All about the Canaries

No not birds, the islands. This group of thirteen islands with seven main ones is off the North West Coast of Africa and is part of Spain. Holiday makers flock here for the weather – warm all year – for the beaches, the water sports, the nightlife and the scenery. An added bonus for some is the many nature reserves. Here’s a brief idea of what you might encounter on a holiday to the Canaries, it is just a case of finding the
cheapest deals and getting on that plane.

Tenerife

The biggest of the islands and is also home to Mount Teide, Spain’s highest mountain at 3,178m above sea level. Teide is a National Heritage site as is San Cristobel de la Laguna, the second largest city. Tenerife is a favourite destination for holiday makers who spend their time on the beaches or surfing.

Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura is a Biosphere Reserve and is both the oldest and the second biggest of the islands. Perfect if you want to be at one with nature as you’ll find turtles, sperm whales and dolphins off the coast. There is some interesting marine life generally.

Gran Canaria

It’s the most populated island and one of the most popular with tourists. It has a good party vibe and the Maspalomas sand dunes in the south are a big beach attraction.

Lanzarote

Lanzarote is the island closest to Africa and is one of the oldest. It’s also volcanic, which explains why much of the island is covered in black dust. Despite this it is a thriving holiday destination with beautiful beaches, water sports, golf and more. Local artist Cesar Manrique had a big influence on architecture on the island, so you will see no high-rise hotels here. What you will see is Manrique’s symbolic sculptures everywhere.

La Palma

Its capital city is Santa Cruz de La Palma but is known locally just as La Palma. This island’s volcano was last active in 1971 and currently shows no signs of coming to life again. Beautiful beaches are the main attraction.

La Gomera

La Gomera has a Unesco World Heritage site, the Garanjonay National Park. This island is very much about nature and is not your typical tourist destination. All the beaches have black sand thanks to its volcano and there’s a deeply forested area in the centre of the island.

El Hierro

This island is the furthest West and also the smallest of the seven islands in this group. El Hierro is a Biosphere Reserve and has been for more than 12 years. It’s popular with those interested in nature, rather than more traditional tourist-type things. Its rugged coast equals great diving.

All the islands have their own beauty and charm.

Deserted beach on one of the islands
Deserted beach on one of the islands

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