Holidays in the Canary Islands–say hello to the sun
So you can make the most of what's on offer in the seven Canary Islands, we suggest a travel plan with what's essential on each one. We're thinking of a stay of at least two days on each island and we know it's not long enough. Make the most of magnificent international airport connections and get away to paradise for as many days as you can.
The two main islands are Gran Canariaand Tenerife. We'll start out from these two because they have the main air and sea connections to the others: Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro. Discover how and enjoy.
Islands of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote
- 1 GRAN CANARIA
- 2 FUERTEVENTURA
- 3 LANZAROTE
It is known as the miniature continent so just imagine what you can find there. Its main city is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, capital of the eastern islands. During your visit, you can't miss a stroll through the historic quarter of Vegueta and its shopping street, Calle Triana; a swim on the urban family beach of Las Canteras; or enjoy its many leisure options. Here are some tips for a day in the city. When planning your visit to the island, remember that temperatures are usually higher in the south and there are more beaches there. Whereas, as you go further inland, the temperature may decrease.
An island for wandering around
The tour of the island is one of the most popular excursions. The reasons? On a route that is about 250 kilometres long, you can discover the Cathedral of Santa Ana in Arucas, the port of Agaete, look out from the spectacular Mirador del Balcón Viewpoint in La Aldea, discover a picture-postcard harbour in Mogán, visit some of most touristy beaches, such as Arguinegüin, Patalavaca, Puerto Rico, Amadores and other little coves, or stroll through the historic quarter of Telde. However, if any of the beaches stand out, it is Maspalomas: a desert of sand dunes that reaches as far as the sea. We recommend you walk along the seashore to the neighbouring Playa del Inglés Beach. Inland, don't forget to visit the rural Tejeda and Teror. If you have time and, above all, if you are fascinated by nature, jot down the Mirador del Pozo de las Nieves Viewpoint, the Nublo Rural Park, the Las Niñas Dam and the Bandama Caldera.
A paradise for relaxation with more than 150 kilometres of beach. A dream for surfers due to the waves. An endless playground of sand and fun for children. All of this is Fuerteventura, an island with a virgin coastline, emerald green water and white sand, declared a Biosphere Reserve, and we are going to tell you what the essentials are for a few days here. If you still have time, we recommend a short boat trip to Islote de Lobos from the port of Corralejo, going snorkelling or getting to know the desert fauna in Oasis Park.
The perfect plan for Fuerteventura is to combine time spent in the sun on the beach with a pleasant meal of fish or kid and local cheeses, and some kind of water activity. At dusk, a good option is strolling and having supper in places like Corralejo, Morrojable, Costa Calma or Caleta de Fuste. You have to swim at beaches such as the really long Sotavento, Cofete, Morro Jable or Costa Calma (in the south) or the Playa de la Concha Beach, in El Cotillo, and Grandes Playas de Corralejo Beaches (all in the north). The latter is at the foot of the Las Dunas de Corralejo Nature Reserve, an impressive desert full of dunes. If you have never rolled down an enormous dune, you have to–and here you can. Other points of interest are the viewpoints of Peñitas and Morro Velosa, near Betancuria. Discover spectacular landscapes.
If you can only stay on the island two days, there are some activities that we recommend you don't miss, such as a tour of the protected landscape of La Geria to discover the original grape growing of Lanzarote and its white wines; a camel ride (you can take one in the Timanfaya National Park); a trip to the Charco de los Clicos; or a swim on beaches such as Papagayo or Las Cucharas. Other highly recommended beaches but ones that take a little longer to get to are Las Conchas Beach and the nudist beach in Famara.
Yes, magic exists in Lanzarote or it seems to when you discover its nature. It is so valuable that the island has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Furthermore, it is extremely easy to discover its essentials thanks to its Art, Culture and Tourism Centres. These are the six main points of interest, which you can visit with a combined ticket. They are the Timanfaya National Park (Fire Mountains), the Cueva de los Verdes, the Cactus Garden, the Jameos del Agua, the Mirador del Río Viewpoint and the Castillo de San José International Museum of Contemporary Art. If you are on a short visit, you may be interested in a pass for the four centres. It is also special to visit places such as the fishing village of El Golfo, what is known as the valley of the thousand palm trees (Haría), Yaiza and its quiet streets with white houses, the bustling Puerto del Carmen or the shopping town of Puerto Calero.
Tips and interesting facts
- To verify the air connections to each island, we recommend you visit the Airports in Spain or the Canary Island Tourism websites.
- Swimwear, sun cream and leaving stress behind are compulsory for visiting the Canary Islands. Furthermore, if you are thinking of going hiking or visiting rural areas, remember that temperatures may be cooler.
- Above all if you only have a little time and you want to discover a lot, we recommend that you get around by car. The islands have a large fleet of vehicles for hire but it is always best to book from home.
- Take your camera and charger–you're going to see lots of pretty things and you'll want to immortalise it all. Remember that the Canaries stand out for their biodiversity and species of flora and fauna that only live here so be respectful, care for the environment and enjoy the nature.
- Basic, important and tasty tip: you have to try the most popular gastronomy. On all the islands, you will come across excellent cheeses, local wines, delicious desserts and a wide variety of mojos (sauces) for accompanying the delicious “papas arrugadas" (wrinkly Canarian potatoes) or the "gofio amasado". Also, remember that bananas from the Canary Islands are internationally renowned. Here are a few suggestions by island: Gran Canaria: typical items are the “pata asada” (roast ham), Flor de Guía cheese, wrinkly Canarian potatoes with spicy mojo picón sauce, "sancocho" fish and potato casserole and the sweet "bienmesabe". Lanzarote: its cheeses are called "conejeros" and are perfect for accompanying its wines and the highlights of its baking are peanut bread and "roscos de alma" (which are doughnut-style). Fuerteventura: the star products are its Majorero cheese, its kid and the fish that are served in its little ports.
Getting here and around
It only takes about four and a half hours to fly direct from the UK to the islands of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. You can fly from many places, such as London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh. You will also find sea connections between all the islands. Interisland connections from Gran Canaria: from its airport, barely 25 kilometres from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and about 30 from the most touristy area of the south, you have direct connections to the islands of Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma and El Hierro. Sea connections to the other islands are from the ports of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Agaete, in the north. Interisland connections from Fuerteventura: the airport is about 5 kilometres from the capital, Puerto del Rosario. There are a lot of direct flights to the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Sea connections to Lanzarote are from Corralejo. From Puerto del Rosario and Morro Jable, there are connections to Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Interisland connections from Lanzarote: the airport is about 5 kilometres from the city of Arrecife and there are numerous direct flights to Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Whereas sea connections are from the port of Arrecife (to Gran Canaria, Tenerife and La Palma) and from the Costa Blanca Port (to Fuerteventura).
Have you found this information useful?