Just off the northwest coast of Africa there is a group of islands boasting year round sunshine, some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and a wealth of diverse sightseeing opportunities.
The Canaries have always been a popular destination and each of these unique islands will provide you with an unforgettable travel experience.
The year round favourite
Over five million people take flights to Tenerife, the largest and most popular of the islands. The immense golden beaches and the year round tropical weather are major draws but there’s a lot more to do and see on this island. The dramatic volcanic landscapes of Teide National Park are always a popular sightseeing option as are the views from the 3,718 metre Mount Teide summit. If you choose to visit Tenerife you can enjoy activities including diving, horse riding and kite-surfing, not to mention the amazing theme parks and exciting whale watching excursions.
The island of white sand beaches
Fuerteventura comes in as the second largest of the islands and offers a staggering 30 miles of beautiful white sands on which to relax. The shallow Atlantic Ocean waters are warm and crystal clear all year round, ideal for swimming, snorkelling and diving. Tours of this island should include traditional little villages such as La Olivia as well as jeep safaris to the sacred mountain of Tindaya. The National Park of Sand Dunes near Corralejo offers some of the most dramatic landscapes and you can sit on the beaches and view Los Lobos and Lanzarote; boat trips to these islands are also available. ( Image by Dunas Hotels & Resorts )
Amazing range of landscapes
Gran Canaria may be the third largest of the Canaries but it’s the second most populous and home to the historic capital city of Las Palmas. This is an amazingly diverse island with landscapes ranging from the lush, green north to the mountainous interior to the stunning deserts of the south. The southern resorts are home to some of the best white sand beaches and this is an island for sports enthusiasts with activities including mountain climbing, biking and hiking. Culture vultures can enjoy a wealth of museums, open air concerts, music festivals and modern art exhibitions in the capital city. ( Image by V. Koeditz )
The windsurfer’s favourite
Lanzarote is the fourth largest of the main islands and is well-known for its black volcanic sand beaches, although if you head north you’ll soon discover pristine white sands. The easternmost of the Canaries offers the ideal conditions for windsurfing and the resort of Costa Teguise is the best locations to enjoy this sport. Lanzarote is a fairly compact island stretching 70km by 20km and is home to almost 300 volcanoes; Lanzarote has been a UNESCO biosphere reserve since 1992. Locally grown wines are a specialty and you can spend an afternoon on a wine-tasting tour of the La Geria and Masdache wine regions.
These are just a few of the highlights of the main islands in the Canaries. There are of course even smaller islands to choose from and you can take island-hopping tours and explore them all at your leisure.
Image by Jose Miguel