Dunas de Maspalomas

Top choice in Maspalomas

These fabulous dunes cover 400 hectares and were designated a nature reserve in the 1990s, ensuring that the rapidly multiplying hotels would never encroach on their golden grains. The best view of the dunes is from the bottom of Avenida Tirajana: stroll through the arches of the Hotel Riu Palace Maspalomas to the balcony, which is surrounded by a botanical garden displaying shrubs and plants native to the Canaries. There's a small information office here too (open 10am to 1pm Monday to Friday).

You can also get down to the sands by taking the lane just east of Hotel Riu Palace Maspalomas and walking down to the dunes. Do respect the sands and don't litter, so you leave the environment as you found it. Alternatively, go the full Sahara and opt for a camel trip with Camello Safari. A note to photographers (and social-media users): come to the dunes towards sunset for the very best light conditions and photographs (as long as the weather is clear).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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