Gran Canaria is the most popular gay destination in the Canary Islands and with beautiful beaches, plenty of bars, cheap beer and good food, it is easy to see why. With an average yearly temperature of 22ºC (72ºF) and immense, paradise-looking beaches, this island offers holiday plans for every traveler. Gran Canaria has become especially popular among the LGBT+ community. Each year, the island welcomes thousands and thousands of gay tourists on its shores.
Gran Canaria is the third largest of the Canary Islands and lies of the western coast of Africa, some 1000 miles from Mainland Spain. The subtropical climate provides year-round warm weather, though winter months are best spent in the capital Las Palmas, as December and January can be a little too chilly for the beach.
Gran Canaria is well served by its own international airport which is functional and well-located if a little tired inside. Transport, eating and drinking are substantially cheaper than most places in Europe and your average beer will set you back around €2 – some of the touristy places might be more expensive.
Gay visitors to Gran Canaria have two main options. The first is to head to the Maspalomas, primarily a beach destination, or to head to the eclectic capital city, Las Palmas. Both are easily reached with Gran Canaria airport transfers. Each destination has its own unique quirks and it depends if you’re seeking uninterrupted sunshine or fancy a little cultural foray on the side.
Despite being situated on a tiny island, Las Palmas is one of the largest cities in Spain and has a population of almost 400,000 people. There are two main areas of interest to visitors, the first being the commercial centre close to where the cruise ships dock and the second being the Old Town located roughly 5km to the south. On a pleasant day the walk between the two takes around an hour, alternatively, bus number 17 happily connects the two localities and comes at regular intervals.
Most of the tourist attractions are located in the Old Town, known locally as Vegueta. Here you’ll find the cathedral, Columbus House, the Modern Art Centre and cute shops and eateries lining the Colonial-style streets. If you’re in town on Thursday then all the bars and restaurants here serve beer and tapas for one euro. Away from the Old Town, attractions worth exploring are the Botanical Gardens, the Central Market and the main commercial street called Triana.
There are a few gay bars in Las Palmas, though many of them are closed in the week and are unpredictably quiet, even at the weekends. Peach is a popular standard bar and Black Door has a cruisy vibe and has themed events on certain nights – check their website for details.
Famed for its vast expanse of sand dunes, Maspalomas has mainly developed around the tourism industry. Despite this, its policy of urbanisation has avoided mass high-rise hotels and instead, the area tends to offer visitors bungalow accommodation, preserving the aesthetic beauty of the area as much as is possible in a tourist hot spot.
There are a number of gay-only hotels and resorts in Las Palmas, many of which are clothing optional. They are often fully booked in high season so advised to book well in advance.
The gay bars in Maspalomas are fairly busy all year round though summer sees a dramatic increase in the number of visitors. Most of the action takes place around Estados Unidos where you’ll find , multiple bars and clubs. A few of the firm favorites include Diamonds Bar, Buddies Bar and Fiction.
Gay Beaches in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is a tiny island with very diverse landscapes and endless beaches. On
its 236km of shore you can find 60km of sandy beaches for every taste. The two most popular gay beaches are the Maspalomas Beach and the Playa del Inglés (Englishman Beach), located on the South end of the island, inside the Maspalomas region. Both beaches can be found walking down Tirajana Avenue from the Yumbo shopping center towards the beach.
The Canarian shore is organized in sections that can be easily distinguished with numbered beach kiosks. At the Playa del Inglés, the gay area can be found in the surroundings of kiosk nº7 (commonly known as “el siete”), where nudism is widespread although not mandatory. The official nudist area is located in the surroundings of kiosk nº4, although LGBT+ travelers tend to establish themselves around kiosk nº7.
The Maspalomas Beach and the Playa del Inglés beach are not ideal gay cruising spots. However, it is not uncommon to find people practicing cruising between the dunes that separate the beach from the city. If you are planning on finding a play partner at the dunes, make sure to bring some shoes or flip-flops due to the scorching heat of the sand.
Gay Bars & Clubs in Gran Canaria
In the surroundings of Playa del Inglés you can find the epicenter of the island's gay life. At the Yumbo outdoor shopping mall you can find the vast majority of LGBT+ bars, restaurants, and clubs of Gran Canaria. In case you don’t know where to begin with, here are a few recommended bars and clubs to check out (and they all open 7 days a week!):
Tubos Bar: Located on Yumbo’s fourth floor, North-East corner, the Tubos Bar is a quasi-mandatory stop for the youngest party-goers. It is also a great spot to begin the night. On its interior you will find a long corridor through which you will be able to access the Mykonos Bar, another great option to start the night off.
Mykonos Bar: Located between Tubos Bar and Mantrix Club, Mykonos Bar is one of Yumbo’s eldest bars. It has a dancing area and a cruising area with private cabins and a dark room. With awesome pop music and the nicest (and cutest!) bartenders around, Mykonos has become one of the most popular bars of the area.
Parrots Terrace Bar: Located on Yumbo’s ground floor, Parrots is a modern terrace bar with nearly 50 different cocktails for you to enjoy when the night begins. With a very diverse client base, at Parrots you will be able to enjoy a cocktail or special beer on the terrace while you check out the local offer of… men! So. Many. Men!
Mantrix Disco Club: If after enjoying a couple of drinks you are starting to feel the dancing fever, have a look at Mantrix Disco Club, located on Yumbo’s fourth floor. Its resident and international DJs have managed to make this club one of the most popular among the LGBT+ population of the island. And if you not only want to dance but also have some *adult* fun, check out their cruising area with private cabins and a dark room. The night is young, darling!
Bunkers Sex Bar: For adventurers and fetish lovers, we recommend Bunkers Sex Bar, an exclusively gay club located on Yumbo’s ground floor. On its astonishing three floors you will be able to find dark rooms, play areas, private cabins, swings, fisting beds, and much more. They celebrate different specific parties throughout the year, such as the Fetish Week, the Bear Carnival, and the Winter and Summer Prides. There is no specific dress code although fetish, casual or naked are always welcome. Inside the club you will be able to find lockers to safely store your clothes and belongings while you’re having fun.
Gay Tours in Gran Canaria
If, besides sunbathing and partying, you feel like discovering the beautiful Gran Canaria island you should definiltey check out one of these tours including walking, quad, and sailboat tours throughout the island and its astonishing shore. With expert LGBT+ local tour guides you will be able to discover the landscape at your own pace, find an answer to each and every one of your burning questions, and learn about the island and its LGBT+ community.
Panoramic Gran Canaria: This day trip is especially conceived for nature lovers. During five hours you'll discover the island from top to bottom and enjoy the extremely diverse landscape of this tiny continent.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: For urban landscape lovers, enjoy this tour through Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, capital city of the island of Gran Canaria. Discover the most picture-worthy buildings and places in the city and enjoy a delicious lunch on the Canteras beach.
Quad Adventure: For the most daring travelers, check out a quad adventure tour, a unique day trip through the most beautiful landscapes of the island. Riding on an ATV Kawasaki 300 Quad you will be able to discover the incredible Gran Canaria island in a safe and fun way.
Luxury Yacht Day Experience: If you are more of a chill traveler and would like to enjoy a full relaxing day by the sea, you are in danger of falling in love with the Luxury Yacht Day Experience. Gaze into the horizon and enjoy a paella or your favorite Spanish meal on a luxurious private yacht with your very own boat Capitan and your favorite company.
Gay Hotels in Gran Canaria
Ultimately, the last thing you need to plan your awesome Gran Canaria vacation is to find a great place to stay on the island. There are plenty of options for every budget and preference, but here we suggest our two favorite LGBT+ places on the island.
AxelBeach Maspalomas: Axel Hotels is the captain of straight-friendly accommodation in Spain, and as such, it comes as no surprise that they have representation in the gayest island of the Canarian archipelago. AxelBeach Maspalomas’ 92 modern
apartments are fully equipped and located a few feet away from Playa del Inglés. Each apartment has a completely furnished kitchen, a complete bathroom, television, wi-fi, mini-bar, AC, and even a couch bed, so you won’t miss anything at all! And if you don’t feel like spending all the time in your private apartment, at the pool, the lounge garden, and the hot tub, you will be able to meet other LGBT+ people from all over the world. Holidays are more fun with friends!
Paso Chico Gay Bungalows: A few meters away from AxelBeach you can find the Paso Chico Gay Bungalow complex, with 6 exclusively male bungalows. Each and every one of them has a bedroom, a fully equipped kitchen, a living room, wi-fi, a full bathroom, and two terraces. Besides, the complex has a pool where nudism is allowed as well as a small garden to relax in when the night falls. If you prefer the calm and privacy of a limited and exclusive bungalow complex, you will most likely fall in love with Paso Chico.
With so many options, you will only need to find your activity and make the most out of the incredible island of Gran Canaria!