You are going to love the Canary Islands from the moment your plane starts descending and get a glimpse of the aerial view of this magnificent landscape. The Canary Islands is an archipelago composed of seven islands, and they are all located on the Northwestern part of Africa. The landscape of the Canary Islands is beautifully peculiar. Among the notable features that you will see are the gorgeous and majestic Mount Teide, the black wild sandy beaches and the rugged mountainous regions that cap it all up. Each island has unique features which make the Canary Islands a never-ending source of travelling inspiration.
If you wish to sample some of the best food in Europe, then these islands will be your jackpot. People of different cultures have lived on the islands for a long time. With such mixed culinary skills, this synergy of cultures brought together an array of cuisines with a rich history and heritage background. The recipes you are likely to come across are formerly Spanish but have a hint of African and Latin-American influences. Among the common delicacies, indulge in the Gofio which is the oldest dish and the staple food in the Canaries. If you love tasty fish, you will enjoy a plate of Caldereta and Sancocho Canario. Other recommended dishes that can blow your mind include Platanos Fritos, smoked cheese, Potaje de Berros and Papas Arrugudas.
Something exciting about the Canary Island culture is how the native people have fun through dancing. The Canary Islands locals are known for their famous carnivals which are a must if you wish to experience a true fiesta. Canary traditions require the locals to dress up in colourful attire which makes the islands a joy to photograph during any important event. The most anticipated festival is the verbenas Del Mogollon held in January and February. Other interesting and fascinating traditions are the Romeria (religious pilgrimage) and the Lucha Canaria (Canarian wrestling).
Nature or dynamic cities
The Canary Islands are home to volcanoes, beaches and endless dunes which all contribute to the general beauty of the islands. With so many interesting things, it's easy to see why some visitors spend months exploring the Canaries. If you love natural spectacles, don't forget to add La Cumbrecita Viewpoint of the Taburiente National Park, the beautiful isle of Lobos, Los Roques natural monument, Cumbre Vieja national park and the Nublo provincial park to your wish list.
You don’t have to be fascinated with aquatic life to visit the Canary Islands. With such incredible array of landscape, you'll keep busy hiking the highest volcanos, finding your adventure on the black beaches or surfing in the Canaries.
Know Before You Go
Deciding which of the Canary Islands to visit can be an impossible task. Each one has an astounding list of attractions and unique attributes.
Tenerife - If you want a little of everything and more, Tenerife is the one for you. Endless beaches, to die for cuisine. World-class hiking and Spain's highest peak. In February, Santa Cruz comes alive with Tenerife's most anticipated carnival.
Fuerteventura - If you're a water sports fanatic, the Saharan sands of the East coast of Fuerteventura are your best friend. Locals, tourists, surfers and windsurfers flock to Corralejo to enjoy some of the worlds best watersport conditions.
Gran Canaria - Gran Canaria has scenic diversity in abundance. With beaches, mountains, and tropical forests galore. Along with fabulous restaurants and a vibrant nightlife scene.
Lanzarote - Lanzarote is the style icon of the Canaries. Architecture lovers will fall in love with the aesthetic charm designed by César Manrique. The island also has a great deal of volcanic activity. Which not only makes for a striking landscape but a plethora of delicious cuisine grown right in the islands volcanic craters.
La Palma - Known as the 'beautiful island' the whole place is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. From volcanic peaks to flourishing rainforests, the scenery is a true phenomenon.
La Gomera - Want to get fully off the beaten path? La Gomera and El Hierro are the most remote and offer fantastic hiking and the rawest forms of nature in the Canaries.
Best Time To Visit
The best times to visit the Canary Islands are the shoulder seasons between March and May (Spring), and from September to November (Autumn). When the weather is still sunny and inviting. The temperatures rarely dip below 20 degrees celsius, and there are fewer holidaymakers.
September and October are the best months for a relaxing dip in the sea.
January and February bring spring into action and the hiking trails become lush. Wildflowers begin to bloom in March and April, and it's the best chance to see whales and dolphins dancing through the waves.
Summer and winter are the peak seasons with the hottest and longest days. But, accommodation prices go through the roof and most of the islands become extremely busy.
What To Expect
The Canary Islands are the holiday destination of dreams. Here are the basic facts for travelling to the islands.
Currency - The official currency is the Euro
Language - The official language is Spanish
ATMs - ATM's are available on all the islands, and will usually charge a fee between 2-3% for foreign withdrawals.
Plugs & Sockets - The Canary islands use the Europlug or Type C style plug with 2 round pins. The standard voltage is 220v and 50Hz frequency.
Safety - The Canary Islands are considered very safe and crime rates are low.
Climate - The seven islands vary in climate, though the general census is that they have the best weather in the world. Temperatures are generally stable and barely dip below 20 degrees even in winter. All the islands experience long, sunny days and very infrequent rain.
Of all the Islands, Lanzarote has the hottest and most arid weather due to Saharan winds from the South.