Playa del Ingles in the south of Gran Canaria is just 30km from Las Palmas Airport. It’s the perfect destinations for family holidays and is also popular with young and retired people. Its tourism infrastructure caters for everyone with excellent accommodation, great beaches and varied nightlife.
“Young Fun” holidays are very popular during the period of July and August making Playa Del Ingles very much the ideal place for “18-30” style holidays. During the rest of the year the resort proves very popular with all age groups and is home to a mix of British, Irish, German, Scandinavian, Dutch and other European tourists. There are no mountains to conquer in Playa del Ingles making all parts of the resort easily accessible by foot. There is also an excellent network of buses running around the resort and to neighbouring areas. The buses are very clean, regular (although not always to the timetable!) and cheap. Taxis within the resort are inexpensive too.
Accommodation in Playa del Inglés
There is just so much to choose from! Ranging from two to five star hotels, one to four star apartment complexes, most offering room only, bed and breakfast, half and full board and fully inclusive accommodation. There are also many private bungalows and villas in the quieter streets if you prefer to be away from the concrete jungle of the resort centre.
Playa del Ingles Beaches
The golden sandy beach of Playa del Ingles starts at the northern end of the resort and offers many water sports such as jet-skiing and paragliding. The main beach area is densely populated in the summer months as many locals and Spanish visitors come to Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas. The Playa del Ingles beach runs into the famous dunes of Maspalomas as far as Faro (the lighthouse) at the southern end of the resort, which is actually the most southern point of Europe. The sand dunes of Maspalomas are famous for traditional, nude and gay beaches. Stretching on for six kilometres the dunes are an amazing vision of mountain after mountain of sand. It’s a long, hard walk over the dunes but you can always take the easy option and make the journey by camel.
Things to Do in Playa del Ingles
There are so many things to do within the Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas area. Night trips to bars and clubs, horse-riding, jeep safari and go-carting are all available by organised excursions.
There are also some excellent theme parks to visit such as Holiday World in Maspalomas where you can take in all the fun of the fair. There is a very popular bowling alley within the park. Then if you enjoy western cowboy and indian themes there is Sioux City, the original film setting for the movie “A Fistful of Dollars” starring Clint Eastwood. The film set has been maintained and a “shoot out” style show is put on for your entertainment.
The Mundo Aborigen is a museum highlighting the life of the original inhabitants of Gran Canaria both before and after the invasion of the Spanish in 1470’s when many of them fled to the mountains to avoid being sold as slaves. A good place to visit following on from the museum is the Cave Houses of Guayadeque.
At Guayadeque there is a cave bar which serves the best milky coffee on the island and a selection of local tapas for a minimal cost. There is a chapel where you can stop to say a prayer, and one of the cave houses which is still inhabited is open for viewing. This is a real eye opener – the people still choose to live there but with all mod cons!
Aqualand, the water theme park at Maspalomas, is ideal for children and adults with a range of exciting water slide rides and next door to Aqualand is the famous Pearl Factory where you can select a pearl from an oyster to have it made into a piece of jewellery to take home as a souvenir of your holiday.
For the fun golfers there are several mini golf courses dotted around the resort and for the more serious golf enthusiasts why not enjoy a round at the Campo de Golf Course in Maspalomas.
As that extra special evening entertainment, Garbos is well worth a visit. It’s a very colourful, all singing, all dancing professional cabaret dinner show which you can attend by organised excursion or by making your own way there.
There are numerous Commercial Centres in and around Playa del Ingles each hosting a fabulous selection of restaurants, bars and shops along with other necessities such as banks, places to exchange your money, and supermarkets.
If you are looking for a hectic nightlife head for the Kasbah and neighbouring Metro Centre known for their clubbing style and loud, crazy bars many of which are open until 6am. Needless to say this area is very quiet during the day!
The Yumbo Centre is in the middle of Playa del Ingles and is probably the largest of the commercial centres. By day it’s surprisingly quiet – built on four levels and around a large, open-air square on the bottom level, with a good choice of restaurants and bars, though most are closed until late afternoon. It is the main destination centre for the gay community so all of the bars are gay friendly and some, mainly on the top floor, are exclusively gay. Within the Yumbo Centre is the “Visanta” electrical shop which offers guarantees and refunds, therefore, a reliable place to buy your electrical duty free gifts. There is a kiddies play area, lots of souvenir shops and some designer shops such as Lacoste. By night the Yumbo buzzes when hundreds of people start their evening entertainment by flocking to the numerous restaurants offering Canarian, Spanish, and international cuisine.
Following your meal, if a cabaret drag show is your thing then pop into “La Belle” bar on the ground level. It’s very popular with everyone including families and the show starts about 10pm. From midnight the gay bars and nightclubs open and remain so until around 6am. The Yumbo Centre is famous for its Carnival early each year which follows the Las Palmas Carnival. The colours and costumes are out of this world but get there early if you want to have a good view of the show put on from the open air staged area on the ground floor.
The Gran Chaparral Centre is a good place to go for some quieter restaurants and bars. The Windmill bar has excellent family entertainment lined up every evening, with music and general knowledge quizzes, a picture quiz, a game of bingo and Play Your Cards Right and this bar shows all the popular sports on TV. The centre is very popular with the Dutch and there are even a couple of Dutch restaurants and bars here. For the best English breakfast in town visit the “Britannia” where the service and food is superb. Stop for a beer at the Highlander Bar where you can have a flutter on the horses. It’s the only betting office on the island! There’s also a couple of bike shops renting cycles and motorbikes in the Gran Chaparral Centre.
The Agua Roja Centre is the Irish Centre in Playa del Ingles where there are several Irish theme bars. The Irish certainly know how to enjoy themselves and if you are lucky enough to be holidaying in Gran Canaria for St Patrick’s Day then this busy centre is a must. From 6pm each evening there are a number of stalls selling local souvenirs and jewellery within Irish Centre.