With its picturesque beaches and waving palm trees, the Canary Islands resort town of Maspalomas is a true tropical paradise. You might be tempted to spend the entirety of your holiday in your swimsuit, but if you can tear yourself away from that deck chair, here are a few highlights you won’t want to miss.
El Faro de Maspalomas
It’s impossible to miss the 184-foot tower of El Faro de Maspalomas. This 19th century active lighthouse is the most distinctive landmark in Maspalomas, and its flashing white light can be seen for 19 nautical miles. Located at the west end of Maspalomas’ main beach, El Faro dominates the surrounding area.
As the lighthouse is still fully functional, visitors are not allowed to ascend to the top of the tower. However, the area surrounding El Faro is full of shops and cafes, and is perfect for a stroll. Sand sculptors tend to show off their work around El Faro as well, so keep an eye out for their elaborate beach creations.
Speaking of sand, the famous Maspalomas Dunes are only a short walk from El Faro de Maspalomas lighthouse. The Dunes are a 1,000-acre expanse of stunning, undulating sand dunes that have been gently shaped by the wind. Take a stroll among the dunes and witness the panorama of golden sands spread out before you. It’s likely to be hot, so pack plenty of water and sun cream. The dunes are a popular spot for naturists, so bear that in mind on your stroll!
North of the dunes, toward the interior of Gran Canaria, you’ll find Palmitos Park, a 50-acre wonder of flora and fauna. The botanical and zoological park is nestled in the mountains, offering fantastic vistas of craggy cliffs and rocky outcroppings. The many attractions at Palmitos Park include the largest butterfly house in Europe, a cactus garden with over 100 different species, an orchid house and a “dolphinarium,” where two daily displays demonstrate the dolphins’ agility and intelligence. Other daily displays feature colourful parrots, including the park’s most famous resident parrot, Crazy Delores.
How to get to Maspalomas
The quickest way to get to Maspalomas from London is to fly into Gran Canaria Airport. British Airways and Iberia offer nonstop flights to Gran Canaria out of Heathrow airport, and easyJet and Ryanair operate nonstop flights from London Gatwick and Stansted, respectively. Total flight time is about four and a half hours.
When you touch down at Gran Canaria airport, transfers are available from Shuttle Direct which can take you directly to your accommodation in Maspalomas. The twenty-minute drive into town features some beautiful sea views off the south-eastern coast of Gran Canaria.
Alternatively, you may choose to rent a car with one of the many car hire companies which operate from Gran Canaria airport, such as Hertz, Europcar, and Avis. The drive from the airport to Maspalomas is fairly straightforward – 20 miles on the GC-1 will take you right into town.
Gran Canaria airport is also served by public buses, which can easily get you to Maspalomas. Bus route 5 leaves the airport for Faro de Maspalomas every hour on the hour, with fares only four euros.
Where to Stay
Canary Garden Club – This reasonably priced hotel near the Maspalomas Golf Course consists of a complex of individual bungalows, each with its own patio and garden. Guests at the Canary Garden Club have access to a swimming pool and tennis court, and can take the free shuttle service to the beach two miles away. Palm trees and colourful shrubbery are scattered throughout the property, and bright yellow lounge chairs beckon guests to relax in the sun. If you’re looking for a good mix of affordability, comfort and privacy, the Canary Garden ticks all the boxes.
Palm Oasis Maspalomas – This three-star hotel offers fully equipped apartments and studios with stunning views of the Maspalomas Dunes. Guests can play tennis or mini-golf onsite, enjoy a cocktail at the poolside bar or stroll in the tropical gardens surrounding the hotel. With its classic Spanish architecture and airy apartments, the Palm Oasis Maspalomas is a true piece of tropical bliss.
Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia – This luxury complex boasts close proximity to both the Maspalomas Dunes and the El Faro lighthouse. All the rooms and suites are located in two-storey Spanish villas with private balconies. The cheerful blue and yellow furnishings recall the golden sands and blue ocean visible from some of the rooms. Guests have access to a gym, hydro-massage saltwater pool, and Turkish bath. If you’re looking for world-class luxury and some serious pampering, the Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia might be for you!