If you could visit one of the seven Spanish islands that make up the Canaries which would you choose?
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 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.
The islands also boast a colourful cultural heritage. Of course, you could opt to cruise all the Canary Islands but if you had to pick just one which island would you choose?
I didn’t realise just how beautiful and varied the Canary Islands are.
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 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.
Another island of staggering natural beauty, La Gomera, has tropical mountain forests and lush green valleys crisscrossed with hiking trails, banana groves and white-washed villages.
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).
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.
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.
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 billboards or high rises (apart from just the one) are allowed. The landscape is barren but dramatic and there are plenty of beautiful beaches.
Which island would you choose?
All photographs courtesy of ©Turismo de Canarias
Disclaimer: This post was brought to you in association with Turismo de Canarias.
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Thanks for sharing these beautiful spots! We’re going to Fuerteventura this month but we’d like to go to the other Canary Islands as well.
There are regular ferries, as well as organised day trips, between the islands making it easy to visit more than one. Have a fabulous time!
This is nice. My wife and I are excited for the vacation we’ve booked in Spain and definitely we will go to the Canary. Tenerife is one of our eyeing place for our 1st stop 🙂 There so many thing we want to do from a page we’ve read https://www.canaryislandsinfo.co.uk/tenerife/things-to-do/. Is there anything else you can recommend aside from that page?
Here’s a link to all my posts about Spain https://travelwithkat.com/spain/ and here’s a link to all my Canary Islands’ posts https://travelwithkat.com/category/europe/southern-europe/spain/canary-islands/.
Are you flying from the Canary Islands to mainland Spain or any of Spain’s Mediterranean islands? The Canaries is such a long way from the rest of Spain. Either way, have a fabulous time! I’m sure you will!
for Europeans the Canary Islands definitely worth a holiday or more! I especially love the small Islands, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. They are so quiet and natural.
On the bigger Islands you’ll find these places as well.
At the moment I live on La Gomera and i recommend it totally. Main Season is from November to April. So being here a bit earlier or later is the best time to enjoy it most. Only some tourists around and PoI are less crowded!
With the political situation in other close by countries its better to come here at the moment!
I hope you will find some time exploring the Canaries!
Greetings from the Islands of eternal Spring.
Hello Ronny, I did manage to go staying in a fairly quiet part of Tenerife and we took a day trip to La Gomera. I’d love to go back one day and explore it some more.Beautiful island.
I lived in Lanzarote for 2 years and now in the south of Fuerteventura, The Canaries as well worth an explore and every island is indeed very different. I still haven´t made it to La Gomera or La Palma – but will be soon. It really is worth visiting different islands – they really do have their own feel.
Oh and Fuerte really does have by far the best beaches. Look for Playa de la Barca (as you´ve featured), Mal Nombre, Esquinzo / Butihondo and Cofete (you have featured this one, but no label) and you will see what I mean. Although if you´re in the north – then the Parque de la Dunas de Corralejo are a must visit too!
You´ve got a great mix of photos in the article which go a long way to show the diversity of the islands 🙂 Thanks for a great non-advertorial article 🙂
Hi! My friends and I (5 of us total) are visiting the Canary Islands next week for spring break and I was wondering if you would recommend getting a rental car for the week. I’m not sure how good public transportation is in Puerto La Cruz where we are staying, or how expensive taxis or ubers cost, or how often we will be driving around to different locations anyway. Do you know if a rental car (for the right price) will end up being cheaper than paying for buses, taxis, etc? I also saw the option to rent scooters or mopeds, so any information about that is appreciated! Thank you!!
We used the buses to get around and we found them good. I’ve never hired a car or moped but that would give you so much more flexibility. Sorry I can’t help more.
I hope this post reply isn´t too late for you –
If you want to get around, then your best option will be a hire car. Look for CICAR/ Cabrera Medina or Auto Reisen who both have great reputations in the Canaries. Price wise, it will probably end up cheaper as there are 5 of you and means you will get the chance to explore even more – you could go for a drive into Teide National Park and take the cable car to the highest point in Spain – on a clear day you can see all the other Canary Islands – pretty awesome…..
Weather is indeed perfect all year round and great winter escape for anyone living in Europe)
What a beautiful first picture that is.. you must be proud of that one!
Isn’t it but not one of mine. The tourist board provided these photographs, sorry if I didn’t make that clear enough but a lovely shot never the less.
I’ve never actually been here, but oh my goodness – these photos are enough to convince me! The top one with the sunset is just stunning! 🙂 xx
I’m so excited! I’ve just booked a week for 2 in the fishing village of El Médano on Tenerife in March next year. The hotel is not just by the sea it is over it on stilts!
Can’t say I knew much about the Canaries but they look great and love the diversity of things to do. Think I’d have to go for Fuerteventura though as those beaches look gorgeous.
I was in Gran Canaria once before but never made it to the rest of the Canaries. They all look beautiful and I really want to see Lanzarote now looking at that picture 🙂
They do ALL look wonderful and I’d love to visit all of them one day! Keep changing my mind as to a favourite!
Crazy to say I never knew that high rises were stopped in Lanzarote. This is great! Having lived in Salou and Torremolinos, it would be a welcome style of living without hundreds of apartment balconies staring down as you walk along the beach front..
So I’m told! And thank goodness too. 🙂
I’m taking my mum to Lanzarote this August! I’ve never been to the Canary Islands and I’m really excited to explore the volcanic national park there. Good luck choosing your island, they all look beautiful! X
Have a really wonderful time! They do all look fantastic and I’d really love to visit all of them.
Sure thing. We wrote around 8 posts on Lanzarote (I know- that’s how much we loved it ;-)), but if you need any more information or details, just drop a line 🙂
I’ve just been reading them. That lunch at Famara beach looks sooo good!
Even we didn’t know too much about the Canary Islands before we visited Lanzarote last year. They have the capacity to leave one awestruck. We chronicled our journey in Lanzarote here: http://www.bruisedpassports.com/wheres/lanzarote-best-beaches – read it when you have a moment or two 🙂
Will do and I may have to pick your brains about Lanzarote as hoping to visit later in the year.
Thanks for publicizing the islands I now call home, Kat. They are so worth a visit. A point I make in a not-unrelated article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/matthew-hirtes/the-canary-islands-the-se_b_2270031.html
Lucky you! I’ve not even been there yet and I’m already dreaming of living there! I’ll check out your post.
Yes, it is very hard indeed to choose an island, even a favorite one! Our first one was Lanzarote in 2005 and since then we spend all our holidays enjoying this unique archipelago. Every island is very attractive, but the smallest one, El Hierro, probably impresses us most… You can experience there so varied landscapes on 278km2 only, every 100 m of car drive you see something different – green grass fields change into rivers of lava, pine trees forests, laurisilva, volcanic peaks, cliffs… We strongly recommend it!
That does sound really amazing! Thanks Joanna.
La Palma is my favorite island for its amazing green and the sky so clean, that the things we see beyond the ordinary …..
That does sounds wonderful! 🙂
After viewing these photographs I realise that The Canaries are a big gap in my travels. That, I have realised, must be remedied. I love volcanic landscapes – I have been Iceland and Mt Etna in Sicily – so it would have to be La Palma for me (going by the stunning photograph of the hikers)
It’s a big gap in mine too. From what the photographs I’ve seen and the things I’ve read, I think you’d enjoy any of the islands!
There’s a lot more to Tenerife than commercial resorts. Over the years I’ve visited around ten times for work and pleasure. The north, although cooler has some of the prettiest towns and Teide National Park is stunning. La Gomera, although small, is beautiful with very diverse scenery. I’d like to visit the sand dunes of Maspalomas in Gran Canaria.
It all sounds so lovely it’s hard to choose.
Ooh, thanks for sharing this, Kat! I’ve been to the Canaries a number of times but not in recent years. I particularly enjoyed a day on La Gomera whilst staying on Tenerife and would love to see more. You’re right, they are very varied, with some glorious scenery. La Palma is one I haven’t yet managed so I’d probably go for that. 🙂
My pleasure! La Gomera does sound particularly lovely.
With a nickname like “La Isla Bonita”, it’s got to be La Palma for me!
It does look lovely 🙂
They all look so beautiful Kat…so hard to choose. Tenerife has come up so much of late in the travel sphere, I can’t help but say that I want to see for myself what it has to offer, but then I also love to go to the lesser known places! Tough call…
I know! I’m ashamed to say I knew very little about the islands but having seen these images, watched the video and done a little research I can’t wait to go! La Gomera is calling me but they all look wonderful!