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 hotspot the Canary Islands. There is something for everyone in this European destination.
What to see in the Canary Islands
Known as Islas Canarias in Spanish, this enchanting paradise consists of 7 islands. It offers you a range of holiday options from first-class water sports to energetic nightlife. Star-gazing observatories and biosphere reserves are a part of the deal.
Island of Tenerife
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.
Island of La Palma
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!
Island of Fuerteventura
Windsurfing enthusiasts head to the island of Fuerteventura. Opportunities to hike around are plenty in this volcanic island.
Island of El Hierro
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. Here you can learn Silbo Gomero, the ancient whistling language native to the island. It is also home to the port of San Sebastian de la Gomera. The port from where Columbus first set sail towards America.
Gran Canaria island
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 is a wide variety of attractions available to keep the little ones busy as well. The Costa Teguise Aquapark, Guinate Zoo Park, Rancho Texas animal theme park and the Whales and Dolphins Museum to name a few.
What to eat in the Canary Islands
Spend an evening in the region of Valle Gran Rey. You can enjoy 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 seawater 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 savor Barraquito, a coffee special to the Canary Islands.
What to buy in the Canary Islands
Visit La Gomera’s Centre Island of Craft to shop for some handcrafted utensils made of wood, jewelry made of banana stems and carpets.
All the major cities in the islands of Tenerife and La Palma boast of major shopping complexes. Here you can purchase anything from souvenirs, clothes to cheap electronic items. When you get tired from all the shopping, just head to the terrace for open-air discos and jazz clubs!
If you like flea markets, a visit to one of them in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is worth a visit for local knick-knacks.
Where to 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 swimming 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.