Maspolomas

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Maspalomas Beach - Gran CanariaSince the 1970s, Maspolomas has been talked about as one of the most popular gay tourist destinations in the world. Think about Maspalomas and you conjure up sunny days on the beach, long and lively nights with variety and something for everyone. Not to mention the presence of the sexiest men – arriving from virtually all over the world who are on the look out for dates.

Located in the southernmost part of the island of Gran Canaria, Maspalomas enjoys unique climate that makes it so very special as one of the most important sun and sand tourist destinations. But Maspalomas is much more than that, it has a lot to offer…

Maspalomas is best known for its magnificent sand dunes, protected as a nature reserve. Part of the original expanse was destroyed in a flurry of construction in the 1960s and 1970s; many plant and animal species were lost at that time, but the authorities are working to reintroduce them. Today Maspalomas is one of the Canary Islands’ largest resorts, but it’s still easy to find a peaceful spot in which to enjoy the sun away from the tourist crowds.

Roughly 71% of the days of the year are cloudless – that’s almost 260 days a year. Rainfall is very sporadic and there’s an average annual temperature of 23.5 degrees celcius.

Maspalomas boasts a number of beaches, including Playa del Ingles stretching 2700 metres to Maspalomas beach which is 2710 metres long. Both beaches are connected, totalling more than 5 kilometres of fine goloden sandy coastline and inland dunes before ending in a place called the Charca de Malpalomas (Maspalomas Pond). Along these beaches you can enjoy spacious areas where nudity is allowed.

Turn inland from the coast and we can cross the dunes, immovable thanks to the vegetation of mainly tamarisks and palms, which form a small grove of shade and crannies creating. This is a protected nature area.

The main tourist areas offer a wide variety of choice in terms of accomodation making, accessible to virtually any budget. There are apartments, bungalows, hotels, resorts and complexes – offering a wide spectrum of quality and geared towards different clientele; homoparental family holidays (with entertainment and facilities for children) or child-free only facilities, ensuring peace of mind when enjoying communal areas (pools, restaurants etc) or gay men-only facilities and some especially for nudists.

History of Maspalomas

Maspalomas Highlights

1) Sand Dunes
Contrary to popular belief, these 400 ha (988 acres) of golden sand didn’t blow across from the nearby Sahara Desert; they washed up from the ocean. While a large part is constantly on the move, there is also a stable section, home to a variety of flora and bird life. Stick to the signed routes to protect the ecosystem.

2) Information Centre
The small information centre explains the origins of the dunes, and the plant and animal life you can expect to spot. Find out about the conservation efforts and environmental problems, or arrange to join a guided walk.

3) Maspalomas Beach
This is Gran Canaria’s supreme beach. Families favour the Calmer seas near the lighthouse. The section closest to playa del Ingles is used by nudists.

4) Lagoon and Palm Grove
A few palm trees and date palms remain of a grove all but destroyed by construction. Keep an eye out for mullet, guppies and bream in the murky waters of the small lagoon alongside it.

5) Bird-watching
As well as local species, a wealth of migrating birds use the site as a pit stop. In spring and autumn look out for kingfisher, heron, curlew and egret, along with the usual nesting birds- kestrel, plover and moorhen. Less common species include osprey, courser and grey duck, all which are close to being wiped out here by man’s activities.

6) Lighthouse
Standing in a square lined with palm trees is one of the island’s most striking landmarks. The 55-m (180-ft) lighthouse was built in the late 19th century by local engineer Juan de Leon y Castillo.

7) Golf Course
Unrivalled weather and vistas of the dunes and ocean beyond make Maspalomas’s golf course special. Non-members are welcome to tee off here.

8) Camel Rides
Pretend you really are in the desert as you ride through the dunes on the back of a dromedary. Trips leave from the east side of the ravine, just to north of the lagoon. A half-hour ride takes you through areas thick with daisies and tamarisk, and is one way to avoid burning your feet.

9) Mirador
You’ll get a fine view and some super snaps from the mirador, or viewing point, near the information centre. This is where the nature walks through the dunes start.

10) The Resort
The area is still the best known as a major tourist resort favourited by northern Europeans. Maspalomas is constantly growing as construction-fever fails to wane, but it is a far more exclusive resort than its raucous, party-all-night neighbour Playa del Ingles.

Maspalomas Events

LGBT International Film Festival – January
At the very beginning of the year, the best selection of LGBT themed short and feature films come to the screens of Maspalomas and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Some will even be international premieres, with directors, actors and actresses present at the viewings.

A full week of the best films, providing an important reference for society in general and a quality cultural offering for both residents and tourists. It’s a pleasure to visit the cinemas to enjoy these movies which we otherwise don’t get a chance to see.

Carnaval LGBT International – February
Both the varnival of Las Palmas as well as Playa del Ingles have become important references for the LGBT community, mainly because of the Drag Galas and the freedom, fun and respect enjoyed during those days. Not least is the Yumbo, where customers and staff alike don their funniest and best clothes taking to the bars and streets and turning them into a colourful scene.

Bear Week – March
The Bear community in Maspalomas is coming together and gaining strength through frequent meetings and parties, first through Bear Beach and then with the Bear Club of Gran Canaria. Thus was born what will be the most important date in the calendar of K-dadas in Maspalomas, an event that looks to attract more bears both nationally and internationally, offering a legandary week of leisure of a different kind.

Gay Pride – May
One of the most important, biggest and busiest events on the annual calendar in Maspalomas is Gay Pride in May. Crowds arrive in their droves for a week of fun. Hotel occupation reaches almost 100% in gay and gay-friendly complexes so you must ensure you plan well in advance if planning to attend during May.

German Carnival – November
The German carnival begins at 11:11 on 11/11 and the mild termperates this time of year means its kick off on the beach is second to none. The kiosk 7 on Maspalomas beach attracts more people each year, both dressed up and without dressing (remember this is a nudist area), creating a unique atmosphere of fun that has already been recognised by the local authorities. This isn’t an organised party but a get-together on the beach which attracts more followers each year. We recommend going early to grab a good place if you want to spend the day.

Black & Blue – November
At the same time as the German carnival the most fetish party events calendar of Maspalomas takes place. During the event several venues in Playa del Ingles organise theme parties including Hustleball – so well known in London, New York and Berlin, with the presence of famous porn stars, the best DJs, shows, contests and a comprehensive programme for the different festish tastes for your enjoyment both day and night. This is, without doubt, a particular event that once again turns Maspalomas into the centre of attention of the international party calendar.