The Canary Islands, also known as a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa, is a corner of rugged volcanic isles serving up beautiful black and white sand beaches, lush pine forests, awe-inspiring National Parks, pleasant year-round weather, plus a host of upmarket hotel resorts.
A spectacular holiday destination for the whole family, the popular Canary Islands consists of 7 main isles including the popular resorts of Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria – each bringing something unique to the table.
With over 9 million tourists heading to these sun-kissed isles every year, there really is something for everyone here – whether you want to make a splash with the kid’s thanks to exhilarating watersports, fancy hiking the volcanic Mount Teide, want to admire the sleepy fishing village of La Gomera, or simply sink your toes into the Saharan-inspired sand dunes on the beach. These diverse landscapes serve up hours of fun; the hardest part is choosing which one to head to!
There’s no end to the list of incredible things you can see and do in the Canary Islands, thanks to its popular tourist landmarks, medley of beaches and abundant natural beauty – but we’ve listed a few of our favourites to add to your itinerary.
What better way to cool down than by making a splash at one of the best water parks in the world? Situated in Costa Adeje, Siam Park is a spectacular Thai-themed water attraction that’s ideal for a fun-loving day out with the kids (big and small!). Crowned as the largest water park in Tenerife, visitors will be spoilt for choice when it comes to whacky waterslides, winding chutes, fast-paced rapids and lazy rivers – all set amid a tropical paradise. The perfect attraction for those who like to get their pulse racing!
La Gomera Island boasts a much slower pace and is considered a haven for those seeking a sleepy village atmosphere. The second-smallest of the main islands, this tiny jewel in the Atlantic Ocean is sprinkled with deserted pebble beaches, volcanic mountains, dense forests and natural hiking trails worth exploring. Look out for Roque Agando, is a striking rock formation jutting out from the island.
Hit The Beach
There’s no denying that there are some truly sensational beaches to discover in the Canary Islands, which is one of the many reasons this cluster of isles is a must for winter sun holidays. From golden, shelving sand dunes to twinkling black sands and striking turquoise lagoons, there’s plenty of variety to choose from here. Some of the most popular beaches include Playa de las Teresitas in Tenerife, Corralejo in Fuerteventura, Maspalomas in Gran Canaria and Papagayo in Lanzarote.
If you consider yourself an adventurer, Teide National Park is a must-visit when you’re in Tenerife. Mount Teide is the island’s towering active volcano – and the highest peak in Spain – which last erupted in 1909. Visit the national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can hike one of the rugged trails, or hop on a cable car to the summit.
Similarly, Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote is another unique landscape worth discovering – a top day out for history lovers.
Where To Stay
Located on the southern end of Tenerife in beautiful La Caleta, this 5* resort offers a luxurious escape for those seeking a splash of paradise in the Canary Islands. Among the 25 best hotels in Spain according to TripAdvisor, this modern establishment boasts verdant gardens, heated salt-water pools, a relaxing wellness spa and 114 beautifully designed apartments, ideal for couples and families.
If you’re looking for luxury, Iberostar Grand Mercey is, in fact, the only 5* hotel in Santa Cruz de Tenerife – so you’ve come to the right place. Just 10 minutes from the buzzing city centre, this avant-garde hotel gets its name from an ancient king known as “The Mencey” – and it’s certainly fit for royalty. With bundles of history, traditional 50s-inspired colonial architecture, beautiful gardens and a state-of-the-art spa, this upmarket hotel provides a quiet oasis away from the hustle and bustle.
Situated in the pretty coastal resort town of Costa Teguise, the 4* H10 Suites Lanzarote Gardens is a hotel fit for fun-loving families. Not only does this hotel cater to adventurous little ones with its pirate ship Daisy Adventure and splash-tastic slides, it’s also close by to the area’s top attractions – including the famous Timanfaya National Park and the golden Playa de las Cucharas beach. Perfect for all-round fun in the year-round sun.
Situated in Lanzarote’s biggest and best-loved tourist resort Playa Blanca, Elba Lanzarote Royal Village is the perfect place to whisk the family away to while on your Canary Island holidays. The 4* complex features a variety of modern Junior Suites, four quality restaurants to indulge in, plus a host of activities and amenities to take advantage of, including a splash-worthy swimming pool and sensational Thalasso Spa for those laid-back and lively moments.
If you’re seeking a romantic escape, the Barcelo Corralejo Bay is an adults-only retreat in the heart of Fuerteventura that’s sure to set the scene. Situated just 80m from the beautiful beach and 3km from the popular Dunas de Corralejo Natural Park, there’s plenty to see and do in and around the resort. Unwind in one of the 241 tranquil guest rooms and suites available at the resort, before discovering the wellness centre, deluxe pool area and tasty on-site Tindaya Restaurant – ideal for a week or two of serenity with your loved one.
Iberostar Selection Fuerteventura Palace
Looking for a 5* retreat to stay at on your Fuerteventura holidays? You’re in luck, as the Iberostar Selection Fuerteventura Palace is crowned as the best hotel in tourist hot spot Playa de Jandia. In addition to direct access to the beautiful Jandia Beach, guests at this spectacular hotel can indulge in hours of entertainment, day and night, from relaxing in the luxurious heated pool, to dining in the delicious Japanese Restaurant and taking advantage of exclusive Star Prestige reserved areas. Now that’s what we call staying in style!
This family-friendly oasis is nestled in the enchanting municipality of Puerto de Mogan in Gran Canaria, overlooking the wonderful Taurito Beach. This all-inclusive property is a popular place to stay if you’ve got the kids in tow, thanks to its wide variety of facilities including a mini club, a children’s playground, swimming pools (one of which is guarded by a large dragon!), sports activities and more – not to mention the gastronomic delights available at the hotel restaurants. Wander the beautiful beach, discover Puerto de Mogan’s pretty marina, or whisk the kids to the exciting Lago Taurito Water Park!
Santa Catalina, A Royal Hideaway Hotel
This 5* oasis in the heart of Gran Canaria’s popular Las Palmas area isn’t short of glamour, with 204 immaculate rooms and suites, a sumptuous wellness centre and quality cuisine options amid beautiful surroundings. This classical style hotel boasts a fantastic location too, close to the stunning Doramas Park and sandy Playa de las Canteras Beach, making it a perfect base for discovering everything the capital of Gran Canaris has to offer – when you’re not cooling off in the expansive swimming pool, that is.
Feature Image by Cristian Palmer on Unsplash
Photo by Johannes Óvegur on Unsplash