For the perfect Canary islands holidays, from Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, Tenerife to La Palma, here’s your guide to top adventure, nature spots and the hottest beaches

The Canary Islands in Europe are a great place to travel to for a summer vacation. The Spanish archipelago lies off the coast of northwestern Africa, where nature and beauty combine to form rugged volcanic isles and black-and-white, sandy beaches. Seven major islands pepper the landscape, each with their own quirks and histories to share with the world. To make the most of your Canary Islands holidays, here is a guide to where to go for the best travel adventure.

Between outdoor travel adventure, cultural festivities, and beautiful stretches of beaches and coastline, this archipelago is an idyllic travel destination that will appeal to everyone. Here’s the best of the best for an unforgettable Europe travel experience.

Best Beaches: Lanzarote and Gran Canaria

Canary Islands holidays usually revolve around some fabulous beaches. If your travel goal is to get away to Europe and to relax on warm sands overlooking stunning views, then you’ve come to the right place.

Lanzarote

On Lanzarote, you can find Playa Quemada, the perfect spot to travel to for a peaceful beach day. Unlike other popular beaches, Playa Quemada is covered in volcanic sand and an enveloping tranquility, rather than with rambunctious beach goers and greedy seagulls. It is not typically crowded, and you can enjoy a refreshing swim in its crystalline waters while enjoying its peace and quiet. Travel here to spend your vacation to forget about your worries. I guarantee you’ll want to come back!

Playa Quemada Lanzarote

Playa Quemada. Photo via Turismo Lanzarote

Gran Canaria

Travel to Gran Canaria to spend time at Las Canteras, a place where you’ll find an ideal combination of urban centers and beaches. Its beaches are in Las Palmas, the capital, making it a great place to split time between lying on the sand and exploring the streets. The weather is spectacular all year round, so every season is beach season. There are areas for sports as well, for those who want a variety of outdoor activities from which to choose. From marine life and charming boutiques to corner restaurants and markets, travel here for its glorious natural beauty.

Gran Canaria Island, Canary Islands, Europe

Gran Canaria. Photo: brianfagan via Flickr

Best Natural Landscapes: Lanzarote and Tenerife

Looking to see some incredible natural landscapes when you travel here? Several of these are biosphere reserves: Lanzarote, La Palma, Gran Canaria, and El Hierro. And, there are so many places to experience different types of nature, making it impossible to choose to travel to just one.

Lanzarote for its Martian Landscape

At Lanzarote, you’ll come across its Timanfaya National Park located in the southwestern area of the region. Here you can find the Montañas del Fuego, or the Fire Mountains, which formed from 100 volcanoes erupting, creating what is now the Martian Landscape. In this national park you’ll find plant species that are like no others in the world.

Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote Island

The Martian landscape of Timanfaya National Park. Photo: kuhnmi via Flickr

Just when you thought it couldn’t get anymore amazing, Lanzarote also contains the Cueva de los Verdes, or the Green Caves. Here you’ll find the largest lava tunnel in the world! This underground area was once used by natives when under attack from pirates. These caves are truly magnificent, and going on a tour will reveal some of the optical illusions that these caves naturally create.

Green Cave lanzarote

Green Cave. Photo: Lviatour via Wikimedia Commons

Tenerife

Tenerife has El Teide, a gorgeous volcano that’s the highest point in Spain. You can take a cable car to get to the peak, and it’s truly a sight to see. Teide National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this travel favourite is one of the most-visited national parks in the world.

Tenerife Canary Islands Romance

Tenerife. Photo via Tenerife Tourism

Another wonderful nature location found in Tenerife is the Anaga Rural Park. Walk along the paths to incredible panoramic views, or to simply see beautiful nature landscapes along each walkway. This area has been specially preserved, a perfect place to travel to if you’re looking for Instagram-worthy views at a travel destination that showcases nature’s most pure lands.

Tenerife Beach

Photo: Tenerife tourism

Best for Hiking: La Gomera and La Palma

If you’re looking for a summer getaway that involves plenty of exercise and beautiful views, Canary Islands holidays are the best for wilderness and hiking trails. Here are some places that you can travel to and see its gorgeous landscapes while feeling the burn of an active day:

La Gomera

La Gomera has more mountains than most of the other Canary Islands, making it a great hiking destination. The entire piece of land has an extremely helpful trail network that’s marked, so it’s easy to find the best hiking spots with stellar views. Some of the best hikes include Contadero-El Cedro, a hike across green valleys within a vast forest, and through Vallehermoso, where you can see a juniper grove and other amazing flora and fauna. At La Gomera, hiking is the best possible way to experience the natural wonders of the archipelago.

La Gomera, Canary Islands

La Gomera Views. Tony Hisgett via Flickr

La Palma

La Palma, also called the ‘beautiful island’, is an excellent place to stop for a hike. A popular travel route is La Caldera de Taburiente, a national park with several different trails. You can go by Las Angustias, or to the top of Bejenado. Another hiking path you can walk along is one along La Palma’s volcanoes. It goes through several small villages, including El Paso and Fuencaliente. Overall, La Palma offers unparalleled hiking views on the tops of mountains.

La Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma Island, Canary Islands

La Caldera de Taburiente National Park. Photo: Richard Gailey via Flickr

Best for Water Sports: El Hierro and Fuerteventura

For those looking for a water adventure, each island has distinct water activities. Here are some of the most popular islands to travel to if you want to satisfy your adventure cravings:

El Hierro for underwater caves and cliffs

While this may be the smallest of the major islands, it still has plenty to offer. One of its biggest highlights is La Restinga, a marine reserve. It has underwater caves, cliffs, and drops up to 300 meters deep, a must-see travel spot! You can even experience it by scuba diving, probably one of the best ways to experience its underwater landscapes. You can also dive, surf, or simply swim in its clear waters. This is the perfect place to travel to for a different sort of adventure.

El Hierro Marine Reserve Canary Islands

El Hierro Marine Reserve. Photo: OpenFotosub via Flickr

Fuerteventura

Another travel gem where the water sports are fantastic is Fuerteventura. There are so many different ways to spend your time in the ocean, from surfing to jet skiing. There’s a surf school that teaches surfing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, and more! The school goes to wherever the conditions are best for that particular activity, so expect the location to change and give you new landscapes every day. You can also kite-surf and dive to explore the marine terrain.

Fuerteventura Island, Canary Islands Adventure

Fuerteventura adventure. Photo: PhilSchreyer via Pixabay

Best Festival: Carnivals

These may all be different in character and landscape, but there’s one thing you can find across the archipegalo. Carnival is a festival that happens right before the beginning of Lent in February and March. This worldwide celebration offers parades, costumes, music, and dancing and makes for a memorable travel experience.

Carnival Canary Islands

Photo: Philippe Teuwen via Flickr

A special performance that is a trademark of Carnival is something called mogollones, which are large parties in the streets where people dress in crazy costumes to celebrate. Every island participates in the grand festivities in its own unique style. In Gran Canaria, they showcase a Drag Queen Gala, and La Gomera presents a float and costume competition for all to enjoy.

Travel to any of these to soak in the vibe of Carnival, and you’ll have an amazing time, as you’re immersed into Spanish and European cultures, tasting delicious cuisine and dancing the night away.

Carnival Canary Islands

Photo: Tamara Kulikova via Wikimedia Commons

Heres’ your Canary Islands holidays sorted! Why not share this gorgeous travel destination on Facebook?

Also Read:

5 Ways Fuerteventura is the Adventure Destination of the Canary Islands

Travel to these 10 Spectacular Carnivals Around the World – In Pictures

Check out our Travel Ideas section for more stunning getaways around the world!