One of Europe’s longstanding LGBT-friendly destinations, Gran Canaria is a great place to visit if you’re looking to holiday somewhere with an openly gay culture. The island doesn’t just let people live as they want, but also celebrates diversity in sexuality, with two pride parades a year and a plethora of establishments that cater to the LGBT scene. That means regardless of what time you visit, you’re going to get a warm welcome alongside the warm weather. If you’re excited to see what this Canary Island has to offer, then read ahead for Orbzii’s guide to Gay Gran Canaria.
LGBT+ Gran Canaria: An Overview
While the entire island is gay-friendly, the southern part of the island is generally seen as the best place for LGBT visitors to base themselves. This is because the gay-exclusive accommodation on the island is all based around the Maspalomas and Play del Ingles. There are a wide range of different LGBT exclusive accommodations in this area, with some having more of a focus on partying, and others simply just places to stay.
With that all being said, if you can’t snag a place in one of the above gay-exclusive accommodations, then don’t fret. There are plenty of wonderful spots, and Gran Canaria has a long history of being LGBT-friendly, so every hotel or apartment will be a safe space.
Gay Bars and Clubs in Gran Canaria
For many people (regardless of sexuality) the whole point of a Gran Canaria trip is to party all day, and then carry on until the sun comes back up. There are countless great little gay bars in Gran Canaria, so if you are looking to have a good time, then you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here are some of our favourites.
A shopping centre during the day, at night Yumbo transforms into one of the nightlife capitals of the island and is a central spot for the gay community in Gran Canaria. Located in the southern tip of the island, near Maspalomas beach, there are a variety of different LGBT friendly bars and clubs in the complex, as well as drag shows and specialist discos. The centre is also the focal point of many Gran Canaria pride events.
The sheer number of different venues in the centre means there really is something for everyone. There are spots like Bar Diamonds and Adonis Bar that are fairly standard, as well as more specialist venues like Barenhohle (The Bear Cave) and Sparkles Show Bar, so you’re bound to have a good time no matter what you’re into.
Other Gay Bars in Gran Canaria
There are a few other spots outside of the incredibly popular Yumbo Centre. Romeo and Julio, still in Maspalomas but south of the main hotspot, is a little more laid back but can get rowdy at the weekends.
In the capital of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria there are also a fair number of great gay bars. Divas 27 The Fun Boys hosts some of the best drag nights on the island, with standout performances any day of the week. Abuela Bar Las Palmas is another great gay bar in this area; a little more laid back than most, it’s got a friendly atmosphere and outdoor seating so you can enjoy the gorgeous sun with a cocktail – especially rewarding after a long, hard day on the beach.
Gran Canaria Pride
While the island is great for the LGBT community any time of the year, during Gran Canaria Pride things obviously kick up a notch. Usually taking place during the month of May to avoid the obscene heat of late summer, the event includes everything from boat cruises to a massive parade to cap off the week.
As mentioned the event usually takes place in May and is mostly focused on the Maspalomas/Southern area of the island. During the day there are a whole host of events, especially around the Yumbo Centre, but you can explore further. However, at night the south is definitely the place to be.
Gay Beach is also another space that changes to be entirely LGBT during Gran Canaria Pride. Located between Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas, it’s easily spottable by the numbered kiosk at the front: always number seven. There’s plenty of amenities around, and occasionally live music. Of course, other areas of the beach are LGBT friendly, but this is the designated spot for Pride tourists to congregate.
If you are keen to get involved with Gran Canaria Pride, then we’d recommend booking early. You want to be in the south, in the thick of things, and these spots all fill up or rise massively in price if booked too late, so plan ahead!
Gran Canaria Winter Pride
Smaller than its summer counterpart, Gran Canaria Winter Pride has been running since 2014 and is just as jam-packed with gay-friendly fun. Also, the island’s astounding year-round weather means you’ll still be in the baking sun, even though Gran Canaria Winter Pride usually takes place in November. Taking place mostly on the southern part of the island, it’s a truly wonderful experience, with the Maspalomas area decked out in rainbow flags and plenty of joy in the air.
The number of events is certainly fewer than in summer, although there are still plenty of pool parties, live acts, and a buzzing nightlife throughout the week – again, focused on the Yumbo Centre. Most importantly, the parade is still massive, attracting thousands of visitors and locals alike.
Again, we’d highly recommend getting bookings in early for this event. Despite being smaller than the summer pride, Gran Canaria Winter Pride is still a boon for local accommodation providers and bars, with thousands descending onto the paradisical isle to celebrate love in all its glory.