On the Canary Islands, you may find all of this and more, including long stretches of golden sand beaches, jagged volcanic peaks protruding into the sky, jungles teeming with rare trees, and a collection of lively towns with an abundance of things to see and do.
These sun-kissed islands, which are located just off the coast of northwest Africa, have been luring tourists to their shores since the 1970s. Swim in the ocean, run up and down enormous sand dunes, climb an ancient volcanic spire, lay on the beach and soak up the sun, or stroll through the Old Towns’ winding lanes. Whatever you decide, it’s all available to you.
Best Places to Visit in the Canary Islands
Coming here is simple. Charter flights arrive from Europe almost every hour. But the hardest part is having to leave these stunning islands! With this list of the top Canary Islands attractions, you can plan the ideal vacation destinations.
1. Tenerife’s Teide National Park
Teide, the third-highest volcano in the world with a height of 3,718 meters, looms above Tenerife, the smallest and most well-known of the Canary Islands. The entire mountain is part of Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visiting the enormous crater inside it is a highlight of any vacation to the Canary Islands.
The caldera, or crater floor, sits inside the crater’s rim and measures 19 kilometers in diameter. traveling across this desolate moonscape is like traveling into the center of the planet.
This crater is actually the remnant of a much larger mountain that blew its top and collapsed on itself some three million years ago. It left behind walls in some places that tower 457 meters above the crater floor.
2. Lanzarote’s Timanfaya National Park
The cataclysmic eruptions that blanketed the majority of Lanzarote in molten lava and volcanic ash occurred between 1730 and 1736, making the island’s volcanic history far more recent than that of Tenerife.
The inhabitants of the island, which was formerly known as the Garden of the Canaries, were driven from the island after a seven-year series of eruptions buried 11 settlements.
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The farmers returned when the eruptions subsided and devised creative ways to cultivate some of their ash-covered land. The Timanfaya National Park, which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, today protects the most dramatic of the volcanic landscapes, including one that is still active.
3. Gran Canaria beaches
A string of stunning beaches with golden sand may be seen along Gran Canaria’s extreme southern coast. There are no less than six significant beach resort sites between Playa de San Agustin on the west and Puerto de Mogán on the east for sunbathers to choose from.
Maspalomas is the largest, and behind it, a protected area with enormous sand dunes stretches in layers to the sea. Above beaches, where dunes as tall as 12 meters are continuously sculpted and moved by water and wind, mountains of wind-riffled sand undulate.
4. Tenerife’s Beaches
The legendary beaches of Tenerife are located along its sunny south coast, similar to those of Gran Canaria.
The golden sands of the family-friendly Playa de Las Vistas and the luxury neighborhoods around Playa del Duque, on the Costa Adeje to the west, are among the most developed, with plenty of vacation houses, hotels, restaurants, and sports opportunities. The latter offers activities including golf, windsurfing, jet skiing, shopping, and luxury spas.
East of Los Cristianos, all the way to El Medano, a unique town where you’ll find a premier kiteboarding and windsurfing destination, are smaller natural beaches with darker sand. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, drive a little south of El Medano to the magnificent Playa de la Tejita, Tenerife’s largest natural beach, and check out its golden beaches.
5. The Fuerteventura Beaches
On the island of Fuerteventura, miles of beaches are virtually deserted, and even the majority of those with significant tourist infrastructure are uncrowded.
A hundred kilometers of open ocean are traversed by winds that carry soft African desert sands to Fuerteventura’s west shore, where they settle between your toes.
These same sands are swept along Fuerteventura’s coastline by the Atlantic Ocean’s crystal-clear seas. Some of the island’s greatest beaches may be found along the 16 kilometers of coastline around Corralejo. Sand dunes that are constantly shifting can be seen here, all the way down to the water.
6. Examine Cesar Manrique’s Artwork on Lanzarote
The architect and artist Cesar Manrique is remembered for his architectural and artistic creations as well as for his inspiration and perseverance in preserving the unique characteristics of Lanzarote, where he was born.
He enjoyed a prosperous art career in New York and elsewhere before returning to Lanzarote in 1968, where he started a campaign to protect the island from the unchecked tourist growth that had destroyed so many other vacation spots.
7. Go whale and dolphin watching in Tenerife
A whale viewing tour is one of the island’s most popular activities for families. The Atlantic Ocean off Tenerife is noted for its whales and dolphins. On boat tours leaving from several harbors, you can see whales and observe pods of dolphins playing, including up to five different kinds. A stop in a remote bay for swimming or snorkeling is a common feature of cruises.
There are many different types of vessels, ranging from opulent yachts to svelte sailboats and catamarans. A qualified crew member will be with you at all times to assist you in spotting and identifying any marine animals you observe.
8. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
The vibrant and lovely city of Tenerife’s capital is distinguished by some notable architectural landmarks.
The most impressive of these is the Auditorio de Tenerife, a concert and opera venue with a view of the ocean and built by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Internationally renowned musicians, conductors, and orchestras play in the concert venue.
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Other notable cultural attractions in Santa Cruz include the outstanding holdings of the Museum of Fine Arts, which features artwork by Spanish, Flemish, and Canarian painters.
9. Los Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a seaside town in the sun with a rich historical history from its 15th-century Spanish colonial past. Spain’s first colonial outpost in its westward migration into the New World, the city was established in 1478.
The Grand Cathedral of Santa Ana, built in the sixteenth century, features a Gothic interior with distinctive palm-shaped columns. In the south wing of the building is the Diocesan Museum, which houses a significant collection of religious art and gold and silver work.
The Museum of the Canary Islands’ fascinating archaeological and ethnographic collections provide insight into the island’s pre-Spanish culture.
10. Meet Animals in Tenerife’s Loro Park
Just outside of Puerto de la Cruz is Loro Park, one of the Canary Islands’ most well-liked family-friendly tourist destinations.
The park contains one of the largest parrot collections in the world, a sizable dolphinarium, and a massive aquarium with an underwater tunnel where visitors may stroll as sharks and other sea life swim above them, combining high standards of conservation with enjoyable entertainment.
Visitors have a wide variety of options while looking for the greatest towns and resorts in the Canary Islands because of the unique delights that the islands have to offer.
Each of the islands offers enticing options for a wonderful vacation, from breathtaking dunes to exciting waterparks, black sand beaches to charming villages.
The islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, and La Palma have a variety of attractions to suit even the most discriminating tastes, whether you’re seeking turbo-charged hedonism or laid-back tranquility.
It’s little wonder the Canaries are such a sought-after travel destination with year-round sunshine, mouthwatering cuisine, and some of the most impressive natural scenery.