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The only cure for buffet belly is to get out there and burn off those extra calories. Here's where to do it in Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas  resorts.

Published in Maspalomas

Gran Canaria's liveliest resorts draw in the party people, but are they just nightlife spots, and which one is best for you?

Published in Resorts & Places

How do you choose between Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés resort when they are right next to each other and share the same sand? Here's everything you need to know to make up your mind...

Published in Resorts & Places

A recent draft law released by the San Bartolomé de Tirajana town hall (Ayuntamiento) has generated widespread confusion and worry in Gran Canaria. However, there is little to be concerned about as the situation is being hyped up for political reasons. Here's a concise summary of what's going on and what it means.

We have updated this article to take into account the important effects of the 1995 Ordenación del Turismo de Canarias law.

Published in Property

There's a resort for everyone in Gran Canaria so, whether you're a sun-worshipper or a party-animal, here's a guide to all the top spots. Take your pick and enjoy the sunshine.

Published in Resorts & Places

Playa del Inglés must be Europe's busiest and most famous beach; its three kilometres of sand are packed every day and it gets millions of bums on sand each year.

Tuesday, 03 March 2015 12:52

New Dunes Mirador For Maspalomas

The new Maspalomas dunes mirador in Playa del Inglés is finished and open to the public.

Published in News

You've arrived in Playa del Inglés, unpacked your flip flops and want to explore the resort. Well, Playa del Inglés stretches right along the coast so you're not going to do it all on your first day. Head to the sea and the dune front promenade for an overview.

Published in Playa del Inglés
Thursday, 08 January 2015 00:00

El Cochino Beach

Why it's called Pig Beach we'll never know but El Cochino is a great alternative to the crowds of Playa del Inglés beach right next door.

Saturday, 06 December 2014 00:00

Bus Travel from Maspalomas & Playa del Inglés

 Gran Canaria's local bus network is excellent and gets you to anywhere on the island within a couple of hours. Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas have two departure points:

Published in Playa del Inglés

Playa del Inglés is about half an hour down the motorway from Gran Canaria airport and you can't really get lost. You can rent a car or get a bus or taxi to the resort. 

Published in Playa del Inglés

Playa del Inglés has an incredibly low crime rate given the number of people and the late opening hours. Most crimes are opportunistic and can be avoided by using common sense. Serious crimes such as muggings and break-ins are extremely rare but happen here as they do everywhere.

 

Published in Playa del Inglés

Playa del Inglés' shopping centres aren't always the best place to go shopping as they are mostly packed withrestaurants and bars. Here's where to go to stock up on everything you need in the resort. 

Food and drink

The Netto and other small supermarket chains in Playa del Inglés offer a wide range of food and essentials but are expensive: Great for buying bread, water and daily essentials. but it's cheaper to head to where the locals shop if you are self catering. 

The big supermarkets in nearby San Fernando have a wider range and low prices. Just hop in a taxi and ask for “el Hiperdino (or Mercadona) grande de San Fernando”. Similarly, the Maspalomas market sells a much better range of fresh fruit and veggies than the supermarkets.

Gran Canaria’s tap water has a strong taste (it is made from desalinated seawater) but is perfectly safe to drink. The locals buy big water bottles, called garafas, to drink but use the tap water to cook with and brush their teeth. 

Clothes and gifts

Quality shopping in Playa del Inglés is a bit thin on the ground. Most of the clothes shops are in the shopping centres along the Boulevard Faro in Maspalomas. Perfume is good value thanks to low taxes on the island and there is no limit to the Gran Canaria-branded souvenirs and t-shirts you can buy in the shopping centres.

You can't buy a pair of genuine branded sunglasses for 15 euros, no matter what the man tells you. 

Fundgrube is a Canarian chain that sells everything from perfume to quality leather bags. Its prices are good and it stocks all the top names.

Electronics

While the days of outright rip-offs in electronics shops are over it always pays to compare prices between shops and check what is available online.

The Visanta chain of electronics and camera gear is great value but do try and haggle prices down by 10-20% from the first price you are quoted. 

Souvenirs and duty free

Holiday souvenirs are everywhere in Playa and most are cheap and fun. They may not last much longer than your holiday but do you really need a willy-shaped corkscrew at home? For a wider selection of souvenirs head to the big markets at Arguineguín, Mogan and San Fernando.

Tax on alcohol and cigarettes in Gran Canaria are minimal so it's almost always cheaper to buy your duty free in the resorts rather than the airport. Technically you are only allowed 200 cigarettes and one litre of spirits per person as the Canary Islands are outside the EU Customs Union. 

Published in Playa del Inglés
Friday, 05 December 2014 00:00

Eating Out In Playa del Inglés Resort

Standard resort cuisine in Gran Canaria hasn’t changed much since the 1970s. Prawn cocktails comewithout an ironic wink and the banana split rules the dessert menu. Is this because restaurateurs and chefs are stuck in a time warp? No, it’s because they serve what you guys want, and what you guys want is retro comfort food and old favourites.

 

Published in Playa del Inglés

You are never more than a few minutes walk from a shopping centre in Playa del Inglés. To be honest Playa’s shopping centres are showing their age; most were designed back in the 1970s and need a lick of paint. However, they are great places to visit for the huge choice of bars, restaurants and nightclubs they offer.

There are a dozen large shopping centres in Playa del Inglés and each one attracts a different crowd. These are the biggest and the best:

The Yumbo Centre

The Yumbo is the big daddy of Playa’s shopping centres. It has a split personality depending on when you visit. During the day, it is a huge, family friendly shopping centre crammed with restaurants and shops. There’s a market on the bottom floor most evenings.

As day turns to night Playa del Inglés’ huge gay community heads to the Yumbo. Many bars host evening singing, cabaret and drag shows. The atmosphere is friendly and cosmopolitan and you will always find a decent deal on booze. By about 11pm the families have headed home and the Yumbo’s gay nightlife kicks in. Go home if the sight of gay affection offends you (and have a good think about yourself). 

If the Yumbo Centre was a person, it would be your flamboyant cousin that you love but can get on your nerves when he won’t go home at the end of the party. Go there for a huge choice of restaurants and bars, and for late night LGBT shenanigans..

The Cita Centre

One look at the Cita Centre and you have to wonder why the drugs the architect was on aren’t available any more. There’s a giant clown face, a car sticking out of the wall and even a couple of turrets. Inside the Cita is just as strange. It’s a maze of corridors and small shops and you are almost guaranteed to get lost. There are good shops and restaurants in the Cita Centre but finding them is a nightmare.

The Cita caters to a range of niche tastes, from wife-swap clubs in the basement to German folk music bars on the roof. Some people love the place and spend every night of their holiday there. Others take one look at the giant clown and choose another spot for dinner. That’s the beauty of Playa: There is always somewhere else to go just around the corner.

If the Cita centre was a person, it would be that strange but lovable uncle who wears odd clothes and smells a bit funny.

The Gran Chaparral

The Gran Chaparral is a sprawling open air centre popular with Dutch tourists. It has a couple of good British pubs and is a top spot for watching the football. It’s great on a sunny day (any day) if you fancy lazing around in the sun with a cold beer.

If the Gran Chaparral was a person it would be your sports-mad friend who never seems to do anything except have fun. Go there for the footy in the sunshine.

The Aguila Roja or Irish Centre

The Irish Centre is only little, but it has some of the most lively bars in Playa del Inglés. It’s also the best spot to get a full English breakfast the morning after the night before. Classy it ain’t, but the Irish Centre rocks on busy nights.

If the Irish Centre was a person it would your crazy Irish cousin. Go there for great bars and big breakfasts.

Avenida Tirajana

This is Playa del Ingles’ main drag and runs all the way through the resort. It hosts the annual Gay Pride parade and is packed with bars and restaurants offering everything from Balinese food to all-day breakfasts. Avenida Tirajana has seen better days in terms of nightlife, especially since the new Boulevard opened in next-door Maspalomas and Meloneras. However, Avenida Tirajana is still home to many of the best restaurants in Playa.

If Avenida Tirajana was a person it would be the boss you can’t avoid in the pub. But then he buys you a drink so everything is cool. Go there for its great restaurants and many bars.

The Kasbah and Plaza Shopping Centres

The Kasbah is a sprawling centre with restaurants and bars on the bottom floor and Playa’s hippest bars upstairs. The names seem to change regularly but the atmosphere is always the same: Loud music, free-flowing booze and plenty of dancing until the early hours. Next door is the sunken Plaza centre with yet more bars and clubs at the bottom.

The Kasbah and Plaza are where the young crowd hangs out and parties. Bizarrely, it is also the place where the oldies go for a waltz before dinner. Head to the central square in the evening if you don’t believe us.  

The zone around the Plaza and Kasbah is the only part of Playa where you get pestered by touts trying to get you to visit bars in exchange for free drinks. If you go down this route, make sure you get your drinks as the touts have a habit of vanishing once you are inside. Most of the offers are terrible by the way: The free champagne costs a euro a bottle and those red or blue shots have next to no booze in them. 

If the Kasbah was a person it would be the youngest person in the office: Full of energy and great fun to go out with, but irritating if you spend too much time with him. Go to the Kasbah to hang out with the youngsters

Anexo II

Anexo II is the imaginatively named strip of bars and restaurants down by the beach in Playa del Inglés. If there’s an area of Playa that needs a facelift, this is it. As well as a Hooters and a McDonalds is has tonnes of  places that knock out cheap chicken and chips and standard tourist fare. There are also a couple of great restaurants on the drag.

If Annexo II was a person it would be an old friend who you only hang around with because he has a great house and a full drinks cabinet. Go there for good value food with great views.

Published in Playa del Inglés

There is only one place in Europe where thousands of people gather every day to lounge around naked in the sunshine: Maspalomas Beach in Gran Canaria, Europe's unofficial nudist capital and the heart of the Gran Canaria naturist scene.

Thursday, 16 January 2014 00:00

The Weather in Gran Canaria's Resorts

Gran Canaria’s resorts, clustered along the south coast,  get the most sunshine on the whole island. They are sheltred by the rest of the island and exist in a permenant bubble of blue sky. 

If you come to Gran Canaria for a week’s holiday you are virtually guaranteed plenty of sun. With minimum winter temperatures over 20ºC they are the best place in Europe for topping up your winter tan.

 

Playa del Inglés Weather

Even when Gran Canaria’s mountains are covered in cloud Playa del Inglés is sunny. The clouds seem to burn off when they float over the Maspalomas sand dunes in front of the resort. 

Minimum temperatures during the day never drop below 20ºC and rarely rise above 33ºC. Combined with the sunshine this makes Playa del Inglés a fantastic sunshine destination all year round. 

For more on Playa del Inglés click here for our resort guide. 

 

Maspalomas Weather

With it’s enormous beach and dune system Maspalomas has its own microclimate. The hot air rising from the dunes keeps the clouds off the resort and blue is the default sky colour. You can sunbathe all year round on the beach and the water is warm enough for a dip even in the winter.  

Maspalomas is the Gran Canaria’s flattest resort so it does sometimes get windy on the beach. If the palm trees are swaying back and forth take a windbreak, head to sheltered Meloneras Beach at the end of the promenade, or just stay by the pool for the day. 

Like the sound of Maspalomas? Click here for our resort guide. 

 

Mogán Weather

Mogán is the prettiest resort on the island and the weather is dreamy too. It’s as sunny as it gets anywhere in Europe with 320 days per year of sunshine and is rarely windy. For the absolute best chance of getting a winter tan, Mogán is your spot.

For more on Mogán, click here. 

 

Puerto Rico Weather

Puerto Rico is a couple of days short of being the sunniest spot in Gran Canaria behind Mogán but is still basically set to ‘permanent sunshine’. With the beach, a short walk from all the accommodation, and with stunning Amadores beach just around the headland, Puerto Rico is the sunbather’s resort. 

 

Click here for our Puerto Rico guide.

 

San Agustín Weather

San Agustin gets the blue skies and hot sun of Maspalomas without the crowds. The beaches are stunning but can be windy. If you get a blowy few days head along the promenade towards Maspalomas. The sheltered beaches along the way, like Las Burras,  don’t get the gusts. 

Click here for our Puerto Rico guide.

 

Las Palmas Weather

Gran Canaria’s capital city is tucked up in the north east of the island and has much more varied weather than the resorts. It still gets seven hours of sunshine per day on average, but cloudy days are more common. During July and August Las Palmas is often cloudy due to the Panza de Burro or Donkey Belly cloud that lingers over the city. 

During the winter, Las Palmas gets plenty of sunshine and is an excellent spot for a city break that includes tanning time on the beach along with great nightlife and culture. 

For more on Las Palmas, click here.

 

The Cumbres Weather

Most of the real weather in Gran Canaria happens up in the mountains or Cumbres. In the winter the very top gets frost and even snow. Even in the summer it can be chilly in the mornings and evenings and in winter it gets bitingly cold if the clouds are low down.

The weather up top changes by the hour. Take a windcheater and a couple of extra layers if you plan to walk about. We can’t tell you how many times we have seen poor tourists in shorts shivering away up there. They always say the same thing: “Nobody told us it gets cold in Gran Canaria”. 

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