If you are visiting Gran Canaria or you are planning to visit soon, you are probably thinking about visiting a beach, and what a great idea! The fantastic climate of Gran Canaria means that for most of the year it is perfect weather to visit the beach. Also, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches on the island!
Just like Gran Canaria’s varied landscape, the beaches on the island are also very varied, ranging from natural rocky beaches, beaches with dark volcanic sand, golden beaches, and picturesque white sand beaches. So, to help you choose which beach to visit, we have compiled a list of the best beaches on Gran Canaria.
Let’s make a round trip of the island to discover the best beaches, starting from the northeast side of Gran Canaria:
The first beach we must mention is Playa de Las Canteras (Las Canteras beach). This beach is conveniently located in the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and can easily be thought of as, not only one of the best beaches on Gran Canaria, but one of the world’s best urban beaches.
Why? Because it is right by the main heart of the city and has an impressive 3.5km stretch of golden sand and clear water.
The beach is also perfect for several activities including:
As well as these activities, there are often many more options as local businesses tend to organise various activities including beach yoga! It is no wonder this is often thought to be the best beach in Gran Canaria!
Some more great plus points for Las Canteras Beach, easy toilet access the beach has free public toilets located close to Calle California (for the southern part of the beach) and Calle Tomás Miller (for the northern part of the beach).
The beach is also safe, there are on duty life guards and they make public safety announcements. Finally, there are many restaurants, bars and shops located along the promenade giving you endless choices for a place to eat or drink.This is the best beach in Gran Canaria for swimming and surfing
How to travel to Las Canteras Beach: If you are not staying in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, take a bus from anywhere on the island to the bus terminal Santa Catalina. From here, the beach is just a short walk away.
So, now let’s look at Gran Canaria best beaches in the east.
Have you heard before about this beach? It is known to be one of the best beaches on Gran Canaria for the locals and very close to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Tufia beach situated on the east coast of the island, in Telde municipality.
This small rocky beach with dark sand is surrounded by a little fishing village. You might feel as if you are suddenly in Greece with its small white and blue houses. There are no restaurants nor cafeterias, only small houses where locals live. This fishing village also has a small chapel founded in 1978 by “Pepito Malaleche” (literally Peter’s bad mood).
At the top of this little town, you will find an archaeological site called Poblado de Tufia where the aboriginal people of Gran Canaria used you lived. It is not possible to enter but there is an interesting board to learn about it. All of this area is one of the Protected Natural Areas of Gran Canaria, a Site of Scientific Interest.
At the other side of Tufia beach, it is possible to visit Aguadulce beachwith golden sand. It is magical to find two different beaches in a small area like this.
Tip: go there before the sunrise or sunset to take amazing pictures and make your friends green with envy from your discovery. Breath-taking views await you. This is the best beach in Gran Canaria for snorkeling.
How to travel to Tufia Beach: The only possible way to reach the beach is by car. The trip from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria takes you around half an hour. Check Google Maps so you don’t get lost. Just close to the archaeological site you will find a place to park your car. Then walk down and enjoy the beach as a local.
So here is a little secret about Gran Canaria, although this secret is well known by the locals :-) If you are staying in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and it is cloudy, it is often lovely and sunny with clear blue skies in the south of Gran Canaria. This is due to the mountain area in the middle of the island that prevents the clouds from travelling south. So, while Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the north of Gran Canaria might not have great weather, the beaches in the south could be perfect for a day at the beach! This is why many of the tourists believe the best beaches on Gran Canaria are in the south.
So, now let’s look at Gran Canaria best beaches in the south.
Maspalomas is perhaps the most famous of the best beaches on Gran Canaria, and is located to the south east of the island. This is where you will find the famous Maspalomas Dunes, huge mountains of sand that stretch all the way from Maspalomas Lighthouse to Playa del Inglés, another one of Gran Canaria best beaches.
Some 12km of golden sand beach backed by incredible dunes that will give you the impression you are in the middle of the Sahara desert!
The best viewpoint to see Maspalomas dunes is at Vue Panoramique des Dunes, which is located just behind the Hotel Riu Palace, on Avenida de Tirajana. This is quite a distance from Maspalomas lighthouse and other attractions of Maspalomas, so if you do not have a car, opt to take the bus (guagua) number 30 or 33 which stops near the hotel.
Points to note about Maspalomas: bear in mind that the Maspalomas weather can be quite windy due to the beaches location on the island, there is not a lot of natural shelter from the wind.
There are public toilet facilities (for a fee) but these are located closer to the Maspalomas lighthouse, so try not to venture too far out into the dunes if you plan to spend the day on the beach and often need to use the toilets. It is also good to know that once you pass the dunes on Maspalomas beach, this area is known as a nudist beach.
This is the best beach in Gran Canaria for selfies! Take your best Instagram photo on the dunes and make everyone believe you have visited the Sahara Desert!
Anfi del Mar is not as well-known as other beaches in the south but it is one of the best beaches on Gran Canaria if you like idealistic beaches with white sand and crystal blue waters.
Anfi is one of the islands artificial beaches and it was built as part of an exclusive timeshare complex. The good news is, although the timeshare apartments and the swimming pools are private access only, the beach is still accessible to the public and has been developed to be one of the most luxurious beaches on the island.
This includes having designer shops, imported beautiful almost white sand, and a sheltered bay which means the beach is sheltered from the wind and always has calm water to swim in.
Plus points for Anfi del Mar:
This is the best beach in Gran Canaria for white sand beach and reminds you of exotic beaches you usually find in the Caribbean.
How to travel to Anfi del Mar: The number 91 bus runs from both Puerto de Mogan and Las Palmas and stops just behind Anfi del Mar’s timeshare properties at the bus stop named Aguamarina. To travel from Maspalomas take the number 33 bus.
And finally we discover the best beaches in Gran Canaria in the west and north side of the island. Here we name two beaches where locals go.
Sardina del Norte beach is located on the north-west coast in a quiet area of Sardina, in Gáldar municipality. It is a pretty little fishing village. This small beach is frequented mainly by the people of the town of Gáldar. Its waters are clear and the sand is gold.
Of course, you must try the fresh fish served in the restaurants of the area, like grilled sardines. The beach is perfect for families and groups of friends. If you are a huge fan of diving, this is definitely your place.
Here you can find diving and snorkeling schools for beginners and intermediate divers just close to the beach. Another reason this beach to be one the best beaches on Gran Canaria is there is easy access, so it is suitable for people with reduced mobility.
This is the best beach in Gran Canaria for diving!
How to get to Sardina del Norte: It is better to reach this beach by car as it is not close to a public transport route. The drive from Las Palmas will take about 40 minutes. Make sure you check google maps for directions. Alternatively you could travel to nearby town, Gáldar by bus number 105 or 103 from Las Palmas and then take a 15 minute taxi.
Last but not least, the most visited beach for the #handyteam from our childhood, in the north side of Gran Canaria.
Playa el Puertillo is at the top of the list for the best beaches on Gran Canaria for the handy team as it is located close to our home town of Teror. A lot of good memories come to our minds when we think of this beach as we spent a lot of quality time there with family and friends.
It is frequently visited by the residents of Teror and nearby Arucas (town located in the north of Gran Canaria). Which means it is a fantastic chance to visit a local beach away from tourists as the beach is away from the traditional tourist trail.
What’s great about this beach is there is an avenue to walk along and space available to do sports. There are some great restaurants to eat in and the beach is also safe as it has lifeguards keeping watch.
Enjoy bathing in tranquil waters guarded from wind and currents, surrounded by traditional fishing boats. Take a short walk and pass the local restaurants where you can try some freshly caught fish.
At one extreme end of the beach you will find a splendid natural pool, called “Los Charcones”. This the best beach in Gran Canaria for spending time with the locals.
How to get to Playa El Puertillo: The number 105 bus runs from Las Palmas. To travel from the south, you will need to first take a bus to Las Palmas, then take the number 105 bus.
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If you like discovering local culture in a funny way, you will love Handy Visits! The tours are full of challenges and small games really fun to do. A unique way to learn more about the place you are. Just go!
Handy Visits is a start-up whom unique value proposition is to offer a new concept of interactive tours in Canarias. Young and local guides will lead you around in town in order to discover secrets and tips unknown at any other tourist, including backpackers.
Una visita genial y diferente, llena de juegos. Experiencia innovadora y para rematar nos invitaron a una tapa de comida típica canaria. un 10!.
They make discovering the old town of Las Palmas a game with lots of group tasks, quizzes and stuff. I had a lot of fun, lost track of time and learn a lot of interesting facts about the city, its conquering and foundation and canarian culture. Way better than just listening to someone telling you the buildings history. 100% recommended
Hice su visita en Teror y Vegueta, fue muy divertida. Elena y Aída son personas encantadoras. El tour tiene una forma especial, y pude conocer la cultura canaria con ellas. No se puede comparar a otros tours que hice en otras ciudades. ¡Muy recomendable!
I did the Teror tour - it was awesome! :-) Elena and Aída are doing a great job showing you around in a funny and entertaining way. Both are originally from Teror and know everything about the city. That makes it super authentic. We also got some water and snacks of local products, which is quite convenient (water) and interesting to experience (snacks). I would definitely recommend it!
Do you like challenges? Say goodbye to those boring tours while you travel to Gran Canaria. Handy Visits is the best option to get to know the island, but in a funny and always-on-the-move way. I took the gastronomic tour in Teror, a lovely village in Gran Canaria. Found out interesting things about the place, explored hidden treasures and solved urban challenges. All this in a great and multicultural company. After this experience, Teror quickly became my favourite place on the island!
Thanks a lot Elena & Aida for the lovely tour in Teror. Discovering the beauty of Teror and got to know a lot of insights with the special interactive tour. You are doing a great job
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