Veneguera: The Wild Beach That Gran Canaria Fought To Protect

Veneguera beach in south west Gran Canaria Veneguera beach in south west Gran Canaria

When developers announced plans to build a vast resort in the Veneguera valley in south-west Gran Canaria all hell broke loose. To general surprise, protests won the day.

The unfinished road between Puerto de Mogán and Veneguera beach now marks the high tide line of rampant resort building in Gran Canaria. Veneguera is now protected and is a beacon of hope to ecologists fighting to protect the island from further development.

Drive down the 3.5 km track from remote Veneguera village to the beach and you can see why the hotel companies wanted to concrete Veneguera valley. It starts as an idyllic rural valley full of banana, mango and papaya plantations before flattening out into a wide, flat-bottomed barranco with a beach at its mouth. Veneguera is a bit like Puerto Rico without the steep sides; The perfect place to build a new resort.

 Alex Says: Ecologists won the battle for Veneguera, although the vast finca in the valley is still majority owned by Lopesan, the island's biggest hotel and construction company.

Veneguera beach is 370 metres long and sheltered by rock outcrops at each end. It's mostly colourful rounded pebbles although patches are dark volcanic sand build up at either end during the calm summer months. Taken on its own, Veneguera beach isn't all that attractive but it is Gran Canaria's biggest pristine beach and the water is calm and clear. It's best to visit in late spring when the valley is at its greenest and full of flowers.

Veneguera is a nudist beach although most of the Canarians who camp and BBQ here keep their clothes on. Head to the west end of the beach if there are textiles by the parking area.

To reach Veneguera beach, first drive inland from Puerto de Mogán until you pass Pueblo de Mogán. Then take the left fork and you are on the spectacular GC 200 road that winds all the way to Agaete in the north-west. Veneguera village is about 10 km past the fork. You can get as far as the village on a Line 38 bus from Puerto de Mogán but be prepared for a long walk down the valley; You can't count on lifts because there's hardly any traffic on the beach track. 

The track between village and beach is currently in good condition (July 2015) and any car will do the trip. However, be aware that the valley runs with water after rain and that sections of  track are often washed away. Hire car companies won't appreciate having to come and rescue you and your insurance won't cover off-road damage. 

Lex Says: If you visit the area in the morning, it's worth going a couple of kilometres past the Veneguera turnoff on the GC 200 to see the psychedelic rocks at Fuente de los Azulejos. Have a juice at the shack as it's made with sun-blasted local fruit and is delicious. 

Walk east along the coast from the three palm trees by the car park and you get to the remnants of Veneguera's old fruit jetty. The road to it has crumbled away, but a chunk of the stone jetty is still in place. Only jump off it when the water is calm; Veneguera is a long way from help and there's no mobile phone reception. 

Additional Info

  • Lifeguard: No
  • Calm water: Yes
  • You're sitting on: Sand, Pebbles
  • Sand colour: Volcanic black
  • Looks best at: Sunset
  • Nudist: Yes
  • Hippy rating: 9
  • Disabled Access: There are no facilities at all at Veneguera beach. Access is via a long track and the beach is made of large pebbles. No mobile reception.
  • Lat/Long: 27.846538, -15.791537

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Tip of the day

  • Exchange Money In Gran Canaria Or At Home?
    Exchange Money In Gran Canaria Or At Home?

    Visitors to Gran Canaria often ask whether it is better to exchange their local currency for euros at home or in Gran Canaria. 

    The answer is that it is almost always better to buy your euros at home than it is to bring pounds to Gran Canaria and use local banks or currency exchanges. This rule of thumb applies all over the world. A currency is almost always cheaper the further away you are from the place you can spend it (because demand for it is lower). 

    Exchange rates are almost always better at home than in Gran Canaria

    You are very likely to get a better exchange rate using a British currency exchange specialist or local bank. Many of these companies will deliver your euros to your home.

    One of the best rates in the UK is often from the post office, especially if you do it well in advance.

    The only way you'll get a better rate in Gran Canaria than at home is if the exchange rate changes while you are travelling and this is rare. 

    You also have to bear in mind that currency exchanges in Gran Canaria are getting rarer and some local banks don't exchange money for non-clients. 

    To Transfer large amouynts of money to Gran Canaria, or to make regular transfers, always use a reputable currency broker such as Currencies Direct. This will save you money on exchange rates and bank charges and is highky secure. 

    The risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria

    Another important factor to consider is the risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria: If it is lost or stolen, there is no way of getting it back. 

    It is much safer to bring a debit or credit card and use local bank ATMs to take out money. These days, a good option is a pre-charged debit card. 

    Cards may be slightly more expensive that carrying cash, unless you seek out a bank card with low commissions, but it is much more secure. 

    Bank ATMs like Bankia, Santander and BBVA often charge lower rates than the ATMs in shopping centres and busy tourist areas.

    Alex Says: Always select the Euro option at ATMs in Gran Canaria because the exchange rate is much better than if you opt for the Local Currency option. The same applies when you pay by card in shops and restaurants.

    See our Gran Canaria Tips section for more nuggets of useful local information.

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