With its year-round temperate weather, there’s never a bad time to visit the gayest Canary Island of them all: Gran Canaria.
Known around the world for its rugged landscape and the friendliness of its locals, the destination – which covers a landmass of just 1,560km squared – is most famed for its paradise-like beaches.
Here, we look at five of the best – from the gay beach on the doorstep of the island’s most buzzing town, Maspalomas, to the secluded nude beaches favoured by locals…
Playa de Montana Arena (south)
Its name translates to ‘Sand Mountain’ because of the large mound overlooking it, offering unrivalled privacy and isolation. It draws a varied crowd and is favoured by many local LGTBIs living in the south. About half the people who go to this beach sunbathe in the nude.
Playa de Maspalomas (south)
Arguably the best-known gay beach in Spain is at the foot of the Maspalomas Dunes – specifically, in the stretch next to the beach bar known to regulars as El Siete (Number 7). The 5.5km of golden sands make for a lovely stroll, from Faro de Maspalomas to the more family-oriented eastern end.
Playa de Vargas (east)
Playa de Vargas is in the borough of Agüimes, on the east coast halfway between Maspalomas and Las Palmas. It has no sand or pebbles and isn’t the best place to swim or sunbathe, but the winds and waves bring in a lot of windsurfers and kiteboarding fans. The bohemian atmosphere and secluded location make it a good spot for cruising.
Playa de Hoya del Pozo (east)
You’ll find this beach in Telde, 15 minutes south of Las Palmas. It’s not touristy and is more for local families and groups of friends. It’s long been a meeting place for LGTBI guys and girls living in the north of the island, and is actually one of Gran Canaria’s few black sand beaches.
Playa de Las Canteras (north)
Located in Las Palmas (the island’s capital), this beach was the original driving force of tourism in Gran Canaria, according to the tourist board. The town’s buzzing gay district – Plaza de Farray and the surrounding area – runs right along it, so it’s always full of LGBTI sun-lovers.
For more information about Gran Canaria, click here.