If you’re looking for a holiday that offers a little bit of everything, book a break to the Canary Islands where you’re just as likely to find yourself exploring the dense greenery of a subtropical forest as you are to spend a day lying on white, powder-soft sands and catching some rays. However, if you’re unfamiliar with this stunning archipelago of disarmingly different islands and Internet searches of “where are the Canary Islands” haven’t helped you to make up your mind, here’s a brief overview of what you can expect.
Although the Canary Islands are under Spanish rule, you’ll find them just off the north-western coast of Africa. In temperature terms, this means that the islands enjoy weather that’s more associated with the tropics than Europe. Temperatures range from the high teens to the high twenties and regularly peak in the low thirties. The hottest months are June, July and August, but you’ll find the islands warm, all year round, although December sees the most rainfall. However, if you’re looking for a beach break, the Canary Islands are the place to go!
Which Island is best for Me?
With seven main islands in the archipelago, you might be asking “which of the Canary Islands is best-suited to my holiday?” Each has its own unique character and offers different things to the 21st Century traveller, so it’s a good idea to have a little information on them:
Tenerife: this island offers tourist focused resorts, complete with all the amenities you could want, alongside traditional Spanish villages, wide-open spaces and some excellent, authentic restaurants.
Gran Canaria: this is one of the Canary Islands where you’ll find the best beaches. Like Tenerife, it has touristy resorts, but you can also explore further afield and soak up the green and mountainous scenery.
Lanzarote: with beautiful beaches and an eerie, lunar landscape, Lanzarote is the oldest of the islands. It offers excellent conditions for water sports and you’ll find the bays alive with adrenaline junkies pitting themselves against the waters.
Fuerteventura: families and couples who want little more to do than laze on a beach will enjoy this island. There are some historic villages to explore and a superb variety of wildlife to observe. This is the place to come to unwind.
La Palma: if you want to know where there is Canary Island culture worth seeing, book your break to La Palma. The most unspoilt in the archipelago, it boasts the best and most-untamed scenery and the towns and villages wear their heritage on their whitewashed sleeves. Perfect for couples who want to enjoy some quality downtime together.
La Gomera: fans of the Great Outdoors will enjoy exploring this fantastic-looking island. Riddled with walking trails that lead you through dense, subtropical undergrowth and reward you with spectacular panoramas, La Gomera attracts hikers, walkers and cyclists from across the world.
El Hierro: this island is best for those with an interest in history. In addition to a startling array of wildlife, the striking scenery holds the remains of Neolithic settlements and crumbling ruins. In addition, the conditions for scuba-diving and snorkelling here are exceptional. Perhaps the most unspoilt island in the archipelago, El Hierro is for historians, with a whiff of Indiana Jones about them.
The Canary Islands are a sublime holiday destination and, with such a variety of activities on offer, you can make your holiday exactly what you want it to be. From simply lazing all day on a beach and exploring atmospheric ruins, to getting to grips with some knuckle-whitening water sports and hunting out bargains in local markets, there’s something for everyone.