When the thermometer rises on the isle of Gran Canaria, Spain, there’s nothing like a crisp, cold beer or an expertly made cocktail to cool down. Whether you like your drinking spots funky or old school, cheap or pricey, here’s our pick of the best bars on the island. So, pull up a stool and settle in for a chilled afternoon, evening or late, great night on the tiles.
In Playa del Inglés, this youthful, surfy cocktail bar is the sort of community-focussed joint that organises local litter picks and hosts morning yoga sessions. Its mojitos – which come in banana, chilli and popcorn flavours, among others – are legendary, but you may want to go for an espresso martini or a rum and Coke as you sit back on its sprawling, sociable patio. After sunset, DJ sets thump into the night, and downing shots becomes practically compulsory.
This hangout in southwestern Puerto de Mogán is a smooth operator, with low-lit, pendant lanterns illuminating countless bottles of gin, rum and whisky. The rum old fashioned comes with a fiery hint of cinnamon syrup, while El Muchacho champions Carmela Gin, which is from the Canary Islands. There’s also the Childhood Breakfast, imitating the cereal-sweetened milk of your youth. Drinks are elegantly mixed, and you can enjoy them with a view of the town square’s pretty bandstand and the marina beyond.
The view from the terrace at this glam nightspot is spectacular – a panorama of low-rise Canarian architecture and the dazzling azure Mediterranean beyond. Crowning the swish Bohemia Suites and Spa in Las Palmas, it has squishy armchairs and pouffes under the stars, while work-of-art cocktails are brought out in tiki mugs or ceramic urns, garnished with seashells, golf balls and mini treasure chests. Take your time to peruse the thick, illustrated menu before you choose.
Birdcage-like lanterns and vines wrapped around industrial piping impart a quirky, urban-garden feel to this upmarket bar and restaurant in Las Palmas, where live bands or guitarists often soundtrack your night of cocktails and bar snacks. Giant G&Ts require two hands, and frothy pisco sours sing with lime. The tuna tataki and sour-cream-topped nachos are popular orders for peckish drinkers. It’s a refreshingly young, upbeat atmosphere in the heart of the resort.
This tropical thatched wooden shack is just off Playa del Inglés, with a buzzy patio wrapped around a pool. A mature crowd sits while clinking ice-packed mojitos and singing along to rock classics, and bartenders slug shots of rum into hacked-open coconuts. Bright tequila sunrises and daiquiris are ordered by the dozen, and various groups mingle poolside late into the night. Think of it as “Brits on tour” – with a sense of humour and a welcoming atmosphere.
This tiny Las Palmas hole-in-the-wall bar has a menu of craft beers, fruity cocktails and Irish coffees topped with fat swirls of whipped cream. Order the huge fishbowl glasses of sangria packed with fruit. On the mellow patio at this corner establishment, you’ll likely meet Las Palmas regulars who are here for coffees or aperitifs – it’s a friendly spot where bartenders and patrons are chatty and warm. Pull up a chair during the town’s February carnival to see the entertainment flow right by.
Shaded by sail-like canopies, this breezy Las Palmas rooftop bar is a delight for a daytime drink. Pastel-pink and green cushions jazz up comfy benches around the central wooden kiosk of a bar, which is stacked with unusual bottles of liqueur, spirits and bitters. Grab a high stool by the glass barrier for the best view of the ocean. While all the cocktails are top quality, try the house drink, the Tamaran Cup, infused with chamomile and cucumber – it’s especially refreshing.
Popular on flashy Mediterranean islands, beach clubs are pretty new to the Canaries, and this is the favourite in Gran Canaria. The Amadores Beach Club is a huge pool party of white daybeds and popping champagne corks, set on a seafront terrace in southwestern Playa de Amadores. Book a spacious daybed for the afternoon or a bean bag in the Champagne Area to watch bikini-clad women order rosé and bubbles and pick at caprese salads or tuna sushi rolls over long sunbaked afternoons.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Valeria Nikonova.