The Canary Islands – a tourist guide with great pictures and map!

The Canary Islands – a tourist guide with great pictures and map!

The Canary Islands, also sometimes referred to simply as ‘the Canaries’ are a group of islands that are located off of the Northwest coast of mainland Africa. However, while they are located near Africa, they are in fact a Spanish autonomous community and belong to the European Union.

The islands are also well known for their good weather and amazing beaches with great resorts for tourism.

Playa Las Canteras Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Playa Las Canteras Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain by azuaje

If you should head to the Canary Islands then you will be certain to have a great holiday and there are many things that bring visitors to them time after time. First of all, these islands boast incredible weather.

Being just off of the coast of Africa they are very hot as you can imagine, and this makes them ideal for beach holidays and for relaxing in the sun. At the same time as islands, they also have lots of beaches all around, and many of these are great for surfers.

Playa Sotavento, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain
Playa Sotavento, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain by miquitos

The tourism on many of these islands is very pronounced meaning that there is a lot laid on for anyone wanting to visit including great nightlife and clubbing, and lots of places to eat and relax.

However the islands are also known for their unusual and often stunning scenery – these islands feature volcanic terrain that looks sparse and desolate and almost like the surface of the moon or Mars.

If you want to visit the Canary Islands then you have several options of places to visit:

Visiting Canary Islands

Tenerife

Of the Canaries, Tenerife is perhaps the best for nightlife and the one most associated with clubbing holidays and nights out drinking.

To this end, it has a fantastic strip of clubs and activities and a hugely bustling nightlife.

Playa de Las Teresitas, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Playa de Las Teresitas, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain by Anna & Michal

At the same time though it also has plenty to do in the day and has great beaches and places to eat. One of the sites of most interest for tourists is undoubtedly Mount Teide which is a volcano and the highest mountain in all of Spain.

Here the volcanic terrain is perhaps at its best – and interestingly this was actually the site on which the original Planet of the Apes was filmed.

El Teide, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
El Teide, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain by Daniel Tenerife

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is another great spot if you’re after a good nightlife and the best spot for that is the YUMBO center which has everything you could need for a great night out.

Again the island also has brilliant beaches for relaxing and even a small desert that you can trek through and get some great photos.

Dunas de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
Dunas de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain by Himarerme

There are also many historical monuments on the island. The capital of the island, Las Palmas, really worth seeing and especially its old part, which was included in the tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A part of the island itself was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

La Presa de Chira, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
La Presa de Chira, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain by azuaje

Lanzarote

Lanzarote is similar to both Tenerife and Gran Canaria in terms of climate and nightlife, though it enjoys a slightly more muted evening out with a little less drunken debauchery (though some of that still goes on) and a marginally cooler climate due to an ever-present breeze.

This makes it the Canary island of choice for those who want to relax and kick back. At the same time it is also the island with the most impressively varied landscape of all – with more volcanic terrain, as well as mountain ranges, another desert and even caves. At the volcanic region of the island you can also enjoy having your dinner cooked for you by the heat of a volcano.

Some of the most interesting trips in Lanzarote include a national park Timanfaya National Park or cave Jameos del Agua.

Tidal pool in the El Golfo crater, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Tidal pool in the El Golfo crater, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain by Stefan Krause

Read more about Things to do in Lanzarote.

Fuerteventura

At first glance, there is nothing else to see in Fuerteventura than just a desert, windswept landscape, and no plants. Although this island can not boast of any monument, it offers by far the best beaches on the entire Canary Islands.

Among the most popular beaches include Morro Jable, Playa de Cofete and Playa de Sotavento, which are very popular among windsurfers. On the island, you must further visit Corralejo Natural Park and towns Betancuria and Gran Tarajal.

Playa de Cofete, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain
Playa de Cofete, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain by Tamara k

La Palma

The local people call this island La Isla Bonita (“Beautiful Island”) or La Isla Verde (“Green Island”). And indeed, they are right! La Palma is really a beautiful place full of greenery, thanks to frequent rains and generally good conditions for farming.

In the middle of the island is rising a volcano called La Caldera de Taburiente. The surrounding landscape and the 8 kilometers wide crater is protected by a national park boasting rich vegetation.

La Palma is a place that attracts especially hiking enthusiasts. Here you have lots of trails – from the easiest to the most challenging ones. The island is also loved by divers.

Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain
Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain by Michael Apel

El Hierro

Look at a map and you find out that El Hierro is the smallest and westernmost of the Canary Islands.

The “La Isla Chiquila” (“small island”) is really tiny. However, it is not as small as an islet with the only palm tree in the middle. The area of the island is 278 square kilometers and is home to 8,000 people. Then it is also a home to about 500 volcanoes.

Arco de Las Puntas, El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain
Arco de Las Puntas, El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain by Vin Crosbie

La Gomera

La Gomera is a small circular island and the tourists are usually flying here from other Canary islands only for one day. The landscape is really enchanting and worth visiting.

When you get to this island, you must visit Parque Nacional de Garajonay as this place is one of the gems of UNESCO sites.

Enchanted Forest, Garajonay National Park, La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain
Enchanted Forest, Garajonay National Park, La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain by Diego Delso

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