Playa Anfi in Gran Canaria is a unique small resort. It is not as well known as other more prominent beaches, but it has a fascinating recent history.
Bjorn Lyng was from Norway. During World War 2 he was part of the Norwegian resistance. In 1988 he started the Anfi group.
One day he was sailing by present day Playa Anfi. It was then just a seafront hill. He saw the potential and decided to build his dream Caribbean resort in Gran Canaria.
Work started on Anfi del Mar in 1989. The first timeshare apartments were ready for occupation in 1993.
The apartments are impressive blending in with the surrounding hill. They look Gothic overlooking the calm blue sea.
The Anfi timeshare apartments have had some controversy. While I am no expert on timeshares, I am aware of the hard sell tactics many adopt.
Many timeshare companies use Perpetuity contracts. This means the contract has no end date, so you end up paying until you die. Timeshare developments have aggressively pursued many people in their final years for yearly fees. In 2015 the Spanish supreme court ruled contacts without end dates illegal.
Playa Anfi and Gardens Gran Canaria
A big part of Bjorn Lyng’s dream was that the resort would look like a piece of the Caribbean in Gran Canaria. The white sand on the beach is the same as you will find on any beautiful Caribbean beach.
The Anfi group would have liked to have this beach resort private for their timeshare guests only. Thankfully Spanish law forbids private beaches as all beaches must be accessible to everyone.
The nearby tropical garden is also designed in a Caribbean theme.
Shopping and dining in Playa Anfi
If fancy getting some shopping in when you visit Playa Anfi del Mar the resort has a small shopping centre. I am sure many of the outlets here offer items that can be purchased a lot cheaper in other parts of the island.
If money is no object and you are staying in the complex and would prefer to spend all your time in the resort you should be able to stock up on presents here.
There is also a good selection of places to eat and drink. Some offer fine dining and some fast food outlets. Eating and drinking at Playa Anfi will cost a bit more than the other nearby resorts.
Playa Anfi Marina Gran Canaria
If you are not short of cash and want to arrive in Playa Anfi in style you can moor your boat in the Marina. It can accommodate boats up to 20 meters. It is situated next to a lush green park and a 2-minute walk to the white sand beach.
You will also find places here that offer boat trips and watersports.
Playa Anfi may not be, for everyone. It does have a manufactured feeling but, in a good way. It is in a part of Gran Canaria that always seem to have endless sunny days. The sea here, for the most part, is calm.
It can be a bit more expensive than other nearby resorts but remember the beach is free.
Bjorn Lyng died in 2016. He lived long enough to see his Playa Anfi del Mar project happen. Despite the controversies, he was an interesting man who lived a full life.
Playa Aquamarina Gran Canaria
One of the best things about this part of Gran Canaria is you can still visit Playa Anfi and find cheaper accommodation nearby.
You will also be close to some great seaview walks.
Just a few minutes walk from Anfi is Playa Aguamarina. The beach is small but it a favourite for some locals and returning tourists.
The beach is shallow, so a better option for swimming might be from the small causeway. There is a platform where you can dive or walk down steps into deeper water.
You can also hire sunbeds here.
If you continue your walk, you will soon arrive at Playa Patalavace.
On Playa Patalavaca the locals are usually in the majority. The beach is a small black volcanic sand beach. It is usually less crowded than Playa Anfi.
This beach has more waves than the more sheltered Playa Anfi. You will also find some nice restaurants and bars here where you can wine and dine as you sit next to the sea.
The beach is rockier than other nearby beaches. Patalavaca is on the main bus route in this part of Gran Canaria. There is a bus stop at the top of the hill. It is about a 10-minute walk from the beach.
If you want to continue the walk take the path on the end of the beach as you go south.
The walk on the way to Arguineguin there are some places where locals like to park their camper vans and relax away from the beaches.
Arguineguin Gran Canaria
Just before you enter Arguineguin, there is a popular walled natural pool.
This area is just as popular as the main beach of Arguineguin a few minutes walk away. It is a favourite for families with young children.
Arguineguin is a charming Spanish town in an area of mass tourism. The town looks out onto the sea and has a small beach.
The town has many bars and restaurants and a promenade. Its population grows during the winter as many Scandinavians stay here as they avoid the hard north European weather.
If you want to have more Spanish experience here, the summer months are the best time to visit.
To return to Playa Anfi and if you do not want to walk back the same way you have a couple of options.
You can take a local bus or use a regular glass bottom boats that stop at Playa Anfi on their way to Puerto Rico and Puerto Mogan.
For bus routes and times in Gran Canaria click here.
For more information about Arguineguin click here.
Join me on my journey.
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