The Canary Islands are located off the northwestern coast of Africa between Western Sahara and Morocco. The islands are one of the most popular destinations in the world, mainly because of the subtropical climate, but also because of the pristine beaches and beautiful tropical landscapes. You can expect long warm summers and winters.
The Spanish group of islands is a nationality of Spain and includes:
• Gran Canaria
• La Palma
• La Gomera
• El Hierro
• La Graciosa
• Montana Clara
• Roque del Este
• Roque del Oeste
• Isla de Lobos
The largest and most popular island in the group is Tenerife. With its peaks and valleys and natural landscapes there is plenty to see and do. Hike up Pico del Teide and enjoy the view. Head away from the southwestern resorts if you want serenity as you will see fewer tourists. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of the island and is the place to go if you want the true Canarian experience. A great way to explore the island is to rent a Europe Luxury car hire.
If you like to tee off you will not be disappointed as Tenerife has some of the most popular golf courses in the world. Take the family to the zoo or just kick back and relax on the beach. If you are not sure how to spend your time, grab one of the travel guides and start planning your activities.
Fly into Gran Canaria Airport, rent a car and see the second most populated island in the group. Gran Canaria has roads that will take you around the entire island and up into the mountain areas. If you want to enjoy the beautiful blue ocean there are plenty of activities for you to enjoy. Go parasailing and see the rugged volcanic landscape, or grab your fins and go scuba diving. The canaries are popular with divers and have some excellent locations for you to explore.
Kite boarders, wave and wind surfers call Fuerteventura the Hawaii of Spain. The coastline has powerful banks that challenge even the best surfers. If you have never had the opportunity to hang ten, there are some good surf schools on the island that can show you how to surf.
Like the rest of the islands, Lanzarote has beautiful weather all year round and has plenty of leisure and sporting activities that you can participate in. The village of La Santa is on the north coast and features the Club La Santa which is a sporting complex for professional athletes. The popular Guinate Tropical Park is full of lagoons, gardens and waterfalls and sits on 45,000 square meters. Take the family and enjoy over 1,300 birds, lemurs and monkeys. Walk through the aviary and participate in the parrot and cockatoo shows.
The fifth largest island is full of tobacco plantations and is known for its hand rolled cigars. The volcanic ocean island is a great place to take your holidays and it is not as crowed as some of the other islands. Shop for local handcrafted gifts and have a bite at the local pub. La Palma has English speaking travel guides who can help you plan your free time.
If you love wine you will not be disappointed as La Gomera has some of the best reds and whites in the world. Take a food tour of the island and sample local tapas. Pack a picnic lunch and hike to Garajonay or go horseback riding. Take a boat ride to the Organ Pipes or rent a bike a pedal through the La Gomera forests.
The smallest island in the group El Hierro is beautiful. Enjoy the landscape and parasail over the rocky coastline or grab your gear and explore one of the many diving sites on the island. Do not forget to try some of the local Spanish cuisine which includes puchero, rancho con papas, and potaje.
This beautiful island means graceful in Spanish and it really is. Those in the know call it the secret island and if you are looking for a peaceful holiday La Graciosa is the place to head. Cast a line and fish in the beautiful blue waters, or grab a bike and pedal across the island. Do not forget to dine on local seafood which is the main industry on the island.
Alegranza, Montana Clara, Roque del Este, Roque Del Oeste and Isla del Lobos have as much to offer as the highlighted islands above and whatever time of year you visit there is bound to be a festival happening, but if you really want to explore the Canaries check out one of the travel guides available and start planning the trip of a lifetime.
Author: Ryan McKenzie can be found writing for http://www.canadiantraveller.net.