OVERVIEW

A holiday to the Canary Islands is ideal for those who want to choose the perfect backdrop against which to unwind. Whether you want water sports, historic sites, stunning scenery, vibrant nightlife or to laze on a beach and soak up some sun, each Canary Island has its own personality, allowing you to pick the one that’s best for you.

There are seven Canary Islands, each with breath-taking countryside, sun-bleached beaches and sunshine all year round. Explore the lunar landscapes of Lanzarote or join the fun in Tenerife’s lively resorts. Get some serious bronzing under your belt on Gran Canaria’s beautiful, golden beaches or kick back and relax on the charming island of Fuerteventura. With so much potential, you can make your Canary Island holiday exactly what you want it to be!

Tenerife isn’t quite an island of two halves, but it is an island of two parts. There are the purpose built resorts, such as Playa de las Américas and Costa Adeje, then there’s the rest of the island; the much bigger part, where most Canarios have lived for five centuries. What Tenerife offers is diversity. It’s large enough to be home to cosmopolitan cities with historic centres, bustling towns, small villages, rural farmlands and huge expanses of National Park where you can walk and walk and never meet a soul. It also boasts the highest mountain in Spain, the towering Mount Teide, whose sheer bulk provides a spectacular introduction to visitors arriving by air.

Gran Canaria suffers from the same image as Tenerife often dismissed as little more than a mass tourism destination. In reality, it’s exactly the same, with the most interesting parts to be found outside of the resorts. Ironically, the two islands are quite similar in personality despite the fierce rivalry between them. The people who like Tenerife should, in theory, like Gran Canaria although there are differences. Gran Canaria has better beaches, Las Palmas shades Santa Cruz when it comes to attractive historical quarters, a fantastic city beach in Las Canteras and a thriving live music scene.

Lanzarote is one of the less spoilt Canary Islands. There are a couple of reasons for that. One of them is local hero, César Manrique was an environmentally friendly visionary whose influence prevented local politicians from ruining the landscape with high rise resort developments. The other is, as a Tinerfeño once pointed out to me, ‘nobody lives there.’ What they meant was, thanks to the ‘farmer unfriendly’ terrain, there wasn’t historically much of a Canario population compared to the more populated islands. Subsequently, Canarian culture isn’t as strong and the variety of restaurants aimed at a local population isn’t as plentiful.

Fuerteventura is the oldest Canary Island and the windiest. A near constant breeze is welcome fuel for the windsurfers and kiteboarders but can be an irritant for sunbathers. Fuerteventura is the beach paradise of the islands, with the Corralejo dunes more like a mini Sahara than a beach. Fuerteventura’s resorts can be somewhat lacking in charm, the beauty provided by golden sands and turquoise seas.

La Palma is known as La Isla Bonita, La Palma is, as the name suggests, possibly the prettiest of the Canary Islands. It has history, Santa Cruz de la Palma was a shipbuilding port in the days when adventurers crossed the ocean to the New World and pirates roamed these parts. And it has beautiful scenery you won’t find on other Canary Islands – like the Caldera de Taburiente and the water tunnels at Marcos y Cordero. It also has land less than 50 years old thanks to the eruption of the Teneguía Volcano in 1971.

La Gomera is the most striking of the Canary Islands without a doubt, La Gomera’s wild scenery can include in one vista a mix of tiny terraces and palm groves, lush rainforest, and hills that look as though they belong in the Atlas Mountains. The island is characterised by plunging ravine after plunging ravine, making getting around it by car a time consuming business. Sometimes it’s just as easy to walk. Subsequently, there are few roads but walking trails everywhere, which is why it’s a magnet for hikers from across Europe.

El Hierro is the most magical and mysterious island of them all, El Hierro was once the island at the edge of the world. There is still a certain enigma in the air; it’s just not quite like the other islands. There is a fantastical sabine forest, a strange little ancient settlement unlike any elsewhere on the Canaries, giant lizards and a hotel that was once the smallest on Earth.

What is the currency at the Canary Islands?

You’ll need to exchange your Sterling for Euros, before you jet off on your Canary Island holiday.

How long does it take to fly to the Canary Islands?

Approximately 4 to 5 hours

What is the time difference?

The Canary Islands are the same time as GMT/UK time.

What is the best time to visit the Canary Islands?

There’s no such things as a bad time to take a holiday to the Canary Islands. Dubbed the ‘Islands of Eternal Spring’, the archipelago enjoys an average temperature of 22°C throughout the year. If you’re looking for some serious suntan weather, book your Canary Island holiday between July and September, when there’s around ten hours of sunshine a day and highs of around 28°C.

What language is spoken in the Canary Islands?

The language spoken in the Canary Islands is Spanish.

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