Discover the Maspalomas lighthouse

One of the unmistakable symbols of Gran Canaria is, without a doubt, the Maspalomas lighthouse. It stands among the dunes on the southern coast as a silent witness to the island’s history. Its importance and impact on the culture are unquestionable, so you cannot miss the opportunity to visit it during your holiday. Throughout this article we will tell you everything you need to know about it, so keep reading!

Why is the Maspalomas lighthouse so iconic?

While London has Big Ben, France has the Eiffel Tower and New York has the Empire State Building, Gran Canaria has its lighthouse. This building is an unmissable part of the island’s skyline and one of its main tourist attractions. Although the idea of building a sea watchtower on this point of the Gran Canaria coast first came about in 1861, it wasn’t inaugurated until 1890.

We owe this work of engineering to Juan León y Castillo. His design came to life in the form of a tower that is 55 metres tall and 6.20 metres in diameter, with a beacon that consists of a glass dome of 3.7 metres in diameter. Its range is around 19 nautical miles, or 35 kilometres.

Attached to it is a building that once served as a workplace and living quarters for the lighthouse keeper. Once this post became obsolete due to automation, the space was converted into a museum.

 After being commissioned, the lighthouse became integral for the safety of ships, whose routes extended through Europe, America and Africa. It has now been standing for over 130 years and is in constant operation, establishing itself as an unmissable element of the Maspalomas coastline, so much so that in 2005 the Government of the Canary Islands declared it an Asset of Cultural Interest in the Historic Monument category.

 Many things have changed in all this time. Who could have imagined that a place used for growing tomatoes would become the most popular tourist area on the island?

golden hour del faro de maspalomas

How to get to the Maspalomas lighthouse and what to see

Admit it, you’ve got the itch to visit this monument now, haven’t you? Well, it’s very easy to get there; we’ll give you some different options. Here are the two main ways:

  • By bus: if you’re staying in the capital, you have two bus lines available: the 30 and the 50. Either of them will take you straight to see this monument. If you’re coming from the airport, you’ll take the number 66 bus.
  • By car: in this case, take the GC-1 motorway. After taking exit 46, you’ll begin to see signs telling you how to get to Maspalomas and its lighthouse.

Once you make it to your destination, you’ll have plenty to see. In addition to admiring the exterior and the landscape, you can also visit the ethnographic museum that is housed inside the building. The lighthouse tower is still in operation, but it also has a side building that is used as a cultural and exhibition space.

It is here that you can discover first hand everything we told you about earlier. It is a fascinating journey through the last five centuries of Gran Canaria’s history, with the lighthouse taking centre stage.

faro de maspalomas en el mar con la playa

The area around the lighthouse

While it’s clear that the Maspalomas lighthouse in Gran Canaria is spectacular, its surroundings are no less impressive. You will find various leisure, food and shopping options in the same area. Here are just a few of them:

  • Playa del Faro in Maspalomas: this beach offers crystal clear waters and soft golden sand, just like all the beaches in Gran Canaria. You can relax in the sun, take a dip or try your hand at some more exciting activities, such as windsurfing.
  • Maspalomas Dunes: This is one of the most spectacular natural landscapes on the entire island, so exploring this unique desert environment should be on your holiday bucket list.
  • Meloneras promenade: You will find endless shops, terraces and restaurants with sea views as you stroll along this 2-kilometre promenade, as well as live music. Watching the sunset from here is a real treat.
  • Faro 2 Maspalomas: This is a shopping centre with a wide range of shops located in the heart of Campo Internacional. Gran Canaria is an incredible destination for shopping and you are sure to find something to suit your tastes.

All that’s missing is you. Come visit the Maspalomas lighthouse

If you’ve made it this far, we’re sure that the Maspalomas lighthouse has already stolen a little piece of your heart. But there is nothing like seeing it firsthand, to be captivated by its majesty and grandeur. So, what are you waiting for? Come visit Gran Canaria! Make a booking at Gran Canaria Stays and experience it for yourself!