Video: parade during Maspalomas Gay Pride 2013
Gran Canaria is by area the third largest and by population even the second largest of the Canary Islands. It is geographically closer to Africa than to the Spanish mainland. The climate of Gran Canaria is strongly influenced by the trade winds, whereby the north of the island is often cloudy, rainy and much cooler than the south, which is caressed by dry winds from the Sahara and where it therefore only rains on an average of 6 days per year and an ›eternal spring‹ dominates with temperatures of 18 to 27░C. As varied as the climate is the landscape of Gran Canaria. One can find in a confined space – like on a mini continent of its own – mountain and rock formations inland, fertile coasts in the North, extensive dune landscapes in the South and cliff coasts to the West.
Gran Canaria is a popular holiday destination for gays, especially Playa del InglÚs and Maspalomas on the south coast. The cityscape of Playa del InglÚs is unfortunately largely dominated by hotel complexes from the 1960s and 1970s, so do not expect a romantic coastal town but rather an artificially created place of mass tourism.
The real attractions are the beach and the famous dunes of Maspalomas. They extend over a length of 6 kilometers and consist of very fine sand, whose basis is coralline and shell limestone, crushed and washed ashore by the surf.
Here you can also find the clothing-optional gay beach, next to beach kiosk 7.
It is a 20 minutes walk through the dunes away from Playa del InglÚs (starting at Hotel Riu Palace).
The main area for the gay scene is the Yumbo Center in Playa del InglÚs, a leisure and shopping center with over 200 shops, restaurants and bars. At night it transforms into a hotspot for gay nightlife with numerous bars, pubs and clubs.
Annual highlights are the carnival in February or March and the Maspalomas Gay Pride in May.
As an alternative to beach and Yumbo Center, you may go on an excursion to the highlands in the heartland if you are scenically interested, and if you are culturally interested, you may take a trip to the capital city of Las Palmas, whose old town has numerous historic sites such as the famous five-aisled cathedral of Santa Ana and many other charming colonial style and Art Nouveau buildings.