On the southern tip of Gran Canaria, Maspalomas is a quieter, more sophisticated version of its neighbour, Playa del Ingles. Instead of big shopping centres and starry-eyed nightclubs, it serves up first-class restaurants and designer boutiques – all next to a standout strip of beach.
Long beaches and sweeping sand dunes
The Blue Flag beach at Maspalomas is 6 kilometres long, and 100 metres wide in places. It has a great choice of watersports and there are seafront cafés, bars and restaurants in walking distance. Best of all, the whole scene is backdropped by wave upon wave of Saharan-sized dunes, 400 hectares in total, criss-crossed by camels.
Far and away the biggest landmark is El Faro de Maspalomas, the 68-metre lighthouse at the edge of the beach. It’s attached to a period-style keeper’s inn and set in lush gardens. Aside from alerting waylaid seafarers, it also draws holidaymakers to its long Boulevard El Faro that’s crammed with cocktail bars, designer shops and restaurants.
Maspalomas has a great line-up of days out. For starters, there’s Aqualand, with its cast of corkscrews, kamikazes and friendly sea lions. There’s also Sioux City, a Wild West theme park built on the site of a film set. Both are just 10 minutes away. And for golf lovers, there’s an 18-hole course overlooking the Maspalomas sand dunes.