Holidays to the Canary Islands serve up year-round sun, big-name resorts and scenery worthy of the big screen.
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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Fuerteventura is one of the more organic Canary Islands. It’s a no-added-sugar sort of place, where the buildings are low-rise and the landscape has been built up by biology rather than bulldozers. But that’s not to say nothing goes on here. In fact, as most of the Canaries creak to life around mid-morning, Fuerteventura has been up for hours catering for the people who want to fit it all in.
It might only be the Canaries’ third biggest isle, but for somewhere the size of Greater London, Gran Canaria packs a lot in. With soft sands in the south, lush forests in the north and huge mountains in the middle, it's is a place that covers all the bases.
As one of the smaller Canary Islands, La Palma is off most people’s radars. And long may it stay that way. Its 280 square miles give you a taste of the Canaries the way they used to be – all hushed coves, cobbled towns and the odd low-rise resort. It’s not short on scenery, either. The world’s steepest island – 2,426 metres at its highest – La Palma’s barely got an inch of flat land, so expect soaring mountains, sloping forests and hairpin bends at every turn.
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