Canary Islands holidays

Canary Islands holidays

Deals from £213 per person

Closer to northern Africa than mainland Spain, holidays to the Canary Islands promise unlimited sunshine. In fact, the fantastic weather in the Canary Islands is one of their most famous assets! But year-round warmth isn’t the only draw - the Canaries' extraordinary terrain is just as alluring. From Lanzarote’s fiery landscape to Gran Canaria’s never-ending sand dunes, no two of its seven islands are the same. Then there’s the largest of them all, Tenerife! Other than buzzing beach resorts and soaring sea cliffs, this popular spot is home to Spain’s highest and most famous volcano. Wherever you choose to visit, there’s a holiday haven for everyone hiding in this Atlantic archipelago.

Things to do

With such a diverse landscape, Canary Island holidays offer up experiences of every kind. Beach lovers will have their pick of sunbathing spots. For swathes of white sand, they don’t get much more beautiful than Papagayo Beach in Lanzarote and Corralejo Grandes Playas in Fuerteventura, thanks to their natural park surroundings. Elsewhere, you’ll find a good mix of golden and black shorelines, some filled with tourist facilities and others completely remote.

Did you know the Canaries' varied scenery also promises plenty of wildlife sightings? If you’re heading to the south of Gran Canaria, don’t forget to look out for whales and dolphins swimming in the Atlantic.

More of a waterpark fan than an animal enthusiast? Then, make sure you visit Siam Park, Spain’s top splash-filled attraction! Families will love the giant waves as adrenaline junkies try and pluck up the courage to ride its near-vertical slide.

And the adventures don’t end there! Those who appreciate the great outdoors shouldn’t miss out on the chance to explore one of the Canary Islands' most famous natural attractions in Tenerife. Whether you come here to hike to the top of the towering Mount Teide, or hunt down its stargazing spots - there’s no better way to soak up the Canaries' true beauty than a trip to this national park. Or, the views across Timanfaya National Park’s lava fields are listed on just about every Lanzarote tourist guide as are the sunsets at Roque Nublo, Gran Canaria. Prefer to get out on the water? Then, the Atlantic will be waiting with its long list of activities, from surfing to snorkelling and sea kayaking.

Places to stay

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, home to Spain’s highest mountain, fine sandy beaches and some of the archipelago’s most vibrant nightlife.

Often referred to as a ‘mini continent’, Gran Canaria is famous for its rocky beaches, sandy dunes and cosmopolitan capital city; Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Lanzarote holidays are all about exploring its amazing lunar landscape. It’s also home to an impressive contrasting coastline, from its dark volcanic sands to its golden coves. Speaking of beaches, Fuerteventura has the most of all the Canary Islands, with vast dunes stretching for miles.

Nature lovers, on the other hand, will love La Palma with its abundance of greenery and incredible clear skies drawing stargazers from around the world. Not to mention La Gomera and El Hierro for their forest trails.

More travel guides

Check out our guides to these Canary Island holidays: Fuerteventura | Gran Canaria | Lanzarote | Tenerife

 

Map of Canary Islands

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15-28℃

The Canaries are known for their consistently good weather with temperatures hovering around 22°C all year.

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Approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes

There's an airport on all seven of the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro) While, two airports serve northern and southern Tenerife.

Canary Islands is best for...

Beach lovers: Looking for sun, sea and sand? Holidays to the Canary Islands offer all three, no matter the season. And you’ll have plenty of options too! From the pristine sands of Fuerteventura to the volcanic shorelines of Tenerife and hidden coves in Lanzarote.

Families: Whether you’re looking for family-friendly hotels, attractions or beaches, there’s something for all ages in the Canary Islands. The whole clan will love splash-filled days in Tenerife’s Siam Park or Gran Canaria’s Aqualand Maspalomas. Families staying in Lanzarote shouldn’t miss a trip to Timanfaya National Park.

Night owls: Playa de las Americas in Tenerife tends to take the party title with its huge choice of beach bars, clubs and pubs, but Gran Canaria is a close second. With spots opening late and closing even later, there’s no end to the fun you can have in the popular resorts of Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés.

Fast facts for Canary Islands

Language: The language spoken in the Canary Islands is Spanish. While locals have a good understanding of English, it’s always handy to know some basic phrases.

Currency: The currency used is the Euro.

Local time: There is no time difference between the Canary Islands and GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Depending where you’re heading, the main airports are; Fuerteventura Airport (FUE), Gran Canaria Airport (LPA), Lanzarote Airport (ACE) and Tenerife South Airport (TFS). You can usually expect it to take from 20 to 90 minutes to travel to your hotel.

Flight time from UK: Approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at the official website for tourism in the Canary Islands.

Visa / Health: Before you go, check the latest Canaries travel advice from The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

 

Getting around Canary Islands

By bus: Bright green buses nicknamed ‘guaguas’ make it quick and cost-effective to get around each of the Canary Islands.

By taxi: Travelling by taxi is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get from A to B. And you’ll find them just about everywhere in the Canaries, with ranks in the most popular areas and resorts. If you prefer to pre-book your journey, most hotels will be able to do this for you.

By car hire: Hiring a car is a good option for exploring some of the islands' more remote corners.

Events in Canary Islands

Carnival: Head to the Canary Islands in February and you’ll experience the chaotic kaleidoscope that is the Carnival! Across the archipelago, you’ll see parades, colourful costumes, flamboyant floats, hear live music, eat sizzling street food, drink plenty of sangria, and watch fantastic firework displays. To really immerse yourself in the event, head to Tenerife’s capital city, Santa Cruz, where the festivities carry on for two weeks! It’s also worth looking out for the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria - one of the biggest in all of Spain.

Semana Santa: Celebrate Easter in lively Canarian style during the festivities of Semana Santa (or Holy Week). Expect to see parades of 'nazarenos', carrying flickering candles, wooden crosses and, sometimes, wearing heavy chains. While it’s a religious holiday, the Canarians seem to be able to turn any event into an all-night party!

Gay Pride: The Canary Islands have a strong gay community and May sees the streets of Maspalomas explode into an extravaganza of parades, music and outrageous costumes. The Gay Pride celebrations are both fun and absolutely fabulous!

Canary Islands safety and security

Do I need a passport?

Anyone visiting the Canary Islands will need a passport, which will need to be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re a British citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter the Canary Islands as a tourist. If you’re in any doubt as to whether or not you need a visa, it’s always best to contact the Spanish Embassy to check. 

For up-to-date advice on entry requirements please visit the FCDO website.

Should I get travel health insurance? 

Anybody jetting off on a holiday to the Canary Islands should ensure they have comprehensive travel and health insurance in place. If you become ill or are injured while away, your insurance will cover or help towards the cost of any medical treatment needed. It’s a good idea to have a read through your policy documents before your trip so that you’re aware of what is and isn’t covered, and also to check if there is extra cover for any activities you may be planning.

For up-to-date advice on travelling to the Canary Islands, please visit the FCDO website.

Canary Islands weather

Temperature: Average temperatures range from 18°C in the winter to 26°C in the summer.

Best time to visit? 

Known for its mild climate, the Canary Islands get more days of sunshine than almost anywhere else in the world. Come here from May to July and you’ll enjoy average temperatures of around 26°C, perfect for beach breaks. Those looking to go swimming or snorkelling will appreciate August’s heated waters, when sea temperatures are a pleasant 23°C. But these sun-kissed islands are just as popular in the winter. Although cooler, you can still experience highs of around 24°C and days rarely drop below 15°C.

If you’ve come here to explore the many geographical wonders, spring and autumn are considered the best seasons for hiking. These months are generally quieter too, so you’ll get to take full advantage of peaceful beaches and attractions.

What should I pack?

What you pack for your trip will depend on what time of year you’re visiting the Canary Islands. The days here are generally long, hot and sunny, particularly during the summer months, so pack plenty of high-factor sun cream and don’t forget your after-sun, hat and a cover-up for long days at the beach or by the pool. Other essentials include sunglasses, plenty of cool, light clothes, and a jumper for cooler evenings.

It’s also a good idea to pack some comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing and an EU travel adaptor to keep your mobile phone and other devices charged on your trip.

Best hotels in Canary Islands

Discover the best destinations to visit in Canary Islands

Popular Canary Islands holiday resorts

FAQs
FAQs
What is the nicest Canary Island to visit?

Choosing the nicest Canary Island to visit depends on what you’re looking for from your holiday. Tenerife is the most popular and largest of the islands, known for black sand beaches and buzzing nightlife. Not to mention the Teide National Park, the highest mountain in Spain with spectacular hiking routes.

Gran Canaria is the second most popular island and is best for beach days, hiking and picturesque villages. From the sand dunes of Maspalomas, a 400-hectare nature reserve sweeping into the sea, to the 1,949m high rugged peaks of Pico de las Nieves. Another favourite is Lanzarote, famed for its otherworldly lunar landscapes, volcanic vineyards, and year-round sun.

What are the 7 Canary Islands called?

There are seven Canary Islands in total. In order of size, from largest to smallest, they are Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro.

Which is the hottest Canary Island?

Lanzarote is considered to be the hottest Canary Island, with average temperatures ranging from 20°C in the winter to 29°C in the summer. With its proximity to the Sahara Desert, and its unique volcanic landscape, it benefits from a warm, dry climate year-round.

The island’s eastern position also means it’s less affected by the cool ocean currents. You can expect long, sunny days for much of the year in Lanzarote, making it a great choice for swimming and sunbathing throughout the year.

Where are the Canary Islands located?

The Canary Islands belong to Spain and form an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of Africa (67 miles). This position makes them warm and sunny throughout the year. It’s this subtropical climate, paired with its beautiful beaches that bring in over 12 million visitors a year.

What is the best month to go to the Canary Islands?

The Canary Islands are popular all year round. With its subtropical climate and warm seas, you can enjoy sunny weather and beach days no matter which month you visit. The most popular time of year to visit the Canary Islands is from June to August when the mercury averages around 22°C to 28°C, and the sea is perfect for swimming in.

The shoulder months, April to May, and September to November are quieter and milder, with average temperatures of 20°C. This is an excellent time for activities like hiking and surfing.

Are the Canary Islands family-friendly?

The Canary Islands are a great choice for a family-friendly holiday. The weather is warm and sunny year-round and many of the beaches are soft, sandy and sheltered, perfect for sandcastle building and paddling. There are so many activities on offer too, including a visit to world-famous Siam Park, aquariums, boat rides, zoos, walking and hiking, museums, historical sites and nature parks like Mount Teide in Tenerife.

Which is the cheapest Canary Island for holidays?

It’s difficult to say which Canary Island is the cheapest, as it depends on the season, location and accommodation. As a guide, the most budget-friendly tend to be the bigger islands like Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, all offering plenty of purse-pleasing All Inclusive packages.