Everybody dreams of a tropical vacation, palm trees, sandy beaches, ocean, hot weather, cocktails, and everything that goes with it. To achieve this experience, tourists from Europe usually travel to the Caribbean or East Asia. But, Europe has its own small tropical paradise, and it’s just off the coast of Spain, the fabulous Canary Islands.
The Canary Islands are a touristic magnet for vacation-seekers and travelers from all over the world. One hundred kilometers (62 miles) west of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean rise the Spanish archipelago and the southernmost autonomous community of Spain. The Spanish archipelago consists of seven main islands: Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, Fuerteventura, El Hierro, and probably the most famous ones Gran Canaria, and Tenerife. The climate is subtropical and desert-like, shaped by the sea and the trade winds.
The most suitable time to visit the Canary Islands depends on your preferences. Winter and summer months are more crowded with tourists. Even though the weather is beautiful all year round.
Stunning beaches and picturesque landscapes are everywhere you look. And that’s not all. Landscape views are diverse to satisfy even the pickiest demands: magnificent deserts and dunes, forest areas and national parks, and gold-sand beaches. The islands offer many caves and volcanic regions, transformed for a safe exploration by adventurous tourists.
All resorts and towns are located on the coastline, so no matter where you go, great beaches are never far away. There are even famous clothes-optional beaches, for visitors that prefer feeling free and unrestricted.
Tenerife is the largest and busiest island among the Canary Islands. Almost five million visitors come here every year. For people that don’t feel comfortable in the open ocean, Canary offers water parks and resorts with pools where you can relax and have a wonderful time.
Everything in the Canary Islands is set to make you feel entertained and create a full vacation experience without any moment of monotony. Most of the towns follow the development model similar to the Caribbean islands, with plenty of resorts designed to accommodate tourists and provide some level of luxury. The exception is Maspalomas on Grand Canary Island. This town has a personality on its own, with a similar concept to Palm Springs in California or Palm Beach in Florida.
The Canary Islands have a range of public establishments, including private clinics, hospitals, shopping & convention centers, casinos, English-language cinema, sports centers, carnival parks, Aqualand. For golf lovers, there’s a course overlooking the dunes. A great choice of watersports, seafront cafés, bars, and restaurants can be found within walking distances.
The gay side of the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are part of Spain, so the laws and social aspects are the same as in Madrid, Barcelona, or any other Spanish city. That means that same-sex relationships and LGBT rights are protected and accepted on the islands. Being a touristic destination, you could say that they are even more liberal than at the mainland. Gays from all over the world are regular visitors to the Canary Islands. It is prevalent among gay travelers from Europe and both Americas.
If you are looking for a broader LGBT community, then Gran Canaria is a destination for you. More specifically, Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas.
You will find rainbow flags and gay resorts everywhere you go, as well as hotels, bars, and beaches that are mainly occupied by gay visitors. The Canary Islands are suited for both young and mature crowd who seek a vacation to relax. And for those visitors that are in a more ‘wild’ mood, there is never a lack of parties and events.
Canary Islands are so famous among the LGBT population that it has two Pride events every year. Both are Maspalomas Prides, one held in May, and the Winter-Pride held in November. The streets of Maspalomas get packed with a colorful crowd. The town hosts a week of shows and parades with nearly 100.000 international participants. If you miss one parade, you will get a second opportunity within the same year to celebrate and to have the time of your life in this magnificent Europe’s gay paradise!