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Watch Canarians on the beach and you'll see that they do something odd. They coat themselves in beach sand and rub their skin vigorously: They're not crazy but know about one of the ocean's secrets. Wet beach sand, coated with sea salt and minerals, is great for your skin.

 

Published in Body & Soul

South Gran Canaria's popular beaches are packed every day but there are others that, for one reason or another, don't get the same attention. Here's our list of the area's most underrated beaches and why they deserve a visit.

El Cochino

Not one but three small beaches just east of Playa del Ingles that are so underrated that nobody knows their names. Known colectively as El Cochino (Pig Beach) they are calm, sunny and rarely crowded. 

The El Cochino beaches are less windy that Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas and sheltered from the waves. Great for families and people who find the dunes a bit too big and a bit too naked.

Patalavaca

It’s small, it’s sandy and it’s always half empty. Patalavaca beach has the warm water and the sunshine of Anfi and Amadores but doesn’t get crowds: Perhaps it’s because you can’t see if from the road, or because you have to walk through a tunnel to get to the sand. Whatever the reason Patalavaca makes it onto our underrated list because it’s a great little beach with seafood restaurants, sun loungers and plenty of space.

Patalavaca is between Arguineguín and Anfi. Access is via the storm drain tunnel under the road. You can also walk to Patalavaca along the coast path from Anfi.

San Agustín

San Agustin resort was the first in south Gran Canaria has faded into semi-obscurity despite its golden beach and loyal hard-core of Scandinavian and German fans: We suspect that they've deliberately taken it off the tourist map by buying all the available property.

The beach is fantastic and rarely crowded. For families with older kids it's great as there's no strong current but often waves to play in. There’s plenty of places to eat near the golden sand and you can even walk to San Agustín beach from Playa del Inglés. 

Medio Almud

This is where nudists go when they get sick of the crowds on Maspalomas beach but don't fancy trudging down the dune at Montaña de Arena.  It’s low key in the extreme with no facilities but does have a road right down to the start of the beach.

While Medio Almud is more pebbles than sand you can always find a sandy place to put a towel. It's best to leave the big camera at home: Local nudists don’t appreciate snap-happy tourists waving their lenses around.  

Pasito Blanco

There’s a beach at Pasito Blanco?

Yes, although getting to it is tricky as you have to park outside the private marina and walk in, or hike down from the road to Meloneras.

The beach is a mixture of golden sand and pebbles and does get crowded with locals in the summer. However, on weekdays it’s a gorgeous, quiet spot and there’s great snorkelling just offshore.

There's no facilities, although you can nip into the marina to the supermarket.

Las Burras

This golden sand beach sheltered by a groyne is where the locals go for a south Gran Canaria beach day.  It's between between El Cochino and San Agustin beaches along the coastal walk and has a couple of places to eat. The best bit is at the sheltered San Agustín end by the palm trees as the open end gets windy. 

Montaña de Arena

South Gran Canaria's long-standing nudist and hippie hangout is a narrow beach at the base of a giant sand dune between Pasito Blanco and Arguineguin. Access is via tracks and the beach is a 10 minute walk from the GC 500 road. 

Take supplies as there are no facilities except for the occassional drinks man.

The locals are happy to share their beach with tourists but some of them object to cameras and video cameras. 

While Montaña de Arena is currently pristine the area between the beach and the road is set for development. What that means for the beach itself nobody knows. Enjoy it as it is now while you can.

Puerto Rico beach

It might seem ridiculous to call one of Gran Canaria’s most popular beaches underrated but Puerto Rico gets a bad rap. Artificial, packed with sun loungers and unashamedly resorty it may be, but PR beach is still a cracking place to spend a day in the sun. Ignore the sand snobs and give it a go.

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