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Southern Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is not just about the beach and good times. The handsome inland villages of Artenara, Teror, Tejeda and Arucas are just some examples of what the island has to offer visitors looking to combine fun-in-the-sun with cultural activities. There are unique archaeological sites and stunning volcanic landscapes, such as the soaring volcanic monolith of Roque Nublo and the volcanic crater of Caldera de Bandama. That said, nobody can deny that it is the island’s sublime offering of gorgeous stretches of sandy paradise, clustered on the south coast, that keeps drawing holidaymakers to – and back to –the island.

Some of the island’s crown jewels include Playa del Inglés, with its 3 km of powdery golden sand and sparkling blue waters. Fronting the tourist resort of the same name, this sprawling beach guarantees everyone can find exactly what they came for: families tend to head to the northern end of the beach, where the main amenities and restaurants are located, while surfers and nudists occupy the wilder southern part close to Punta de Maspalomas.

Another gem is the magnificent beach of Playa de Maspalomas and its incredible golden sand dunes. So unique is its beauty that the Canarian government declared it a special natural reserve. Four hundred hectares make up this marvellous wonder of nature and includes the wind-swept sand dunes and beaches, a salt-water lagoon and a lush palm grove. The best spot to take in the panoramic views of the reserve is from the viewpoint. The picture-perfect mental snapshot you’ll take of the rolling dunes and the sparking blue Atlantic Ocean in the background is one that will keep you warm on the coldest of winter nights. The imposing 60-metre-high lighthouse, Faro de Maspalomas, was reopened in 2019 after being closed to the public for 10 years. It now houses an ethnographic centre, a tourism information centre and a craft shop.

These two beaches may be the most renowned of Gran Canaria but the south coast boasts many other picturesque enclaves where you can discover hidden treasures. There is the seafaring town of Arguineguín, with its quaint port and fishermen’s guild, where you can always savour the freshest of fish; Anfi del Mar, one of the top destinations among families looking for idyllic beaches and mellow water; and Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, the ideal place to hire a boating excursion and head out to sea to spot dolphins.

It is also easy to fall under the spell of the exceptionally charming village of Puerto de Mogán – the Canarians own ‘Little Venice’ because of the canals linking the marina to the fishing harbour. The streets are lined with dazzling white cottages, framed with vibrant colours and cascading bougainvillea.

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