Maspalomas’ Gay Scene

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Maspalomas on the southern coast of Gran Canaria is known for its impressive sand dunes, broad beaches and year-round sunshine. And add to that an open and welcoming environment – all of which have made it one of the most popular beach destinations for LGBTQ travellers.

The gay scene in Maspalomas and neighbouring Playa del Ingles is hardly a secret – think more loud and proud than that. But we thought we’d delve into the bars, beaches and events of Maspalomas to see exactly what this lively and fun-filled scene offers to all travellers, LGBTQ and otherwise.

Gay Pride

Maspalomas Pride
Image © Canary Islands Photos – UNFILTERED

About to enter its 15th edition in 2016, Maspalomas Pride is by far the biggest event on the calendar. The 2016 event will begin at the start of May and last for two glorious weeks, with several events planned daily.

You can expect a whirlwind of pool parties, boat parties, fetish parties… anything goes. Just some of the highlights include a Drag Queen Gala and the Wet and White party.

The centrepiece though has to be the massive colourful parade through Playa del Ingles. Thousands of men and women take to the streets in a joyful celebration of freedom and self expression. The parade route runs through the streets of Playa del Ingles, starting at Avenida de Tirajana, and ending at the Yumbo Center. Expect extravagant costumes next to bare bods, all dancing under a sea of rainbow flags.

Other Events

If you can’t make the celebrations in May, don’t worry. Maspalomas seems to be celebrating all year round.

The Dunas Festival is a summer festival, for a week in mid August. You’ll find a similar programme of pool parties, boat trips and club nights – quite a few of which are men-only.

Mid October is Festish Week. This is a PG-rated blog, so you can research that one for yourself here!

Then, if you feel like your winter could do with a bit of livening up, what you need is Maspalomas Winter Pride.

Yumbo Centre

The Yumbo Center
Image © Steve Arnold

The heart of the gay scene on Gran Canaria is the Yumbo Centre in Playa del Ingles. By day this large pink building functions as a shopping centre, with cafes and shops catering to all tourists. By night, it’s a whole other story. Approximately 40 gay bars and clubs come to life, transforming the centre into a one-stop party zone.

Start with a drink in a first-floor terrace bar before working your way upstairs. By 1pm clubs like Mykonos on the fourth floor are in full swing, with the crowd moving onto Mantrix to party onwards to the dawn.

The Beaches

Maspalomas beach and dunes

The beautiful beaches of both Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles are welcoming to all, but for most of the gay men holidaying in Maspalomas, bar number 7 on Maspalomas beach is the place to be. A party atmosphere prevails, with dance music pumping all day long, and swimsuits optional.

It’s a 20-minute walk along the shore from Maspalomas, all backed by the rolling sand dunes that divide Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles.
Front page image © Marina J /