A volcanic experience in the Canary Islands
One of the best ways of discovering all the natural biodiversity of the Canary Islands is to explore its protected areas. The Canary Islands archipelago is home to four of Spain's National Parks.
Landscape in Tenerife
- Autonomous region: Canary Islands
Did you know that the Canary Islands are volcanic in origin and are home to one of the largest volcanoes in the world, the Teide, Spain’s highest mountain? This is why the islands are so unusual: you’ll find everything from volcanic craters to lunar landscapes, combined with deserts of sand dunes and laurisilva forests.
All this volcanic territory makes the Canary Islands a perfect placer to enjoy some unique experiences. For example, on the island of La Gomera you’ll see ancient traditions which have been preserved to the present day, such as descending the ravines using enormous wooden poles, or communicating by means of whistles (formerly very common due to the steep relief which made communication so difficult); you’ll be able to try a unique wine made from grapes grown on lava from the volcano on the island of Lanzarote; or you’ll be able to gaze at the stars in one of the clearest skies in Europe, especially in La Palma, the home of the Roque de los Muchachos observatory.
This area also offers the chance to take part in a whole range of outdoor sports. You can go hiking in national parks such as the Teide, in Tenerife; the Caldera de Taburiente, in La Palma, where you’ll be able to walk on one of the largest craters in the world; the Garajonay, in La Gomera, which has a dense and mysterious-looking forest; and the Timanfaya, in Lanzarote, whose fields of solidified lava, which can be crossed on a camel, will remind you of the moon.
Apart from the national parks, you’ll be amazed at practically all the natural features in the Canary Islands. For example, you can climb the rock faces in Gran Canaria or cross its interior on quad bikes, and suddenly discover you are above the clouds, or very near them; you can fly kites on the endless beaches of Fuerteventura or venture into some of its caves which are so popular with potholing enthusiasts; you can go scuba-diving on exceptionally beautiful seabeds of volcanic origin with a wealth of flora and fauna, as on the island of El Hierro, for example. Although if you really want to get an idea of the true splendour of this volcanic land, the best option is to see it from the air, hanging from a paraglider. To find out more about how you can discover the volcanic experience of the Canary Islands, check the official website of the Canary Islands Tourist Board .