Visit Arinaga, Gran Canaria - What to do, beaches & restaurants

Published on September 02, 2022
Gran CanariaThings to do in Gran Canaria
arinaga gran canaria
Arinaga, Gran Canaria

Arinaga is a coastal town in Gran Canaria, in the municipality of Aguimes, on the eastern part of the island, close to Vecindario.

Arinaga is not a touristy place in Gran Canaria, there are no hotels, although holiday apartments have started to pop up over the last few years, as more people come to spend longer periods of time in the Canary Islands, especially during the winter months.

What to do in Arinaga

In order to get to Playa de Arinaga, you have to drive through the industrial area called Poligono Industrial de Arinaga, which looks like what you would expect from an industrial place. 

Although Arinaga is not a touristy place like Maspalomas, Puerto Rico, or Playa del Ingles, we loved the chilled vibe, the promenade and the beaches. 

We spent one week in Arinaga while we rented a car to explore the center of Gran Canaria, and it was a great place to stay in Gran Canaria due to its position on the island, as we were halfway between Las Palmas and the south. 

Playa de Arinaga

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Playa de Arinaga - the main beach in Arinaga (the sky looks like that because of the calima)

Playa de Arinaga is the main town beach in Arinaga and it's mostly pebbly, with some black volcanic sand, that is visible mostly during low tide, which is when we recommend visiting for the best experience.

There are lots of bars and restaurants just in front of the beach, so you can simply relax with a drink while enjoying the view of the beach.

Playa de Arinaga is popular among the residents and the local folks, so you'll mostly see Spanish families on this beach and not so many international tourists.

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Beach area in Arinaga, Gran Canaria

This is the other sunbathing and swimming area in Arinaga and this one is our personal favorite, although it's not as large as Playa de Arinaga. 

Arinaga weather in winter

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Decorations along the coastal promenade in Arinaga, Gran Canaria

Our stay in Arinaga was in winter, over the last days of January and the first days of February.

Although Arinaga sits in one of the windiest parts of Gran Canaria, the wind is not so much a problem during the winter months (the wind is much stronger in the Canary Islands during the summer months).

During our stay in Arinaga, we enjoyed warm and sunny weather, although calima (suspended dust from the Sahara) was a problem at the time, but this was the case for the entire island (in fact, for most of the archipelago), so it wasn't a local problem affecting only Arinaga.

During the daytime, it was possible to sunbathe in Arinaga even in January or February and we even went in for a swim once or twice, but I'm sure that for some people the sea is too cold at this time of year.

In our opinion, the weather was really warm and pleasant in Arinaga during our time there and it was much sunnier than the area of Las Palmas and Telde at that same time of year.

Arinaga is one of the best places in Gran Canaria for scuba diving

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Arinaga is a great place for scuba diving in Gran Canaria

What is fantastic and a great attraction for Arinaga is the fact that it's one of the best places in Gran Canaria for scuba diving.

There are many scuba diving excursions that you can buy while you're staying in the more popular areas in the south that will pick you up and take you here to Arinaga to explore Gran Canaria's seabed and its colorful marine life. 

Even in the area of Playa de Arinaga, you can see several types of starfish, like the purple starfish, Marthasterias glacialis, as well as the Spiny butterfly ray.

There are also lots of species of birds along the coastline of Arinaga, which makes it an interesting spot as well for birdwatching in Gran Canaria. You can see bird species like the Little egret, European herring gull, Kentish plover, sanderling, curlews and Ruddy turnstones.

Walk along the coastal promenade in Arinaga

what to do arinaga gran canaria
Promenade in Arinaga
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View of Arinaga and the coastal promenade - Gran Canaria

What we loved during our stay in Arinaga were the walks along the promenade. 

Arinaga has around 2 km of promenade along the coastline, between one side of town where you can find the popular restaurant called La Vaqueria and Mirador Risco Verde, from where you can enjoy the lovely views of the ocean and the coastline.

From Risco Verde, there's a dirt track that continues towards Faro de Arinaga (Arinaga Lighthouse) where you can stop for a coffee at Restaurante Faro de Arinaga, then spend some time admiring the sights of the surrounding landscape.

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Mirador Risco Verde - Arinaga, Gran Canaria
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Coastal walk from Arinaga to Faro de Arinaga (Arinaga Lighthouse)

We loved exploring this part of Gran Canaria on foot, walking along the coast, exploring the beaches, taking in the views, taking photos and simply enjoying the warm winter sun.

What and where to eat in Arinaga

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There are lots of bars and restaurants along the promenade in Arinaga

One of the popular dishes to try in Arinaga is the bocadillo de pata (pork sandwich). We tried it at one of the most popular local places that serve this sandwich - Bar Cafetería del Pino. It was good, but nothing spectacular in my opinion. If you're curious and you want to try something specific, then I recommend you try this sandwich, but not necessarily at this very place.

La Vaqueria is yet another popular restaurant in Arinaga, where you can have the pork sandwich as well as other dishes like hamburgers (I personally don't recommend it), huevos rotos - french fries with fried eggs (this one was good) and of course cochino negro frito (pork with chips), which is a typical dish, probably the most popular dish the restaurants serves and I do recommend you try this one.

I can also recommend you to try the churros from Churreria Yo Juan, although they only serve them in the morning for breakfast, I think until 11 am and then again in the evening starting from 5 pm. It's the kind of typical Spanish bar where the locals gather every day to chat and drink, so nothing fancy, but the churros were good. It would be best if you could speak a bit of Spanish here, as I don't think they get many foreign visitors. 

Arinaga is a good place to stay in Gran Canaria if you want to rent a car and drive around the island

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Crystal clear sea in Arinaga, Gran Canaria

Arinaga has easy and convenient access to the GC-1 highway, so it is easy to move around Gran Canaria if you have a rental car and you decide to stay in Arinaga while you visit different areas.

Nearby places to visit while you stay in Arinaga - if you have a rental car:

  • Aguimes
  • Guayadeque ravine
  • Barranco de Las Vacas
  • La Fortaleza de Ansite
  • Santa Lucía de Tirajana
  • Cocodrilo Park Gran Canaria
  • Pozo Izquierdo
  • Playa del Cabron
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