Playa del Inglés (“Englishman’s Beach”) is a sea resort in the south coast of the island of Gran Canaria. It is a zone part of Maspalomas, in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, and is a popular tourist attraction.
It has a long beach made of tall sand dunes, and is connected with other beach towns including San Agustín and Maspalomas in the touristic centre of the island. The area remained largely unspoiled until the 1960s when large scale tourist development changed the resort. Many of these constructions were large concrete tower blocks, however many have undergone renovation in recent years to make them more sympathetic to the surrounding area. There are a number of large shopping centres in the resort with the ‘Yumbo’ and ‘Kasbah’ being the largest.
Playa del Ingles has been associated with the gay traveller for over 25 years. But now a clubbing town. Despite the fact that the Canaries are primarily Catholic, the locals have embraced the gay tourist. The main area for gay (and gay friendly) bars, clubs and accommodation is the Yumbo Centre and its surrounding area. There are at least 30 venues catering to gay mainstream and specific tastes including: leather, drag, cabaret, sport, cruising and men/women only. There is also a gay beach, which is situated in the Maspalomas beach area around hut 7. Each year in the 2nd week of May one of the largest gay pride festivals in Europe is held in the Yumbo Centre and throughout the resort. The 2011 event was attended by over 100,000 people.
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