Destinations: Exotic Canary Islands

Canary Islands Spain Europe Travel

Are you a nature buff? Are you an adrenaline junkie? Do you adore star gazing? Do you wish to liven up your creative genes? Or just relax? Looking for a complete family destination?

If your answer is yes to any one of the above, fly down to the exotic European hotspot Canary Islands, where there is something for everyone.

SEE

Known as Islas Canarias in Spanish, this enchanting paradise consists of 7 islands offering you a range of holiday options from first class water sports to energetic nightlife, from star gazing observatories to biosphere reserves.

Start with the largest island of Tenerife. Take a cable car ride to the top of Mt. El Tiede, the highest mountain in Spain. Indulge in water sports like surfing, snorkeling, jet-ski or just laze around the beach.

Sail to the island of La Palma to visit Caldera de Taburiente, one of the world’s biggest volcanic craters. It is also a haven for the stargazers, being home to some of the best astronomical viewpoints in the world. A perfect date night!

Windsurfing enthusiasts head to the island of Fuertuventura. This volcanic island also provides ample opportunities to hike around.

The smallest island of El Hierro is where you must go if you want to relax and explore. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this place offers a lot of fun activities like biking, hiking, paragliding and scuba diving.

Backpackers seeking off the radar experience must visit La Gomera, the Magic Isle and learn Silbo Gomero, the ancient whistling language native to the island. It is also home to the port of San Sebastian de la Gomera, from where Columbus first set sail towards America.

Gran Canaria island is the place to be if shopping and nightlife is high on your priority. You can find lots of options for all-night parties in the areas of Vegueta-Triana, the Port area and the Muelle Deportivo.

For families with kids, Lanzarote is a must visit. There are a wide variety of attractions available to keep the little ones busy like the Costa Teguise Aqua park, Guinate Zoo Park, Rancho Texas animal theme park and the favourite Whales and Dolphins museum.

EAT

Spend an evening in the region of Valle Gran Rey which is popular for stunning views of the terraced valleys and choices of restaurants.

The food, just like the islands is a tasty cocktail of its Spanish heritage, volcanic origins and coastal location.

The most popular of Canarian dishes is the Ropa Vieja, a shredded meat dish with chickpeas, potatoes and beans. Restaurante Fusion in Cotillo (Futuerventura) is popular for is ropa vieja dishes.

The vegans can binge on Papas Arrugadas, small unpeeled potatoes boiled in sea water and served with the spicy mojo sauce. La Cuevita in La Gomero island serves some of the best papas arrugadas with local seafood like tuna, parrot fish (vieja), cuttlefish (chocos) and limpets (lapas).

For your sweet tooth is the dessert Bienmesabe which means ‘taste good to me’! It is a paste made from honey, almonds, lemon rind and eggs, usually served with ice-cream.

Fruit lovers must try the Plantain Bananas, exclusive to these islands.

Do not forget to savour Barraquito, a coffee special to Canary Islands.

BUY 

Visit La Gomera’s Centre Island of Craft to shop for some handcrafted utensils made of wood, jewelery made of banana stems and carpets.

All the major cities in the islands of Tenerife and La Palma boast of major shopping complexes where you can purchase anything from souvenirs, clothes to cheap electronic items. When you get tired from shopping, just head to the terrace for open air discos and jazz clubs!

The flea markets in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are also worth a visit for local knick knacks.

STAY

For family stays, the H10 group of hotels located on all the islands are quite popular and provide lots of holiday offers without burning a hole in your pocket.

For luxury lovers, hotel Cordial Mogan Playa in Gran Canaria is the perfect choice which is like your own little tropical village with facilities to pamper like spas, two simming pools and fitness courts.

If you want to experience the local village life, look for ‘rural houses’ for rent in the island of La Gomera.

Backpackers head to the student city of La Laguna in Tenerife for cheap hostel accommodation.

Whatever be your reason and whatever be the season, Canary Islands are a perfect getaway. So get packing!

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