The famous beach of Playa del Inglés: history of the site of the Sandy Beach
Where is the beach of Playa del Inglés?
It is possibly one of the most popular places in the south of Gran Canaria right now. Playa del Inglés beach is one of the island’s biggest tourist areas: bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, it lies between Maspalomas, Meloneras and San Agustín. The Seaside Sandy Beach Hotel is just 200 metres from the beach at Playa del Inglés.
Building work starting in 1962 and this coast is now full of apartments, hotels like the Seaside Sandy Beach and shopping centres. The most famous is Yumbo Centrum – the only LGTBI shopping centre in the world. This commitment to the visibility of this group has encouraged gay tourism in the area, especially from the rest of Europe. Its programme notably includes Maspalomas Pride, one of the most important events held in Playa del Inglés, which takes place every May.
History of Playa del Inglés
Between the 1930s and the 1960s, Playa del Inglés was purely an agricultural area, particularly important for growing cereals – barley and wheat in particular. Years later, tomato growing arrived, with such extensive production that it included part of the Maspalomas dunes and the Fataga ravine. The products were intended for export.
The area began to become popular because of its good location, arousing the interest of investors as a tourist destination. As we have already said, the key date was 1962, the year when an urban development plan for the area, then called Llanos del Inglés, was approved.
Photograph from 1965 (Juan Agustín Franco López)
The farmland gave way to 500,000 square metres of property development. Despite the initial plan agreed by the French company that won the contest to work on the site, this ignored the integration of agriculture. Implementation of the plan began on 15 October that year, developing land at San Agustín beach.
Another of the mysteries surrounding Playa del Inglés is the origin of the name of the beach, which is a nod to its strategic location. At the end of the 16th century, the English took advantage of the area to land on the island. There were so many arrivals and attempts by the English to come ashore on the coast via this bay that, in 1599, when the Dutch army commanded by Admiral Van Der Does attacked, all the inhabitants believed they were British.
What to do in Playa del Inglés
Nowadays, Playa del Inglés has become one of the most important areas of the island, not only from a tourist point of view but also locally.
- A swim on the beach: Playa del Inglés is one of the largest white sand beaches on the island, and the location of the famous Maspalomas dunes. The beach has a nudist area, sunbeds and umbrellas to rent, and freshwater showers. →Where is Playa del Inglés?
- Culinary experience: This area has all kinds of bars, restaurants and nightclubs where you can round off each night of your holiday.
Do sports: bike rental at the FreeMotion store at the Seaside Sandy Beach, play tennis, follow hiking trails, play golf or even go diving or surfing.
- Family leisure: there are different, varied options with facilities to spend unforgettable family holidays
→See Family Activities and Facilities at the Sandy Beach
Hotels in Playa del Inglés
If you’re thinking of spending your holidays in the Playa del Inglés area of Gran Canaria, the Seaside Sandy Beach Hotel is the perfect option for you. It’s in exactly the right place, just a few minutes from the beach, with an emphasis on quality services, particularly its cuisine.