Right. Not as in turn right, but right, this is the beginning of a lengthy explanation.
Option one – walk all the way.
We tried this first time. It’s a long way. You need to get to the Hotel Riu Palace by heading from the front of the Yumbo Centre down Avenida de Tirajana (about 20 minutes’ walk). You then walk straight ahead down the side of the hotel, and around to the right so you’re walking along where the hotel garden and pool look over the sand dunes, with railings on your left hand side. After three or four minutes’ walk you’ll see the path across the sand off to the left over the sand dunes which you’ll need to follow. This area is a nature reserve and is quite unique, but if you’re walking there on a sunny day (which you most likely will be if you’re going to the beach) it’s extremely hard work. The sand is very soft, the dunes are very high, the sun is very hot. Do not wear flip-flops for the walk. Once you emerge from the dunes (after about 20 minutes) you’ll be able to see the sea. Hut 7 which serves the gay beach is a few more minutes’ walk to the left.
Option two – get a taxi halfway (much easier).
You’ll need to get a taxi to the Maspalomas Lighthouse which costs about 12 Euros. As you alight from your taxi you’ll see the beach stretching away to the east of the lighthouse, and you should walk along the beach past the families and the nudists for about twenty minutes to get to the gay beach. Again, you’ll know it’s the gay beach because you’ll see Hut 7 adorned with its rainbow flag and of course a selection of buff guys in tiny swimmers.
It is worth the trip?
Well, yes. It’s certainly unique, mainly because it feels very wild. All you can see from the beach is sea and sand dunes. You couldn’t feel further away from the brash distractions of the Yumbo Centre. Despite the feeling of splendid isolation there are facilities. Hut seven serves food and drink (of the sandwich and can of lager variety) there is a loo, although let’s just say it ranks in the bottom ten of the loos I’ve been in. There are sun loungers for hire, although the area they’re in is fenced off, not unlike a chicken coop.
I’ve got two Top Tips! for you here.
Top Tip One – Take a Top!
First, despite the sweltering walk to get to the beach, once you get to the other side of the dunes it can be pretty windy. If you’re there in winter (see my main post about Gran Canaria winter weather) it’s surprising how quickly you can start to feel the chill once the sun goes in.
Top Tip Two – Don’t Wait till it’s Too Late!
Second, when you’ve finished posing in your skimpy swimwear it’s a loooong way back to the centre of Playa del Ingles. Not only that but there isn’t always a taxi waiting when you get to the taxi stand at the Malpalomas Lighthouse, so don’t wait until you’re almost ready for your siesta before you decide to head home.