Getting around the Canary Islands
Most people make their way to the south of Lanzarote for picture-perfect beaches with white sands and clear waters. The three main resorts are Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise and the newer Playa Blanca. The north of the island also has some great natural beaches that are a lot quieter. This region is also where you will find the Mirador del Rio viewpoint. From the dome built into the lava rock you can enjoy fantastic vistas over the island of La Graciosa.
Lanzarote offers some spectacular volcanic attractions. Timanfaya National Park in the west with its red and black lunar-esque landscapes is an absolute must. Enjoy lunch cooked by geothermal heat in the 'El Diablo' restaurant. The El Golfo near the centre of the island is a half-submerged volcanic crater but its true beauty lies at its base in the striking green lagoon of Lago Verde.
The sand dunes of Fuerteventura
This is the oldest of the islands and best known for its long stretches of white sand and clear, shallow waters. The steep cliffs and coves of the eastern coast are ideal for snorkelling or scuba diving. In July, Sotavento in the south hosts the P.W.A world windsurfing speed and slalom event. It also has a perfect atmosphere for families and couples.
Some of the main attractions are the tranquil white sand dunes of the Dunes National Park. The FV 1 takes you directly through the dune area, just south of Corralejo. It is truly an unforgettable sight.
Tenerife and Gran Canaria
Tenerife and Gran Canaria are the two liveliest holiday resorts, with great beaches and exciting nightlife.
Tenerife is the largest of all the islands and a long-standing sun-kissed holiday hotspot. You’ve probably heard of the most popular resorts: Playa de las Américas and Los Cristianos in the south of the island. Most of the sandy beaches are actually man made. Playa de las Teresitas on the northeastern tip was actually built with sand imported from the Sahara. The natural ones are made of black, volcanic sand such as Playa de la Arena, one of the most attractive coves just south of Puerto de Santiago. Take your car hire off the beaten track and explore hidden gems such as Playa Bollullo in the northern Orotava Valley region or El Poris on the Arico east coast.
Gran Canaria is where exotic fruits, trees and crops flourish. Driving around the island you’ll pass coffee plantations, mango groves and sugar cane fields. Take time away from the beach to explore the volcanic mountains, tropical forests, and desert areas.
The beaches of Gran Canaria tend to feature white sand and turquoise waters. The most popular resorts are Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés. For something a little quieter, try Costa de Bañaderos or Playa de las Nieves.
El Hierro and La Palma
These are the two smallest islands in the archipelago, each with their own distinct character.
El Hierro has a rugged volcanic coast and superb diving opportunities. The closest you’ll get to a resort here are deserted black sand coves.
La Palma is a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve that has earned itself the nickname of La Isla Bonita (the pretty island) or La Perla Verde (the green pearl). This unspoilt island is a haven for nature lovers. The winding roads and hairpin bends are not for the faint-hearted, but definitely a breathtaking way to see the best of the island’s mountains, volcanoes, and lush landscapes.