All too often, when people think of the Canary Islands, they think of the kinds of drink-fuelled holidays for teenagers that are regularly documented on ITV2. But there is so much more to this stunning archipelago than booze cruises and horrendous sunburn.

Blessed with a rich diversity of landscapes and activity options, the destinations dotted all around Tenerife’s party places are rich in holiday potential. So, if you’re thinking to go and see a Canary Island or two by plane or on a cruise ship, here’s a list of the 7 top reasons why a visit to the Canaries will make your heart sing!

1. The hiking and biking in Tenerife

As with all the islands, there’s a lot more to Tenerife than just nightclubs and beaches. Visitors who are in search of more enriching pastimes than a trip to Linekers Bar will not want to miss Mount Teide, the third largest volcano in the world. Along with Las Canadas, it makes up the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Teide National Park. And it is a great spot to revitalise body and mind with some hiking or mountain biking.

Mount Teide

2. The climactic diversity of Gran Canaria

Nicknamed “pequeño continente” or “the little continent”, Gran Canaria has a remarkable variety of landscapes and climates within its shores. You can practically experience “Four Seasons in One Day” by travelling from snowy mountains to dense tropical forest in the space of just a few miles. Plus there are enough beaches, coves, dunes and valleys to keep both hikers and sun-seekers happy.

3. The hidden gem of La Gomera

Largely untouched by industrial tourism, La Gomera is one of the best-kept secrets in world of Canarian travel. Its abrupt mountainous landscape is not suitable for larger planes, so it sees a fraction of the visits of islands like Tenerife. It does offer visitors a view of traditional local life, spectacular views of Mount Teide, and its own volcanic landscape with a hidden forest at its heart.

The Big Rock again

4. The desert-like dunes of Fuerteventura

The oldest of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura also has the longest coastline in the archipelago. With a dry climate, sun-bleached sand dunes, and camel rides available, the island offers visitors the potential for an almost-Saharan trekking experience, but within safe reach of beaches and cooling water sports as well.

5. The otherworldly landscapes of Lanzarote

While all the Canaries are volcanic in origin, it is Lanzarote that has most recently experienced eruptions, in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a result, around 200 square kilometres of the island is volcanic soil, the Timanfaya National Park. A UNSESCO Biosphere Reserve, it has a delicate balance of flora and fauna, and striking almost-lunar landscapes.

Montañas del Fuego

6. The laurel forests of La Palma

This island is blessed with lush greenery, and although deforestation has occurred, the uplands of La Palma still feature laurel forests, or laurisilva. This plant life is descended from the previously widespread prehistoric forests that used to cover much of the planet, and is a must-see for natural history enthusiasts.

7. The natural swimming pools of El Hierro

Located at northerly Monacal and Tamaduste, the tranquil natural swimming pools on the smallest Canary Island are not to be missed! Visitors should also try to see the unique Sabinas trees that are bent double or contorted into bizarre shapes by the strong regional winds.

El Sabinar, el bosque encantado de la Isla de El Hierro

Have you been on a sight-seeing holiday to the Canary Islands? Do you have a must-visit place that you’d like to tell us about? Leave a comment below and share your tips!


  1. I absolutely LOVE the Canary Islands. My favourite place to visit is the tiny island of Los Lobos just off the coast of Fuerteventura. I keep meaning to blog about it – I’ll get around to it one day. It’s amazing – completely unspoiled, with a gorgeous beach, little lagoons you can wade around in… and half a volcano!

    • I’ve never been before! Really want to go one day though! I’ve going to Southern Spain later in the year and I’m excited to explore!

  2. The visitor who dwells there quickly discovers the deep and irremediable poverty that afflicts the inhabitants of this wild and rugged region. And as is always the case in the context of acute poverty, the children of the Rif must, to survive, be tenacious, adaptable and quick-minded.

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