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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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?
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