Maspalomas Beach: Europe's Nudist Capital

Maspalomas baech is big enough for families and nudists Maspalomas baech is big enough for families and nudists

There is only one place in Europe where thousands of people gather every day to lounge around naked in the sunshine: Maspalomas Beach in Gran Canaria, Europe's unofficial nudist capital and the heart of the Gran Canaria naturist scene.

Maspalomas beach is vast: stretching from the Maspalomas lighthouse to the end of Playa del Inglés resort. The golden-sand beach is over six kilometres long and two kilometres wide, if you include the sand dunes. This means that there is plenty of room for everyone on the sand, nude or clothed. Both ends are topless (like all Gran Canaria beaches) but not nudist.

The nudist part of Maspalomas beach is right in the middle, in front of the big sand dunes. You can walk to it in about 15 minutes from either end and it is signposted. Not that you need signs to spot it! 

Most nudists gather around the beach bars: Their staff have one of the most surreal jobs on the island as nobody covers up when they feel like an ice lolly. Shy people and newbies head back from the sea and hide behind a dune until they get used to the freedom.

The LGBT nudist area on Maspalomas beach is easy to find as its beach hut flies a big rainbow flag. It blends into the main nudist area pretty seamlessly. The main difference is that the shorts and sunglasses tend to be more stylish closer to the flag.

Gran Canaria and Nudist Tourism

Nudism is a big draw for Gran Canaria, but you would never guess it from the tourist brochures. We are still coy about advertising our island as a place to come and even out the tan: Gran Canaria's position as a top nudist destination is 100% due to word-of-mouth. 

We've noticed from our website and blog traffic that nudism is a popular search term for people considering a holiday in Gran Canaria. Lots of people obviously like the idea of an all over tan but have never tried it. 

There are seven million active nudists in Germany and even one in seven Brits admits to going naked on the sand. That's a huge market for a tourist destination like Gran Canaria. Nudism seems to be getting more popular and lots of hotels now have nude sunbathing areas. 

Gran Canaria is big enough to accommodate all kinds of tourists. It's a huge couple's destination but also hosts an exuberant Gay Pride Festival every May. The island's laid back atmosphere and tolerance is one of its biggest attractions. We should make more of it!

What About A Festival?

Imagine a week-long festival of beach culture on the best beach in the Canary Islands: Beach volleyball, chilled-out music, cocktails, fire twirling, sand sculptures, a big market along the Meloneras promenade, etc. A laid-back celebration of everything that makes our beaches and island so popular.

As part of the festival, what about a series of nudist events such as a nude fun swim and a mass nude photograph in the dunes. How about some very retro naked volleyball?

A beach festival with nude activities in Maspalomas would be a guaranteed success as the beach is already full of people every day. At the very least, sales of sun cream and cold drinks would rocket for a few days!

What do you think? Would you come to Gran Canaria for a beach festival? And would you take part in nudist events like a swim or a photo? 

For detailed information about all of Gran Canaria's best nudist beaches, buy our Dare To Bare: Nudist Beach Guide to Gran Canaria

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Tip of the day

  • Exchange Money In Gran Canaria Or At Home?
    Exchange Money In Gran Canaria Or At Home?

    Visitors to Gran Canaria often ask whether it is better to exchange their local currency for euros at home or in Gran Canaria. 

    The answer is that it is almost always better to buy your euros at home than it is to bring pounds to Gran Canaria and use local banks or currency exchanges. This rule of thumb applies all over the world. A currency is almost always cheaper the further away you are from the place you can spend it (because demand for it is lower). 

    Exchange rates are almost always better at home than in Gran Canaria

    You are very likely to get a better exchange rate using a British currency exchange specialist or local bank. Many of these companies will deliver your euros to your home.

    One of the best rates in the UK is often from the post office, especially if you do it well in advance.

    The only way you'll get a better rate in Gran Canaria than at home is if the exchange rate changes while you are travelling and this is rare. 

    You also have to bear in mind that currency exchanges in Gran Canaria are getting rarer and some local banks don't exchange money for non-clients. 

    To Transfer large amouynts of money to Gran Canaria, or to make regular transfers, always use a reputable currency broker such as Currencies Direct. This will save you money on exchange rates and bank charges and is highky secure. 

    The risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria

    Another important factor to consider is the risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria: If it is lost or stolen, there is no way of getting it back. 

    It is much safer to bring a debit or credit card and use local bank ATMs to take out money. These days, a good option is a pre-charged debit card. 

    Cards may be slightly more expensive that carrying cash, unless you seek out a bank card with low commissions, but it is much more secure. 

    Bank ATMs like Bankia, Santander and BBVA often charge lower rates than the ATMs in shopping centres and busy tourist areas.

    Alex Says: Always select the Euro option at ATMs in Gran Canaria because the exchange rate is much better than if you opt for the Local Currency option. The same applies when you pay by card in shops and restaurants.

    See our Gran Canaria Tips section for more nuggets of useful local information.

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