The Maspalomas Lighthouse is located at the south of Gran Canaria, at the heart of one of Europe’s most visited strips of coastline.

3

Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés and Meloneras offer a wide range of hotels and apartments, plenty of leisure options during the day, and an attractive nightlife all around their beaches.

Yet Maspalomas is not only known for its enormous field of dunes next to the seashore, nor just for its fine climate. It is also known for its old Lighthouse, which bore witness to the arrival of the first tourists on the island and its conversion into a holiday resort. Since the first traveller here discovered that the fine weather was the norm all along this endless stretch of beach, Maspalomas Lighthouse has been the witness to thousands of sunny days, honeymoons and leisurely strolls along the seashore.

4

The decision to erect it was taken way back in 1861. Building work took 28 long years. At the time the site was completely uninhabited, and cut off from the rest of the island. For the construction of the 55 metre high lighthouse, a harbour was set up to unload materials, which could only get there by sea.

The light of the lighthouse shone out for the first time in 1890. It served as a guide that covered the routes between Europe and America. It was the only building to be erected at the end of a long strip of beach which started at point where Playa del Inglés now stands and which ended around the Maspalomas Oasis.

Nowadays everything has changed all around. It is now at the start of a busy pedestrian area, the perfect spot to go shopping, to stop off after a day at the beach, to have an evening meal or simply go for a drink by the long strip of shoreline.

5

Just a few metres from the promenade, bathers dive about in the sand that forms the boundary of the Maspalomas Dunes Natural Reserve, divided up into three different ecosystems: El Palmeral palm grove, La Charca pond and the Dunes, which stretch out to the edge of the shore. The whole area is a huge natural space of exceptionally high value.

Just a few steps from the Palmeral de Maspalomas is the protected area around La Charca, which sits between the sea and the sand and which serves as a resting place for birds migrating to Africa. Junto a la Charca comienzan los campos de dunas que mudan de forma por el viento del océano.

As we walk along the shore from the Lighthouse towards the dunes, we come to Punta de Maspalomas, which joins up with Playa del Inglés. It is actually the continuation of the same beach, but changes its name at this point. Going from one end to the other soon becomes a healthy routine for visitors.

The beach also has some solitary and isolated stretches where people can go nude. The nudist area starts between beach bar huts 3 and 4 between Maspalomas Lighthouse to Playa del Inglés. From Playa del Inglés to the Lighthouse, the nudist area starts between numbers 5 and 6. Surfers have their own meeting place on the curve of the beach that joins Maspalomas to Playa del Inglés. Walkers, nudists and surfers mingle freely along this beach.

A lot has changed since 1861, but Maspalomas continues to be a perfect place to unwind, enjoy the sea and have a lazy sunbathe. What has also has remained exactly the same is the large shadow cast by the Lighthouse, a beacon that used to look out for the boats crossing the Atlantic and which is now the envy of bathers spending long balmy days under the Maspalomas sun.

For further information on Gran Canaria, go to: www.grancanaria.com