Faro de Maspalomas Holiday 2018 (this page)
Having visited the Faro lighthouse on previous holiday we decided this time to stay near the lighthouse and explore further nearby.
This map shows the outline of the hotel property. Our hotel was called "HOTEL RIU PALACE OASIS". There are several hotels with very similar names so make sure you know which one you are going to. Everything went very well for us. The entrance is down a wiggly road to the south east of the bus station.
View from our room.
The hotel pool.
Getting out of the hotel grounds to the beach is via gate at the end of the gardens. See below:
You need a key card to get back in. The card needs to be inserted briefly in a slot in the wall to the right of the gate. Just outside there is an ambulance, first aid and rescue centre and there are bars and food available to the right towards the lighthouse. To the left towards the sand dunes, there were some sand sculptures and people dressed up standing still, like live sculptures.
We twice walked to the east, along by the sand dunes and twice to the west along the promenade towards Meloneras. One day we went off by bus to Puerto Mogan.
The initial area of the beach is flat with a lagoon on the left. Further on there is a lifeguard position plus their rescue vehicle and jet-ski craft.
Looking back towards the lighthouse you see this view below:
The important thing to check is the angular height of the lighthouse from the high water mark to the light. Ideally use a sextant but you can get a rough idea if you stick your arm out and measure the height in thumb-widths. For example, if height angle = 0.5 thumb-widths = 0.5 x 0.95 inches. Length of your arm = 26 inches. So arc-tan angle = 26 /(0.5 x 0.95) = 54.7
The height of the light above the mean high water mark is 60m so its range from you is 60 x 54.7 = 3284m or 3284 / 1852 = 1.77 nautical miles.
Note the people walking along above. None seem bothered to measure the angle of the lighthouse. I guess they know where they are to an acceptable degree of accuracy. Our hotel is embedded behind those trees to the right.
This is about as far as we went. The beach edge is busy with people walking up and down. The tops of the dunes are less crowded. But it is windy. The sea is rough and the Red-Cross first aid people rush along at times to save someone.
This beach has some good examples of rip currents, where the sea flows directly outwards from the beach, thus taking swimmers away from the shore, even when they try to swim towards the shore. Look closely at the shallow water directly adjacent to the sand and observe if it if flowing sideways. What happens if that there are raised areas of sand perhaps 100 yards offshore, with rip gaps between.. The breaking waves come over the raised sand areas and the water then escapes sideways, either way close along the beach till it reaches a gap between the raised sand areas. At these gaps the water flows directly outwards away from the beach. Watch out for this and avoid drowning.
Just outside the hotel and between the gate and the Faro (Lighthouse) there is passage way with many bars selling food and snacks. This is a welcome haven when the weather is either extremely hot is it is raining heavily - like today!
Walking westwards the pavement you pass the lighthouse and may continue for a further 2 km to Costa Meloneras. Nothing too remarkable by interesting to watch some surfers amongst the rough waves.
Leave the hotel by its main entrance and follow the twisty road up to the bus stop. It is not far. At the end of the bus station is the office where I suggest you get a "Global BUS" timetable. This Faro but stop in one of the main interchange points and buses go to and from multiple places on Gran Canaria. Puerto Mogan is some 20km up the coast and there are alterative bus routes. If you simply want to got to Puerto Mogan (market day is Friday) the best option is the 'DIRECT' service which is literally non-stop via the motorway and several tunnels along the coast. The alternative is a slower but more interesting service along the coast roads via places like Puerto Rico, Amadores, Playa de Tora, Taurito and el Medio Almud . If you have time for a second trip I suggest get off at Puerto Rico and then walking to Amadores via a pavement along the cliff with good views. Alternatives are to stop and walk down to deserted beaches like el Medio Almud. You need a map and make sure to tell the driver where you want to get off.
Bus terminus station close to Faro de Maspalomas lighthouse.
Puerto Mogan is worth a visit, particular on Friday market day. There are a number of compact colourful streets with 'Venice' like narrow waterways amongst them. Lots of places for ice cream, knick-knacks and souvenirs.
Puerto Mogan harbour with sailing yachts. Some nice large fish are normally visible in the water if you look down.
Page created 5th March 2018, amended 5 October 2018, 17 Feb 2019.
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