Travel to the Canary Islands, land of eternal spring
By Amy Adejokun
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 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.
Our Editorial team's advice
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.
+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 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 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.
Ideal Weather Search
Find weekly weather forecasts for The Canary Islands . Different criteria make it possible to predict with precision the best time of year to go to The Canary Islands . A comprehensive weather score, made up of temperature indicators, bad weather predictions, sunshine levels and wind speeds, will allow you to choose the activities best suited to the weather conditions and therefore make the most of your holiday in The Canary Islands .
Santa Cruz de Tenerife62/100
Puerto de la Cruz61/100
Playa de las Americas61/100
See the different areas
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.