Playa del Inglés is located in Maspalomas, in the south of the island of Gran Canaria. It is the second of its kind vacation most visited in Europe, making it a perfect place for any kind of tourist: singles, couples, families or groups of friends. Most tourists come from Europe mainly German, British, Irish, Scandinavian and Dutch. Playa del Ingles has a variety of activities for all ages: walks on the beach, golf, water sports, bars, shopping, restaurants of various nationalities and night parties that last until dawn. It has excellent transport links, both bus and taxi that let you move throughout the English beach in comfort and at a reasonable price.
What to see?
You should not miss the beach of Playa del Ingles (name given to the great beach located in the town). Alongside them are the famous Maspalomas Dunes and reaches to the Faro de Maspalomas. The beach is of fine golden sand, with ample access, holder of the Blue Flag quality and considerate nature park. On the beach of Playa del Ingles you can do all kinds of activities: water sports, paragliding, long walks on foot or by camel. It has many bars that will sell drinks to stay hydrated. Another activity known in the dunes of Maspalomas are the part of the nude beach and gay where no one feels excluded and is welcome. In 1994 the fabulous Dunas de Maspalomas were designated a national park. The best view of them is from the bottom of Avenida Tirjana. Stroll through the arches of the Hotel Riu Palace Maspalomas to the balcony, which is surrounded by a botanical garden displaying many shrubs and plants endemic to the Canaries. There is a small information office here with sporadic opening hours. Although the dunes look too pristine to blight with footprints, you can walk on the sand, but do respect the signs and keep to the designated trails. A few steps from the Maspalomas Palm Tree plantation (Palmeral) you will find another protected natural space, Charca, which lies between the sea and the sand, providing a resting spot for birds migrating from Europe to Africa. The extensive fields of sands dunes start beyond this ‘pond’, changing their shape continually, modelled by the wind coming off the ocean.
The lighthouse light shone for the first time on 1st February 1890. It was the only construction at the end of a long line of sand which started at what is now the Playa del Inglés and tailed off close to the Maspalomas Oasis. It helped to guide steamboats which covered routes between Europe, Africa and America.
30 km away following the GC-1 highway you’ll find Mogán. The beaches which spread along this coastal locality have integrated several tourist centres: Arguineguín-Patalavaca, Anfi del Mar, Puerto Rico, Amadores, Tauro, Playa del Cura, Taurito and the Puerto de Mogán (the Mogán Harbour). In all of these there are hotel and restaurant facilities bordered by avenues and beachwalks. The tourist centres also have the optimum infrastructure for the practice of nautical tourism as well as sports marinas. The observation of whales is one of the most attractive practises that the municipality has to offer sea lovers.
What to do?
· Theme parks Holiday World in Maspalomas and Sioux City (where they filmed the movie “A Fistful of Dollars” starring Clint Eastwood) and attend a show-style shooting cowboy.
· Aqualand water park located in Maspalomas is the largest of the entire island. And a great way to spend a fun day with family, friends or with your partner.
· Palmitos Park is a subtropical oasis crammed with exotic flora and 1500 species of birds, along with an aquarium, orchid exhibit, reptile house, petting farm and animals such as wallabies and orang-utans. Buses run here regularly from various stops in Playa del Inglés, Puerto Rico and Maspalomas.
· Golfers have the spectacular Maspalomas Golf Course with excellent sea views, plus numerous sites where minigolf scattered throughout the town. Also Meloneras Golfopened in 2006, in between Maspalomas and the harbour of Pasito Blanco, in an area earmarked for yet another luxury development.
· The slickly run Free Motion offers a range of tours for small groups and has bikes and quads for rental.
· Like biking, and hiking? Happy Biking rents out a range of cycles and also organises cycle tours, mostly quite gentle, including bike hire, transport and a picnic.
· Dive Academy Gran Canaria has a free minibus to pick up plungers from their hotels and take them to the dive academy, due west of town. Both boat and shore dives are available.
· Happy Horse offers horse treks in the hinterland southeast of town. Pick up from your hotel is included in the price.
· Club Mistral, in Bahía Feliz, rents boogie boards, surfboards, ocean kayaks and windsurfing boards and equipment. It also organises windsurf safaris.
· There are more than 200 businesses in Yumbo Centrum, a four-level commercial centre. You can buy shoes, leather goods, perfume and anything else you fancy, tax-free, although the quality should be checked. There are also supermarkets on the premises.
· The Cita Shopping Centre is recognizable by it’s different miniature national symbols outside the shopping centre. The Cita shopping centre is a veritable maze of shops and facilities, including amusements and mini golf.
· If you’re after local handicrafts, visit the small Fedac shop located with the Cabildo tourist office. Fedac is a government-sponsored nonprofit store, with prices and quality that are a good standard by which to measure those of products sold elsewhere. You’ll also get a guarantee with your purchase.
If you really want to try the real taste of Gran Canaria, I advise you to take a car for a day or two and explore the rest of the island. You’ll be surprised!