Canary Islands holidays

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!

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 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.

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 the beach or poolside. Other essentials include sunglasses, plenty of cool, light clothes, and a jumper for cooler evenings.

It’s a good idea to pack comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing and an EU travel adaptor to keep your mobile phone and other devices charged on your trip. A Spanish phrasebook can also come in handy, although English is widely spoken in the Canaries.

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations including: Fuerteventura | Gran Canaria | Lanzarote | Tenerife

Map of Canary Islands

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22-28 ℃

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.

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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.

Canary Islands is best for...

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!

Fast facts for Canary Islands

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 https://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.

*Please note - some hotels within the Canary Islands do not allow inflatables in the pool.

Getting around Canary Islands

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.

Events in Canary 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!

Canary Islands safety and security

Do I need a passport?

Anyone visiting the Canary Islands will need a passport, which must be valid for the duration of your stay. No specific period of validity is required beyond this.

For more information on Canary Islands passport requirements and details of the entry rules and regulations, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain/entry-requirements. 

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 more Canary Islands visa information as well as details of entry requirements to the country, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain/entry-requirements.

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 in an accident on holiday, your insurance could cover the cost of any medical treatment you urgently need. It’s a good idea to have a read through your policy documents before your trip so that you’re aware what is and what isn’t covered, and also check whether or not any activities you’re planning for your holiday will be covered too. 

Canary Islands weather

A popular year-round holiday destination, the Canary Islands are home to sun-soaked seafront resorts, lush pine forests, beautiful beaches and national parks. You’ll find something to suit all tastes here, whether you’re after a relaxing or lively holiday. Our Canary Islands travel advice will tell you all you’ll need to know to ensure you have a memorable time.

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, with a cool sea breeze. August is the most popular time of year for beach breaks, when the sea temperature is around 23°C, ideal for snorkelling, fishing and swimming.

Visitors come to the Canary Islands for winter sun breaks too. Winters are cooler despite the tropical climate, but temperatures of 22-24°C are normal, with colder days rarely dropping below 15°C. If you’re looking to explore the Canaries and enjoy a peaceful break, the spring and autumn months are the ideal time when the tourist attractions and beaches are generally quieter than during the busy summer months.

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