Which Canary Island Is The Right One For You?
In 2014 around 13 million visited the Canary Islands. Arriving in the likes of Tenerife, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura, they soaked up the sun on some of the world’s most interesting islands, drinking sangria, and enjoying everything Spain has to offer, just 60 miles from the African mainland.
But despite being grouped, the islands are far from similar, each having their own very unique identities. From beautiful beaches, to Segunda Division football sides, to UNESCO World Heritage Sites there’s so much every island has to offer. But before you book, which is the best island for you?
The closest island to Morocco, Fuerteventura loosely translates as ‘strong winds’ and when you see the sand dunes of Corralejo, you can understand why.
The dunes make up one of the most beautiful spots in the Canaries and is perfect for the sun lounging tourist. In fact, the entire island is. With around 150 beaches Fuerteventura is paradise for those drawn to the beach on an island which enjoys over 3,000 hours of sunshine every year.
Of course with large sand dunes, it’s something of a hotspot for adrenaline junkies too. 4 x 4 adventures provide thrilling rides, whilst dune jumping is fast growing on the island. On the water, it’s equally as thrilling, with the waves perfect for wind-surfing beginners.
Tenerife is the mother of the Canary Islands and certainly the most popular with tourists. Long established as a holiday resort it offers perhaps everything you could possibly want from natural parks, to sports, to even a volcano.
One of the biggest differences, which makes it an ideal destination for sports fans, is the inclusion of a professional football side on the island competing in the Spanish second division. CD Tenerife are located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, they’ve competed in the UEFA Cup in the past and were even in La Liga playing against the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona just five years ago.
Watersports are also incredibly popular on the island, however, if you’re more of a history buff, then look no further than San Cristobal de la Laguna. Just a stone’s throw from the main airport, the area’s historical centre was declared a World Heritage Site back in 1999. Known as the cultural capital of Tenerife, there’s always things going on, particularly around the grand Cathedral which is very much the focal point of the city.
It’s thought that Lanzarote was the first of the Canary Islands to become inhabited with settlers who are anticipated to have arrived in around 1100 BC. However, it’s something which has been there much longer that encourages tourists to book Lanzarote holidays, Timanfaya National Park.
Still an active volcano, Timanfaya is one of the most interesting locations on the island and can be seen for miles upon miles around. The last eruption came in 1824, however it was in 1730 when it’s most prominent eruption happened, lasting six years which changed the landscape of Lanzarote forever.
It’s an incredibly interesting site, where you can get up close and personal with an active volcano and even enjoy a meal cooked from the heat of the volcano.
Tours to the national park run from all over Lanzarote, with Costa Teguise, Playa Blanca, and Puerto del Carmen – which also has a splendid Sunday market – being tourist hotspots.
Like Tenerife, Gran Canaria has a wealth to offer with just about every sort of landscape imaginable. Almost half of the island is actually under protection with six nature reserves, two natural parks, and four sites of scientific interest all lying in Gran Canaria making it perfect for those who enjoy lacing up their hiking boots and exploring.
Pilancones Natural Park is found on the south of the island and includes pine forests, a number of varieties of cactus, and large amounts of lakes and reservoirs.
Out towards the coast, there are many places of interest with Las Palmas being the joint capital of the Canaries alongside Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The city has a number of museums and theatres, and is perhaps one of the most culturally fascinating cities in the Canaries.
The Canary Islands really do have something for everyone. It’s just which is the right island for you…