24 September 2021
Although the island’s famous attractions are its golden sandy beaches, it’s also home to unique, natural volcanic rock pools and hidden coves, only accessible by boat or on foot. If you’re looking forward to taking a swim or simply laying back and enjoying some sun, here’s a list of the best beaches in Gran Canaria.
The unique UNESCO protected nature reserve of Masplomas Dunes, covering 400 hectares, is the iconic feature of Gran Canaria in the southernmost point of the island. Sand, from the bottom of the ocean, was blown onto the land during the last ice age to form a unique mix of desert and oasis including a fresh water lagoon. You’ll find dynamic sand dunes surrounded by some of the best beaches in Gran Canaria, including the justly famous Playa del Inglés. However, you’re really spoilt for choice so it’s worth exploring further.
On the Western side of Masplomas lighthouse, the newly developed stylish Meloneras stretches for 2 km and includes luxury 5-star hotels, a casino and a conference centre. The promenade is crammed with bars, cafés and restaurants offering global cuisine.
There are two beaches to choose from at each end of the promenade - Masplomas and the smaller Meloneras, where discerning locals visit to take a tranquil dip in the clear waters of the Atlantic.
At night Meloneras comes into its own with a unique kind of nightlife. Chill out with a glass of wine while the sun goes down, or kick back and enjoy the live music playing in the background.
Tip: golfers will enjoy the beachfront’s 18-hole course but may lose a ball or two.
Further west, you’ll find the coconut palm-fringed, white sands of Anfi Beach. Originally known as Playa de la Verga, this resort was built in the 1990s to recreate the look and feel of a Caribbean beach on Gran Canaria.
It’s located in a protected lagoon, flanked on one side by a pier and on the other by a heart-shaped island and the marina. The calm waters make the beach ideal for children, snorkelling and water sports. You can rent kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis and small boats or take a tour on a glass bottom ferry and discover the highlights of the area.
Tip: Try Beach Club Maroa, on the island, for your evening cocktail, and enjoy the sunset.
The Blue Flag-awarded Amadores Beach is in a beautiful curved bay with turquoise sea and white sand, overlooked by stark cliffs. Created in 2002, this resort is a welcome respite from the busier Puerto Rico.
Since it’s situated in a cove, the waters are calm and well-protected from the waves of the Atlantic. Thanks to the coral sand, you’ll be able to lie on the beach all day without getting burned, although you still might want to hire a sun lounger.
Tip: take the 3-kilometre ocean front walk along the cliff between Amadores and Puerto Rico for stunning views.
The most westerly resort on the southern coast, this coastal village lies at the mouth of a steep sided valley, its charming white buildings contrasting with the mountain landscape behind.
The beach is great for snorkelling as the sea is shallow and clear. For larger marine life, go to the marina and head beneath the waves in a yellow submarine or take a whale watching trip. Keen anglers can also set out on deep-sea fishing expeditions.
Tip: explore the resort’s “Little Venice”, a scenic network of canals and bridges with colourful subtropical blossoms and blooms.
The two beaches here, dominated by high cliffs, are only accessible on foot or by boat, resulting in them being deserted for much of the time. It’s a tough two-and-a-half-hour hike from Tasartico, or you could persuade a fisherman to take you from Mogán or La Aldea.
Güi Güi Grande is only 350 m long while Güi Güii Chico, which sits just to the south of its little neighbour, measures almost twice the size. You reach it by scrambling over the rocks but be careful as it gets cut off at high tie.
Tip: take plenty of water and snacks as you’re unlikely to find any supplies here.
North of Güi, and far more accessible is the tiny fishing village of Puerto de Las Nieves, a cluster of attractive blue and white Canarian houses. From the harbour, the Paseo de los Poetas, lined with restaurants, craft shops and galleries, leads along the shore to the natural pools of Las Salinas.
For centuries, they were used to harvest salt, but now make the perfect bathing spot. Swimmers can enjoy an exhilarating experience as the sea water rushes in and they sit protected from the crashing waves by rock barriers.
After your swim, visit the nearby Maipés Archaeological Park, situated on a great lava flow at the foot of the Pinar de Tamadaba. This is where the Guanches, Gran Canaria’s original inhabitants, choose to honour their dead. There are over 700 tombs of various types and sizes, including huge burial mounds constructed with volcanic stones, dating from around 1300 years ago.
Tip: try the local speciality – “caldo de pescado”, a delicious fish soup.
The capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is home to Las Canteras, one of the best urban beaches in Europe. It stretches for almost 4km, from its northern starting point, at La Puntilla, to La Cicer at the southern end, where surfers ride the crashing breakers in a haze of sea mist.
In between, a natural offshore lava reef acts as a wave break, calming the waters and protecting the marine life that makes Las Canteras a top snorkelling spot. It’s a good place for families as children can bathe in the shallows, overseen by lifeguards, while parents take in the sun from their hammocks.
Tip: Watch locals jump into the sea from the rock, Peña La Vieja, and dare to try it yourself.
To book your Gran Canaria beach break for this year or next, get in touch with your Travel Counsellor today and take advantage of exclusive benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your stay.