Located close to Africa, but part of Spain, the Canary Islands are influenced by both regions. There are seven inhabited isles in this perennially sunny archipelago, all of which can provide soaring temperatures in the summer and some of the best destinations for a winter break. Although brought together under one name, each island has its own unique look and feel.
One thing they do have in common, though, is their volcanic nature. From black sand on some beaches to large rock formations, the islands show obvious signs of the volatile start to life they endured. Many of the volcanoes are distinct or dormant now, but Tenerife’s Mount Teide, the largest, is still active. The geography and geology associated with this volcanic activity has resulted in the Canary Islands being home to some fantastic vistas.
The eastern and central islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura tend to be the most popular spots for British travellers, all offering beautiful beaches and excellent water sports. However, it is only when you venture outside of the resorts that you start to experience real Canarian culture in the form of Tenerife’s Michelin-starred restaurants, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s history and Fuerteventura’s North African atmosphere.
The western islands are much more untouched and green, largely because they are younger than the rest of the group. Tourist numbers are likely to be much lower here and they often attract people with certain hobbies and interests. The breathtaking natural parks of traditional La Gomera are a walker’s paradise, the clear skies of El Hierro are perfect for stargazing and the sheer beauty of La Palma tends to appeal to photography fans. Whichever way you look at it, though, these three unspoilt islands are an ideal place to relax.
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