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Travel to the Canary Islands, land of eternal spring

Enjoy an eternal spring break in the Canaries, an archipelago of seven stunning islands that know how to do a lot more than just mass tourism...
  • The Canary Islands, Spain
    © iStockphoto.com / Juergen Sack
  • The Canary Islands, Spain
    © iStockphoto.com / Juergen Sack
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Spain

The Canary Islands are made up ofTenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and Hierro, and several smaller islands in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the Saharan coast. It is said in Greek mythology that the islands were once the location the blissful Garden of Hesperides and you can see why. Abundant vegetation, crystal clear waters, craters, dunes and white sandy beaches are just some of the natural beauties that draw so many to this popular holiday destination.

The Canary Islands: the key figures

Surface area : 7.5 km2

Population : 2118000 inhabitants

Time difference : There is actually no time difference between the Canaries and the UK, unlike mainland Spain which is 1 hour ahead of GMT.

  • A warm climate all year round.
  • Developed and reliable tourism infrastructure in place.
  • The volcanic landscapes, ideal for hiking.
  • A piece of Spain in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The quality of life.
  • Busy tourist sites and the inconvenience that goes with them: waiting in queues, noise, etc.
  • The constant construction work that affects the aesthetic of the islands and their coasts.
  • The cultural heritage of the Canary Islands not as rich as that of continental Spain.

The Canary Islands: what to visit?

Landscapes

  • Teide National Park, Tenerife, Tenerife - Del Teide National Park, Landscapes, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, The Canary Islands
    Tenerife - Del Teide National Park
  • The Anaga Mountains, Tenerife, Tenerife - The Anaga mounts, Landscapes, The Canary Islands
    Tenerife - The Anaga mounts
  • The Palma Observatory, La Palma, Landscapes, The Canary Islands
    La Palma
  • La Gomera, El Hierro, Landscapes, The Canary Islands
    El Hierro
  • El Hierro, the end of the earth, Gran Canaria, Landscapes, The Canary Islands
    Gran Canaria
  • Gran Canaria, a miniature continent, Lanzarote - The Timanfaya National Park, Landscapes, The Canary Islands
    Lanzarote - The Timanfaya National Park
  • Lanzarote , La Geria , Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote , Spain
    Lanzarote - La Geria
  • La Gomera , Fuerteventura, Tenerife , Spain
    La Gomera
  • Tenerife , Los Gigantes , Los Gigantes, Tenerife , Spain
    Tenerife - Los Gigantes
  • Gran Canaria , God's Finger , God's Finger, Gran Canaria , Spain
    Gran Canaria - God's Finger
  • Fuerteventura , The sand dunes of Corralejo , The Corralejo Dunes on Fuerteventura , Spain
    Fuerteventura - The sand dunes of Corralejo
  • La Gomera , Garajonay National Park , Spain
    La Gomera - Garajonay National Park
  • La Gomera , Majona National Park , La Gomera , Majona Nature Park , Spain
    La Gomera - Majona National Park
  • La Palma , La Caldera de Taburiente , Spain
    La Palma - La Caldera de Taburiente
  • La Palma , The protected landscape of El Tablado , La Palma: protected landscape of El Tablado , Spain
    La Palma - The protected landscape of El Tablado
  • Lanzarote , The Green Lagoon , Lanzarote , Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) , Spain
    Lanzarote - The Green Lagoon
  • Lanzarote , The salt marshes , Lanzarote , Salt works , Spain
    Lanzarote - The salt marshes
  • Lanzarote , The salt marshes , Lanzarote , Salt works , Spain

Coasts

  • Tenerife , Los Cristianos , Gran Canaria , Maspalomas , Spain
    Tenerife - Los Cristianos
  • Grand Canaria -Maspalomas , Gran Canaria , Puerto Rico , Spain
    Grand Canaria -Maspalomas
  • Grand Canaria , Puerto Rico , Fuerteventura , the Jandia Peninsula , Spain
    Grand Canaria - Puerto Rico
  • Gran Canaria - Puerto de Mogan, Fuerteventura - The Jandia peninsula, Coasts, The Canary Islands
    Fuerteventura - The Jandia peninsula
  • Fuerteventura , Corralejo , Spain
    Fuerteventura - Corralejo
  • Tenerife - Las Teresitas Beach, Coasts, The Canary Islands
    Tenerife - Las Teresitas Beach
  • Tenerife , The lago Martianez , Tenerife , Los Cristianos , Spain
    Tenerife - The lago Martianez
  • Grand Canary - Puerto de Mogan
  • El Hierro , Tacoron , El Hierro , Tacorón , Spain
    El Hierro - Tacoron
  • Tenerife , Buenavista Teno , Spain
    Tenerife - Buenavista Teno
  • Tenerife , Playa de las Americas , Tenerife , Playa de Las Americas , Spain
    Tenerife - Playa de las Americas
  • Tenerife , La Tejita Beach , Tenerife , La Tejita beach , Spain
    Tenerife - La Tejita Beach
  • Tenerife , La Tejita Beach , Tenerife , La Tejita beach , Spain

The fauna and flora

  • Wildlife, The fauna, The fauna and flora, The Canary Islands
    The fauna
  • Marine life, Marine wildlife, The fauna and flora, The Canary Islands
    Marine wildlife
  • Flora , Spain
    Flora
  • Tenerife , Corona Forestal Natural Park , Corona Forestal Nature Park , Spain
    Tenerife - Corona Forestal Natural Park
  • Tenerife - Anaga Rural Park, Tenerife - Anaga Natural Park, The fauna and flora, The Canary Islands
    Tenerife - Anaga Natural Park
  • Tenerife - Anaga Rural Park, Tenerife - Anaga Natural Park, The fauna and flora, The Canary Islands

Arts and culture

  • Lanzarote , The Mirador del Rio , Gran Canaria , the Casa de Colón , Spain
    Lanzarote - The Mirador del Rio
  • Lanzarote , Cueva de los Verdes , Spain
    Lanzarote - Cueva de los Verdes
  • Lanzarote , The cactus Garden , Castillo de San Gabriel archaeology museum , Spain
    Lanzarote - The cactus Garden
  • Lanzarote - The César Manrique Foundation, Lanzarote - Jameos del Agua, Arts and culture, The Canary Islands
    Lanzarote - Jameos del Agua
  • Lanzarote , El Jardin del Agua , Spain
    Lanzarote - El Jardin del Agua
  • Gran Canaria , La Casa de Colon , Lanzarote , Mirador del Rio , Spain
    Gran Canaria - La Casa de Colon
  • Gran Canaria , The Canario Museum , Lanzarote , Cueva de los Verdes , Spain
    Gran Canaria - The Canario Museum
  • Lanzarote , The San Gabriel Castle Archaeological Museum , Lanzarote , Jameos del Agua , Spain
    Lanzarote - The San Gabriel Castle Archaeological Museum
  • Lanzarote , The Cesar Manrique Foundation , Lanzarote , The Cactus Gardens , Spain
    Lanzarote - The Cesar Manrique Foundation
  • Carnivals , Spain
    Carnivals
  • El Hierro - La Bajada de la Virgen, El Hierro - LA BAJADA DE LA VIRGEN DE LOS REYES, Arts and culture, The Canary Islands
    El Hierro - LA BAJADA DE LA VIRGEN DE LOS REYES
  • The Tenerife auditorium , Tenerife auditorium , Spain
    The Tenerife auditorium
  • The Pyramids of Güímar , Spain
    The Pyramids of Güímar
  • The Pyramids of Güímar , Spain

Activities and leisure

  • Golfing , Arona golf course , Spain
    Golfing
  • Kite surfing , Spain
    Kite surfing
  • Loro Park , Loro Parque , Spain
    Loro Park
  • Siam park , Siam Park , Spain
    Siam park
  • Siam park , Siam Park , Spain

The Canary Islands: what to buy?

La Palma stands out for its craft production of silk and cigars. Lanzarote and Teguise make timples, a typical Canary instrument not unlike a ukelele. There is also pottery, embroidery and palm leaf weavings. In Tenerife, try to bring back the renowned La Olivina semi-precious gemstone that is found on the Teide Volcano, or the beautiful Strelitzia flowers known as 'birds of paradise'. If possible, go to the mercadillos, small lively markets, as they are amongst the best places to find regional products.

Shops are open from Monday to Saturday 9:30 am - 1:30 pm and from 4:30 pm - 8:00 pm. Meanwhile, larger shopping centres are open non-stop from 10:00 am - 9:00 pm and sometimes even 10:00 pm.

The Canary Islands: what to eat?

The cocido - a meat and vegetable stew - is a typical Spanish dish that varies depending on the region. The Canary Islands' version features yam, pear, and chickpeas. The sea plays a big role in Spanish cooking, especially Canarian cuisine, so you'll find a lot of fish on the menu.

Most dishes are served with mojo, a sauce made with olive oil, vinegar, salt, garlic and other herbs and spices, that is eaten cold. Red chilli is used in the mojo picon. Every family has its own recipe so you will never taste two identical mojos.

Another local Canarian specialty is papas arrugadas, a baked potato dish usually served with mojo. The papas are Canarian potatoes different from those found on mainland Europe; small, round and delicious, they were introduced from America at the beginning of the 17th century. The papas are always eaten with their skin left on, but beware, as they are very salty!

Other culinary delights include the gofio, the oldest recipe of the archipelago. This is a flour made of roasted sweetcorn from which it is then turned into a kind of bread that is eaten with most meals.

For those with a sweet tooth, try the pan de papas, a popular dessert. Lastly, if you wish to indulge in some wine, make sure you ask for the local tipple made from the Malvasias grapes.

The Canary Islands: what are the cultural particularities?

The day is organised according to the climate. The Spanish have lunch at 1:30 pm and dinner at 9:00 pm. Much activity stops between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm to allow the heat of the day to pass. The local inhabitants enjoy partying and the streets often stay animated late into the night, frequently until dawn. Family remains a strong social base, though modernity is slowly changing values. Do not be surprised by the kindness of the Spanish people.

The Canary Islands: travel tips

Make sure you plan your visits in advance. Even though the transport links between the islands are regular, a minimum amount of organisation is required. Ensure you are well prepared for the heat during sea crossings, excursions and hikes (they are generally organised in the spring/autumn). In the summer, try to leave early or come back late to avoid travelling in the heat of the day. However, it gets chilly at high altitudes so don't forget to pack some warm clothes.

The Canary Islands: Latest hotel reviews
  • 9.05 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    The Ritz-Carlton Abama
    Guía de Isora - Spain
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    The Hotel Abama was created by Jésus Polanco. As the owner, among ...

  • 8.95 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Botanico The Oriental Spa Garden
    Puerto de la Cruz - Spain
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    Luxury and leisure are the catchwords of the Botanico hotel. ...

  • 8.9 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    Bordering a small, natural pebble beach in the town of Corralejo ...

  • 8.85 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    La Plantacion del Sur
    Costa Adeje - Spain
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    Not only is this one of the finest hotels on the entire island, ...

  • 8.85 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Royal Garden Villas
    Costa Adeje - Spain
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    This intimate, luxurious hotel is one of the gems of the island. ...

  • 8.7 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Bahia del Duque
    Costa Adeje - Spain
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    Decorated like a Walt Disney Park with Canarian accents, the ...

  • 8.7 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Gran Melia Salinas
    Costa Teguise - Spain
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    A member of the very select label of being one of the ''The Leading ...

  • 8.65 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Sheraton La Caleta Resort and Spa
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    The Caleta is everything you'd expect of any Sheraton around ...

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