Canary Islands are known for their spectacular combination of sea, sand and all-year-round sun. But many would be wondering which one of these canary islands are the best ones to visit.
These popular winter sun holiday spots lets you choose ideal Canary island; whether you’re looking for a family break, walking trip, activity holiday, star-gazing spectacular or bar-hopping bonanza.
Best for Adventurers: Gran Canaria
A trip to Europe’s most Southerly point offers all kinds of enticing prospects; from camel rides across the dunes of Maspalomas to quad-biking adventure trails; and stargazing missions from the island’s fully operational observatory.
With a thriving club and bar scene alongside its stunning natural heritage, Gran Canaria is a place of huge contrasts; making it ideal for those seeking a voyage of discovery. Party animals should head to the Playa de Ingles for non-stop nightlife; while those seeking a quieter holiday on this extraordinary island will love Puerto de Mogan and San Agustin. Prepare to get active; and leave the car behind to experience what the island has to offer first-hand; although many visitors choose to explore Gran Canaria by bike.
Insider Tip: End your holiday to Gran Canaria on a high-note by booking a Gran Canaria airport lounge. Kiss that post-holiday airport stress goodbye
Best for Eco-Travellers: La Palma
La Palma is one of the smallest of the archipelago; and is probably the best Canary Island for those who want to experience the impeccable natural beauty of the islands; without the hustle and bustle of the larger resorts. In stark contrast with the barren terrain of Lanzarote and the desert sands of Gran Canaria; La Palma is a very green island, covered in lush vegetation.
There is a thriving eco-tourism scene here; with a wealth of wildlife walks to help you enjoy the breathtaking fauna in all its glory. This is also a popular choice for hikers; many of whom attempt to tackle the lofty El Roque de los Muchachos trail every year.
Best for Beaches: Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura is a fine destination for beach-lovers; as its coastline is blessed with white sand that suits surfers and sun-worshippers alike. The resorts of Corralejo and Caleta De Fuste offer easy access to some of the best beaches; while the entire Southwestern region of the island is taken up by Jandia Playa; a designated nature reserve and beautiful beach in its own right.
Fuerteventura is also the closest Canary island to North Africa; so mild to hot weather is more or less guaranteed whenever you choose to visit; temperatures here have rarely been known to fall below 16 degrees even in winter. The only potential snag in the island’s record as a great beach destination is its reputation for strong winds; (from which the island takes its name). But if you’re a watersports fan hoping to catch some waves, this aspect will cause no concern.
More Insight –
Best for Families: Tenerife
Tenerife is the most popular Canary Island among British travellers, and is particularly well-loved as a family destination. It has a reputation for being a little on the ‘touristy’ side; but this means it’s geared up for welcoming families with children in tow; who will appreciate the ease with which it’s possible to enjoy all that Tenerife has to offer: great beaches, water parks and fascinating historic sites, such as the Pyramids of Güímar: a mysterious group of ancient structures built from the island’s native lava stone.
Check out the Hidden Gems of Tenerife for amazing itinerary ideas on your next Tenerife holiday!
Most Unspoilt: Lanzarote and the Smaller Islands
Like much of mainland Spain, the Canary Islands have, to some extent, suffered from the harsher excesses of mass tourism; which has led to over-development in some areas. Fortunately, measures have been put in place to curb the sprawl of high-rise hotels and preserve the islands’ natural beauty; and this has been particularly effective in Lanzarote; which was declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1993. Visitors to Lanzarote can get up close and personal with the island’s impressive volcanoes; and a popular attraction is the Timanfaya National Park; where one restaurant cooks meals from the heat of an active volcano.
While Lanzarote is perhaps the most successful of the bigger islands in stemming the high-rise tide; the smaller destinations of La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro have also largely managed to avoid becoming overdeveloped. All of these islands therefore offer stunning views of the dramatic volcanic scenery; that first attracted tourists to the Canaries without the dreaded eyesores that have since turned many away.
Best for Watersports: El Hierro
El Hierro is the smallest of the Canary Islands; but many of its visitors are far more interested in the clear blue sea that surrounds the island than the land itself.
Hence, the island is a diver’s paradise, with several world-class facilities dotted around the coastline accessible to experts and beginners alike. The underwater scenery looks out of this world, with volcanic peaks, lush vegetation as well as a dazzling variety of fish.