If you thought that Pride only happens in summer you would be very wrong.
Every November, Gran Canaria hosts Winter Pride Maspalomas! [no_toc]
We have been many, many times over the years and for good reason.
In this mini guide to Gran Canaria Winter Pride (Maspalomas) we share our experiences and break down some of our top reasons why you should go.
Gran Canaria Winter Pride – Maspalomas
If you are looking for an gay friendly destination in Europe then look no further than Gran Canaria!
We have been 7 times in total and its welcoming nature for our community is one of the main reasons we go.
Gran Canaria is one of the Canary Islands found just off of the west coast of Africa and is part of Spain. As a result, its year-round warm climate makes it the perfect destination for a Winter Pride event!
Gran Canaria, specifically Maspalomas, holds multiple LGBTQ+ festivals throughout the year, with Gran Canaria Winter Pride in Maspalomas being the finale!
Expect tens of thousands of people from all over the world to descend on the island for the event which lasts a full 7 days.
There aren’t many prides around the world that last much more than a few days, let alone a full week making this quite unique!
When is Gran Canaria Winter Pride?
Gran Canaria Winter Pride started back in 2014 and has grown year upon year since, it’s no surprise since Gran Canaria is one of Spain’s top gay travel hotspots.
Winter Pride Maspalomas is held around mid-November each year and lasts for at least 7 days.
At this time of year there are very few (if any) Pride events happening and even less places in Europe where it is still hot!
Here are our top reasons why we love it and why we think you should go!
Gran Canaria Winter Pride March/Parade
This is something that we also found very unique to Gran Canaria Winter Pride.
Many prides have their standard pride parade, with fences keeping you at bay for observation only, but not here!
For the Winter Pride march you are all invited to join in, march, dance, sing and celebrate as you follow the floats booming out upbeat music around Maspalomas.
We also loved the march because it felt extremely liberating and free.
People of all shapes and sizes were wearing the craziest outfits, or very confidently wearing very little which we always find very brave and empowering!
The point we want to make is that here you can come as you are with no judgement and join in the fun!
The march usually starts around 3pm and lasts 2 hours.
If you want to treat yourself, you can buy a ticket to board one of the parade floats/coaches and have a party with a view!
The Daytime Winter Pride Parties
It’s not all about the night-time. The event organisers work tirelessly to keep everyone entertained throughout the whole week.
There are daytime parties on most days, from chilled out BBQ parties held at one of the nearby gay hotels (such as Axel Beach Maspalomas), through to full on dance parties held at trendy beach clubs.
Our favourite parties which we attend every year without fail are the T-Dance and the Wet n White. We highly recommend attending these if you decide to go to Winter Pride next year.
The Gay Beach
It’s not an official daytime party, but every day at the gay beach in Maspalomas (full directions here) the vibe and atmosphere are incredible.
We have never seen such a busy gay beach anywhere else in the world, full of groups of friends, couples and singles having fun and enjoying a drink from the beach bar.
Of course, like most gay beaches around the world, the gay beach is also a nudist beach.
It is something we highly recommend experiencing during Winter Pride.
The Main Stage: Yumbo Centre
The Yumbo Centre is the place to be during Gran Canaria Winter Pride, day and night.
It is a multi-storey square with over 30 gay bars, clubs, shops and more. This is without a doubt, the LGBTQ+ epicentre of Gran Canaria.
When Gran Canaria Winter Pride comes along the centre of the Yumbo is transformed into a huge main stage area. Every night of the week there are incredible performances, from dancers to singers and comedy acts.
Best of all, this is completely free to attend. Just grab a drink from one of the many, many bars on offer and head over to enjoy all the action.
Once the main stage show has finished, you have an overwhelming choice of bars to suit everyone.
We highly recommend Sparkles for the best drag show we have personally seen, Kiki to start dancing and Mykonos to finish your night.
The week finishes at the main stage with a huge firework display – make sure you don’t miss this!
Where to stay during Gran Canaria Winter Pride?
Everywhere is gay friendly but of course there are also some ‘all-out’ gay hotels. Take a look at the following:
Axel Beach Maspalomas
Out of everywhere we have stayed over the years, this would be our first choice.
Axel Beach Maspalomas is an apartment style hotel with large rooms, self-catering facilities and large balconies overlooking the pool.
The pool area is modern, with a separate section for the jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and also a mini cruising area.
We loved the breakfast here, made good use of the gym and it was just a short 5-minute walk to the Yumbo. We could have lived here to be honest!
Ritual Hotel Maspalomas
Ritual has a very similar concept to Axel and is one of the newest gay hotels in Maspalomas.
We have been to Ritual for a pool party and it does have a very cool pool area. The rooms have been newly refurbished but don’t offer self-catering facilities.
It is right next to the Yumbo so it is great in terms of location for a night out.
Take a look at their current rates and book here.
Club Torso offers twelve contemporary and modern style bungalows and is clothing optional.
They have a heated pool, jacuzzi, sun loungers, a pool bar serving everything you could want, fast wifi (for those Grindr hook ups!) and offer a continental breakfast until 11am.
For more on Club Torso and to book, take a look here.
If this is the first time you have heard about Winter Pride Maspalomas we hope we have inspired you to go! It is truly one of our favourite prides and who doesn’t like some winter sun?
For more on Gran Canaria, check out:
- Full Gay Travel Guide to Gran Canaria
- How to Find the Gay Beach: Maspalomas (with maps)
- Best Gay Bars in Maspalomas