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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Canary Islands

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Canary Islands Holidays

Canary Island holidays offer the beaches, resorts and temperatures to send every visitor home with a glowing tan and a smile on their face.

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Something for everyone

If you're looking for a short haul holiday destination that's hot, hot, hot all year round, holidays to the Canary Islands are perfect. The Spanish culture and African climate is a winning combination that will keep you coming back year after year.

Highlights include the attractions and nightlife of Tenerife, the vineyards of La Palma, Gran Canaria's miles of golden dunes, the mountain ranges of Fuerteventura and the Fire Mountains of Lanzarote.

There is such variation of destinations that the Canary Islands can be enjoyed by everyone. Older couples can relax in a quieter resort like Maspalomas while young groups can enjoy the nightly mayhem of the Playa de las Americas nightlife.

The majority of resorts across the Canary Islands are also ideal for a family or a couple's getaway with plenty of activities and attractions dotted around the natural and tourist-centric surroundings. Water parks, daily tours and duty free shopping are just some of the perks enjoyed across these Spanish islands.

Where to stay in Canary Islands

Fuerteventura
FuerteventuraView on Map

Nature, wildlife and golden beaches are the exquisite features of this beautiful island. Fuerteventura prides itself on being a family friendly island that can also offer romantic surroundings too.

Kids will love the arcades, play areas and waterparks based around the Costa Caleta area. Couples will want to visit Morro Jable, a classy town based along a modern marina that is home to dozens of fabulous restaurants.

The island is famous for being the host of the Windsurfing World Championships in July and August. Even if you're not looking to take part, the competition has a great atmosphere and is fun to watch.

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Gran Canaria
Gran CanariaView on Map

A versatile island which welcomes visitors of all ages to enjoy the Canary sunshine and Gran Canaria's fun holiday features. There is a wide range of resorts in Gran Canaria that can offer relaxing or exciting experiences.

Take a camel ride or quadbike across the famous Maspalomas sand dunes, a serene area that separates the Maspalomas town from the entertaining and lively neighbour, Playa del Ingles.

As well as a popular nightlife, you can find superb shopping centres and restaurants in the bigger resorts. Dotted around the island is a fun theme park, dolphin aquarium and zoo too.

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La Palma
La PalmaView on Map

If you're looking to avoid a lively and loud resort, then La Palma is definitely for you. Holidaymakers head to this island to admire its natural beauty and peace and quiet. When it comes to relaxation, La Palma is the island of choice.

The island is famous for its Teneguía wine which is made with grapes grown in the volcanic soil. Visit the Bodagas Teneguía, found at the foot of a volcanic crater, to see how the wine is made before sampling some at the in house bar and restaurant.

The area also hosts quaint beaches on the south coast by the Fuencaliente Lighthouse.

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Tenerife
TenerifeView on Map

The most popular destination in the Canary Islands, Tenerife has resorts right across the islands that are ideal for almost any kind of holiday.

The nightlife of Playa de las Americas appeals to party animals but families also visit the area for the water parks, animal parks and golf courses that can be found right across the south west region of the island.

Towering in the distance of all of the resorts is the massive Mount Teide, a 12,000ft dormant volcano. You can reach the peak via a cable car journey and enjoy one of the world's most spectacular views.

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Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Spanish
  • Approx 2,118 million
  • GMT - 0

As well as the sun kissed beaches…

The main attraction for all of these islands is the phenomenal coastlines that feature stunning beaches, packed promenades and wild water sports.

The Canary Islands aren't all about the beaches though as the archipelago is actually the tips of an underwater volcanic mountain range. The islands have exclusive endemic species that inhabit offshore reefs as well as unique volcanic formations including caves and underground galleries that are a wondrous experience for tourists.

Although it's all too tempting to touch down in the Canary Islands and head straight to its dramatic streaks of volcanic black and gold beaches, these idyllic islands offer so much more than sun-drenched shores. Comprising of seven islands, each with its own personality, the Canaries offer something for everyone.

Fun in the sun

Days and nights are taken care of right across these popular shores with plenty of manmade tourist attractions and facilities built to compliment the presence of the natural beauty of each island.

No matter where you choose to stay, you're never too far from a beach which offers a packed selection of ocean activities. These can include Jet Ski rentals, banana boat rides or scuba diving trips. As well as all this, the warm Atlantic Ocean is one of the world's best locations to find some of the rarest aquatic animals so be sure to take a dolphin and whale watching trip.

You'll find white knuckle water slides in Tenerife's water parks while Fuerteventura has a more family friendly one. Gran Canaria and Lanzarote host fun theme parks which are also great days out for kids and parents alike.

La Palma is a smaller island which focusses more on the beauty of the island. Across most of the Canary Islands you'll come across many hiking trails across the mountains but La Palma features gorgeous green surroundings through the forests as well as its volcanic features.

Early and late nights

Nightlife in the Canary Islands can be as wild or as tame as you want them to be. Many resorts offer places to relax in the open air of a beach bar, cafe or restaurant while watching the sun go down. Exquisite meals and delicious wines and cocktails can be expected within the resorts with many destinations featuring hundreds of wonderful evening venues.

For those who want to let their hair down, dance the night away or even go out on the pull; the Canary Islands nightlife is second to none with a great selection of energetic, lively and dynamic nightclubs.

Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura offer the best neon lit parties but the star of the show is Playa de las Americas in Tenerife. The Veronicas Strip hosts world class DJs with dozens of clubs that are busy all year round and stay open until the sun comes up; this is the place to be for the 18-30s holidays.

Canarian cuisine

The Canary Islands is ready to welcome all tourists as they feature a vast selection of restaurants that cater for almost every appetite imaginable. In the busier areas you'll find plenty of English pubs for your homesick taste buds but you'd be missing out on some traditional treats that are offered elsewhere.

A popular dish across the islands is papas arrugadas, potatoes boiled in seawater, drizzled with mojo sauce, a green garlicky tasting accompaniment. Alongside this there are some sumptuous island wines to wash it down with such as Abona and Valle de Güímar from Tenerife or Teneguía from La Palma.

Duty free shopping

It would be foolish to visit the Canary Islands and not take advantage of the territory's duty free products. Tobacco, alcohol, perfumes and eau du toilette's are all goods that are offered at a slashed price but be careful on how much you stock up on. There are often changes to the rules on how much you are allowed to bring back to the UK with you, so make yourself aware before you return.

Within the busier resorts there is a larger selection of designer brands and jewellery stores alongside souvenir shops and boutiques while some of the smaller resorts have quite limited offerings.

Getting there

You can set off from the UK and touch down to the warm Canary climate in around four and a half hours.

Once you land, the journey to your desired resort will take between 15 minutes and an hour depending on where you choose to stay.

Hire cars are available from all of the islands and taxis are also on hand to take you to surrounding attractions and resorts.