Gran Canaria is one of several large gay hubs in Spain like Barcelona, Sitges, and Madrid, but it has a very distinct vibe from the others. You will find little in the way of museums, landmarks, and city walks on this little island. People come to Gran Canaria to lie back on a sun lounger and then party until the sun rises, all the while enjoying permanent great weather and gorgeous beaches. A dizzying selection of resorts and entertainment complexes dot the coastline, designed entirely for two things: fun and relaxation.
Gay Gran Canaria is no different, with gay visitors flocking here by the thousands every year to admire the masses of shirtless torsos and take advantage of the incredibly convenient gay nightlife. While the gay beaches down south offer plenty of opportunities to make new friends, Yumbo in Playa del Ingles is a gay nightlife complex unto itself, complete with everything to guarantee you a great night.
If you for some reason tire of the non-stop drinking, dancing, and cruising, the island also offers plenty of secluded, peaceful spots where you can wind down and watch the world pass by, possibly with a spa treatment thrown in the mix. There are also some gorgeous hikes to be had for those who wish to admire the island’s natural beauty and a handful of lovely seaside villages perfect for an aimless stroll.
These resorts are mostly concentrated around the south of the island in Maspalomas, which is where most of Gran Canaria’s gay scene is. In particular, gay visitors tend to stay around the adjacent areas of Playa del Ingles and Meloneras.
Playa del Ingles is home to Yumbo shopping center, which houses dozens of gay bars, cafes, and clubs for the most convenient gay bar-hopping you have ever experienced. Meanwhile, Meloneras home to Maspalomas beach features the region’s only stretch of gay beach, around Hut 7 (Kiosco Beach No 7). This beach can either be accessed by walking along the beach from Maspalomas or crossing the sand dunes from Playa del Ingles.
As a whole, Spain is a very tolerant country of homosexuality. In fact, a 2013 study found it to have the highest rate of homosexual acceptance (88%) of all countries polled. Despite having only recently emerged from a troubled history of fascism, the country developed progressive gender and sexuality laws very quickly, and is now amongst the best in the world for LGBT rights.
Gran Canaria is a long-standing gay hub within Spain, meaning gay visitors should not come across any hassle. That said, if you choose to leave the gay and party areas to explore some of the local, less-developed villages and towns, you may encounter some more traditionally-minded people who are less comfortable with overt displays of homosexuality.
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