunes of Maspalomas Nature Reserve and feel like you are in the desert.

8. Playa de Tarajalillo

Playa de Tarajalillo is a small, secluded beach in the compact, quiet resort of Bahía Feliz. Because of the rocky surface of the 1km long and about 30m wide beach, it is only partially suitable for swimming. However, numerous dog owners pootle around here, because Playa de Tarajalillo is perfect for running riot and for long walks with four-legged friends. Next to the beach is a small airfield where you can book scenic flights and discover the island from a bird's eye view.

Our tip:  Stop by Chiringuito Bahia for an ice cold drink and some calamari! 

9. Playa de Mogán

Playa de Mogán is one of the man-made beaches in the south-west of the island. Embedded in a fascinating hilly landscape, the golden sand offers an interesting contrast to the blue sea. Thanks to the two breakwaters in front of the bay, the water is very calm. Families appreciate this location because the water here is warmer than on the other coastlines of Gran Canaria. The variety of water sports providers guarantee the opportunity to try windsurfing, parasailing or jet skiing. The good infrastructure of the beach also includes showers and toilets.

Our tip: Take advantage of the palm-lined boulevard on the beach for shopping: there are many shops and restaurants. 

10. Playa del Águila

Due to the excellent wind conditions, Playa del Águila is a gem for windsurfers. This is also the home of one of the best surf schools in Gran Canaria – Dunkerbeck Surf School. The beach is clean and made of both pebbles and sand and it’s only a short walk to the sea from the car park, so you don’t have to walk far with your surfboard or beach stuff. It really is the perfect space for sports enthusiasts who are looking for a quiet stretch of coast in the south-east. 

Our tip: In summer, admire filigree sand sculptures that artists build right on the water's edge. 

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