The Canaries are actually the tips of a volcanic mountain range, which explains the crazy mix of scenery – the islands showcase everything from tropical forests and moon-like lava deserts, to giant sand dunes. And then there are the beaches, which tick off white sandy sweeps and black-sand coves.
Tenerife and Gran Canaria
The biggest island is Tenerife, which does a nice line in lively resorts, shopping streets and please-everyone attractions. It’s also home to Mount Teide, Spain’s highest mountain. Further west, Gran Canaria’s been dubbed a continent in miniature, thanks to its diverse landscapes. It’s also got upbeat beach resorts like Playa del Ingles and Puerto Rico to its name.
Fuerteventura and Lanzarote
Turning the tempo down a notch, there’s Fuerteventura. This place is big on sand. Not only has it got towering dunes, but it’s also home to the longest beaches in the Canaries. Lanzarote, meanwhile, is quietly confident, lining up Blue Flag beaches, an other-worldly volcanic landscape and buzzing resorts.
Last but not least, La Palma is the place for a taste of the Canaries of old. This tiny, off-the-radar island is all quiet coves, cobbled streets and volcanic peaks.
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