A Guide to the Canary Islands

It’s hard to believe that the summer is actually upon us. Any dreams of lazy afternoons lolling in the sunshine or evenings spent clustered around the BBQ have been dashed by persistent icy temperatures and the Great British promise of a rainy summer.

If you’re in search of sunnier climes, heading to the Canary Islands could satisfy your cravings for blue skies and scorching temperatures. The position of the islands (they’re around 100km off the north western coast of mainland Africa) means that temperatures in the summer months can hover around the high thirties. It’s the ‘Vindaloo’ of summer destinations.

But the Canaries have so much more to offer as a destination than sun. These volcanic islands boast breath-taking scenery, rich culture and exciting nightlife that has been attracting travellers of all inclinations for as long as anyone can remember. Whether you’re in search of total relaxation or a stimulating adventure holiday, the Canaries has something to satisfy your summer cravings.

When to go

One of the biggest attractions of the Canary Islands is the sub-tropical climate – simply put, it’s warm all year. The archipelago is guaranteed to satisfy the sun worshippers in the summer and sooth those of you who can’t face a solid six months of winter in the UK alike.

Take a look here for the average temperatures in the Canary Islands and the local weather forecast to find the best time that you would like to travel.

Which Island?

The islands differ in size and they’re unique in their charm and what they have to offer. It may be common sense, but the bigger the island the more there is to see and do.

  • Tenerife – The biggest and, arguably, the one with the most to offer. Tenerife is large enough that it will satisfy all travellers. Highlights include Mount Teide (the world’s third largest volcano) and Siam Park (Europe’s biggest water park).
  • Gran Canaria – Slightly smaller, but still offering the diversity that will satisfy everyone and is popular with travellers in search of lively nightlife. Try Plaza del Espaῄa in Las Palmas for a taste of how the locals party. Gran Canaria also boasts some of the best beaches in the entire collection of islands.
  • Lanzarote and Fuerteventura – smaller again and a lot more relaxed. These two islands are perfect for families, couples looking for a romantic getaway and travellers in search of a more relaxed way of life.
  • The remaining islands are considerably smaller, with a lot less to see or do. Offering panoramic views of the ocean, travellers in search of solitude and soul reflection should head here.

How to get there

Flights to the main islands (that’s Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura) run throughout the year, and are operated by a range of full service, charter and budget airlines.

Jet2.com offer flights throughout the year to the Canary Islands from as a little as £57 per person.

Don’t limit yourself to experiencing one island while you’re there though. Boat services connect the islands, meaning that you can island hop for a portion of your holiday.

Where to stay

When it comes to accommodation, the islands keep their promise of being able to satisfy everyone. All-inclusive, spa, boutique, self-catering – The Canaries have it all.

Renting a villa or apartment is a great way to discover an authentic Spanish lifestyle. Shop for local produce at the markets which travel around the islands and enjoy your own company and space. Renting and driving a car on the islands is highly recommended (the roads are quiet all year) and will give you access to spots off the beaten track.

To see a range of villas and apartments to rent in the Canary Islands, click here.

What to do

img credit: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2599/5763074557_dc72e293db.jpg
Flat, quiet roads and rugged scenery make the Canary Islands a paradise for cyclists

It would be impossible to list everything there is to see and do on these wonderful islands. This is just a small sample of what is on offer, intended to give you a taste of what adventures await on your next trip.

  • Whale and dolphin spotting – whales and dolphins are a common sight in the Atlantic waters surrounding the islands. Boat trips will take travellers in search of these wonderful animals, with the additional opportunities to swim and explore coves and beaches that are only accessible by boat.
  • Parque Nacional de Teide, Tenerife – the national park that includes Spain’s highest volcano is enough to take your breath away. It’s so stunning that it has been declared a World Heritage Site.
  • Sporting opportunities – The people of the Canary Islands value a healthy lifestyle and this is reflected in the active nature of the trips here. Cycling is extremely popular on all of the islands, with a particular highlight being the coastal road from Costa Teguise to Puerto del Carmen on Lanzarote.

Golf fan? The attractions of the Canary Islands include championship courses and perfect weather conditions for golfers. If the thought of spending two weeks dedicated to your favourite sporting passion sounds like your kind of thing, choosing to take a golfing holiday could tick all of the boxes. Companies like Golf Kings offer tailor made golf holidays in Spain, including to popular golfing destinations such as Gran Canaria and Tenerife.

The Canary Islands are a favourite with golfers

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