16 Best Things to Do in Canary Islands, Spain

The Canary Islands have been one of the popular destinations in Spain among tourists for several decades now. One of the many things I love about traveling is meeting other people and sharing stories. And I thought I'd share a gem of a place out in the Canary Islands of Spain to inspire a few of you other travelers.

I definitely recommend adding this place to your list! I highly recommend those that are looking for another vacation spot or a new place to venture to, to look no further than the Canary Islands. While the islands are officially a part of Spain, the culture is a bit different, and so is the location. Geographically, the Canary Islands are much closer to Africa than to mainland Spain.

Because of this, you will find amazing weather and interesting local foods when visiting the Canary Islands. The climate of the Canary Islands guarantees high temperatures and an ideal time, whatever the date on the calendar. Here is an essential guide for first-time visitors.

Being an archipelago, the Canary Islands consist of seven different islands and they have wildly different shapes and structures. You will find everything from mountains and green areas to volcanoes and deserts.

If you're visiting Spain, a trip to the Canaries should always be considered. The islands are truly amazing if you are into natural attractions, and almost all tourists are very impressed when they visit. Aside from that, you will find some of the best beaches in the world!

The two islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria are the most inhabited islands and also the most popular ones among travelers. It helps that they have international airports - and aside from providing nice beaches and great weather, these two islands also offer many interesting side activities.

Tenerife's main city, Santa Cruz, is a great place to go. The same can be said for Las Palmas, the main city of the Gran Canaria island. Both cities are historic and great to visit. But with that said, most of the main attractions in the Canaries are related to nature - so it is highly recommended to explore the more unknown parts of the islands if you intend to visit. But more about that later.

Facts about the Canary Islands

• Despite being far away from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands are a Spanish territory. Historically, the islands were an important stopover during the age of discoveries. Due to the location in the Atlantic Ocean, the islands are considered a bridge between the continents of Europe, Africa, North America and South America.

• Travelers headed for South America would usually stop in the Canary Islands in the past. Some chose to stay, and that became the foundation of the current Canary population.

• The Canary Islands have a bit over two million permanent inhabitants. Spanish heritage is most common with around 80% of the population being Spaniards. Around 20% of the population is foreign-born. It’s common to meet Colombians, Venezuelans, Moroccans, Cubans and Portuguese people on the islands.

• Spanish is the official language, but the accent is quite different than in mainland Spain - and it almost sounds like a Venezuelan accent!

• Ever since the conquest of the islands, Roman Catholicism has been the dominant religion, although several other religions have gained popularity in recent years.

• Most tourists come from the United Kingdom and Germany. There is also a fair share of Spanish visitors coming in from the mainland, although they are classified as domestic tourists and not foreign travelers.

• Overall, it is estimated that the Canary Islands get around 15 million visitors per year, with Tenerife and Gran Canaria being the largest contributors to this number.

Things to do in Canary Islands

Here are the best things to do in the Canary Islands:

1. Tenerife


Dotted with spectacular world-class beaches and manmade ones with the sand imported from Sahara, Spain’s Canary Islands are always the best choice for a family outing. Especially, Tenerife Island which is the largest of the group offers wide-range of holiday experiences. Housing the world’s largest water park and most visited national park, this island offers thrilling water slides and wave pools.

Furthermore, it is a great place for children aged between 6 and 16. The amazing shark tank and the activities like paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkeling gift the best vacation ever for the kids.

This island has so much to offer. Pristine beaches - mostly black sand, volcanoes, the TALLEST mountain in Spain (Mt Teide), some of the best hiking trails, and some amazing city life with international restaurants and even the charming coastal villages for a nice getaway. Tenerife is also the second best place in the entire world for stargazing.

Tenerife is one of the most famous wedding destinations in Spain for its natural landscapes, but above all for the high quality of its beaches. On this Spanish island you will find all kinds of coastline, both for lovers of nature in its purest state, for those who like water sports or those who want to rest quietly and spend a day with the family.

Some of the most recommended beaches in your visit to Tenerife are for example the Playa de Benijo. One of the most unique landscapes of the island is located in the town of Taganana and where you will surely fall in love with its views. The Playa de la Arena, in Tacoronte, a coast of black sand is a highly recommended visit with the family.

Playa del Socorro, in Los Realejos, is characterized by being perfect for surfing in Spain, but also perfect for those who want to rest. Playa de Jardín or San Marcos Beach is of volcanic origin with its unique black sand, in addition to its beautiful natural landscapes. You cannot miss the opportunity to practice water sports such as windsurfing or the south on coasts such as El Cabezo Beach or Punta Blanca Beach.

But for diving lovers, visit coastal areas such as the Los Gigantes cliffs, the Palometa or Carbonero, perfect regions for the practice of this sport and to discover the beautiful marine biodiversity of Tenerife. If you want to enjoy a pure and natural Tenerife in a hidden corner full of flavor and charm.

2. Garachico


Garachico is your ideal place at the northwestern end of the Isla Baja, between the sea and a long slope that rises vertiginously, with a spectacular climate of eternal spring. The urban landscape of Garachico reinforces the idea of ​​walking before a Canary Islands that was. You can go jumping between the rocks and even reach the open sea to bathe.

These volcanic stones, the same that once buried a large part of what was this town, today represent part of the essence of Garachico.

3. Santa Cruz


Most likely, you will be staying close to either Santa Cruz in Tenerife, or Las Palmas in Gran Canaria: Simply because they have the widest selections of hotels and holiday apartments. If that is indeed the case, you can enjoy those cities by checking out the local monuments, museums and nearby beaches.

Santa Cruz has a famous carnival and there are rumours that it will be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list soon.

4. Teide National Park


But you will definitely find the best attractions when getting out of the main cities and into the nature. On the island of Tenerife, you should visit the Teide National Park. Teide is a giant volcano, usually with the top covered with snow. For another dramatic view, visit the Los Gigantes cliffs which is a great place to watch the sunset - and among the most popular things to do in the Canary Islands among tourists.

5. Las Palmas Cathedral


In the island of Gran Canaria, you should absolutely see the majestic Cathedral of Acuras. It is huge, and it is one of the few things that will be reminiscent of the northern part of mainland Spain.

6. Roque Nublo


If you're looking for a natural sight in Gran Canaria, check out Roque Nublo, a large stone that has been shaped by the wind throughout the years. The rock is about 80 meters tall, and if you’re feeling up for it, you can actually climb it!

7. El Hierro


El Hierro, one of the smaller islands, also offers some great sights along with scuba diving. Head up to Mirador de la Peña to see some unique architecture and to get a great view out over the Atlantic Ocean. Fun fact: El Hierro was once believed to be the westernmost location in the world!

8. Roque de los Muchachos


No matter where in the Canaries you are, you should set aside one night to stay awake until the next morning. Due to its location and high mountains, you can see the stars very clearly on most nights. Professional astronomers regularly travel to the Canary Islands. Be sure to visit the Teide Observatory or the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory if you are into astronomy.

9. Corralejo


Corralejo in the province of La Oliva is located in Fuerteventura in the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands. In summer the extensive beaches of fine sand that cover the region concentrate most of the population. The best dates to travel to Corralejo correspond with the low season.

10. Parque Natural de Corralejo


Among the centers of greater agglomeration is the Parque Natural de Corralejo, from where the excursions to the Lobos island depart.

11. Las Palmas


A day trip and city tour of cozy Las Palmas is recommended! In Las Palmas you can take a guided tour and learn about locations used in films such as Allied with Brad Pitt, Grand Piano with Elijah Wood, popular The Titan and the great classic Moby Dick. The small town of Teror is also worth a visit, particularly because of the beautiful architecture. The streets are filled with cobblestones and the houses are incredibly colorful.

Make that way, go to the Meloneras and enjoy luxurious days at a beautiful hotel. Meloneras is for those who want that little extra.

If you prefer, in La Oliva you can practice any of the water sports offered, such as surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing or bodysurfing during your Europe beach honeymoon.

12. Fuerteventura


To finish, nothing better than an approach to the varied gastronomy of Fuerteventura. Most of the typical Canarian dishes are based on fish, among which the traditional sancocho stands out.

13. Lanzarote


From the north of Fuerteventura, when visiting Corralejo you can take a ferry to Lanzarote. If one of the most emblematic natural sanctuaries in the world, such as the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador or the Marine Park of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia escape from your possibilities, do not despair.

14. Timanfaya National Park


Lanzarote, in Canary islands in addition to being a Biosphere Reserve, has the Timanfaya National Park and boasts the Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification. 100% Sustainable tourism.

Lanzarote is a whim of nature, molded gracefully by a volcanic past and the right hand of man. The lunatic image of the Timanfaya National Park, the Jameos del Agua, the Cueva de los Verdes, the Mirador del Río stands out.

15. Gran Canaria


Gran Canaria has dozens of well-known films produced - much because of its beautiful climate, great hotels and fantastic landscapes. Scenes from "Black Mirror" was created in the middle of the island's heart and beautiful village - Tejeda. Several Scandinavian productions have also used the Gran Canaria as a shooting location.

16. Playa del Ingles


Playa del Ingles is a wonderful resort with beautiful promenade and an equally great nightlife. Here you get much holiday for the money. The Canary Islands are a great destination for the family. Besides beautiful beaches there is more to experience and see as the island of Gran Canaria is lined with an interesting and long history.

However, Spain has a lot to offer, so be sure to read up on other nice destinations as well. The mainland cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia are among the best.
Kalyan Panja

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