Canary Islands • Spain

From: Spain Travel Guide

See also: LanzaroteTenerifeGran Canaria Spain Travel AdviceSpain Travel TipsSpain Travel InformationSpain Adventure TravelSpain Festivals and Events

Canary Islands
The magnificence of the volcanic Canary Islands archipelago is undeniable with each island offering up its own unique charm and style that mixes a wealth of culture and history with a thriving modern side that is bursting to the surface.

The landscape is varied and often dramatic with snow capped mountain peaks, dense pine tree valleys, enormous sand dunes, volcanic tunnels and pristine beaches amongst some of the islands most stunning and striking areas of beauty.

The Canary Islands are located within the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest of the Spanish mainland and north west of Africa near to Morocco.

The climate in Lanzarote is sub tropical and varies slightly with each island, however the Canary islands are well known for their superb all year round weather which often averages between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter, often being cooler during the evening than during the day and around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and above during the summer months.

Canary Islands Cuisine
Dining out in the Canary Islands is a great pleasure with plenty of restaurants and cafes where you'll be treated to a variety of mouth watering cuisine from traditional dishes and specialities from the Canary Islands and Spain as well as international cuisine.

Traditional dishes include a wrinkly potato dish known as papas arrugadas that is usually accompanied with the colourful and sometimes spicy sauce called mojo and is served both on its own or as an accompaniment to a meat dish. The Canary Islands also has a superb location within the Atlantic so its no surprise that there is a great selection of fresh fish and seafood dishes on offer.

Wholesome stews such as the fish stew Sancocho are also popular as are Spanish favourites paella and tortilla. A dish known as Ropa vieja is another classic which contains shredded meat such as pork, chicken, beef or all three that are often served with potatoes and a tomato sauce.

There are also island specialities such as La Palmero cheese from the island of La Palma which produces a smoked cheese out of goats milk. Another goats milk cheese product is Majorero which is made on the island of Fuerteventura.

Fruit cultivation within the Canary Islands is also something of a speciality with the likes of mango, peach, avocado, pineapple, papaya and of course bananas in plentiful supply.

Canary Islands Shopping
There are plenty of shopping opportunities with the Canary islands from markets selling mountains of fresh fruit and vegetables to fresh meat, bread, cheese and fish.

Capital's such as Santa Cruz De Tenerife and Las Palmas have plenty of boutiques as well as larger department stores that offer a wide selection of clothing from both local and international designers. Handicrafts such as beautifully made pottery, colourful jewellery, baskets and leather goods are also widely available from markets and shops around the islands and its worth having a good look around before purchasing gift items as prices and quality will vary.

National Parks
The islands of Lanzarote and La Palma both have World Biosphere Reserves and La Gomera and Tenerife both have UNESCO declared World Heritage Sites.

Travel Guide
The Canary Islands have several airports and ports on many of the islands such as Port of Los Cristianos, Tenerife, Port Gran Canaria and Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura to help accommodate its many visitors.

Once on the main islands you'll find plenty of taxis available as well as busses and if you plan to explore the islands attractions and sites of interest a hire car can be the best option.

Flights in between islands are also possible with flights available between the islands of Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria:

The Canary Islands
The seven main Canary islands each offer their own charming characteristics, made up of the remnants of former volcanoes and offer some of the most striking landscapes, rock formations, sublime beaches and crystal clear waters in the world accompanied with excellent weather pretty much all year round allowing for no end of adventure travel and watersports as well as shopping and sightseeing some of the many historic buildings, museums and architectural gems that are to be discovered on many of the islands.

Canary Islands Main Cities
Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas on Gran Canaria are both thriving capital cities of the Canary Islands and each offer their own unique charm, historic sites and bustling Spanish atmosphere.

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
The city of Las Palmas offers plenty of history and culture which also mixes beautifully with the cities modern side that has no end of upmarket shops and boutiques as well as cafes and restaurants serving a good selection of Spanish cuisine to help keep you going.

There are plenty of attractions within the city which include the Cathedral de Santa Ana which is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside and dominates the surrounding area and indeed much of the city as well. There are plenty of museums such as the Casa Museo de Colon, Maritime Museum and Elder Museum of Science and Technology as well as the perfectly placed urban beaches of Playa de las Canteras and Playa de las Alcaravaneras which are bordered by hotels, restaurants, bars and shops with both beaches being incredibly popular all year round.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The capital city of the Tenerife is vast and thriving with bustling shopping streets, restaurants and an ever expanding nightlife scene. Sites to visit include art galleries and museums such as the Museum of Nature and Man (Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre) which offers several museums in one and has plenty of information about the Berber inhabitants of the Canary Islands known as Guanches.

Other notable structures include the Auditorio de Tenerife which shows off the cities more modern side and is located in front of the vast Plaza de Espana which features an artificial lake and the impressive war memorial known as Monumento a los Caidos, which was designed by architect Thomas Mendez Machado in honour of those who perished during the war.