Canary Islands

Information and Tourism

Canary Islands flagIt is little wonder that tourists flock in their millions to the Canary Islands each year. Great natural attractions sit alongside an embarrassment of beautiful beaches. The warm climate means that it can be mighty tempting to step off the plane, grab your beach bag and spend your holiday floating, swimming, and generally soaking up all that Canary Islands sun.

The arrival of tourism to the Canary Islands has brought huge changes in recent decades. On the one hand, the construction of hotels and resorts has helped the islands, which once featured as one of the poorest Spanish regions, to gain a foothold on the economic ladder. On the other, tourist development isn't always conducive to protecting the environment.

With over ten million holidaymakers heading to Tenerife each year, you would expect the island to be tourist-central personified, with not a natural landmark in sight. True, the most southerly part of the island conforms to that image quite nicely. However, Tenerife just happens to be home to a plethora of other experiences, including the Teide National Park, set up in the 1950s and one of the oldest of Spain's national parks. It is also home to the iconic peak of Mount Teide.

In fact, most of the Canary Islands are a tale of two halves. Lanzarote, the most easterly island in the archipelago, has some of the best beaches, as well as a rugged volcanic interior. Likewise, Fuerteventura's mile upon mile of golden beaches are only coast-deep. Head inland and you will discover that there are plenty of traditional villages to explore and ancient volcanic landscapes to admire.

Gran Canaria is a seething mass of tourism on its coast, but rises to dramatic mountains and boasts a leafy interior. The capital, Las Palmas, suits those yearning for a spot of culture, with its museums and historic buildings.

There are opportunities to escape the crowds if you find yourself intolerant to bright lights and glaring white imported Saharan sand. La Palma is an underrated island, greener than its neighbours and beautifully wild. It is also home to the Gran Telescopio Canarias, a telescope that takes advantage of the island's clear air and high mountains. Likewise, El Hierro's rugged volcanic landscape seems to be a world apart. At one time, explorers considered this most westerly of the Canary Islands to be the end of the world.

Canary Islands Information and Fast Facts

World Guide to Fuerteventura, Spain
Fuerteventura is one of the most attractive of the Canary Islands, with many superb tourist resorts. The island also offers over 150 beaches and an outstanding coastline, with Puerto del Rosario being Fuerteventura's capital.
World Guide to Gran Canaria, Spain
Often referred to as a 'miniature continent', due to its variable scenery, Gran Canaria is the third-largest of the Canary Islands. The capital of the island is Las Palmas, with the southern coastal resorts always being popular.
World Guide to Lanzarote, Spain
The most northeasterly of all of Spain's Canary Islands, Lanzarote is a magnificent place to visit. Famed for its glorious coastline and golden beaches, Lanzarote also features extremely mild winters and a volcanic landscape.
World Guide to Tenerife, Spain
The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is perhaps the ultimate holiday destination. With a legendary nightlife, the main resorts on Tenerife are Santa Cruz, Puerto de la Cruz, Los Cristianos and the Playa de las Americas.

Map of the Canary Islands

Canary Islands map