Playa Del Ingles Travel Guide
Playa del Ingles © canaryforum
'The Englishman's beach' is how Playa del Ingles translates - those naming the holiday resort had great foresight as today thousands of Brits flock here for sun, sea and San Miguels. Situated at the south of Gran Canaria island, the resort is one of the largest and busiest in Europe and its main attractions are the wide sandy beaches that stretch from the Maspalomas dunes to San Agustin in the north.
The Playa del Ingles seafront is lined by the lovely pedestrian promenade, the Paseo Costa Canaria, planted with lush gardens. With its conglomeration of high-rise hotels, apartment blocks and shopping malls, Playa del Ingles will not win any awards for architecture or sophisticated ambience, but the ever-growing holiday resort, purpose-built for pleasure and leisure back in the 1960s, is hard to beat for good value summer fun.
Although mainly geared for the younger market, families and older visitors are also attracted to Playa del Ingles on holiday by the glorious year-round climate and endless beach, but tend to stick together in the quieter areas.
There is a fine choice of shops in Playa del Ingles where visitors on holiday can indulge in some duty free delights, including cheap electrical shops and stalls selling imitation designer wear and African curios. The shopping is mainly confined to the dozen or so Commercial Centres and each centre has its own distinctive character.
Visanta centre is best for duty free electrical goods as they offer a European guarantee and refunds if you change your mind about something. Yumbo is the biggest and most popular shopping centre in Playa del Ingles and also houses the Tourist Information Centre. Five minutes away are the Kasbah and Metro centres, but the widest selection of quality designer wear is in nearby Plaza Maspalomas. Be aware that some salesmen can be quite aggressive: haggle hard and remember that the shop next door probably sells the same thing. The San Fernando Market is held every Wednesday and Saturday morning, offering the same sort of stuff.
The best eateries in Playa del Ingles include Taberna La Cana for fantastic Spanish seafood, Tapas Bar Capaco for their great tapas selection, Restaurante Hong Kong, Merlin and Silos, to mention but a few. Fast food (including McDonalds), Chinese, Italian and local cuisine are all available, as well as rows of restaurants serving something with chips...
Playa del Ingles is packed with bars, pubs and clubs, especially in the Kasbah centre, which is home to the famous Cream and Pascha nightclubs, both of which pump out the best in dance music until the early hours. Chinawhites is also immensely popular. Still in the Kasbah, the Hippodrome, Havana and Sugar, a small cocktail bar, are a good places to start the evening. The English and Irish centres are also lively and entertaining. The Yumbo centre is orientated towards the gay scene at night and Rickys Cabaret Bar has regular drag shows; the centre is also popular with families looking for a less hectic evening. There are quieter bars along the promenade and a casino on the edge of town.
For those in Playa del Ingles who have had enough of the beach, there is loads of entertainment and activities for all ages including amusement arcades, mini-golf, tennis, golf, scuba diving, skydiving, water parks, go-carting, horse riding and camel riding. Water sports in Playa del Ingles include jet-skiing, windsurfing and banana boat rides.
Visitors should be aware that there are lots of steps from some hotels and apartments to the beach, and that the centre of the Playa del Ingles holiday resort can be very noisy late into the night. Outside many bars and restaurants there are people with 'info' badges on their jackets - they are actually salesmen that work to promote bars and restaurants who get commission if you go with them; they can be very insistent but can be worth chatting up as they sometimes offer free drinks.
Also watch out for the Moroccan women by the Kasbah wanting to shake your hand - they snap bracelets on your arms and then say you are cursed unless you pay them up to €15 to have them burnt off! Salesmen may even come into the restaurants, its best to be firm but polite and avoid getting into a conversation if you are not interested. The beach in Playa del Ingles is great, but visitors should be aware that there are lots of nudists, particularly among the Maspalomas dunes!
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