When people think of the Canary Islands, they think of fabulous beaches and year-round sunshine – which of course it does have – but there is so much more to the Canaries than just soaking up the sun on a lounger all day. Take a look below for some inspiration for your next trip to the Canary Islands and let us take you beyond the beaches.
The largest of the Canary Islands, you’ll never be short of things to do in Tenerife.
Ranked as the no.1 attraction on Tripadvisor, a visit to Teide National Park is an absolute must. Here, you can hike amongst the unusual volcanic rock formations, taking in the spectacular scenery around you. The centre point of the national park is the impressive Mount Teide, which is an active volcano and also the highest peak in the whole of Spain.
If Teide National Park is your sort of thing, then you’ll also love Tenerife’s Masca Valley, where you really get to see nature at its best. Enjoy excellent walks surrounded by a remarkable backdrop in this stunning, mountainous area around the village of Masca.
If you prefer action-packed fun and making a splash whilst cooling off from the warm, Tenerife sun, the island offers a great choice of theme parks that the whole family will love. Siam Park is a Thai themed water park which has already established itself as one of the best in the world. You can choose to lay back and relax on the lazy river or get a fast-paced adrenaline hit on any one of the other 28 rides the park has to offer.
And then, of course, there is the fantastic Loro Parque; an exotic paradise home to hundreds of tropical and endangered species, the key attractions at the park are the hundreds of beautifully coloured parrots. For anybody visiting Tenerife, it is an experience not to be missed.
Lanzarote is perfect for getting out and exploring as the island is small enough to hire a car and see it all for yourself.
A place that should be at the top of your list of things to see around the island is Timanfaya National Park, where you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to planet Mars. This vast and volcanic landscape has been the setting for many films, including scenes from Star Wars.
Head over to the east of the island and you will find the mysterious Cueva de los Verdes. These underground caves were rumoured to be where locals would escape to in order to escape thieving pirates. The caves are well worth a visit and will play tricks on the minds of visitors with their magical optical illusion.
Closeby to the caves you will find the unusual but interesting underground entertainment complex of Jameos Del Agua – a product of famous local artist César Manrique. He wanted to celebrate the beauty of Lanzarote and so decided to build cafés, restaurants and shops underneath a tropical island beach.
César Manrique’s work features all across the island, so a visit to the number Fundacion César Manrique is a great way to learn about the history of the man himself and find out exactly what inspired his work. This cultural experience is ranked no.2 of all attractions in Lanzarote on Tripadvisor, so is sure to appeal to all tastes.
Gran Canaria has plenty to offer for those who don’t want to spend their entire holiday sat by the pool or on the beach. There are a number of great theme parks for couples and families alike to enjoy.
Aqualand Maspalomas is an action-packed day full of fun and thrills for everybody. Send your adrenaline through the roof on rides such as Adrenalina, Mamut or the Boomerang for the more daring ones out there. There’s also the Jacuzzi and Pirate’s River for those of you who prefer to relax in the water as well as plenty for smaller children. Be sure to pay the sea lions a visit too!
Palmitos Park is an incredible zoological and botanical park that will provide a full day of the best entertainment for all Gran Canaria holidaymakers. Visit the dolphinarium and bird shows and take a stroll through the beautiful house of orchids or the house of butterflies.
The number one thing to see on the island of Gran Canaria is Roque Nublo, which is an eighty metre tall volcanic rock and is protected as a national monument. For those who love trekking in the great outdoors, head to the Dunas de Maspalomas in the seaside resort of Maspalomas and take a camel ride across the desert landscape. If you’re not so much into trekking and meandering is more your thing, head to La Palma and visit the picturesque old town of La Vegueta.
The island of Fuerteventura is full of quaint little fishing villages for you to explore, so there is always the opportunity to cast your own line as well and see if you can get the catch of the day.
Water sports are very popular on the island, thanks to the welcome breeze coming across from Africa. Many resorts offer you the chance to try your hand at wind surfing or kite surfing if you fancy the challenge.
Head to Corralejo and you can visit the vast Corralejo sand dunes, where you’ll feel as if you’re in an entirely different world, surrounded by nothing but sand for miles and miles around you. Alternatively, head into town and jump on the ferry, where you can take a day trip to Lanzarote and explore the resort of Playa Blanca.
Another must whilst visiting this peaceful Canary Island is Oasis Park Fuerteventura. The park boasts a vast open space of natural beauty and orchards, featuring more than 6,800 species of different plants from all over the world. Take a walk through this impressive park and see how many creatures and birds you can spot in their natural habitat.
Have you been to the Canary Islands before? Which is your favourite one to visit? Let me know in the comments below.