Boasting vast, sweeping, volcanic landscapes, rugged terrain, luscious pine forests and glorious beach resorts, holidays in the Canary Islands are ever popular make for the perfect family getaway or a romantic trip for couples – and are even ideal for outdoor adventurers.
The Spanish archipelago is made up of Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura, as well as smaller islands La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa, and many other islands and islets. While the likes of Lanzarote may not have enjoyed the best of reputations as a holiday resort in years gone by, dig a little deeper and you can uncover a world of delights beyond the beachfront cocktail bars and ‘strips’ – though if nightlife is what you’re after, the Canaries boast a great vibe on that front too.
Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, the Canaries are actually considerably closer to Africa than mainland Spain, nestled just 100 kilometres west of Morocco. Their location makes the islands perfect winter sun escape – in fact, they even boast the particularly pleasant nickname ‘Islands of Eternal Spring’ thanks to a year-round climate which doesn’t reach any extreme highs or lows.
But there is much more to holidays in the Canary Islands than idyllic weather – they can also throw golden beaches, rolling sand dunes, volcanic terrain, picturesque fishing villages, pine forests, family-friendly resorts, art and architecture, glittering waterfalls and wondrous wildlife into the mix. And when you’ve explored one fascinating island, there are plenty more to come back to year after year, to enjoy a whole range of new experiences.
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Those looking for more rugged terrain to get out and explore won’t be disappointed either. The Canaries are among the most biodiverse geographical areas on the planet, with areas of luscious greenery, sparse desert, mountainous landscapes, black, red, golden and white sand beaches and even volcanoes. Mount Teide is Tenerife’s most impressive feature, but the lava fields of Lanzarote aren’t to be missed. On El Hierro, visitors are also treated to rolling hills, decorated with beautiful flowers. The diversity throughout makes mountain treks, forest walks, breath-taking snorkelling, seafront yoga, paddle boarding and windsurfing all popular activities for Canary Island holidays.
And the Canaries don’t skimp on the culture side of things either. Gran Canaria is home to Martin Chirino’s enormous abstract sculptures, while Tenerife boasts the work of surrealist painter Oscar Dominguez, or head to Lanzarote to get your fill of Cesar Manrique’s interventions.
Nocturnal types looking for a great nightlife scene should look no further than Gran Canaria’s capital, Las Palmas, which is teeming with trendy bars and live music venues. Also on the island, Playa del Ingles boasts plenty of swanky nightclubs. Despite Lanzarote’s reputation, it’s actually not as lively as other Canary islands, but Puerto Del Carmen comes alive after dark, with cocktail bars and clubs to suit every level of night out.
Beach holidays in the Canary Islands need very little introduction. Every year, millions of visitors are captivated by the natural beauty, relaxation and family fun on offer. Tenerife is popular for its sweeping stretches of golden sands, while the soft, rolling dunes of Fuerteventura are also incredibly alluring. But don’t overlook the smaller islands either. They offer untouched, hidden gems aplenty, not least Isla Graciosa and its secluded, tranquil beaches, many of which can only be reached by foot, making them the ideal escape.
Fun-packed, Sun-packed islands perfect for all holiday types
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