When families pick out Gran Canaria for their summer break it’s usually for a few pretty obvious reasons. Of course we’re talking about the great weather, the speedy flight time for little ones, and the island’s top choice of beaches. Like most of the Spanish Islands, the big GC has sweeping shores and a refreshing water temperature that allows for hours of seaside frolicking.
It’s the southern tip of the island that offers the majority of the glistening pools, the kid’s clubs, the stunning resorts and the nearby popular beaches of Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas. These are among Gran Canaria’s more renowned holiday hotspots but there are also some hidden treasures nestled in amongst that Atlantic coastline that can help lift your average summer holiday to a memorable adventure. Whether it’s your own slice of serenity, a family-friendly shoreline or an intrepid exploration, Gran Canaria has a beach to fit every requirement.
To keep you on the straight and shallow shores, we’ve hunted out the gems and found our outright favourite beaches so you can relax on the perfect coastline.
This bustling bay is said to be one of the most beautiful on the island, which is why it’s so popular with top hotels and resorts. No doubt it owes this heavy footfall to the sweeping expanse of sand dunes that fall into the warm ocean – yes, it seems the climate in this southern stretch is no fluke and the water is toasty enough to take a dip.
The beach is divided into four sections with section one reserved as a Family Fun Zone. If you’re travelling with children, head for this area where you’ll find volleyball games, water sports and the occasional beach fiesta taking place, making it an ideal hang out for older children needing a little more entertainment. The other sections of the beach are reserved for adult groups.
The idyllic Maspalomas lighthouse sits at the tip of the bay. Having once marked a silent expanse of sand, today it signifies the starting line to a promenade of evening activity and souvenir shops selling all the holiday nik-naks you could ever want.
Playa de los Amadores
Los Amadores translates to ‘Lovers Beach’ so it’s no surprise that this is a quieter, more tranquil option with stunning views. It’s strictly chaos free and relaxation ready with ball games prohibited and loud music off the agenda. It’s ideal for little ones who need to roam free, and it’s also the place to soak up the rays with a partner or enjoy a hearty novel alone.
The bay sits between Puerto Rico and Puerto Mogán south west on the island. Los Amadores is one of Spain’s best beaches and reaches the Blue Flag Award high standard – so clean sand and azure waters all the way. While it may be quieter, there are still plenty of seafood haunts and traditional tapas bars to keep you topped up ‘til dusk.
Pozo Izquierdo is the one for adventure seekers and action lovers, so seize the teenagers and let them loose in Europe’s windsurfing capital. The tide never disappoints and the good climate continues to draw in the world championships year after year. Here you’ll find the Pozo Izquierdo International Windsurfing Centre where adults and children can learn to master the waves, while those not so keen can chill on the shore and watch the endless topples and impressive swerves.
As Playa del Ingles’ smaller, and much quieter cousin, Bahia Feliz is 10km further north but another ideal location for letting the kids run around on the picture perfect sand.
Set a little further out of the southern hotel district, you can enjoy endless days of sandcastle contests and seaside paddling without the heavy crowds. A few plush apartments do dot the shore but generally the bay has a more relaxed and refreshed vibe about it.
Again another more intimate hotspot, Playa Taurito is an ideal beach to pitch up with the family while absorbing some Spanish culture. The beach is set just outside of a traditional Spanish village meaning holidaymakers can enjoy more of the local and less of the tourist in this peaceful oasis. However, the best of both is also an option here as, only two miles away, the more upbeat Puerto Rico offers restaurants, bars and shops so families can indulge in a little more action if and when they please, but otherwise it’s calm nights and sweet sunny days at Playa Taurito.
Check out our Guide to Gran Canaria for more on making this your holiday destination this year.
Which beach do you think you’ll be heading for on day one in Gran Canaria?