|Gran Canaria: Walking Across the Maspalomas dunes at sunset|
Millions of people come to Gran Canaria every year for its beautiful beaches and perfect weather. Some of you however, want to do a bit more than just get a tan. If you fancy going for a walk in Gran Canaria, but don't want to go too far from the resorts, don't worry: There are plenty of excellent walks right in the heart of Gran Canaria's main resorts.
Across the Maspalomas Dunes
The dunes are Europe's only slice of the Sahara Desert. They stretch over 6km from Maspalomas resort all the way to Playa del Ingles. The best way to see them is to walk right across them from the end of Avenida Tirajana to the sea.
See here for a Google Map of the start point for this walk.
This walk takes about an hour with a couple of stops for taking photos and running up and down sand dunes. It is hard going as you have to walk through the soft sand. Stick to the crests of the dunes for the easiest path. Take water, a hat and sunscreen!
From Maspalomas to Playa del Inglés
If walking through the dunes sounds like too much hard work then walk along the shore from Maspalomas to Playa del Inglés resorts, or vice versa. Start either in Maspalomas by the Charco or lagoon, or from the line of restaurants on the beach in Playa del Inglés. The walk is about 6 km long and takes a couple of hours with a stop for a swim, some sunbathing, or a drink at one of the many snack stands on the beach. The walk takes you past the nudist sections of the beach so don't be surprised if you see a few naked people splashing about in the sea or playing volleyball on the beach (what is it with nudists and volleyball?).
You don't even have to get sand in your sandals to walk along the beachfront in Playa del Ingles. The beach front promenade, called the Paseo Costa Canaria, runs all the way from the end of Avenida Tirajana to the San Agustín Beach about 5km to the east. The whole walk is right next to the dunes and the sea and takes you past a couple of quiet, local beaches that few tourists ever see.
Walking from Playa del Inglés the promenade, which is largely wheelchair friendly, runs behind the dunes and past three small, sheltered beaches formed by artificial groynes at the end of Maspalomas beach. Then it continues along the coast to Las Burras Beach with its golden sand and largely local crowd. The Paseo Costa Canaria goes on all the way past the long San Agustin Beach and up the hill to the end of San Agustín Resort. The whole walk takes a couple of hours one way if you include a drinks stop or a swim at one of the beaches.
The Lugar las Meloneras seafront promenade is in the newest and most upmarket part of Gran Canaria's resorts. It runs between the historic Maspalomas lighthouse, soon to open as a museum and exhibition centre, all the way to little-known Meloneras Beach. The walk takes you past plenty of shops, bars and restaurants, and past a tiny archaeological park right on the seashore.
The safe, cliff-top walk from Puerto Rico resort to Amadores Beach gives you beautiful views of the turquoise sea and rocky shore along the way. There is even a spiral stair case in front of the Gloria Palace Hotel that takes you down to the sea. If the sea is rough, which isn't that often, don't go down the staircase as people have been washed off the rocks during storms.
The walk starts from the shopping centre in Puerto Chico. It takes about 40 minutes one way. Once you get to Amadores Beach you can get a drink or a snack in one of the restaurants, go for a swim and do a spot of sunbathing, and then either walk or take a taxi or bus back to Puerto Rico.
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For more on Gran Canaria's resorts and beaches, check out these posts:
The Top 20 Beaches in Gran Canaria
Maspalomas: The Amazing Dunes and Beach
A Walking Guide to Gran Canaria
A Guide to the Best Gran Canaria Nudist Beaches
© Alex Bramwell 2012