The Canary Islands are closer to Africa than Europe, just off the northwest coast of Morocco. They are known for their year-round temperate climate, beautiful beaches and ideal conditions for water sports.
The archipelago actually consists of the peaks of an ancient volcano – evident from the many black sand beaches that cover the islands.
The Canaries consist of 13 individual islands, the largest and most popular for holidays in Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria.
If you’re planning a visit, here’s our mini-guide to the Canary Islands.
Guide to the Canary Islands
When is the best time to visit the Canary Islands?
The Canary Islands benefit from warm, sunny weather year round – making them an ideal choice for a winter sun vacation. The most popular resorts in the larger islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria will be lively all year round, with the busiest months being July and August. The prices are usually highest in the height of summer as well as in the Christmas and Easter holidays.
How can you get the best deal on Canary Island?
Book early and get the best deal on Canary Islands vacation. The best rooms in the most popular hotels and resorts tend to sell out quickly. So you have to jump in quickly to get the bargains! If you choose to travel during the spring (Ril-May) or autumn (September-October) off-peak hours, prices will be reduced for both flights and hotels. The best times are between October and Christmas and between New Year and Easter. Remember that during the Easter and school holidays prices will go up sharply.
Search below for deals on accommodation when booking:
Preparation before your arrival in the Canary Islands
No visa is required to travel to the Canary Islands from anywhere within the EU. Many citizens of countries outside the EU such as the UK, USA, New Zealand and Australia do not require a visa for stays of less than 90 days. Check with your embassy if you are not sure. Check out the visa requirements Here.
Regardless of where you are from, all visitors must have a valid passport. There are no tropical diseases or unusual, nasty infections to hurt you in the Canaries – and as such, you don’t need any special vaccinations for health precautions. It is important to note, however, that the sun can get very hot in the midsummer months. Therefore, always remember to take a sufficiently strong sun lotion.
Destinations in the Canary Islands
This Canary Islands Destination Guide will help you find the best destination to plan your vacation.
The practically circular island of Gran Canaria has been referred to as a „miniature continent” due to the large number of landscapes that occur here. From imposing cliffs and rolling sand dunes on the coast to high mountains and lush valleys inland.
Top resorts for families and couples include Puerto Rico and Maspalomas, with attractive beaches and a variety of facilities. The best beaches on the island can be found on the huge artificial beach of Playa Amadores or on the long, fine sandy beach of Las Palmas.
The beaches in Gran Canaria tend to be more commercial and better served than the beaches on islands like Fuerteventura – Whatever comfort you gain, you lose raw, wild beauty. Those looking for the best spot for nightlife on the island will no doubt head to Playa del Ingles, where the clubs stay open late into the night.
Lanzarote is a place of strong and amazing beauty and an island of contrasts. The coast’s white sandy beaches, criss-crossed by turquoise water and towered over by tiny fishing villages, make this hotel a popular beach vacation destination.
However, go inland and You will find a fantastic, otherworldly landscape of dunes, volcanoes and geysers – Almost a scene from another planet.
Those looking for the liveliest nightlife on the island should head to Puerto el Carmen, which has a lively and varied bar scene. For families looking for a lively atmosphere and lots of family amenities, Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca are ideal. The best beaches on the island are the secluded, rugged bays of Pagayo on the southern tip of Lanzarote.
To experience the island’s breathtaking volcanic interior, take one Tour of Timanfaya National Park – Here you can hike or cycle through the breathtaking landscape. La Geria is the place for wine lovers, with dense vineyards that produce some fantastic wines. And for shopping, the promenade of Marina Rubicon in Playa Blanca is the right place.
Tenerife is the largest and most popular of the Canary Islands with over 10 million visitors a year. While Tenerife has a reputation for beaches, beer and sun. The island offers a lot more. A visit to the island’s ethereal interior is a must – a landscape of serene pine forests cut by plains of volcanic black ash and sparkling rivers of petrified lava flows – known as Teide National Park.
Loro Parque in Santa de la Cruz is a great day out for families. It houses the world’s largest collection of parrots, as well as gorillas, tigers, alligators, jaguars, chimpanzees, lions, dolphins and many other animals.
For those who are here mainly for the sun and sand, the beach resorts of Playa de las Americas, Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje can be found in the south. Probably the best beaches in the south are Playa del Duque on the Costa Adeje, Playa el Camison in Las Americas and Playa las Vistas in Los Cristianos. In the north, Las Teresitas near Santa Cruz is the most attractive stretch of coast.
Fuerteventura offers fine sandy beaches along the coast and a spacious, desert-like interior that gives the impression of a huge, floating part of the Sahara.
Families looking for a resort with lots of amenities and a nice kid-friendly atmosphere should consider popular resorts at Corralejo or Caleta de FusteWhile older couples prefer the relaxed atmosphere, huge sandy beaches, and gorgeous sunsets of resorts on the south coast like Costa Calma.
Fuerteventura is all about the coast, with the best beaches in the Canary Islands that can be found here. Clubbing on the island is far less hectic than on Tenerife or Gran Canaria. Corralejo has probably the busiest nightlife.
We hope that our Canary Islands guide gives you enough information to start planning a vacation to the sunny islands!