The Canary Islands are an exceptional holiday destination controlled by Spain but lying off the west coast of Africa. Due to their proximity to the equator and hence their high average temperatures, they provide a popular year-round holiday destination. There are seven islands, consisting of five larger islands – Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Lanzarote and Tenerife and the two smaller islands of El Hierro and La Gomera. The islands have a unique blend of Spanish culture, language and cuisine whilst still retaining the traditional Canarian way of life. This blend of Canarian traditions, tropical climate and Spanish culture provide an almost Caribbean feel on many of the islands.
Tenerife and Gran Canaria have the largest and liveliest tourist resorts. As well as all the usual trappings they both have an abundance beach activities, water sports and buzzing night life on offer. However, if you want to steer clear of the busiest resorts you will be able to explore both islands and discover some of the hidden beauties of the regions. Gran Canaria has large plantations growing thousands of exotic fruits and trees below the dramatic backdrop of the volcanic mountains and tropical forests. Lanzarote in contrast, has fields of petrified lava, black volcanic sand beaches and vineyards growing inside the volcanic craters. Fuerteventura is believed to be the island with a touch of ‘Caribbean’ feel and is the oldest of all Canary Islands. It is a surfers’ paradise. It offers low-key nightlife and is an ideal holiday spot for family holidays and couples looking for a relaxing, sun-drenched island holiday. La Palma is the best kept secret of the Canaries and is the most unspoilt and undiscovered of all the ‘big five’. It has lush, green scenery and offers a more authentic picture of the Canaries with traditional whitewashed houses and colonial buildings. The coastline though tends to be rather wild and it can get often wet!
Whatever you choose to do or see while on a Canary Islands holiday, you will be able to find it. The golden or black sand beaches have a great choice of watersports to choose from. The rolling hills, rugged cliffs and lush-green forests are easily explorable and you can even try a pot of camel trekking. The wide range of accommodation from hotels and high-rise buildings to small charming local cottages offer suitable accommodation for any taste or budget. Car hire is recommended for those wishing to explore further afield, beyond their holiday resort.
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