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A holiday to the Canary Islands is ideal for those who want to choose the perfect backdrop against which to unwind. Whether you want water sports, historic sites, stunning scenery, vibrant nightlife or to laze on a beach and soak up some sun, each Canary Island has its own personality, allowing you to pick the one that’s best for you.
There are seven Canary Islands, each with breath-taking countryside, sun-bleached beaches and sunshine all year round. Explore the lunar landscapes of Lanzarote or join the fun in Tenerife’s lively resorts. Get some serious bronzing under your belt on Gran Canaria’s beautiful, golden beaches or kick back and relax on the charming island of Fuerteventura. With so much potential, you can make your Canary Island holiday exactly what you want it to be!
The islands in the Canaries’ archipelago are known as the ‘Islands of Eternal Spring’: the average temperature hovers at around 22°C throughout the year, peaking in the low thirties during the summer months.
Between four and five hours
There's an airport on all seven of the Canary Islands: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. Two airports serve northern and southern Tenerife.
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
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 a cosmopolitan capital city; Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Lanzarote’s lunar landscape of dark volcanic sand contrasts with the golden beaches of the coast. Fuerteventura has the most beaches of the Canary Islands, with vast dunes stretching for miles. La Palma is the greenest; its incredible clear skies drawing stargazers from around the world. Nature lovers head to La Gomera and El Hierro for their forest trails.
A Canary Islands holiday is ideal if you’re travelling with the family. If you can bear to tear yourself away from the powder-soft sands of your nearest beach, you’ll find there’s plenty to do, particularly if you’re with the kids. There are some fantastic waterparks in which kids can cool down and burn up some energy on the various rides, slides, flumes and chutes. Among the biggest and the best are Gran Canaria’s Aqualand, Siam Park in Tenerife and Baku Waterpark in Fuerteventura.
However, if you want to slip some education under the radar and still have fun, take a trip to Tenerife’s Loro Parque. One of the best zoos in Europe, it gives your children the chance to learn about animal conservation, while interacting with a variety of exotic beasties, including sloths, gorillas and even killer whales! Alternatively, visit Oasis Park in Fuerteventura or Palmitos Park in Gran Canaria, to see fascinating animals and birds from around the world.
If you’re a fan of the Great Outdoors, hike up Roque Nublo, in Gran Canaria. One of the world’s highest free-standing rocks, it clocks in at an impressive 80 metres in height and 1813 metres above sea level. You can get close to it on foot but, if you want to go around it, you’re going to need carabiners, ropes and helmets! Tenerife offers something equally vertigo-inducing, in the form of Mount Teide, which fortunately for non-climbers is accessible by cable-car. If you prefer the feel of terra firma underfoot, head to Lanzarote’s Timanfaya National Park and explore the smouldering lava fields. If that’s a little warm on your feet, cool down with a boat-trip and watch dolphins and whales playing in the Atlantic Ocean.
Watch the surfers ride the crashing waves at Lanzarote’s Playa de Famara, one of the most best spots in the Canary Islands for water sports. The dramatic dunes at Corralejo in Fuerteventura are a popular attraction, the rippling, golden sand looking more like the Sahara than Spain. The African desert will come to mind again when you see the long beaches and high sand dunes of Gran Canaria’s Maspalomas, while the giant, red volcano, Montaña Roja, looms over the wide stretch of Playa de la Tejita: one of the most tranquil beaches in Tenerife.
Beach Lovers: You’ll find beautiful beaches on each of the Canary Islands offering something for everyone, from the pristine sands of Fuerteventura to the hidden coves of Lanzarote.
Families: If your little ones need to cool down and burn up some energy, it’s easy to spend a day at Gran Canaria’s best waterpark, Aqualand Maspalomas.
Night Owls: Tenerife is the best of the party islands in Canaries, with pubs, clubs and bars opening as the sun goes down and keeping the good times rolling until it comes back up!
Language: The language spoken in the Canary Islands is Spanish. While the locals have a good understanding of English, it’s worth packing a phrasebook or downloading our handy language app, and give those Spanish basics a go.
Currency: You’ll need to exchange your Sterling for Euros, before you jet off on your Canary Island holiday.
Local time: The Canary Islands are the same time as GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Fuerteventura Airport, Gran Canaria Airport, Lanzarote Airport and Tenerife South Airport. Transfers to the main resorts take 20–90 minutes.
Flight time from UK: The flight time for the Canary Islands is 4–4.5 hours.
Tourist Information: Further Canary Islands tourist information can be found at http://www.hellocanaryislands.com/
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to the Canary Islands.
There’s no such things as a bad time to take a holiday to the Canary Islands. Dubbed the ‘Islands of Eternal Spring’, the archipelago enjoys an average temperature of 22°C throughout the year. If you’re looking for some serious suntan weather, book your Canary Island holiday between July and September, when there’s around ten hours of sunshine a day and highs of around 28°C.
By bus: Bright green buses nicknamed “guaguas” make getting around the Canary Islands quick and cost-effective.
By taxi: Taxis in the resorts and cities of the Canary Islands are easy to spot and all have meters.
By car hire: Hiring a car is a good option for exploring some of the more remote places in the islands.
Carnival time: Take your holiday 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 carnivals in all of Spain, it sees people travelling from all over to join in the non-stop party.
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 a riot of parades, music and outrageous costumes. The Gay Pride celebrations are fun and absolutely fabulous!