If you could visit one of the seven islands that make up the Canaries which would you choose? It’s an important question as the islands’ tourist board are currently running a competition with seven superb prices, a holiday to each one of the seven islandsYou can enter here ShineAgain.com

Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands

Playa Barca. Parque Natural de Jandía. Fuerteventura.

The Canaries is not a destination I had ever thought of going to before but having done a little homework, it is now most definitely on my bucket list. Here’s why!

The archipelago is said to have the best climate in the world with a year round spring – not the spring we’ve just had here in the UK but the one we would have wished for!

What’s more, it is less than four hours flight time from London and in the same time zone, so jet lag isn’t a problem. There’s an abundance of spectacular scenery, that’s great for trekking through, glorious sandy beaches, azure blue waters and a traditional cuisine that is a subtle mix of Spanish, Portuguese and North African with the freshest of fish, tasty local cheeses and award-winning wines.

CHeese from the Canary Islands

Surtido de quesos canarios

Quesillo, Canary Islands

Quesillo

Tenerife, The Canary Islands

Romería en La Orotava. Tenerife.

The islands also boasts a colourful cultural heritage. What more could you ask for but if you could only visit one island which would you choose?

Bosque del Cedro. Parque Nacional de Garajonay. La Gomera.

Bosque del Cedro. Parque Nacional de Garajonay. La Gomera.

I didn’t realise just how beautiful and varied the Canary Islands are.

El Hierro

Iglesia de Valverde. El Hierro.

Iglesia de Valverde. El Hierro.

The smallest and most southerly of the islands, El Hierro, has a wonderful variety of landscapes from barren yet majestic volcanic craters and lava fields that flow into the bluest of seas to rugged green meadows with the twisted Sabinar trees and Canarian pine forests, all with a staggering diversity of plant life and untouched by mass tourism or industry.

La Palma

Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente. La Palma.

Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente. La Palma.

Fuencaliente. Monumento Natural Volcanes de Teneguía. La Palma.

Fuencaliente. Monumento Natural Volcanes de Teneguía. La Palma.

La Palma has vineyards and orchards, rugged pine-clad ravines, lush green valleys as well as Martian-like lava fields. Home to the Gran Telescopio Canarias observatory, it is also the first Starlight Reserve in the world with laws controlling lighting in public places and night sky viewing points are currently being built all around the island.

La Gomera

Parque Rural de Valle Gran Rey. La Gomera.

Parque Rural de Valle Gran Rey. La Gomera.

Another island of staggering natural beauty, La Gomera, has tropical mountain forests and lush green valleys criss-crossed with hiking trails, banana groves and white-washed villages.

Tenerife

Canary Islands

Monte de las Mercedes. Parque Rural de Anaga. Tenerife.

The largest of the islands, Tenerife, is well known for its package holidays but much of island remains untouched, there to be enjoyed by those who seek it. Almost 50% of the island is under the protection of the Red Canaria de Espacios Naturales Protegidos (Canary Islands Network for Protected Natural Areas).

Tenerife, The Canary Islands

Garachico. Tenerife.

Gran Canaria

Monumento Natural del Roque Nublo. Gran Canaria.

Monumento Natural del Roque Nublo. Gran Canaria.

Fiesta de La Rama. Agaete. Gran Canaria.

Fiesta de La Rama. Agaete. Gran Canaria.

On Gran Canaria you’ll find everything from sleepy villages in green valleys surrounded by pine-clad mountains to vast sand dunes and luxury yacht-filled marinas next to lively, built-up resorts.

Fuerteventura

Playa de Cofete. Parque Natural de Jandía. Fuerteventura.

While all the islands have some lovely beaches those on Fuerteventura are said to be the best. It’s a haven for kitesurfers and windsurfers. Vast stretches of sand lie between crystal clear waters and the rugged of mountains.

Lanzarote

Playa de la Francesa. Parque Natural del Archipiélago Chinijo. La Graciosa. Lanzarote.

Playa de la Francesa. Parque Natural del Archipiélago Chinijo. La Graciosa. Lanzarote.

All over the island of Lanzarote you’ll find examples of the architecture of environmentalist, César Manrique, who saved the island from mass development. No bill-boards or high rises (apart from just the one) are allowed. The landscape is barren but dramatic and there are plenty of beautiful beaches.

So pick your favourite island and enter to win one of the seven fantastic prizes (closing date is 31st July). If you can’t make up your mind there are some lovely short videos, one from each island, on the competition’s website ShineAgain.com

All photographs courtesy of ©Turismo de Canarias

Disclaimer: This post was brought to you in association with Turismo de Canarias. 

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