All of the Canary Islands are well known for its year-long summer, beaches and a lot of activities.
Each island has its unique attraction just waiting to be explored. Whether you are looking for a mountain to hike or camp in, a volcano to explore, beaches to relax in, and viewpoints to see stars in, Canary Islands have it all for you.
For every kind of traveler, the Canaries offer can accommodate. To help you choose your destination, we outlined the following travel guide for each island.
Tenerife – Perfect for all year long travel
Being the largest island, Tenerife is the most populated among the seven islands. It is a favorite among families with all the friendly attractions composing the island.
The island’s restaurants cater to all kinds of tastes. The parks boast of walking trails, native birds, cultural treasures, and wildlife.
Just an hour drive from the Unesco World Heritage Site, La Laguna, the Anaga Rural Park consists of mountains with deep ravines and sharp peaks. In the park, you will be able to see tons of laurel trees and hamlets.
If you want to spend the night here, the park has bed and breakfasts, and hotels to accommodate your stay.
Known as Spains’s highest mountain, the Parque Nacional del Teide is another tourist spot that’s listed as a UNESCO site and famous for climbing enthusiasts. But if you want, you can just take the cable car to reach the top.
The island’s watersports are among the best in Europe. People around the world flock to Tenerife to dive, snorkel, windsurf and do some parasailing activities.
Other popular spots to check are Costa Adeje, Playa de las Americas and los Cristianos, and Puerto de la Cruz.
Gran Canaria – Ideal for Biking and Hiking
Also known as a ‘miniature continent,’ Gran Canaria is famous for its unique microclimates and stunning landscapes. Its capital, Las Palmas, offers one of the best nights out.
Located just west of Africa, the island has some of the best 500 beaches. Running through the island is an extensive network of bike trails. Within its beaches, there are various watersports available to satisfy your adventurous soul.
As a hot hiking spot, Gran Canaria offers walks through lakes, caves, and mountains while you soak up the stunning fauna and magnificent flora.
There are also note-worthy places to see such as the Puerto Mogam Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas.
Fuerteventura- Great for Beach Lovers
The 340km coastline consisting of 150 spectacular beaches is what Fuerteventura offers. It’s a paradise for all beach lovers. Compared to its neighbor Tenerife, this island has lesser visitors who have resulted in a more relaxed environment.
Fuerteventura boasts of white and black sand beaches with sparkling turquoise water that’s great for all types of travelers. You can go and explore the deep coves, swim, snorkel, and kayak.
There are also dunes that are perfect for a 4×4 adventure or a jumping escapade.
Villages and small towns are around the island that exudes a cosmopolitan taste such as Caleta de Fuste and Corralejo. If you’re up for some food, go for a taste test adventure in their restaurants.
If you love water parks, the island has Bake Euro that’s sure to give you the best time of your life. For surfing enthusiasts, El Cotillo offers the perfect spot for windsurfing and surfing in general.
La Palma– For Eco Travellers and Stargazers
Also known as “La Isla Bonita” which translates to the beautiful island, La Palma sprouted from a volcanic formation.
The island has implemented strong measures against light pollution which resulted in a clear and visible night sky. If you enjoy gazing at the stars, you can’t go wrong with La Palma. It was declared a Starlight Reserve ten years ago.
Not only is La Palma famous for its night views, but it’s also stunning view during the day is just as beautiful. The lush greeneries has attracted thousands of visitors from around the world to see its beauty.
If you’re up for some traditional culture, the island’s two main cities, namely Los Llanos de Aridane and Santa Cruz de La Palma will satisfy your cravings.
For people who love the outdoors, try the routes on Ruta de Los Volcanos, Los Tilos and GR130 or hike the El Roque de Los Muchachos.
El Hierro – A Diving Wonderland
With just a population of 10,000 people, the El Hierro Island is an ideal diving spot with its crystal clear waters. Scuba diving is one of the most sought activities on the island and has made the UNESCO World Biosphere Status. Its fantastic ocean depth is one of its attractions. It has precisely 46 dive sites which have turned the island into a paradise for all kinds of marine life.
Despite the underwater eruption in 2011, the island’s marine ecosystem has now gotten back its previous glory.
There are also horse riding, mountain biking, whale spotting and even paragliding listed in its activities.
The island is the first to be completely self-sufficient with its renewable energy coming from the Gorona del Viento hydroelectric plant.
A quick trivia, the island is now known as the Meridian Isle with the Punta de Orchilla cape being marked as the Zero Meridian up until 1885. It was mostly used in 17th and 16th-century maps.
If you need to stay connected, no worries, the free Wi-Fi around the island got your back.
Lanzarote – Explore Out of This World Landscapes
Known as the “Hawaii of Europe,” Lanzarote is famous for its otherworldly landscapes and black beaches. The lunar-like scenery around Timanfaya Park has called the attention of the movie creators. The place is renowned for shooting movies such as the Planet of the Apes, the Martian Chronicles and the One Million Years BC.
One of the most recommended food on the island is the one cooked from geothermal heat in the Timanfaya Park. The land surface is so hot that you can watch water immediately turn into steam as it gets in contact with the land.
Recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Lanzarote boasts of golden and white sand beaches. The masterpieces of Cesar Manrique, a famous architect, are available for viewing throughout the island.
La Gomera- A Island of Nature and Magic
Being the second smallest island in the Canaries, La Gomera has most of its best features unexplored. Christopher Columbus has once set sail in the main port of the Capital of San Sebastian de la Gomera.
Among the resorts in La Gomera is Valle Gran Rey that has fantastic hiking trails. For golf enthusiasts, the small resort of Playa de Santiago has the only large-scale golf course in the island.
One of its towns, Hermigua is well known for being the island’s epicenter for the banana’s industry and for having the best climate in the world.
The world heritage site La Garajonay National Park is worth the visit.
There are also smaller islands that compose the Canaries, most of which are uninhabited such as the Roque del Oeste, Roque del Este, Isla de Lobos, Montana Clara, Alegranza and La Graciosa.
True enough, the seven main islands offer the best adventures and relaxing atmosphere that suits every mood.
Text and photos by Jarno van Meerendonk