The Canary Islands, sitting just off the coast of Northern Africa, are a fantastic holiday destination. Here are three elements to thinking when planning a trip to the Canaries.
Canary Islands – From the Ocean to the Sky
Getting there can be half the fun with a cruise departing from the UK or Mediterranean. Almost every cruise ship has additional Spanish and Moroccan ports of call before arriving at one of the islands. You can also fly to the Canaries and cruise from there.
It’s possible to explore new cities and cultures during the day and to return to a spacious stateroom every evening.
From checking out Gaudi’s mind-bending architecture in Barcelona to exploring Casablanca’s Old Medina, a slow voyage out to the Canary Islands provides ample time to explore new cultures and also to relax.
Explore Beautiful Towns and Beaches
Befitting an island chain, one of the biggest attractions here is the coastline: The black sands and black rock cliffs of La Palma are striking, and the the gulf lagoon on Lanzarote glows an unearthly green due to algae in the water.
Fuerteventura is the perfect island for low-key beach lounging with its endless white sand dunes.
Gran Carina offers plenty of options for water sports and also a vibrant nightlife scene in Las Palmas.
Visitors can enjoy a slower pace of life in Hermigua on La Gomera with its banana plantations and bucolic farming valley.
The fishing village of La Restinga on El Hierro is a great place to eat fresh seafood and to survey the sleepy harbor of an island that was once considered the edge of the known world.
Explore Stunning National Parks
The interiors of the Canary Islands contain fantastic national parks and is another great spot to experience a volcano.
Mount Teide on Tennerife is actually the third tallest volcano in the world if measured from its base on the ocean floor — from sea level, it rises to 12,198 ft, (3,718 m,) and cable cars are the most popular way to reach its summit.
Timanfaya National Park on Lanzarote showcases the Montañas del Fuego, or Fire Mountains, and the ground underfoot is still quite hot: a branch put into a hole into the ground will quickly catch fire!
Equally breathtaking are the views from the mountain caldera in Caldera de Taburiente National Park on La Palma.
The faux-crater was home to the last indigenous peoples of the Canary Islands, the Gaunches, who are believed to have settled on the island in 1000 BC, or earlier. They were conquered by the Spanish in the 15th century AD, but their culture lives on in the many archaeological museums of the islands and in the Silbo whistling language, still spoken on La Gomera.
5 Top Activities in the Canary Islands
There is no shortage of things to see and experience on each of the seven sun-drenched Canary Islands. With their varied stunning natural beauty one can see why ancient legend would hold The Canaries as the Lost Islands of Atlantis.” Here are five especially great attractions unique to these beautiful islands.
Timanfaya National Park
Visitors to the island of Lanzarote may feel like Lawrence of Arabia while surveying the small but fiery El Jable desert, nestled between Famara and the Montanas del Fuego. The best way to traverse dramatic Timanfaya National Park is on the back of a camel.
At the north end of the island, connecting caves and underground grottos at Jameos del Agua are ripe for exploration – bars and restaurants built into the site provide a place to kick back after the day’s excursions.
At the center of the island of Tenerife is Mt. Teide, rising 12,198 ft (3,718 m) above sea level.
Although some may question the wisdom in summiting an active volcano, many visitors hike or take a cable car to the park’s breathtaking viewing areas.
Climbing the mountain to its summit requires a free permit and a sturdy constitution.
After experiencing the mountain’s flora and fauna, it’s time to take in some of Tennerife’s vibrant nightlife or to relax on a black sand beach.
A great way to book a trip to Tenerife is via Holiday Discount Centre.
Each island celebrates Carnival in their own fashion, but together they put on the best show this side of Rio de Janeiro.
Every year in February, around 250,000 revelers fill the streets of the capital Santa Cruz for days and nights of parades and costumed partying.
From the selection of the Carnival Queen to the burning and burial of a giant papier-mâché sardine, Carnival in the Canary Islands means wild celebration.
Animal lovers will be in heaven at Tenerife’s Parrot Park.
It boasts the world’s largest collection of parrots,”
with 340 different species represented and is also home to several exotic animals such as tigers and dolphins.
A subterranean aquarium and an icy “penguinarium” round out the list of animal attractions.
Gran Canaria has a large tourist area that includes a fantastic water park and posh resorts.
It has the best weather of all the islands, and it is a popular winter getaway for sun-starved Northern Europeans.
With its sumptuous sand dunes and emphasis on comfort, the Maspalomas area is the place to go for tourists who are ready to relax.