Canary Islands Holiday – a trip to Islands of Eternal Spring
Dreamlike beaches, breathtaking mountainous landscape, thick forests and a pleasant climate are what you can expect on a holiday to the Canary Islands. In total, there are 7 islands in the Canaries and each of them has their own fascinating highlights. The eastern islands are predestined for a beach holiday and those in the west are perfect for an exciting adventure holiday. Alternatively, you can combine the two and get the best of both on many of the Canary islands. Find out here what makes each island so attractive and what you can expect there. Firstly, I’ll tell you which time of year is best to go on a trip to Canary Islands.
- The weather in the Canary Islands and the best time to go
- The Canary Islands – dream destinations in the Atlantic
- Tenerife – the island of natural sensations
- Fuerteventura – the island for surfers and sun worshippers
- Gran Canaria – the party island
- Lanzarote – the peaceful island for nature lovers
- La Palma – the green island
- La Gomera – pack your hiking equipment instead of your swimming things
- El Hierro – the island of tranquility
The weather and the best time to go
With an average of 300 days of sun throughout the year the Canary Islands are a popular destination, especially for Brits. Due to the location of these islands being just off the west coast of Africa, a mild climate prevails the whole year long. There is little variation in temperature on these islands that belong to Spain. In Summer, temperatures are a pleasant 25°C. When the temperatures rise above this figure, the trade winds help cool things down. In winter it’s not much cooler. With temperatures of 17°C, you can still wear your summer clothes. Because of this climate, the islands have been named the “islands of eternal spring”. Therefore it’s clear: these islands are an all year round travel destination.
The Canary Islands – dream destinations in the Atlantic
This whole collection of Spanish islands is of volcanic origin. The Canary Islands are similar in many ways, yet so different too. Some islands attract masses of tourists and others are visited by very few in comparison. The islands to the east are a hit with their dreamlike beaches, the ones to the west take hikers’ breath away with their mountainous landscapes. Some islands are party central and others are perfect for that sought after peace and quiet. Find out which of the Canary Islands is ideal for you below.
Tenerife – the island of natural sensations
Tenerife is the biggest island in the Canaries. It is situated between La Gomera and Gran Canaria. On your holiday to this Canary Island, you can combine action and relaxation. To the north of Tenerife, there is the Pico del Teide, which is the tallest mountain in Spain. Climbing it is a must for every hiker. The inactive volcano towers 3,700 metres above sea level and a desert of lava surrounds the peak. Once you’re up there, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of the island and the Atlantic. Another natural highlight in the north of the island is the ancient Dragon Tree in Icod de los Vinos. The tree is 17 metres tall and supposedly between 500 and 600 years old. Botanists simply have to take at look at it as it’s the tallest of its kind. Head from north to east and you’ll arrive at the capital city, Santa Cruz. Here, you can go shopping, admire the churches and cathedrals and take a look at the landmark of the city, the auditorium.
After sightseeing, why not take a trip to the beach? The island predominantly has black lava sand beaches. Those who want to lounge about on a golden sand beach, should head to Playa las Teresitas, Playa del Duque, Playa Fanabe and Playa Troviscas. Some of the most popular beaches also include Adeje, Playa de los Cristianos and Playa las Vistas. Windsurfers meet up at El Médano. After a dip in the Atlantic, there are Los Gigantes in the west. The name says it all. The cliffs are gigantic and you’ll definitely want to take a few photos. If you want to see all the other sensations on the island, its best to rent a car. Then you’re sure not to miss anything!
Fuerteventura – the island for surfers and sun worshippers
The second largest island in the Canaries treats holidaymakers to 150 kilometres of beach. In Fuerteventura, everyone will find the perfect spot on the fine sands by the turquoise blue Atlantic. You’ll find picturesque beaches mainly in the north of the island. Flag beach is one of the most popular, which attracts both surfers and sunbathers. For snorkelling you have to go to the El Puertito bay on the island, Isla de las Lobos. There are plenty more gorgeous beaches in all the other regions of Fuerteventura too. In the east there are the beaches of Caleta de Fustes, for example, and in the south the beaches stretch for miles. Cofete beach is one of the most popular for holidaymakers. The beaches and coves of Costa Calma lie in the south west and will give you the perfect holiday feeling. As the west mainly consists of cliffs, you’ll find many black beaches with pebbles. The waves are ideal for surfing.
If you fancy a change from the sunbathing, head to the southern half of the peninsula, Jandía. Here, you can go for a stroll through the Parque Natural nature reserve and take in the landscapes. There is also a small fishing village, Morro Jable, with a lovely harbour in the holiday resort. Corralejo is another resort in the north of the island. There is great, Spanish food here in the many restaurants. Enjoy the nightlife in one of the bars. There is also a great selection of shops. The cities on the island are perfect for discovering the country and getting to know the people. The dreamlike beaches are the highlights of this island.
Gran Canaria – the party island
Gran Canaria is the third biggest Canary Island and a magnet for party lovers. One of the main destinations for many school leavers and groups of holidaymakers is Playa del Inglés. Bars and clubs are full of people and open into the early hours of the morning. Here, you can definitely dance the night away. The following morning you can lie in the sun on one of the beautiful beaches and gather energy for the next party. Maspalomas is also popular with young holidaymakers. Here, the hotels and holiday resorts are lined up alongside each other and there is a huge selection of clubs and bars. So if you’re not enjoying yourself in one club, simply move on to the next one. Maspalomas is also a hit for its heavenly beaches, where you can recover from the antics of the night before.
Las Palmas is situated in the north and is the biggest city in the Canaries. You can also experience unforgettable nights partying here. However, this city in Gran Canaria has more to offer. Museums, historical buildings, wonderful plazas and a huge harbour grasp your attention. Apart from the parties and sensations in the cities, Gran Canaria is also fascinating with its breathtaking landscape. Look forward to green landscape, oases, ravines and banana plantations. With 60 kilometres of beach and magnificent dunes, there are enough places to find a quite moment on your holiday to the Canaries.
Lanzarote – the island for nature lovers and people looking for peace and quiet
If you’re looking to go partying, there you’re on the wrong island in Lanzarote. Here, rest and relaxation are the top priorities. Lanzarote is the perfect destination for nature lovers, who also enjoy a little bit of sun and beach time in between. The image of this island is characterised by black landscape covered with solidified lava, with beautiful sandy white beaches dotted among this. A must on your holiday to Lanzarote is the Timanfaya National Park. On the journey through the ravines, you can see the famous volcanoes and you’ll feel as though you’re on the moon. Alternatively, you can discover the landscape on the back of a camel. The whole island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Another wonder of nature for your Canaries holiday is the Green Lagoon. The water of the lake is green and makes for a good picture. Wine-growing regions are a characteristic of this island too. Don’t miss out on tasting the Malvasia white wine.
If you want a break from all the activities on the island, you should head to the dreamy beaches. A true paradise is waiting for you at Playa de Papagayo. The sand is fine like icing sugar and the sea sparkles a clear green. The beach is so huge, you won’t notice the other tourists. You can find other great beaches in El Golfo, Haria, Puerto del Carmen and Yaiza. There’s no such thing as being bored of the beach with a selection like this.
La Palma – the green island
Those who favour adventure holidays are in exactly the right place on La Palma. It is the greenest and rainiest Canary Island. Moreover, it’s a dream destination for hikers. Numerous trails take you across this rugged island. On your holiday to the Canaries, you can hike across ravines and climb volcanoes. A highlight of your trip is the Caldera de Taburiente National Park. The tallest mountain on the island is situated here. The summit surrounds the volcano crater and provides you with great views when you make it to the top. You can also enjoy lovely views from the Mirador de La Cumbrecita and Mirador del Time viewpoints. You won’t be able to get enough of taking panoramic pictures on your Canaries holiday: just wander along the coast. Laurel and pine forests, banana plantations and dragon trees give the island its green character. When you stroll through the forests, you’ll feel as though you are no longer on an island of volcanic origin. Some parts of the island are so overgrown you can’t get through. La Palma is home to many exotic fruits and a number of plants are only found here, making it a dream island for hikers and explorers.
This Canary Island is less recommended for beach holidays. This is one reason why fewer tourists can be seen relaxing on the generally black-sand beaches. The natural pools on the island are a great alternative to swimming in the Atlantic. You may not get those beach vibes there but you’ll certainly be able to rest from all the hiking. If you plan a holiday to La Palma, make sure you don’t forget your hiking boots!
La Gomera – pack your hiking equipment rather than your swimming things
La Gomera is an island in the Canaries that receives less attention from the tourist masses. This is just one reason why you should consider the second smallest Canary Island. La Gomera is a holiday paradise for explorers and those looking for peace and quiet. The island may be small but offers a huge range of hiking trails. Along a total of 650 kilometres, you can explore this Canary Island. The routes take you along the coast and into the green heart of the island, where you can find the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Garajonay National Park. You can expect unique vegetation which is truly beautiful. The Alto de Garajonay mountain is also located in the park. If you climb it, you’ll enjoy a stunning view of this beautiful island. It’s surrounded by a mysterious cloud forest. The thousand-year-old laurel trees and other plants make the area a paradise for hikers. It gets better with the natural wonder, Los Órganos, which is a rock face. What’s so special: it looks as though there are many organs lined up alongside one another. A tourist highlight of the island is the Valle Gran Rey. This place is located in a ravine and is full of palm trees. At the foot of the ravine you can lie on the fine black sand of the beach. Enjoy the beach feeling because there aren’t lot of beaches on La Gomera. On the coast there are pretty coves, which invite you to pass some time. Other places worth seeing are the capital, San Sebastián, and the historical Agulo.
El Hierro – the island of tranquility
The seventh and smallest island in the Canaries is El Hierro. It lies next to La Gomera in the west of the ocean. Not many tourists venture to this island. So, El Hierro is a real insider tip for those seeking relaxation. There are fewer beaches and hotel complexes. If you are looking for a package holiday, you’re in the wrong place on El Hierro. But if you want to go hiking and it’s nature that you’re after, then El Hierro is for you. Numerous hiking trails take you across the island and to the sights in El Hierro. This includes the juniper grove, El Sabinar. The unusual shape of the trees impress visitors. Along your hike you’ll come across various different viewpoints. From above, you can take in the island and gather energy for the remainder of the hike.
Valverde is the capital of the island and is worth a visit. It’s made up of three districts, each with their own charm. In La Calle, you’ll find shops, restaurants and cafes. El Cabo and Tesine are lovely with their narrow streets and little squares. Even though the island is known for its hiking trails, you can take a dip into the cold waters of the Atlantic. There are no white beaches on El Hierro, only natural bathing resorts and coves. One of the most well-known is Las Playas. The clear water is a dream. Playa del Verodal is one of the prettiest beaches. The sand is a deep blackish-red. Even though this isn’t a tourist magnet like Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuertevetnura, it’s still definitely worth a visit.
Each of the Canary Islands has it’s own charm. It just depends what you want to experience on your trip. No matter what that is, a holiday to the Canaries is perfect for everyone!