Europe’s LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria, Spain

When I was invited on a press trip to Gran Canaria, I quickly jumped on the opportunity because I didn’t want to pass up the chance to explore and experience Europe’s prime LGBT holiday destination. This is the place where LGBT people flock to because of the warm weather, excellent beaches, incredible gay scene, and accepting attitude towards everyone regardless of sexual orientation, identity, or race and ethnicity. As the LGBT holiday destination for Europe, people in Gran Canaria really don’t care who you’re kissing or whatnot. The island has a very come-as-you-are attitude and that suits me just fine. 

While the Canary Islands are part of Spain, they are actually much closer to the African countries of Morocco and Western Sahara. In fact, Gran Canaria is approximately 1,234 miles  (1,986 km) from Spain proper. Of course, they are famous for having a more bohemian population acting as the home of artists and others not often embraced by society. Gran Canaria is about 572 miles (921 km) from the Morocco and not too far from the Sahara desert which means the weather is pretty warm. Admittedly, the temperature can be slightly unbearable especially when the Calima blows in from Africa. But the island is perfect for partying and, as I quickly found out, exploring a unique natural landscape and culture.

The best of both worlds…

Like I said before, Gran Canaria is known as the number one LGBT holiday destination. People who identify with all the letters of the alphabet flock to this island and enjoy partying and laying out on beaches. Of course, this is all grand. Who doesn’t love a good celebration or relaxing time on some sand next to the ocean? But Gran Canaria offers so much more than just sand and bright lights. When you visit Gran Canaria be sure to leave the popular urban areas and head to some secluded beaches, visit a farm, go hiking in the arid environment, or visit a nice mountainous forest. There’s a whole world of adventure waiting for you on the island and you don’t want to miss it!

After spending a week in the LGBT holiday destination that is Gran Canaria, I realized that the island offers something for everyone. Teaming up with the tourism board in Gran Canaria was an excellent idea as we relied on a local to take us to all the best places on the island. Understanding the important part the island played in the history of the world and understanding the influence these historic moments had on the overall culture of the place was fascinating. For instance, did you know that Las Palmas in Gran Canaria was the last place Columbus stopped at before getting lost and stumbling on the Americas? It’s a fascinating place and I hope you enjoy this photo journey through the excellent gay holiday destination, Gran Canaria.

 

Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Gran Canaria From Pico de Bandama
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
This concert venue in Las Palmas is gorgeous!
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Playa Las Canteras offers a bit of relaxation!
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Calle Triana is popular for shopping!
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
This fishmonger was super enthused!
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Cathedral of Santa Ana in the Vegueta neighborhood.
The great outdoors as part of the LGBT holiday destination! 

There is so much more to see and do in Gran Canaria besides walking around the urban centers. Try leaving the city and heading into the wilderness. You won’t disappointed with incredible views, stark landscapes, and incredible hikes.

Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
The view from our first stopping point during our excursion…
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
The view was just incredible! It took my breathe away.
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Alfred decided to climb up and into a cave/outcropping. He looks pretty pleased.
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Roque Nublo is one of Gran Canaria’s most iconic landmarks.
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
I love the thrill of being at the edge of a cliff.
Sailing in Gran Canaria

You can also get a place on one of Canarias Gay’s private yachts for a nice sea excursion. It’s definitely worth the splurge! You’ll head out to sea and possibly see some dolphins. We spent the day on Playa Guigui which is a secluded beach that’s very difficult to get to unless you go by boat. The captain even served us some tapas and cooked a paella for us. It was a wonderful experience!

Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Early morning…and we were heading out to sea!
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
The view from our yacht…
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Hanging on Playa Guigui as our boat captain cooks a nice paella.
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Enjoying the Canarian sun on Playa Guigui!
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Hanging out aboard our boat as we sail around Gran Canaria.
Coffee Plantation

Another really fun highlight of our trip was visiting the only coffee plantation in Europe called Bodega Los Berrazales. That’s right! Gran Canaria is home to an incredible farm that grows coffee and also produces delicious wine and it’s all family-run. In my opinion, this is an absolutely must-do if you visit the island. You can taste a very rare coffee and enjoy their delicious wine all on the backdrop of a beautiful farm and mountains. Not only that…you can also learn to make Canarian Adobo which is delicious on meat and such.

Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Enjoy some coffee in this beautiful setting!
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Rows and rows of bananas await you!
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
I was very excited about the bananas!
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
The garden at Bodega Los Berrazales is beautiful!
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Get ya some wine!
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
The expert on the wine at Bodega Berrazales explaining things to us.
Dunes on Dunes on Dune! 

One of the things Gran Canaria is most famous for is its beautiful dune. When you walk up to them, you feel like you are about to walk through the Sahara Desert. Funnily enough…the dunes are preserved by bringing in sand from the Sahara. Despite this, they are a completely natural geographical feature. In order to get to the gay beach, you have to walk across these and we did get lost with our friends, the Nomadic Boys!

Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
There was sand everywhere…in every nook and cranny.
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
Some of my blogger friends…well…being gay! Love it! 
Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination : Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.
The dunes are huge…those little people are my friends.

If you want to learn more about visiting Gran Canaria, visit: Gran Canaria Tourism Office.

Check out my suggestions for LGBT lodging in Gran Canaria here! 

Wondering what there is to do in Gran Canaria? Check out my article about that here! 


So what do you think, would you take a gaycation to Gran Canaria?

J Harvey

Pin Me, Please! 

Europe's LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria. Photo Essay by My Normal Gay Life Blog.

J. Harvey

J Harvey is a travel writer based in North Carolina. With two masters degrees, he decided to forget working a normal 9-5 job and instead create a travel blog focusing on travel for a more inclusive community. He hopes to increase LGBT representation within the travel industry while inspiring others to travel in whatever capacity.

mynormalgaylifegmail-com has 96 posts and counting.See all posts by mynormalgaylifegmail-com

20 thoughts on “Europe’s LGBT Holiday Destination: Adventures In Gran Canaria

  • September 26, 2017 at 8:32 am
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    We both visited Gran Canaria when we were teenagers (separately, and before we were together actually!), but haven’t returned to this island since then. Guess we need to do that someday, and drive through the beautiful mountains again and visit the Bodega Los Berrazales (we’re both coffee lovers!!). Thanks for sharing this LGBT destination.

    Reply
    • October 4, 2017 at 7:34 pm
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      Oh yeah, it’s definitely a great place to go with your significant other and with friends! You’ll really enjoy the coffee plantation! It offers very unique coffee, great wine, and mineral water from the source.

      Reply
  • September 26, 2017 at 1:21 am
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    Looks like you had a blast! That water looks amazing and you’re right, the landscape definitely looks unique. I have a close friend that hails from the Canary islands and I hope to visit one day.

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    • October 4, 2017 at 7:34 pm
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      That’s awesome! Seems like you should take a trip with him/her! You won’t be disappointed!

      Reply
  • September 25, 2017 at 10:20 pm
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    What an incredible diverse landscape, I had no idea Gran Canaria had so much to offer. I’ve heard of it being party island, but as you say, lots more to offer.

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    • October 4, 2017 at 7:35 pm
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      Oh yes! The island is great for the party scene and if you want that, you’ll find plenty of it. But there’s so much nature and other things to explore as well!

      Reply
  • September 24, 2017 at 11:09 am
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    Wow looks like plenty of exciting outdoor activities.
    The dunes there really surprised me. I wasn’t aware the island had dunes too. Somehow both concepts are wide apart to me.

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    • October 4, 2017 at 7:38 pm
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      Well, the island has incredible dunes! Being an island, it’s logical it would have some dunes but definitely wouldn’t expect dunes like these. They’re beautiful!

      Reply
  • September 24, 2017 at 7:14 am
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    I’ve definitely been hearing more and more about Gran Canaria from friends. Glad you guys featured a lot of the adventure activities apart from the usual party atmosphere that it is usually associated with. How fun that you guys hung out with the Nomadic Boys!! Love them!

    Reply
    • October 4, 2017 at 7:40 pm
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      Oh yes, the Nomadic Boys are lovely people! And Gran Canaria was fun in so many ways!

      Reply
  • September 24, 2017 at 6:06 am
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    Wow! I didn’t realise there was such a variety of natural attractions and outdoor activities on Gran Canaria! Looks like a fun place for exploring by day, and what’s not to love about coffee, bananas and wine??!!

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    • October 4, 2017 at 7:41 pm
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      Exactly! You’d not really expect it but the island has so much to offer!

      Reply
  • September 24, 2017 at 1:49 am
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    I have to admit my previous impression of Gran Canaria was that it was a party island – obviously I was wrong as there’s heaps more to do – love your photos of the great outdoors. Maybe I will get there some day after all!

    Reply
    • October 4, 2017 at 7:41 pm
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      Yes! I think you will enjoy your time there if you make it one day! It’s such an awesome place to explore!

      Reply
  • September 24, 2017 at 1:34 am
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    What a beautiful island with so much to see and do. I have to admit I love hiking more than the beach time. But, given the warm temps, the yacht excursion certainly sounds like a worthy splurge. I love Spanish wines so time spent at Bodega Berrazales Is also on my Gran Canaria must list!

    Reply
    • October 4, 2017 at 7:43 pm
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      Well, you will have more than enough hiking time on this island and might even really want a little beach relaxation time after your trekking!

      Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 11:23 pm
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    I’ve been talking about visiting Gran Canaria for a very long time! I’ve even lived in Tenerife, but didn’t make it there, but hoping to visit some time during the winter, so I’ll bookmark your post so I don’t miss a thing. 🙂

    Reply
    • October 4, 2017 at 7:59 pm
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      I imagine winter is great time to visit the island. It’ll be a nice respite from the cold!

      Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 10:00 pm
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    Looks like you had a great time! These landscapes are seriously amazing, I would love so much to hike in these rocky areas and the sand dunes! Lucky you!

    Reply

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