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Maspalomas Gay Travel

wolfyy’s Maspalomas gay travel guide covers where to stay, gay bars, beaches & events in this LGBT resort town.

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The Gay Travel Experience: Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

Strangers run up to each other on the gay beach in Maspalomas making jokes and laughing under the island sun; people in Maspalomas embody every sense of the word carefree. There are actually two Maspalomas gay pride events each year. These fabulous festivals draw many thousands of people from all over the world.
Winter Pride 2018

I visited for Maspalomas Winter Pride 2018, which takes place in early November. My time spent on this majestic island was short, but it was a time I’ll never forget.

Pride flag
Maspalomas gay dunes

I made more gay friends during my visit to Gran Canaria than any other destination or gay pride that I’ve been to. Since then, these friends have turned into long-term buddies and travel partners! Whats more, Maspalomas pride is by far the friendliest gay event I’ve been to.

Maspalomas gay dunes

Gay vacationers in Maspalomas are talkative and so outgoing! There are fewer groups of men who are closed off to making new friends. It was such a nice change from the usual gay pride vibe. Maspalomas is a top gay vacation destination for Europeans, especially Germans, Spaniards and the French.

Winter Pride 2018
maspalomas dunes gay area
Pride flag

Gran Canaria is the largest of the Canary Islands. You will surely find rainbow flags and gay resorts everywhere. Take note that Maspalomas is a town completely occupied by tourists. There are not too many local Spaniards to be found, as I’ll mention below.

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Is Gran Canaria Spanish Speaking?

Many travel newbies assume that because Maspalomas is the largest Canary Island and because it is occupied by Spain, that there must be a ton of local Spanish life around. This is not exactly the case.

gay circuit party in maspalomas

Spanish is the official language of the Spanish Canary Islands, but aside from that, there really is not much “Spanish culture” per se. This is simply because the island mainly caters to tourists.

maspalomas dunes photo spot
gay circuit party in maspalomas

Many more locals from the Canary Islands are found on other nearby islands, but not so much in Gran Canaria/Maspalomas. Nonetheless, the atmosphere is gorgeous and you have to see the dunes! Your fellow maspalomas gay travel buddies are bound to be on the friendly side, too.

Gay Maspalomas: Hotels & Where to Stay

The three most important considerations for booking hotels in Maspalomas are proximity to Yumbo Centre and beaches, and availability of a private/community pool. Taxis are plentiful and cheap, but it’s much more convenient to be able to walk to some destinations like the town center.

Maspalomas gay resorts
Maspalomas gay resorts
Canary Islands gay traveler

Playa del Inglés is the main gay area of Maspalomas and many prefer to stay nearby. Life revolves around Yumbo Centre since all the bars and restaurants are nearby. If you are visiting for a pride event, it is much more desirable to stay in one of the many Playa del Inglés hotels.

Winter Pride Parade Canary Islands

If you’re not concerned with the gay parties/bars or Yumbo Center in general, then there are plenty of other beautiful options to pick from. There are loads of highly-rated resorts in La Playa de Arguineguín, a beach town only a ten-minute drive west of Playa del Inglés.

A bit farther west, you can find some truly majestic accommodations in Playa Cura, many which have spectacular views.

gay travel Canary Islands

Accommodation types in Maspalomas are typically resort/bungalow style rentals and chic hotels. Airbnb apartments also exist, but they don’t seem as popular given that hotels are already pretty inexpensive.

I stayed at Eó Maspalomas Resort. It’s a bare-bones accommodation that is only a three to four-euro cab ride away from Yumbo Centre. Having the swimming pool and personal patio made my stay very relaxing. It was also a great layout for sharing a space with a friend.

Maspalomas Gay Travel Experiences

I’ve already mentioned Yumbo Centre, the hub of all nightlife. But, let me tell you a few more things about it. Firstly, the center is sort of like a “New Orleans Bourbon Street meets Bangkok’s gay district.”

It’s a ton of fun with people sitting outside at tables and walking around with drinks in their hands. Physically it is not pretty, it’s just a spot to get wild!

Maspalomas gay beach
Maspalomas gay beach
Spain pride event

Also, the setup of Yumbo Centre is sort of “walled-in.” Everything faces inward, which I love. You enter through various stairwells and passageways.

Spain pride event

High-end restaurants are mostly within the higher-end hotels and resorts. Food is decently cheap here in the Canary Islands, but the convenience stores are not. It’s a good bet to simply eat out. There are a couple run-of-the-mill Chinese and Indian restaurants close to Yumbo.

Maspalomas Gay Beaches & The Dunes

Now it’s time to talk about Las Dunas de Maspalomas! I’m sure you’ve heard about and seen many photos of these dunes. Spectacularly scenic, do not leave the island without walking through them. 

las dunas de maspalomas gay

Head toward the Maspalomas gay beach and take tons of photos. Watch out for a few areas that have cacti, as the little burrs can hurt and be difficult to remove.

las dunas de maspalomas gay
maspalomas gay beach
There are two points from which you can approach the Maspalomas gay beach, called Kiosco Beach Number 7. If you prefer a route walking along the shore, grab a Taxi to Plaza del Faro and walk east. You will pass various pockets of areas with beach chairs.
maspalomas gay beach
If you prefer a little hike through the dunes (a little steeper but nothing crazy), go directly to the main entrance of the dunes which is due south of Playa del Inglés. The beach is downhill from this point, so it is definitely easier to walk from Playa del Inglés and stroll the shore back.
Canary Islands gay traveler

The beaches in Maspalomas are beautiful, and the water is warm enough to swim in most of the year. Most people don’t swim during the coldest couple months since drying off can be chilly.

canary island beaches
maspalomas gay beach dunes

At Kiosco Beach Number 7 gay beach, the lounge chairs are free, but most people just spread out on the sand. There is a small cash-only bar as well (Canary Islands are part of Spain so Euros it is).

Maspalomas Dunes Cruising

Anyone who hasn’t been to Maspalomas is surely wondering, is there actually cruising happening in the dunes? The truth is…yes, but it may vary on time of day and day of week.

Maspalomas dunes cruising isn’t a full-on herd of men. It’s more like a few individuals nestling themselves into a secluded spot, remaining just visible enough to invite a stranger over.

maspalomas dunes gay cruising
maspalomas dunes gay cruising
cruising gay dunes of Maspalomas

Ultimately, there’s no harm in trying your luck! I’d say to keep your expectations in check, though. Before heading to the dunes, why not get a workout in? Aaptiv can help you squeeze in a killer workout anywhere.

If you’re interested, Start a 30 day free Aaptiv trial. I love their HIIT workout programs.

cruising gay dunes of Maspalomas

Maspalomas Gay Bars

There are so many gay bars and clubs in Maspalomas to choose from in Yumbo Centre. One of my favorites is Mykonos Bar, which has a terrace right outside. I love it for the best indoor-outdoor feel. 

yumbo center

Otherwise, most of the fun is just exploring the dozens of gay bars in Yumbo. wide-open terraces and cabaret bars pack in thousands of gay men.

If you are visiting for Maspalomas gay pride, the crowd drastically changes around midnight. Earlier in the night you’ll find an older European audience. Hang around a little later and things get wild with a primarily 25 to 35-year old crowd.

maspalomas gay bar
yumbo center

If you’re interested in a little more “fun” after some dancing, Bunker is the main Maspalomas gay sauna and cruise bar with a darkroom basement. They charge a cover at the door of about ten Euro.

maspalomas gay bar
During Maspalomas pride events, there will be a couple of “official” parties put on by the committee itself. I had an absolute blast at the T-dance. This party was in an indoor-outdoor bar overlooking the ocean at Playa de las Meloneras.

Gay Events in Gran Canaria

Since Maspalomas is a huge gay holiday destination in Europe, the island holds many gay events every year. Aside from Maspalomas Pride, there are several themed gay holiday weekends on the largest canary island. First I’ll discuss Maspalomas Pride weeks, and then I’ll mention some other fun gay party weekends.

When is Maspalomas Pride?

Remember that Maspalomas has a regular gay pride and also a winter pride each year. The general pride is in May, conveniently scheduled way before pride season ramps up in the rest of Europe. Maspalomas Winter Pride is help every November.

maspalomas dunes photo spot

For specific dates, check out the Maspalomas Pride Official Website. Here you can also learn about the general event schedule and prices for tickets.

Here’s some footage of the Meloneras Beach dance party from Maspalomas Winter Pride in 2018!

Be cautious when looking at the official Maspalomas Pride events because some of them are quite far from Playa del Inglés, which is the top place to stay during Maspalomas Pride. I purchased one ticket to a beach party but it was so far away we decided not to go.

Bear Carnival Maspalomas

Bear Carnival is another super popular gay festival in Maspalomas. In 2020, Bear Carnival will be March 20-29. There is an entire week of scheduled events, but the main party weekend is March 27th to 29th. They have toga parties, spa sessions, speed dating and more.

Bear Carnival is branded as Europe’s biggest bear event. At the start of the event, there is a welcome barbecue and a neon-beard party at night. During the rest of the week, there are kiki dress events and sex parties at the maspalomas gay sauna. 

Fetish Week Maspalomas

Although I’ve never been, I would love to go to Maspalomas Gay Fetish Week. The photos from past events look great. Many of the gay resorts will participate in the overall fetish week themes.

fetish week
maspalomas summer fiesta gay parties
fetish week

In 2020, Maspalomas Fetish Week will be from October 2-11. All the proceeds go to a local HIV/AIDS charity. Learn more about Maspalomas Fetish Week Official Website.

Gran Canaria Summer Fiesta Events

With events all throughout August, there’s no excuse to miss Maspalomas Summer Fiesta! The end-of-summer gay event program starts on August 1st and finishes up on August 31st. Summer Fiesta Maspalomas has literally everything from wine tastings and free scuba experiences to their famous “Please Disturb” cruising party.

maspalomas summer fiesta gay parties

Maspalomas Gay Travel Tips

Taxi cabs in Maspalomas are trustworthy. Of all the taxis I took, none of them tried to rip me off. They are extremely cheap as well. Most don’t speak much, if any English.

It’s best to know the name of the road where you are going if your accommodation isn’t well known. These guys are honest, so tip them well!

maspalomas winter pride
maspalomas winter pride
gay travel canary islands

One of the many Gran Canaria public busses can take you directly from the airport to Yumbo Centre. It is only 3 euros or so, a much better deal than a 50-euro cab ride. Playa del Inglés is not near the airport, so the bus is definitely worth it. You can grab a cab locally once it lets out at Yumbo.

gay travel canary islands

I have a few friends who decided to take a day trip around the island by car to check out the beautiful landscapes. If you have the time, this may be of interest to you. 

I personally stayed in central Maspalomas the entire time. However, there truly is much more to see on the largest Canary Island.

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Did you love this Maspalomas Gay Travel Guide? If you want more of gay Spain, check out wolfyy’s Barcelona Gay Travel Guide.

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