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Maspalomas: shaped by the sea, the wind and … bare naked bums

It’s not unusual to find sand near a coastline, but it is when you’re talking about a massive dune field rising up next to the ocean, with sand hills as high as 12 meters. The ‘dunas de Maspalomas’ in Gran Canaria certainly give a different take on a beach stroll. And they’re all natural, shaped by the sea, the wind and … bare naked bums.

If Gran Canaria is known for anything amongst the general ‘sun-loving’ public, it must be Maspalomas on the south coast. In the sixties Maspalomas existed of nothing but sea and desolated dunes, but ever since the early seventies, hotels, bars, restaurants, beach parasols and lots and lots of tourists have been added to the scenery. Maspalomas is now the oldest seaside resort of the island: it will be 50 in 2014. The secret of its success? The pleasant climate, wide variety of accommodations and the atlantic ocean of course, but the real attraction is the extraordinary Maspalomas dune field. It’s listed as a Special Nature Reserve along with the nearby lagoon and wood palms, which probably saved the whole natural phenomenon from being swallowed by the neighboring resorts of Maspalomas and Playa Del Inglès.

Beauty before nudity before beauty

If you ask around, the Maspalomas dune area apparently is more known for its nudist beach than for its beauty… The nude beach is supposed to be marked, but as far as we’ve experienced, walkers, nudists, swimmers and surfers mix on the beach throughout the whole length. Also, the saying ‘pouring water into sand’ is given a whole new meaning out here. Nude men urinate in the sand with their hands behind their back as if they were standing in the garden having a chat with their neighbor. Eh?! Needless to say it all must have looked a bit more attractive in the sixties. But the dazzling sandy up-and-down surface is still worth your time if you ask me. I suggest you do the same thing you do when visiting places like Niagara Falls: you literally turn your back to the commercial side of it all and focus on nature’s wonder.

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Hi there! I’m Belgian, I’m a freelance journalist, I made my first real trip abroad when I was 8 (as a member of a folk dancing group) and I have been traveling ever since. Here are my stories, videos and pictures!

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