The ultimate family beach with something for everyone. The north end is wide with golden sand and calm water; perfect for swimming, sunbathing and entertaining little kids. The south end has the waves for the bigger kids to learn their board skills and play in the surf. All along the beach you can sit by the sand with a beer while the kids eat an ice cream on the sand.
Las Canteras beach has all the facilities you need for a family day out; toilets, showers, loungers and parasols, shops, lifeguards, etc, but is also big enough for you to ignore them all.
Toilet and shower facilities are dotted along the beach. Look out for the signs and wash your feet before you try to get in (the staff are pedantic).
From an afternoon of sandcastle making to an epic family swim out to the reef, Las Canteras beach in north Gran Canaria.
Alex says: Las Canteras is a marine reserve so the snorkelling is excellent. Go in off Playa Chica in the middle of the beach and head out to the reef.
The ultimate resort beach with everything at hand. Amadores is sunny, calm and caters to people who want effortless days on the beach. There's plenty of loungers and parasols, dozens of bars and restaurants selling everything from curry to take away pizza.
The water is warm and calm and there's plenty of free parking right by the sand (arrive before 11 am for a good spot). Pedalo hire is at the east end of the beach on the pontoon.
Toilets are central between the two strips of restaurants. They cost 50 cents per person to use.
Gran Canaria's Caribbean beach is perfect for families with soft, white sand, calm waters and a great takeaway kiosk selling pizza, ice cream, and coffee. It's a bit of a trek down the hill from the paid car parks but you can use the Anfi Resort lifts rather than lug the toys down the hill.
Pedalo and SUP board hire at the west end of the beach (you can't miss them). Toilets behind the promenade in the centre of the beach (free for boys, 50 cent for girls; disgraceful, we know).
This is a beach and a desert all in one. With kilometres of golden sand and huge dunes just by the water, it's the Gran Canaria beach that gets kids most excited. Maspalomas has lifeguards, snack kiosks and lounger hire but no public toilets.
Maspalomas can get busy, but there's always plenty of room for the kids to roam.
Park for free behind the big hotels just east of the lighthouse (drive down Avenida Colon and turn right at the roundabout); you may have to walk for a few minutes on busy days. There's also a paid car park just behind the bus station.
Alex says: Please don't feed the fish in the lagoon. It wrecks the delicate ecosystem.
The other end of the vast beach that stretches from the Maspalomas lighthouse to Playa del Inglés. The PDI end is more developed with the Annexo II strip of bars and restaurants (even a McDonalds if you like that sort of thing) along the beach.
Loungers and parasols for hire, lifeguards at intervals and snack kiosks. Jet skis and banana boat rides, etc at the east end of the beach.
Most people walk down to Playa del Inglés beach from the resort but if you drive, there's paid parking behind Annexo II.
Calm with golden sand and shops and restaurants just yards from the sand, Puerto de Mogán is the best place for a leisurely family lunch by the beach. It has lifeguards, loungers and parasols, pedalo hire, and the toilets are in a wooden hut just by the main bridge over to the marina.
Arrive early for free parking in Puerto de Mogán, especially on Mondays and Fridays when the markets are on. Don't park along the harbour wall on a Friday as it gets cut off by the market and parked cars are pushed into the sea (joke).
The only pebble beach in our top ten but we had to include it because it's such a laid back place to spend a family day and anyway, kids love throwing pebbles into the sea. Puerto de las Nieves beach is right in the town and there are plenty of places to eat with a beach view.
Parking is easy on weekdays in the streets behind the beach and paid parking pòps up at the weekends; look for men waving at empty patches of land.
Lex Says: Big kids enjoy jumping off the old jetty by the beach: Watch the local kids for the deep bits.
You can't go wrong with Puerto Rico beach as it has everything a family needs to spend a relaxed day by the sea; calm water, all the facilities you need and lots of places to get a meal and a beer right by the sand. Pedalo hire is at the west end of the beach and the toilets are at the east end. Loungers are everywhere.
Pedalo hire is at the west end of the beach and the toilets are at the east end. Loungers are everywhere. Park in the paid car park at Puerto Base marina (east end).
A great beach for older kids as San Agustín often has some waves to play in. Big, sandy and rarely crowded; San Agustín is one of Gran Canaria's most underrated beaches. Parking is easy in the streets behind the sand
Parking at San Agustín is easy in the streets behind the sand unless you arrive late at the weekends. The famous El Capitan restaurant by the beach has plenty of space for the kids and a play area.
All families need a holiday adventure and older kids love the hike from the road down the Barranco to Tiritaña beach. It's a bit steep in places and there's no real trail but it's not dangerous for older kids and you can't get lost. Once you get down to the shore you'll likely have it to yourselves. A Robinson Crusoe day just a few minutes drive or bus ride away from the resorts.