Set on Gran Canaria’s south coast, Amadores is a relatively new arrival on the resort front. It hasn’t let its status as holiday getaway go to its head, though. What you’ve got here is a quiet spot with a clutch of waterfront restaurants and a laid-back beach. If you want anything livelier, neighbouring Puerto Rico can always pick up the pace.
Set on Gran Canaria’s south coast, Maspalomas is a sprawling resort with pockets of shops and eating places dotted about. On the nightlife front, it’s more of a family player than its partying neighbour Playa del Ingles. It might be a quiet customer but it’s got at least a couple of things to shout about – its famous dunes and a whopper of a waterpark.
As resorts go, Meloneras is a relatively new kid on the block. Set on the southeast coast of Gran Canaria, it’s a purpose-built place that popped up to take advantage of the sheltered beach here. While it had the builders in, it decided to throw in some modern cafés and shiny, new shopping malls – and it also swung it to get the island’s biggest waterpark right on the doorstep.
Playa del Ingles
Back in the Sixties, there was an empty strip of coast going spare on Gran Canaria’s southern tip. So Playa del Ingles jumped in and grabbed it. They shipped in golden sand from the Sahara, rustled up some shiny, new shopping centres, threw in a stash of bars, restaurants and clubs – and got themselves the biggest, boldest resort on the island.
Playa Taurito is perched on volcanic hills on the southwest coast of Gran Canaria. It’s a purpose-built place that doesn’t deal in gimmicks – instead, what you get here is a quiet little spot with hotels and a few shops. Location-wise, it’s between Puerto Mogan and Puerto Rico, both great options for nights out. And while Playa Taurito may not have all the bells and whistles of other resorts on the island, it does the basics just right, with a sheltered beach that basks in year-round sunshine.
Puerto Rico used to be a traditional fishing village but it had big plans. Now it’s a full-scale resort on the south-west coast of Gran Canaria with a lively nightlife that offers up family-friendly fun. All the numbers add up too – the place has 3 shopping centres, 2 beaches and 1 very big reason to stay – it’s one of the sunniest spots on the island.
San Agustin was one of the first resorts on Gran Canaria back in the Seventies. But this quiet little spot on the island’s south coast hasn’t got ideas above its station – it’s an easy-going, laid-back kind of place that deals in uncrowded beaches. And if you do want to ramp up the pace, you’ve always got party-loving Playa del Ingles next door.
This modern, stylish town on Gran Canaria’s southern coast is petite enough that everything’s within easy strolling distance. There’s a pretty, pedestrianised village square lined with pavement cafés and restaurants, while parks and Moroccan-style buildings only add to the charm. From here it’s only a short hop to buzzy Playa del Ingles, 10 kilometres away.
This low-rise fishing town on Gran Canaria’s southwest coast certainly doesn’t stint on charm. Its narrow, cobbled streets are lined with traditional whitewashed houses, clad in bougainvillea and hibiscus. There’s also a fancy harbour, perfect for yacht-watching. And in the traffic-free centre, Italian-style footbridges criss-cross a romantic canal. No wonder the place is nicknamed Little Venice.
Sitting on Gran Canaria’s brow, Las Palmas is a fitting capital for such a beach-blanketed isle. Two good-looking swathes of sand unravel for around four kilometres. It’s not all about the coast, though. You’ll also find chic boutiques, bazaar-like streets and elegant squares to boot.
Playa Del Cura
Playa del Cura might not have the buzz of its lively neighbour Puerto Rico, but its pretty, secluded setting more than makes up for things. It’s a forget-your-troubles kind of place, with a peaceful stretch of sand and a couple of Canarian restaurants dotted about. You’ll still see hotels and villas on the hills, but things are scaled down and far less touristy.