Seashells and Surfers at La Laja Beach in Las Palmas

La Laja beach at the southeast end of Las Palmas city La Laja beach at the southeast end of Las Palmas city

Drive into Las Palmas along the coast road from the airport and you can't miss La Laja beach and its mob of seagulls. While everybody sees it, only boogie boarders and locals appreciate it.

La Laja is a 1200 metre, east-facing, black sand beach at the south-eastern fringe of Las Palmas. It's linked to the city by the main coast road, and by the beachfront promenade that runs the length of Las Palmas' east coast. 

Lex says: Nudism is allowed if not actively encouraged at La Laja after a local naturist group staged a naked sit on until the city authorities just left them to it. 

Head to the north end of La Laja for surfing and the south end for sunbathing and swimming: The calmest part is by the breakwater at the south tip. This is also where you'll find the most seashells; look out for large red clams and smaller orange cockles. 

There's parking at the south end (exit just past the huge statue of Triton if you're heading into the city) and at the north end. The viewpoint here, called the Punta del Palo, has a great view north towards Las Palmas. 

New natural swimming pools at the north end are great on rough days. 

Toilets are at the north end of the beach and La Laja has lifeguards on weekends and during local holiday periods. There are no shops or bars by the beach; the nearest restaurants are in San Cristobal village about a kilometre north. 


Additional Info

  • Lifeguard: No
  • Calm water: No
  • You're sitting on: Sand
  • Sand colour: Volcanic black
  • Looks best at: Sunrise
  • Nudist: Yes
  • Hippy rating: 7

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  • 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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