Taking place every year in Maspalomas, the Gay Pride Fiesta is now legendary amongst LGBT communities worldwide. Many couples come from all over the world for a romantic holiday and a chance to be a part of one of the most colourful, most beautiful and most inspiring parades of the contemporary world.
Maspalomas Pride is celebrating its 15th year in 2016, the reason for which it has been extended to 15 days, from the 1st until the 15th of May. It’s dedicated to the LGBT community, and same-sex couples, as well as supporters of marriage equality and LGBT civil rights, gather to be a part of a spectacular and flamboyant parade, modelled after the original Gay Pride Parade. The first week of the festival covers numerous fascinating cultural events, while the second week is dedicated to sheer debauchery, with live music and variety shows, open-air parties and daytime raves.
The Yumbo Centrum in Playa Del Ingles will be hosting live shows, and it’s Europe’s largest gay centre – it only made sense for them to have the honour after all! There will be exotic pool parties, such as the popular T-Dance or the Sexy Men’s Pool Party, and last year’s raging success with Wet & White might happen again due to popular demand. The Lesbian Pool Party will be another highlight of this year’s affair, and more events will be announced soon – just keep an eye on their website. For those of you who love the ocean and its deep blue waters, boat excursions and luxury cruises will be available. And last but certainly not least, the main attraction of Pride will, of course, be the main Parade, with well over 100,000 participants expected this year.
Maspalomas Pride is Europe’s biggest gay event, and it’s built itself up with every successful year, catering to LGBT communities with a selection of fun parties and cultural affairs to truly remember and celebrate their freedom and sexuality.
There are many hotels and bungalows in Maspalomas which are close to the festival’s location. Many of them are “Adults Only” and some cater exclusively to gay couples. Bohemia Suites and Spa is a 4-star resort with a breath-taking ambience and stylish décor, offering intimate and gorgeous suites for £171 per night for couples who prefer the deluxe treatment. It features a spa with Jacuzzi and sauna, as well as two swimming pools and a fitness centre. The design is defined by terracotta and olive wood finishing, giving the impression of a genuine Thai haven of pampering and utmost luxury.
Axel Beach Maspalomas – Beach & Lounge Club sports a very modern and daring design, predominantly white with bright coloured geometric patterns in the form of tile accents. It’s less than a mile away from the sand dunes of Maspalomas and offers superb self-catering apartments from £70 per night. This semi-luxury accommodation features stylish décor, fully equipped kitchenette and a plush lounge area to enjoy. Bungalows Artemisa Gay Men Only offers splendid and exclusive little corners of heaven for just £63 per night for couples in particular. It’s a beautiful resort – a cluster of quiet and intimate bungalows nestled around lush gardens and an outdoor pool, and it also features a pool bar and a restaurant with both buffet and a la carte dining options.
You can obviously expect Maspalomas to come to life during the first half of May in terms of entertainment. Outside the Pride festival weeks, this is actually a quiet and relaxed resort, dedicated to intimacy and pampering rather than raunchy raving and long nights out. The 19th Hole in Meloneras is certainly a hot spot, though, a beautiful change of scenery and an absolute favourite of both locals and tourists – this is THE place to be, particularly during the summer. Paddy’s Bar and Sahara Beach Bar are two other great choices – the staff are very friendly, the prices are good, the drinks keep flowing and the atmosphere is laidback and casual, perfect for a Friday night out. No one will look at you funny if you decide to shake a leg, though!
As far as the weather is concerned, May is one of the best months to visit Gran Canaria and Maspalomas in particular. Its position on the southern coast of the island makes it a darling of cool breezes and trade winds. The Sirocco is yet to be felt and the temperatures are going higher and higher into summer territory. The average temperature in May is a splendid 20°C, with nights cool at 18°C. The hotter days are expected to reach 24°C on average, and the days are quite long, with up to 11 hours of sunshine.
Chances of the sun are gloriously up at 60% on average – there’s still the off-chance of showers, but rainfall is not expected to exceed the 4mm mark. The winds are very active during this time of the year, and the splendid Atlantic Ocean maintains a warm temperature of 20°C on average – perfect for swimming, deep diving and snorkelling, as well as other marine activities. In fact, the waters are quite choppy in the early morning and late afternoon, so it might not be a bad idea to try windsurfing or sailing while you’re there – of course, that is if you’re not too tired from all the amazing fun just waiting to unravel at this year’s Pride!