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Best Beaches in Gran Canaria

Hazel Hammond

Gran Canaria has inviting beaches that come in all shapes and sizes. Ranging from those with an abundance of soft sand and water sports facilities, to off-the-beaten-track discoveries virtually only visited by locals, the best beaches in Gran Canaria do not disappoint. Beaches in the south of Gran Canaria are known for being large and sandy with the balmy weather conditions we've come to love from the Canary Islands. A number of the island’s towns with abundant facilities are found in the south too. In northern Gran Canaria, stronger winds make beaches particularly popular with surfers, but there are some untouched natural beaches ripe for exploration too. The east and west of the island are spots to find smaller beaches that are slightly further off-the-beaten-track, popular with locals. Whichever kind of beach holiday ticks your boxes, there’s a beach in Gran Canaria for you.

Best Beaches in Gran Canaria - South

Playa de Maspalomas

With the heart of Maspalomas town on hand, Maspalomas beach is a protected nature reserve and the second largest beach on the island. With yellow sand, this beach is characterised by its sand dunes, which offer undulating spots of privacy away from the seaside stretch of beach. The beach also has a long promenade ideal for walking and taking in the beach in all its glory. This large beach attracts families and adults in equal measure. There are also plenty of water sports available to do from the beach, plus you can book boat trips directly on the beach too, including a catamaran tour and dolphin watching.

Playa del Inglés

Also in Maspalomas town, this beach is 2,700 metres long, making it the third largest beach on the island. Known for its sand dunes at El Oasis – adjacent to the sand dunes of Playa de Maspalomas – Playa del Inglés and Playa de Maspalomas together make up beach heaven in Gran Canaria. It’s easy to see why so many people visit this area. This beach has light coloured, soft sand, with both quiet and buzzing spots to be found. There are sports facilities for jet skiing, parasailing, kitesurfing and surfing, as well as opportunities for thrill seekers such as banana boat rides. There are plenty of sun loungers for hire too. Playa del Inglés also enjoys easy access to the town centre for restaurants, shopping and other facilities.

Playa de Mogán

This golden sandy man-made beach is found in Puerto de Mogán, a resort known as Little Venice because of the canal ways found there. Playa de Mogán is located in the south west of Gran Canaria, particularly loved by visitors because it has almost consistently warm weather and clear skies. Found in a pretty bay, the waters are calm, making it popular with families as well as couples. There’s plenty of activity if you want it – however – with jet skiing, parasailing and banana boat rides all on tap.

Playa de Puerto Rico

Playa de Puerto Rico is another beach in the south west of Gran Canaria, this golden sandy beach is a favourite with families and water sports enthusiasts. The good-looking bay is backed by palm trees, while the sand is peppered with sun loungers available to hire – ideal for families to settle in for the day. Water sports fans have great choice here, ranging from pedal boat and kayak rentals, to jet skiing and sailing. It’s also possible to go diving or take boating day trips to go dolphin and whale watching.

Playa de Amadores

This stunning white sandy beach with shallow turquoise waters is a man-made beach whose name translates into ‘lovers beach’. Popular with both couples and families, Playa de Amadores is a nicely sheltered 500-metre-long fine sand beach in a high-end area in the south west of the island. As well as the beautiful beach, there are play areas for children, a beach bar with a pool, a miniature golf course and a spa area for massages. A couple of promenades make wandering to the restaurants, shops and ice cream houses a pleasant experience. Other beach facilities include sun loungers, umbrellas and pedal boat hire.

Playa de Patalavaca

For those who like smaller, local beaches, Playa de Patalavaca is the place to experience this in the south of the island. Known more as a beach the locals love to visit, this dark sand beach is perfectly sheltered from winds, Lifeguards are on hand year-round, making it popular with families as well as couples. A number of traditional Canarian restaurants are within an easy walk.

Best Beaches in Gran Canaria - North

Las Canteras

Found in the capital of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, this 1.7-mile-long beach is the longest beach on the island. The rich yellow sandy beach is lined with a coral barrier, providing shelter and calmer conditions for swimmers. The Las Palmas locality is known for its hot desert climate offset by the cool Canary Current, meaning the resulting temperatures are usually pleasantly warm year-round. This huge beach has something for everyone, with sun loungers ideal for families and general relaxation at the northern end of the beach, and water sports to the south, including scuba diving, surfing and windsurfing. A promenade running behind the beach gives access to restaurants serving fresh seafood and Canarian staples.

Playa del Confital

For those who love natural and relatively untouched beaches, Playa del Confital is the beach for you. It’s located on the most northern point of Gran Canaria – near Las Palmas de Gran Canaria – in a nature reserve. This is a mostly rocky beach, although some areas of sand make it pleasant to sit there too. A boardwalk makes it ideal for strolling, while the water conditions attract experienced surfers.

Playa de Sardina del Norte

Ideal for diving enthusiasts and those who want to enjoy a slice of local life, this beach has it all. The clear waters make it especially popular with divers and snorkelers. It’s possible to rent equipment from the beach and spot Angel Sharks and rays in the local waters. With a mixture of sand and stones, the beach is a popular place for people to come and sit to watch local fishermen. A number of nearby restaurants mean it’s possible to eat their freshly caught sardines and other fish.

Playa del Juncal

For those who love to explore and get off-the-beaten-track, Playa del Juncal is a stony beach in a gorge not visited by many tourists. Unspoiled and secluded, a wending walk is involved in reaching it, ideal for adventurous couples. Totally worth it when you arrive, it’s a place to spend the day surrounded by natural beauty, with many people choosing to explore the sea life with snorkels.

Best Beaches in Gran Canaria - East

Playa de Aguadulce

This small and sheltered sandy beach is popular with couples, who view it as a small corner of paradise on the island. Reached via a short hike over a rocky outcrop, days can be spent relaxing on the soft sand or exploring the nearby waters with a snorkel. Located in the small village of Tufia, this is a place to walk along traditional Canarian streets. Playa de Tufia is another beach with black volcanic sand next door, almost entirely visited by locals.

Playa de Melenara

Another popular local beach on the east of the island, Playa de Melenara is spacious and easy to access, making it especially popular with wheelchair users and families. Lifeguards here are specially trained to help wheelchair users, while a shaded area peppered with picnic tables at the back of the beach makes it a popular spot with families and day-trippers.

Playa de Vargas

This unspoiled beach is made up of a combination of rock and sand. Although it doesn’t attract sunbathers and swimmers, it is the perfect spot for those who love long beachside hikes. Keen mountain bikers also enjoy taking advantage of the mountain biking trail directly behind it.

Best Beaches in Gran Canaria - West

Playa del Risco

One of the small beaches at the edge of Tamadaba National Park, Playa del Risco is an unspoiled stony beach accessed via an unpaved track. A spot for adventure lovers and those who enjoy being surrounded by nature, a trip to this beach offers something not found on other beaches on the island.

Playa de la Aldea

This stony beach visited mostly by locals has three bays, one with sun loungers and showers. It’s a quaint but sheltered spot to spend some traditional Canarian time, with some local restaurants with tasty food just a short walk away.

Playa de Tasarte

Another beach for adventurers, Playa de Tasarte is a rocky beach that has a windswept but unspoiled feeling. Although it doesn’t attract sunbathers and swimmers, a bay-side restaurant is popular with those who want a true taste of home-made Canarian cuisine. From the restaurant, it’s also possible to arrange day trips to nearby beaches that have no other means of access.

Inspired? Gran Canaria has beautiful beaches and so much more. Read our blog The 7 wonders of Gran Canaria to discover the natural beauty this fascinating island has on offer. Have you been to Gran Canaria? Which is your favourite beach? Get in touch in the comments below.