17 May The Canary Islands – a primer for the avid traveller
Every year, when winter is at its bleakest, Britons dream of an archipelago where the sun shines bright. Where, even in January, the temperature sits around 20 degrees Centigrade. Boasting a Spanish flair tempered by the tropics, the Canary Islands hold a special place in our hearts.
However, the Canaries are a fabulous destination any time of year. Moderated by ocean breezes, highs average between 24 to 28 degrees Celsius in summer. Planning a Canary Islands cruise holiday? This guide will help you make the most of this special place – let’s get started.
The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is perfect for travellers craving a mix of tropical relaxation and urbanity. From the party atmosphere at Playa Las Americas to laid back Puerto Santiago, you’ll find your vibe here.
When you aren’t working on your tan or partying the night away, scale El Teide, Spain’s tallest peak. If you don’t want to tackle it on foot, don’t worry – a tram will carry you to the top. Looming 3,700 metres above the waves of the Atlantic, it affords a commanding view of the entire island. Just be sure to wear something warm – temperatures are often in the single digits, even in summer.
Do you crave the sort of quiet you won’t find on Tenerife? Consider spending time on Fuerteventura. This isle boasts over 150 kilometres of white sand beach, meaning there’s a stretch out there with your name on it.
If you’d rather do more than lay about in your sun lounger, give kitesurfing a shot. With consistent offshore winds year-round, Fuerteventura is a famed destination for kitesurfers. With kitesurfing schools everywhere, it won’t be long before you’re gliding across this isle’s aquamarine water with reckless abandon.
Referred to as a ‘continent in miniature’ due to its diverse landscapes, Gran Canaria is a nature lover’s paradise. White sand beaches, volcanic landscapes, fragrant pine forests – this isle has it all. The interior features plenty of trails for hiking and biking, making it well-suited for active travellers.
If you’d rather laze about, though, Gran Canaria has some of the most beautiful resorts on the Canary Islands. It’s worth noting Playa del Ingles has been popular with the gay community for generations. If you identify as such, it’s a wonderful place to spend a holiday.
Of all the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is among the most intriguing. It was greener than it now appears, but a massive volcanic eruption in the 18th century changed that. This event encased one-quarter of the island in lava, including much of its arable land.
You can tour the remnants of the centuries-old eruption by visiting Timanfaya National Park. Don’t leave without eating at Montañas del Fuego. Here, they use the Earth’s heat for cooking dishes. Thanks to active magma, rocks are several hundred degrees just a few metres below the ground.
Afterward, make time for Jameos del Agua. Constructed in an exposed lava tube, this open-air venue features a bar, restaurant, picturesque pool, and a concert venue.