There are quiet local beaches dotted all around the north coast of Gran Canaria. If you get sick of long sand beaches covered in sun loungers and parasols then head to one of these secret spots. All of them are great for snorkelling.

If Güi Güi beach was next door to Maspalomas nobody would think twice about it. It's not particularly pretty and at high tide most of it is underwater. The sand is on the dark side and disappears completely during the winter. At times it is covered in driftwood. Nevertheless, Güi Güi's remote location and high cliffs make it Gran Canaria's Shangri La.

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.

El Puertillo is a tiny beach with a couple of excellent local seafood restaurants just 15 minutes drives from Las Palmas. It is completely local and oozes charm. Go during the week and you get its little beach, natural swimming pools and restaurants all to yourself.

There are 82 beaches in Gran Canaria but only half a dozen are completely touristy. Of the rest most never see a mix of tourists and locals, especially at the weekends. If you want to spend time on a Canarian beach, something we wholeheartedly recommend, then use these tips to judge if you have found your spot.

Melenara Beach is a popular local beach with great seafood restaurants. It is far enough south to escape the cloud that often sits over the north east coast and is the best beach close to the large towns of Telde and Vecindario. Melenara gets no tourists because it's sand is brownish and there are no direct bus links to the resorts.

Las Palmas' low key El Confital is the opposite of the famous Las Canteras Beach just across the bay.

Twenty-five years ago Anfi beach and resort was a hillside by the sea. Then a Norwegian entrepreneur and billionaire called Björn Lyng went past on a boat and said, "I'm going to turn that into a huge resort with a Caribbean beach".

In the 1880s “three-year-olds drank as much coffee and wine as their parents” according to British writer Olivia Stone after a visit to the West coast of Gran Canaria. By then the locals had been growing their own for 100 years from plants imported from South America via Tenerife.

Brash and busy Puerto Rico is Gran Canaria's ultimate resort beach but it has plenty of local fans as well. You'll find them sitting on the sand between the loungers at weekends.

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