|Gay Gran Canaria|
The volcanic Island of Gran Canaria, situated off the coast of Africa, is a gay man's dream - it's got sun, sea and sex in abundance and what's more it's a year round fantasy island.
Gran Canaria Island is located in the Atlantic Ocean about 70 miles off the Moroccan Coast. Maspalomas / Playa del Ingles is located on the southern tip of the Gran Canaria island. 43 miles south of Las Palmas and about 18 miles south of the De Gran Canaria International Airport. The climate is sub tropical, with plenty of sunshine year round accompanied with little variations in temperatures.
Playa del Ingles is located at the extreme south of Gran Canaria has a pleasant sunny climate year round and some of the finest sandy beaches on the islands. Las Palmas, the largest city on the northern part of the island, is a popular resort for straight tourists, but has its own gay scene and certainly worth a visit. Playa del Ingles is the gay holiday playground of the Canary Islands attracting many Europeans gays all year round. All of the resorts in Playa del Ingles are exclusively all male, and so are most of the gay bars. The gay nude beach can be found in the utmost corner between Playa and Maspalomas.
Located just 4 hours from most UK airports it's an easy destination to obtain that perfect tan. If you want to get a bit cultural head into the mountains where the scenery changes from volcanic dryness to pine forests and evergreen shrubs. In the North around Arucas, Teror and Santa Brigida the valleys are green from the intensive cultivation of tomatoes, potatoes and bananas. You can drive leisurely around the coast road of the island in one day, with great stops for lunch and photo-shots that'll amaze your friends on your return.
When's the best time to go?
The islands three week carnival usually happens at beginning of February and it's a huge glamorous affair with costumes worthy of a place in a Las Vegas casino. Temperatures rarely fall below 21°C and during summer months the average temperature is 29.5°C! Perfect for slipping on, or off, the swimming trunks and hitting the beach with G & T's in hand.
If you want somehting alittle pinker, then Gay Pride Maspalomas takes place in May and every year it gets bigger and better.
Is it worth getting out of bed before sunset?
The sand dunes of Maspalomas are definitely worth seeing to ease you into your holiday. They have an area to the south which is covered in bushes and, unsurprisingly, it is here that the gay population flock to set up camp for the day. There's a lot of action happening so if you're a bit shy take yourself up to one of the bush covered hills. Ensure that you take plenty of liquids with you as the nearest bar is a bit of a trek away, and it gets hot, hot, hot up on those dunes!
The beach itself is split into three zones. Towards the lighthouse is the family area, in the middle the nudist section, where most of the gay community hang out and a third, family-orientated nudist area.
Alternatively, hiring a private yacht, with or without skipper, and sailing around the islands is a great way to spend the day. Or visit the Gran Canaria Diving Club for some underwater action!
What about the night life & restaurants?
The majority of the gay scene is based in the Yumbo Centre, Playa del Inglés - the main shopping centre by day and den of iniquity by night. Dining begins from around 7pm but, as most of the bars don`t open until 10pm, the serious drinkers don't arrive before then.
Head for the cabaret bars on the ground floor, enjoy the shows and get in the spirit before moving up the levels to hit the bars. They're all situated in a circle and so are ideal for a pub crawling.
Many of the gay bars warmly welcome lesbians but if you want a bit more exclusivity head for the First Lady bar. The night clubs are all grouped together and you`ll happily find yourself dancing 'till 5 in the morning, if you can handle it!!
Can I spend, spend, spend??
Without a doubt the best places to shop are the shopping centres. The most significant being in Las Palmas, followed closely by Las Arenas. Housing many outlets from small boutiques to huge megastores like the Continente, just about everything and anything can be bartered over. Another good centre stocking everything the shopper could require can be found in Playa del Ingles with goods including jewellery, electrical goods, clothing, fresh fruit and veg.