Length 9.9 km (6.1 miles) -- or the shorter route: 6 km, terrain: flat
Gran Canaria's Maspalomas is Playa del Ingles' classier sister city. It's in a flat area wedged between the big coastal sand dune and tourist mess of Playa del Ingles on the east side, and the hills to the west.
To go for a run from Maspalomas, there are basically three choices. You can:
1. Run along the beach at the dunes
2. Head into the steep hills
3. Or try a flat route like this
The dunes put you into the most unspoiled nature, but when the trade-winds get blowing, you'll be getting a lot of sand in your eyes.
|The Barranco de Fataga, looking north to the hills|
Most of the hotel- and bungalow-developments stride the barranco, so the route is convenient for most people staying in the area.
The barranco is lined by pedestrian trails to either side. But only the trail on the western side goes all the way to the sea, to the Maspalomas lighthouse, so that's the one this route will take.
You could start the run further north, in the city sports complex (adding a kilometer to the run), but we'll start this at an easily identifiable landmark: the ferris wheel at Avenida Touroperador Tui, where it crosses the barranco.
So if you're ready to head to the beach, get yourself to the ferris wheel, and cross the bridge on Avenida Touroperador Tui. Turn your back to the hills and get onto the pedestrian trail along the barranco, with the dry riverbed to your left.
|Start of the run: looking south along Barranco de Fataga|
At first, you'll be running by one hotel development after another in the Campo de Maspalomas, on both sides of the river.
|Flowering hedge at Dunas Suites Hotel|
After the Dunas Suites hotel on the right side, there are no more hotels, just nature till you hit the lighthouse area. There are only fields on the west side, to the right, and the giant dune across the riverbed, on the left.
|The camel-riding station|
Before you get to the lighthouse, you'll run past the bus stops, at the beginning of the lagoon, La Charca. Herons and egrets wade along the reeds on the other side of the lagoon, and the dunes loom above it.
|The lagoon, with the dunes behind it|
The trail takes you to the right, where you enter the narrow, crowded bazaar-like pedestrian street, Paseo del Faro. The street will probably be fairly packed with shopping tourists, so you might have to walk this part, but it's only 100 meters long.
The first part of the promenade is pretty crowded as well, but later it thins out. This is where all the four-star hotels are located, some with giant pool landscapes bordering the promenade.
There's also a spot with some stone ruins of a coastal house built by the island natives, from before the Spanish conquest of the Canary Islands. Look out for the big lizards that sun-bathe on the stones.
|Ruins of native house|
|The view from the end of town, with cement plant in distance|