It may be one of the most popular destinations in the world for those looking for sun, sand, and never-ending beaches, but the Canary Islands have a lot more to offer than that. There are seven islands that make up the Canaries, and choosing the right one means knowing exactly what kind of break you’re looking for. With each island offering its own unique features and atmosphere, it’s no wonder that tourism to the Canary Islands is at an all-time high. Choosing which island to spend your holiday on is probably the hardest part of your Canaries adventure, and to make it easier for you, here are the top three options and what they have to offer.
The peace of Lanzarote
There isn’t as much culture as you might expect in Lanzarote, and that’s a good thing. The population of Lanzarote has always been small, and that makes it the best destination for those looking for the best in unspoilt landscapes and environmentally stunning vistas. There’s a reason why Lanzarote is known as one of the least spoiled islands in the Canaries. While this does mean that the range of options for activities and restaurants is not as diverse as the bustling Tenerife, it also means that you have the glorious landscapes to explore, and with the island dotted with hypnotically beautiful volcanic cones, there’s still plenty to see and investigate. The best advice for those considering Lanzarote as a destination is to stay away from hotels and resorts and stick to renting a villa. Renting beautiful Lanzarote villas is easy and allows you a much greater sense of freedom to explore the unique landscape. It may not have the greenery of other islands, but for those hoping for hiking and an escape from the masses, Lanzarote is the ideal island to check out.
An Island in two parts – Tenerife
If it’s diversity that you’re after, then you simply can’t beat Tenerife. That’s because the island is split into two distinct sections. Firstly, there are the metropolitan, bustling cities that offer everything the experienced shopper and diner would ever hope for. Surrounded by luxury resorts and historic centres, you certainly won’t run out of activities or night-time adventures to enjoy. Depending on the type of holiday you are looking for, you may want a hands-on, busy holiday with your family. Otherwise you may just want to relax and unwind. For those hoping for something a little more sedate, Tenerife also has huge expanses of national parkland and rural landscapes that often allow you to spend days exploring without even seeing another person. Tenerife is also home to the highest mountain in Spain, which is usually the first thing that visitors see when they arrive by plane. Obviously, being the Canary Islands, you’re not going to run out of beaches to explore either, but Tenerife is also home to the only five-star restaurants in the Canaries, making it ideal for those gastronomic adventures that are the perfect end to the most relaxing of days spent on the beach.
The natural beauty of La Palma
If its beauty that you’re after, then the only real choice is La Palma. Known as La Isla Bonita, there is scenery here that you simply can’t find anywhere else in the Canaries. The Caldera de Taburiente is especially wonderful, and the amazing water tunnels at Marcos y Cordero are almost worth the visit to La Palma all by themselves. There are big towns available to check out if you’re in the mood for some cultural absorption, and you can soak up the atmosphere that retains its South American feel. You can even try one of the local hand-rolled cigars! La Palma has a truly unique personality, and the friendly locals more than make up for the small size of La Palma. There’s a real taste of history there too, so if you want beaches and a slice of cultural satisfaction, then you should definitely be looking closer at la Palma.
If your mental image of the Canary Islands is British tourists drinking lager at 9am, then it may be time to look again. With seven islands on offer and something unique and wonderful about each one, you’re sure to find the ideal holiday destination. Whether it’s crowds and restaurants or nature and unspoilt beaches, then the Canaries should be at the top of your dream holiday destinations.