Maspalomas is the most laid-back of Spain’s “big 4” gay destinations. Unlike beach towns “on the Peninsula,” winter doesn’t shut things down, and cultural separation from mainland Spain makes for a slower pace of life.
- Weekdays are slow, building up to the weekends. Sundays involve a lazy brunch, Sunday roast, time-out at the pool, and the occasional T party dance during the high season.
- The scene is broadly international. British/Irish, English and German and Spanish are the most often heard languages, with a few French, Dutch, Italian and Scandinavian accents thrown in.
- Gran Canaria is the gayest and proudest of the Canary Islands, with lots of history to explore and plenty of relaxed revelry with a Spanish flair.
- Located just 4 hours from most European airports, Gran Canaria is an easily accessible destination to obtain that perfect tan. If you want to get a bit cultural, head into the mountains, where the scenery changes from volcanic dryness to pine forests and evergreen shrubs.
- You can party like a rockstar until 6am in the morning at more than 30 different bars and clubs; all nestled conveniently in the Yumbo centre, a vast shopping centre that transforms into a party zone every night of the year.
- In the North around Arucas, Terror and Santa Brigida, the valleys are green from the intensive cultivation of tomatoes, potatoes and bananas. You can drive leisurely around the coast road of the Island in one day, with great stops for lunch and photo shots that’ll amaze your friends on your return.
Maspalomas, Gran Canaria basks in the Sun year round.
When’s the best time to visit?
- While most of Europe freezes, Gran Canaria enjoys warm beach days and balmy evenings throughout the Winter. November to May are considered peak season, so book your hotel well in advance if you are going to attend any of the big events, especially November’s Winter Pride.
- The Island’s three-week carnival usually happens at the beginning of February, and it’s a huge glamorous affair with costumes worthy of a place in a Las Vegas casino. If you want something a little pinker, then Gay Pride Maspalomas takes place in May, and every year it gets bigger and better.
- Temperatures rarely fall below 21 degrees, and the average temperature is 29 degrees during the summer months! Perfect for slipping on or off, the swimming trunks and hitting the beach with G & T’s in hand.
Getting to the Island
- Several low-cost airlines fly from European cities to Gran Canaria Airport, including Ryanair from 35 cities, EasyJet from five UK cities, Vueling from 125 regional cities, Transavia from 5 Benelux/German towns, among others around the world. Many major carriers land here too.
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From the Airport
- The airport is about a 30-minute drive to Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés, and San Augustin. Many hotels and guesthouses will send a taxi to pick you up.
- Book a private transfer in advance.
- With so many gay resorts, bars and restaurants packed in close together around Yumbo Center in Maspalomas, walking may often be the best option –but taxis aren’t that expensive either.
- Buses, known as guaguas, are a great way to get around the Island. Service is not always frequent, but they operate many routes around the Island, including from the airport to Las Palmas and Maspalomas.
Where to stay in Gay Maspalomas?
From luxury hotels to charming guest houses and apartments, discover our top recommendations.
The Gay Beach in Maspalomas, the Island’s No 1 Attraction.
The Gay Area in Maspalomas
- The centre of gay nightlife is the Yumbo. Most visitors tend to stay close by at some of the many nearby gay and gay friendly hotels. Hotels such as the Hetero Friendly Axel Beach Hotel and the Adults only Neptuno are popular options.
- The Yumbo is located in a designated tourist zone. Most buildings in Playa del Ingles are hotels and apartments.
- Alternatively, you may prefer to stay closer to the gay beach, with hotels such as the Riu Palace offering magnificent views of the dunes and the sea.
- For something different, consider The Vital Suites, perfectly located a short distance from both the beach and the Yumbo, in a quiet and tranquil setting, offering breathtaking views and superb service.
Bohemia Suites & Spa
5 Star, Adults Only
Offering large rooms with balconies, the adults-only Bohemia Suites & Spa features 1 freshwater outdoor pool and 1 saltwater outdoor pool and 2 outdoor jacuzzis. The stylish rooms feature yellow, terracotta or purple colour schemes with olive-wood furnishings. The rooftop restaurant offers creative local dishes and panoramic views & a terrace cocktail bar.
4 Star, Great Value
Located in Playa del Inglés. The complex features a swimming pool, 2 hot tubs, and free WiFi in all areas. Sol Barbacan offers a buffet restaurant and an a la carte restaurant, as well as a pool bar and an evening lounge with a terrace. Set in gardens, the complex includes minigolf and beach volleyball facilities. There is also a gym
4 Star, Adults Only
AxelBeach Maspalomas an outdoor pool, gym and tennis court. This gay and hetero-friendly, adults-only complex also has a hammam, hot tub and sauna. Opening onto terraces, the apartments have attractive, contemporary décor. All include air conditioning, a safe, free WiFi and a comfortable living area with a sofa and flat-screen satellite TV.
Gay Map of Maspalomas, Gran Canaira
Gay Friendly Restaurants
The beauty of Gran Canaria’s restaurants is that their very diversity means you don’t necessarily have to dip too deep into your pockets. From cheap eats to fine dining, take your pick.
We recommend escaping the Yumbo centre occasionally, hopping in a cab and checking out some of the best cuisine the Island has to offer!
- Bamira is one of the finest restaurants in Gran Canaria. The cuisine is inspired by the owner’s adventure travels from around the world. The decor is superb, and every dish is unique. Reservations are highly recommended.
- Restaurante Calma Chicha serves contemporary Spanish cuisine with Mediterranean flourishes in a romantic setting. Try the gourmet menu, you will not be disappointed.
- Close to the Maspalomas Dunes, Time Maspalomas is the town’s most charming Italian restaurant. The experience at times is highlighted by the friendly staff and unique menu, comprised of homemade dishes. The atmosphere is relaxed, welcoming and cosy.
- Las Rias specializes in seafood and fish from the fresh waters of northern Spain’s famous Galician rivers. With a menu of exquisite delicacies, first-class table service, and beautiful panoramic views of the ocean, it’s one of the absolute top fine dining restaurants to visit in Maspalomas.
- Located in the heart of Yumbo Centrum, Wapa Tapa specializes in a creative mix of traditional Spanish and contemporary international tapas. Simple yet fresh and exciting, a few dishes include Spanish cheeses, Canarian wrinkly potatoes and Galician-style octopus.
Tip: Make room for a wonderful, salt-fish sweet-potato ‘sancocho’, the local speciality accompanied by the typical ‘papas arrugadas’ or small salted jacket potatoes. Don’t forget to ask for a local wine to wash it all down: look for Denomination of Origin, Gran Canaria.
Maspalomas Gay Beach
The gay beach in Maspalomas is the Island’s biggest attraction, with miles of long sandy stretches, cute guys, horny cruising areas, warm seas and gentle breezes. What’s not to love!
Maspalomas has one of the best nude beaches in the world, complete with a gay section near the western end. There’s cruising in the nearby dunes and shacks where you can buy cold drinks (but not cheap). The beach itself is split into three zones. Towards the lighthouse is the family area, in the middle of the nudist section, where most of the gay community hang out and a third, family-oriented nudist area.
- The gay section is named after shack “Number 7” – just look for rainbow flags and the guys you saw at the clubs. You’ll see northerners on the sand earlier (craving every ray of sunshine), while Spanish locals tend to come out for a dip or for a beer at the “chiringuito” later, as the sun gets lower in the sky.
- After a day at the beach, head over to Strandapotheke, a busy gay bar close to the gay beach playing German pop and oom-pah-pah music from 2pm till 8pm every day, serving German bar snacks.
- Alternatively, hiring a private yacht, with or without a skipper, and sailing around the islands is a great way to spend the day. Or visit the Gran Canaria Diving Club for some underwater action!
- The beach is host to one of the biggest days of the year, the 11/11 Carnival, a German Tradition, which sees hundreds of guys dressed up in fun and revealing costumes. It also happens to coincide with the Winter Pride, so you should arrive early if you want to secure your sun lounger or spot on the sand.
Kiosk No 7, recently refurbished, is a hub of daytime activity.
Getting to Maspalomas Gay Beach
- To get to the gay beach in Maspalomas, take a taxi to Plaza del Faro, then walk east until you come to ‘Spot No. 7’.
- The gay beach can be reached by a 10-minute walk from the Maspalomas lighthouse or a 20-minute walk via the dunes from the Riu hotel in Playa del Ingles.
- The main entrance is at the Hotel Riu Palace, the beginning of the Avenida de Tirajana. If you’ve come by car, you can park free at the Avenida de Gran Canaria. In the centre of the hotel, you will see a public access gallery, with shops on either side. Walkthrough, and you will see the view of the dunes ahead with the forest in the background.
- A lot of the cruising occurs from around 4pm onwards as guys make their way from the beach. However, you can find people there all the time!
- The Nature Reserve of Dunas de Maspalomas is enormous. There are several areas, and some are busy at certain times. Follow the red-topped posts which lead to the gay area.
- There are kiosks where you can buy cold drinks along the way. Tip: get out before nightfall if you don’t want to feel you’re being eaten alive by sand fleas.
- Stay close by at your own apartment at the Nativo El Palmital, an adults only resort rated “Superb”.
The gay beach is an “anything goes” area. It’s quite relaxed and attracts all age groups.
Hire a car and visit one of the more deserted and smaller beaches along the south coast of the Island.
Setting off from Maspalomas along the C812, explore the coastal road from Maspalomas to Puerto Rico with several coves and beaches en-route, some small and quiet, others larger and busier. All of them are busy with locals at the weekends.
These aren’t necessarily gay beaches, but they are generally all “clothing optional” and somewhat mixed beaches. If you want a cruisy beach, stick with Maspalomas, but if you want something different, where cruising is a bonus, then have a go at exploring. These beaches come under “Bahia Santa Agueda” on the map.
- This is the area closest to the Mirador de las Dunas (Riu Palace), and undoubtedly the most popular from around lunchtime until people start to leave the beach. This area is dense with many winding paths and secluded locations popular with younger guys and those looking for privacy.
- Los Matos is closest to the gay beach (about 400 m). Walking through it is much easier, and so it is more popular with older guys.
- A dead-end street ends at a small roundabout in the southwestern end of the Maspalomas golf course. Here you will find access to the Camel Safari, a tourist attraction where you can go Camel riding in the dunes. By day it is mainly used for access to the beach.
- From about 5pm, cruising continues from the dunes to the bushes between the bridge and Boulevard Las Dunas parking building. This environment is entirely different from the forest or Matos. Most guys are local men who arrive by car directly after work, so it is more popular from 7pm to 10pm on weekdays or weekends from 4 in the morning. Nudity is very rare.
The Dunes, Cruising in Maspalomas
The cruising scene kicks off at the Gay beach, then makes its way to the famous Dunes of Maspalomas.
The Islands of the Canaries have been quick to capitalize on the popularity of the dunes. Forget police harassment and council interference!
This is one cruising area with a difference. Consider the following:
- You can go nude or clothed. You can hike the whole way to the cruising areas without anyone batting an eyelid. It’s pretty common to see people wander the dunes naked.
- It’s international! You will meet people from all walks of life. The views from the highest dunes are spectacular, and if you get hot, you’re just a few minutes walk to the sea. Cooldown and follow another trail and just see what you will find!
- You can get a taxi directly to the cruising areas. And there are bus stops too!
- It’s safe! Even at night, however, as with cruising in all other places around the world, be safe, exercise some caution and do not leave valuables unattended. Don’t take lots of cash or credit cards with you!
Events in Maspalomas
Gran Canaria is home to two major International Carnivals, at Las Palmas and at Maspalomas. And then there’s two Gay Pride events, Summer & Winter!. Add in a bear carnival, some fetish events, and you have all the ingredients for a party Island.
Las Palmas & Beyond MASPALOMAS
A visit to the capital makes for a welcome break from the gay hustle and bustle of Maspalomas.
Experience a different slice of Island life in the capital, La Palma.
The Island’s capital, Las Palmas, is situated on the northeastern tip of the Island with a stunning location on the bay. Founded in 1478, relive La Palma’s past with a visit to the Vegueta district, which attained World Heritage status in 1990.
The city has doubled its population in the last 30 years and is now home to 400,000 people, and is brimming with Spanish charm and culture.
It’s well worth visiting Las Palmas, and it is less touristy and offers some rich history and architecture.
The city has some beaches, and local bars and restaurants serve traditional Spanish tapas; small servings of meat, fish, and vegetables – often accompanied with a beer.
The Gran Terraza Lolita Pluma (Centrical Parque Santa Catalina) is a Las Palmas landmark, literally a grand terrace cafe named in homage to a colourful local character who fed street cats and sold chewing gum to tourists in a nearby park.
Sauna Portugal (Calle Portugal 37) has Finland and steam saunas, free cabins and darkroom, plus a bar and massage services in Las Palmas.
Things to See & Do
There’s so much more to discover beyond the gay beaches and bars in Maspalomas. The following are our editor’s top tips on exploring the best of the Island
- ATV Tour – Drive your own Buggy on the roads of the “Fataga” natural park. Fataga is a very popular day-trip destination for holidaymakers staying in the coastal regions of Gran Canaria. It is a characteristic village of the island, with its old narrow lanes paved with stones and famous historic Canarian houses.
- Dolphin Watching in Mogan – Take a yacht to sea and meet some of the Island’s friendliest sea creatures! A 4 hour trip that is truly worth it.
- Gran Canaria: The Rainforest Tour – Visit the Azuaje Ravine, famed for its waterfalls and dramatic scenery.
- The Red Canyon Tour – One of our top recommendations, taking in some of the Island’s most beautiful villages while discovering amazing landscapes between the incredible volcanic caldera.
- Private Full Day Tour – Explore the volcanos and wineries of the island at your own pace.
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