The best beaches in Gran Canaria

written by
Rupert Parker

updated 07.06.2023

Although the island’s unique attraction is its golden sandy beaches, Gran Canaria also has natural volcanic rock pools and hidden coves, only accessible by boat or on foot. If you fancy a swim, here’s our list of the best beaches in Gran Canaria, Spain.

The information in this article is inspired by The Rough Guide to Spain, your essential guide for visiting Spain.

Maspalomas and Meloneras: for a stylish beach

On the Western side of Maspalomas lighthouse, the newly developed stylish Meloneras stretches for 2 km and includes luxury 4 and 5-star hotels, a casino and a conference centre. The promenade is crammed with bars, cafés and restaurants offering cuisine from all over the world. It’s attractive, trendy and affluent.

There are two beaches to choose from at each end of the promenade – Maspalomas and the smaller Meloneras. Each feature long stretches of sand, perfect for taking a dip in the clear waters of the Atlantic. Discerning locals come here for tranquillity, so you know it’s a great spot.

At night Meloneras comes into its own with a unique kind of nightlife, different to the main resorts. Chill out with a glass of wine while the sun goes down, or kick back and enjoy the live music playing in the background.

Tip: golfers will enjoy the beachfront’s 18-hole course

Find more accommodation options to stay in Maspalomas and Meloneras

Maspalomas © Visit Gran Canaria

Maspalomas Beach is one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria © Visit Gran Canaria

Anfi del Mar and Arguineguín: great for water sports

Further west, Anfi Beach, fringed with coconut palms, has 11,000 tons of fine white sand. Originally known as Playa de la Verga, this resort was built in the 1990s by Bjørn Lyng, a Norwegian businessman. He wanted to recreate the look and feel of a Caribbean beach on Gran Canaria and he certainly achieved that.

It’s located in a protected lagoon, flanked on one side by a pier and on the other by a heart-shaped island and the marina. The waters are so calm that it’s safe for children, great for snorkelling and ideal for water sports. You can rent kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis and small boats. Or take a tour on a glass bottom ferry and discover the highlights of the area.

Thrill seekers can try parasailing to get an unforgettable aerial view of the resort Or you might take a fly board to be thrust into the air by a water jet and flip back into the sea. Check out our first-timer’s guide to the best Canary Islands for more activities in Gran Canaria.

Tip: Try Beach Club Maroa, on the island, for your evening cocktail, and enjoy the sunset.

Anfi del Mar © Visit Gran Canaria

Anfi del Mar is a Gran Canaria beach with fine white sand © Visit Gran Canaria

Playa de Amadores: for beautiful cliff views

Amadores Beach is one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria. The beach is located in a beautiful curved bay with turquoise sea and white sand. It is overlooked by stark cliffs. Created in 2002, this resort is a welcome respite from the busier Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria.

Since it’s situated in a cove, the waters are calm and well-protected from the rough waves of the Atlantic. This makes it an excellent place for swimming and paddling. The coral sand means people can lie on the beach all day without getting burned, although you still might want to hire a sun lounger.

There’s a ban on loud music and boisterous beach games and, since it’s almost a kilometre long, it never gets crowded. In 2004, Amadores was awarded the Blue Flag certification for the quality of its services.

Tip: take the 3-kilometre oceanfront walk along the cliff between Amadores and Puerto Rico for stunning views.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Amadores

Amadores © Visit Gran Canaria

Amadores beach with its turquoise water© Visit Gran Canaria

Playa de Mogán: perfect for families

The most westerly resort on the southern coast, this coastal village lies at the mouth of a steep-sided valley. It is known for its charming white buildings that contrast with the mountain landscape behind.

As well as a fishing port and yacht marina, there’s a sandy Playa de Mogán, protected by the port and a breakwater. This makes it perfect for families, as the waters are calm, there are no stones and the sand is fine and golden.

It’s also great for snorkelling as the sea is shallow and clear. For larger marine life, go to the marina and head beneath the waves in a yellow submarine or take a whale-watching trip. Keen anglers can set out on deep-sea fishing expeditions.

Tip: explore the resort’s “Little Venice”, a scenic network of canals and bridges with colourful subtropical blossoms and blooms.

Find more accommodation options to stay near Playa de Mogán

Puerto de Mogán © Visit Gran Canaria

Puerto de Mogán has a one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria for snorkeling © Visit Gran Canaria

Güi Güi: one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria for secluded relaxation

This is Gran Canarias’s Shangri La. The two beaches here on the west coast, dominated by high cliffs, are so remote they’re almost always deserted. The only way of getting there is on foot or by boat. It’s a tough two and a half hour hike from Tasartico, or persuade a fisherman to take you from Mogán or La Aldea.

Güi Güi Grande is the first you get to and is small, only 350 m long. It’s named after the size of the barranco or canyon, rather than the beach. Güi Güii Chico is just south of its little neighbour and is almost twice as big. You reach it by scrambling over the rocks but be careful as it gets cut off at high tide.

You’re rewarded with a refreshing swim in cool crystal clear waters and some of the best sunsets in Gran Canaria, The beaches are at their sandiest during the summer months as in winter they can disappear completely.

Tip: take plenty of water and snacks as you’re unlikely to find any supplies here.

GüiGüi beach Gran Canaria © Visit Gran Canaria

GüiGüi Chico beach is a small remote beach in Gran Canaria perfect for a sunset swim © Visit Gran Canaria

Agaete Natural Pools: a perfect bathing spot

North of Güi, and far more accessible is the tiny fishing village of Puerto de Las Nieves, a cluster of attractive blue and white Canarian houses. From the harbour, the Paseo de los Poetas, lined with restaurants, craft shops and galleries, leads along the shore, to the natural pools of Las Salinas.

For centuries, they were used to harvest salt, but now make the perfect bathing spot. Swimmers are protected from crashing waves by rock barriers. You'll find it is an exhilarating experience as the sea water rushes in. The three pools are connected by volcanic tubes and there are flat areas for sunbathing. The lush green pine forest mountainside makes for an attractive backdrop.

After your swim, visit the nearby Maipés Archaeological Park. It is situated on a great lava flow at the foot of the Pinar de Tamadaba. This is where the Guanches, Gran Canaria’s original inhabitants, choose to honour their dead. There are over 700 tombs of various types and sizes, including huge burial mounds constructed with volcanic stones, dating from around 1300 years ago.

Tip: try the local speciality – caldo de pescado, a delicious fish soup.

Find accommodation options to stay in Puerto de Las Nieves

Agaete Natural Pools © Visit Gran Canaria

Agaete Natural Pools © Visit Gran Canaria

Las Canteras: for beach and spa

The capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is home to Las Canteras. This is one of the best urban beaches in Gran Canaria and Europe in general. It stretches for almost 4km and starts in the north at La Puntilla, the golden sand fringed with coconut palms and fishing boats. At La Cicer, the southern end, surfers ride the crashing breakers in a haze of sea mist.

In between, a natural offshore lava reef acts as a wave break, calming the waters and protecting the marine life that makes Las Canteras a top snorkelling spot. It’s a good place for families as children can bathe in the shallows, overseen by lifeguards, while parents take the sun from their hammocks. The more sport-inclined can enjoy a variety of beach games including volleyball and football.

Alongside, the lively Paseo de las Canteras promenade has amenities including showers and spas. It’s also packed with shops, open-air restaurants, snack bars and ice cream parlours. Sit and enjoy some tapas, people watch over a cool drink and be amused by the street entertainers.

Tip: Watch locals jump into the sea from the rock, Peña La Vieja, and dare to try it yourself.

Although it’s renowned for sun and sand, Gran Canaria offers great walking opportunities. Explore our guide to the rugged heart of Gran Canaria on foot.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria - Las Canteras Beach © Visit Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria - Las Canteras Beach © Visit Gran Canaria

Playa del Inglés: one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria for windsurfers

San Agustín, the first resort you reach on the Gran Canaria motorway, caters mainly to retired couples and families with young children. It is also an extremely popular beach for windsurfers.

You can walk along the promenade to Playa del Inglés, a far louder and more robust resort. The name means English Beach, but it attracts numerous German visitors as well. This is a sprawling sun, sea and sand resort of high-rise hotels, shopping malls, amusement arcades and fast-food restaurants. The nightlife at the numerous discos, bars and clubs can be hectic.

Do you want to explore the highlights of Spain while staying in nature at the same time? Look no further. Start your tailor-made Spanish adventure in Barcelona before heading off to the mountains. Drive your rental car to Andorra and further on to Basque Country. Decide between driving yourself or guided tours.

The beach of Playa del Ingles on Gran Canaria, Spain © Shutterstock

The beach of Playa del Ingles on Gran Canaria, Spain © Shutterstock

Puerto Rico Beach: for dolphin searching and more

Puerto Rico is the major resort on this coast. Conceived in the 1970s, it has been somewhat overdeveloped, with a wall of apartment blocks rising to the top of the hills, like tiers of seats in a giant amphitheatre. Its pretty, sheltered beach is clean and is one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria for families but can become unbearably crowded at times.

The Puerto Deportivo (or leisure harbour) caters for fishing and water-sports enthusiasts and for those who just like being on the water. There are diving schools and sailing schools, deep-sea fishing trips, ‘dolphin search’ trips in glass-bottomed catamarans, as well as simple pleasure trips that run up and down the coast.

For more spectacular Spanish beach destinations, read our guide to the best beaches in Spain.

Public beach of Puerto Rico on Gran Canaria. Spain © Shutterstock

Public beach of Puerto Rico on Gran Canaria. Spain © Shutterstock

Playa de Las Nieves: for commemorative photographs

Playa de Las Nieves is a charming coastal spot found in the municipality of Agaete. This stunning beach offers holidaymakers picturesque spots to chill out, soak up the sun and enjoy the tranquil sounds of the ocean.

Nestled between dramatic cliffs and coated in golden sands, Playa de Las Nieves offers a peaceful retreat from bustling city life. Its crystal-clear waters draw swimmers and water enthusiasts to freshen up or enjoy a variety of water activities.

An extraordinary feature of Playa de Las Nieves is the famous Dedo de Dios or "Finger of God". This is a natural rock formation that stands majestically above the sea. This landmark adds to the unusual character of the beach and is a popular backdrop for photographs.

Dedo de Dios, the finger of god, rock formation on the coast of Agaete, Gran Canaria © Shutterstock

Dedo de Dios, the finger of god, a rock formation on the coast of Agaete, Gran Canaria © Shutterstock

Find more accommodation options to stay in Agaete.

Ready for a trip to Gran Canaria? Check out the snapshot of The Rough Guide to Spain.

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Gran Canaria without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

This article was written in partnership with Visit Gran Canaria.

We may earn commission from some of the external websites linked in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Rupert Parker

written by
Rupert Parker

updated 07.06.2023

Rupert Parker has been exploring the Canaries for the last thirty years and has hiked the length and breadth of every single island.

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