When we told our friends we were going to Gran Canaria for a summer break, the reaction went along the lines of… “You’d better return with plenty of STDs otherwise it NEVER happened!” OR: “Oh yeah Gran Canaria… one of my mates came back absolutely RUINED – literally: he got pissed with a few blokes he met in the sand dunes and ended up spending the entire night there!” Gran Canaria certainly has a fierce reputation and is hugely popular with the gay boy party crowd. And for good reason: Maspaloma Pride is one of Europe’s largest annual gay events. The beach near the sand dunes of Playa del Ingles is THE place to hang out during the day and then it’s on to the infamous Yumbo Centre in the evening – a shopping mall gay playground filled with bars, clubs and Clone Zone type shops. However, there is a completely different side to the island, begging to be discovered. Most will base themselves in Playa del Ingles and not make it past Yumbo or the sand dunes. So here’s our 5 things you didn’t know about Gran Canaria to inspire you to venture out beyond the pink Playa Del Ingles bubble.