Beach bums, culture vultures, happy hikers – holidays to the Canary Islands are a hit with just about everyone.
This group of Spanish isles is way closer to Africa than Spain
. Edging closer to the equator, they guarantee plenty of sun to make the most of their sandy spots. Other than a shared climate, they’re a mixed bunch. Pleasing holidaymakers is the name of the game in Lanzarote
, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Fuerteventura
and La Palma are the shy ones, but they’re still packed with sleepy coves and hiking trails.
Tenerife and Lanzarote are something else. The volcanic landscape of Mount Teide National Park is straight out of Interstellar. But Lanzarote’s Timanfaya National Park goes one better, with over 300 volcanoes and a lime-green lagoon. And even though La Palma’s
one of the smallest of the lot, its terrain’s on the larger scale. Here, petite coves are trumped by mammoth mountains.
Dunes and sands
It’s easy to dig your toes into the sand in the Canary Islands. Beach-wise, it’s a rainbow affair. Lanzarote and La Palma bring the black sands, while Tenerife’s go golden. Settle on a sandy beach in the latter and it’s likely the grains have come straight from the Sahara. And that’s not the only African connection – the sand dunes in Gran Canaria
and Fuerteventura are carbon copies of the desert, too.
Culture-wise, these isles can compete with the best of them. Abstract architect Cesar Manrique’s left his stamp all over Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. Plus, Lanzarote’s got another thing to brag about – Europe’s first underwater museum. When the evening hits, the tempo skyrockets in Tenerife. Places like Costa Adeje provide the swanky dining, while nearby Playa de las Americas
has bars and clubs on tap.