The stunning, distinctive Canary Islands are home to scented pine woods, eerie volcanoes, lunar-like vistas, hidden sandy coves, kilometres of Saharan-style dunes, and beach-hugging resorts, among many other alluring features.
Marvel at La Palma’s gushing waterfalls, the pine-forested summits of Gran Canaria’s hilly interior, or the subtropical flora of La Gomera’s Parque Nacional de Garajonay. Compare all this lushness to the amazing barren flatlands that line Tenerife’s El Teide, the bizarre rainbow of colours that glitters across Lanzarote’s lava fields, the calm flower-filled mountains of El Hierro, and the vast plains studded with cacti on Fuerteventura. Because of the Canary Island’s almost ideal climate, you may enjoy their spectacular and diverse landscapes all year long without having to go across continents.
Because of this diversity, outdoor activities are a popular and widely available pastime in the Canaries. Hike the numerous footpaths that crisscross the islands, from winding coastal paths to strenuous mountain hikes to peaceful forest strolls; go diving or snorkelling in blissfully warm waters home to more than 350 different species of fish (and the occasional shipwreck); or get your adrenaline pumping by riding the wind and the waves – kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing, and paragliding are all popular here. Then take time to relax with horseback riding, boat rides, kayaking and paddleboarding excursions, or yoga on the beach.
Contrary to popular belief, the Canary Islands are incredibly rich in both original art and architecture; you just sometimes need to know where to look. World-renowned artist Oscar Dominguez’s magnificent surrealist works adorn his native Tenerife; Martn Chirino’s massive abstract sculptures are impossible to miss in Gran Canaria; and César Manrique’s brilliant “interventions” appear all throughout Lanzarote (and beyond). Seek out the recognisable wooden balconies, lush internal patios, and cheerfully painted facades that characterise Canarian vernacular architecture everywhere you go. You should also visit the quaint, palm-shaded churches, many of which date back several centuries.
The Canaries are the ideal location if your ideal vacation is all about that alluring mix of R&R. The beach is the most apparent place to relax, and there are plenty of options, from the gentle rolling dunes of Fuerteventura to Tenerife’s sandy golden arcs and Isla Graciosa’s wild blonde strands. Thalassotherapy is a form of self-care that is widely available throughout the archipelago, along with yoga, meditation, massages, and a host of other self-care practises. On the other hand, nothing calms the soul like unwinding with a tropical cocktail or a glass of regional wine as the sun sets over the Atlantic.