With a total of 257 kilometers of beach, you’ll definitely find a suitable spot to kick back on a sun lounger in the Canary Islands. Seven main islands, which couldn’t be more different, make up this collection of islands in the east of the Central Atlantic belonging to Spain. To make it easier for you to decide which destination is best, I’m going to show you a selection of islands that really do have something for everyone.
Canary Islands: Which island suits you best?
Tenerife | Fuerteventura | Gran Canaria | Lanzarote
La Palma | La Gomera | El Hierro
Tenerife – for dreamers
This is the biggest island of the Canary Islands spanning an area of just under 2000 km². With more than 2 million visitors a year, Tenerife is a tourist stronghold, but is home to something very mysterious. Spain’s tallest mountain is situated here and stands 3718 metres above sea-level. The Pico del Teide is a volcano, which was last active 200 years ago. The Guanches, who were the native people of the island, believed that Teide was the gate of hell. Even today, the bizarre rock formation seen on a wander through the valley, captures the imagination of visitors to the Cañadas volcano. A cluster of telescopes around the mountain looks just as bizarre as it does impressive. A holiday to Tenerife won’t disappoint.
Fuerteventura – for surfers and sun worshippers
150 kilometers of beach lines the coast along the Atlantic. No wonder then that the second biggest island in the Canary Islands is a bathing paradise. Turquoise blue water and fine sand beaches attract visitors to the “island of eternal spring”. With temperatures of over 20 degrees the whole year long, there’s no reason not to say no to a beach holiday in winter. For surfers, Fuerteventura is known as the “European Hawaii“. For the real pro’s there’s Punta de la Tinosa in the north of the island, where you’ll find huge waves. The prevailing trade winds gets the pulse of the surfers racing. So, if you’re a surfer and thinking about a trip to the Canaries, Fuerteventura should be your best bet.
Gran Canaria – for night owls and party animals
If you want to dance the night away, then the south coast of the island is the place to be. Hundreds of restaurants, cafes and bars open their doors until midnight in Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés and you can get your groove on into the early hours of the morning in “CC Kasbah” or “Pachá”. For the more mature party-goers among you, “Pascha” and “Boney M” are great classics on the Avenida de Tirajana. The clubs in Gran Canaria don’t really start to fill up until after midnight. So, if you’re thinking of choosing this fantastic island as a holiday destination, then you will definitely get entertained by day and night.
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Lanzarote – for sommeliers and artists
The volcanic island is one of Spain’s most famous wine regions. The oldest wine tavern of Lanzarote is situated in the south of the island in La Geria and was founded in 1775. Nowadays El Grifo is a wine museum, where you can take part in a wine tasting session as well as have a tour. The small premises gets up to around 60,000 visitors a year. Lanzarote is known as the volcanic island of the Canaries. The white cubed houses of the artist César Manrique, who was from Lanzarote, strongly contrast the landscape etched by barren basalt rocks. The LagOmar is not only worth seeing but also attracts visitors because of its restaurant.
La Palma – for hikers
The Isla Bonita – being 706 squared kilometers, La Palma is fairly small but some parts of the island reach heights of more than 2,400 metres. Its rugged landscape makes La Palma a paradise for hikers and with a variety of walking trails, there should be something for all lovers of the outdoors. If you want to cool off after a strenuous mountain hike, you can do so in the natural pool, La Piscina Charco Azul, just south of San Andrés. Another highlight on the island is the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, with lots of beech trees and waterfalls. The entire area was formed from a huge volcanic crater and is home to the highest mountains of La Palma.
La Gomera – for true nature lovers
The second smallest Canary island has two features in particular that has put it on the UNESCO World Heritage list. One of them is the Garajonay National Park. Spanning an area of almost 4 hectares, this National Park occupies about 10 percent of La Gomera. The other is the native whistling language, Silbo Gomero. Garajonay is a European bird sanctuary and is covered with the most beautiful laurel forests of the Canary Islands. The whistling language has been the means of communication between the local shepherds on the island for centuries. For a long time it was considered extinct, but nowadays it is found once again on the curriculum in schools.
El Hierro – for eco fanatics
El Hierro is the smallest island in the Canaries, spanning just 268.71 square kilometers. Along with La Gomera, they are the only islands in the Canaries not accessible by international airports. It is only reachable by plane or boat from a neighbouring island. Depending on which island you travel from, this can take between half an hour and two and a half hours. El Hierro is considered a global role model in terms of sustainability. The island is powered 100% by renewable energy generated from sophisticated wind and water turbine systems. Here, the goat meat comes from the shepherds, vegetables come from the farm next door, and fish straight from the cutter. With around 60,000 visitors a year, this is the least visited area of the Canaries. A quiet and for the most part untouched area of the world is waiting for you.
The Canary Islands are so unbelievably diverse that there is something for every kind of holidaymaker! Already decided which island you’d like to visit next? Keep an eye on my deals page, where you can often find some great offers for a trip to the central Atlantic. Book yourself in for a wonderful Canary Islands holiday and tick them off your bucket list, island after island.
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