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Sea and sand - the beach, in short - form a fundamental part of our urban landscape and the best possible image for visitors to the city. Las Canteras is, without a doubt, the pride of all those who live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as well as being the city's best advertisement.

Without taking anything any from the four other beaches that the capital is blessed with - Alcararaveras, El Confital, San Cristóbal and La Laja - Las Canteras has to be the 'jewel in the crown'. And for good reason: this is the most important urban beach in the entire archipelago. In has been awarded the UNE-EN ISO 14001 certification by AENOR, which is only held by two other beaches in Spain - La Concha in San Sebastián and La Victoria in Cádiz - for the implementation of a system for the integral management of the environment.

North-facing, it is slightly more than three kilometres long and has fine golden sand and waters that are almost always calm along practically all of its length. For the local people, it has become their playroom, sports field, idyllic meeting point and the perfect spot for a daily break from the stresses of modern life.

One of the things that makes it so special is a natural reef - 'la barra' - running parallel to the shore approximately 2,000 metres out to sea. The reef is a calcareous formation which is over 100,000 years old and which also makes the survival of an abundant marine fauna possible; it is a unique ecosystem right here on the edge of the city. Another important ingredient is the pedestrian promenade that runs alongside the entire length of the beach, from the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium to La Puntilla, and from there to the border with El Confital.

The beach is an open invitation from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to its inhabitants and visitors to come and sunbathe, enjoy the refreshing sea water and try the tempting snacks on offer on any of the many terraces that are lined up along the promenade. And all with its average temperature of 21 degrees.

The city's second most popular beach is Las Alcaravaneras, located next to the marina and within the waters of the Puerto de la Luz. Framed between two sailing clubs, and in one of the most populous areas of the city, this is the best place in the city for sailing.

The beach of El Confital, an extension of Las Canteras, has the best right wave in Europe for surfing, the king of sports here, but surfers will not be disappointed with the conditions on the capital's other two beaches either: La Laja and San Cristóbal.

» More information at: www.laspalmasgc.es

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