Amadores sits on a hillside on the southwest coast of Gran Canaria. It’s a fairly new addition to the holiday scene, but the place has kept things low-key – waterfront restaurants and a quiet beach sum up the highlights. Evenings here tend to be pretty relaxed, though next-door neighbour Puerto Rico has plenty of lively pubs and bars should you want them.
On the southern tip of Gran Canaria, Maspalomas is a quieter, more sophisticated version of its neighbour, Playa del Ingles. Instead of big shopping centres and starry-eyed nightclubs, it serves up first-class restaurants and designer boutiques – all next to a standout strip of beach.
Set on Gran Canaria’s sun-soaked southern coast, Meloneras is a peaceful, purpose-built resort that has class written all over it. Modern shopping malls are filled with high-end boutiques and designer labels, plus an assortment of stylish restaurants and bars. The hotels, meanwhile, fall in line with the town’s upmarket feel. Most of them are sprawling village-like set-ups, with the beachfront right on their doorstep.
Playa del Ingles
Playa del Ingles is set on the southernmost tip of Gran Canaria. Sandwiched between the smaller resorts of Maspalomas and San Agustin, it’s brimming with purpose-built apartment complexes and hotels, big-name nightclubs, and a Saharan-sized beach. Come summer, it draws a young crowd looking to party, but with its long list of daytime activities, it’s a certified family favourite, too.
Playa Taurito is a hush-hush resort on Gran Canaria’s southwest coast, squeezed between chic Playa Mogan and throbbing Puerto Rico. It just has a handful of elegant hotels stacked up the sides of its rugged volcanic cliffs, plus a quiet beach lapped by the Atlantic, so it feels like you’re at your own private party.
Puerto Rico is a fun-loving town with a modern feel to it on Gran Canaria’s southwest coast. Squeezed into the steep slopes of a volcanic valley are tall white hotels and large shopping complexes that major in duty-free shopping, international cuisine and 5-star entertainment.
San Agustin (Gran Canaria)
San Agustin has got itself a rather good location on the island of Gran Canaria. This quiet place is tucked away on the south coast with a crowd-free beach and a relaxed nightlife, not to mention some great restaurants. And it’s teamed up with two very useful neighbours – Playa del Ingles, which comes with vibrant bars and clubs, and Maspalomas, with its famous Sahara-style sand dunes.
This modern, stylish town on Gran Canaria’s southern coast is petite enough that everything’s within easy strolling distance. There’s a pretty, pedestrianised village square lined with pavement cafés and restaurants, while parks and Moroccan-style buildings only add to the charm. From here it’s only a short hop to buzzy Playa del Ingles, 10 kilometres away.
This low-rise fishing town on Gran Canaria’s southwest coast certainly doesn’t stint on charm. Its narrow, cobbled streets are lined with traditional whitewashed houses, clad in bougainvillea and hibiscus. There’s also a fancy harbour, perfect for yacht-watching. And in the traffic-free centre, Italian-style footbridges criss-cross a romantic canal. No wonder the place is nicknamed Little Venice.
Sitting on Gran Canaria’s brow, Las Palmas is a fitting capital for such a beach-blanketed isle. Two good-looking swathes of sand unravel for around four kilometres. It’s not all about the coast, though. You’ll also find chic boutiques, bazaar-like streets and elegant squares to boot.
El Salobre is first and foremost a golf resort with 2 18-hole courses that have been beautifully designed to fit around Gran Canaria’s terraced valleys and landscape of volcanic rock. Away from the fairways, though, you’re also well-placed to make the most of the island’s southern beaches and resorts that tick all the right boxes for families.
Playa Del Cura
Playa del Cura’s spot on for holidays in the slow lane. This laidback town is built into the cliffs between a pair of popular Gran Canarian picks, Amadores and Puerto Rico. So, when you fancy a change from chilled days by the pool, you’ve got options. The coconut-white sand of Amadores has more to offer than sunbathing space – the water is home to some of the best dive sites on the island. And if you take a five-minute cab ride to Puerto Rico, you’ve got three huge shopping malls and an after-dark scene that’ll keep you dancing until sunrise.
Patalavaca ticks all of the traditional holiday boxes. It’s one of the lesser-known spots on Gran Canaria’s south coast, but still lines up a clutch of sandy beaches and well-positioned hotels. Whitewashed villas start to take their place as you follow the twisting road uphill, and the panoramas get better the higher you climb. Turn your back on the ocean, and you’ll see mocha-coloured hills rise and fall towards the island’s rural centre.
Sitting on Gran Canaria’s southern tip, Arguineguin’s a fishing village with a modern edge. Roughly translated, it means ‘quiet water’, which hints at its shore-based perks. It’s got a handful of beaches tucked away along its scalloped coastline – and they’re renowned for their calm, lake-like waters.