7 best places to visit in the CANARY ISLANDS
Curious about the best places to visit in the Canary Islands? The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Africa.
The archipelago has seven main islands and several smaller islands and islets. The main seven islands are Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, and La Graciosa.
Despite the fact that all of the islands and small islets are of volcanic origin, each island has a unique personality, and all of them are absolutely stunning and are some of the most beautiful destinations on the planet!
The Canary Islands are a very popular beach destination for Europeans, as it is located relatively close to Europe, and tickets are often affordable, if not very cheap.
What to see in the Canary Islands? What are the must-see places in the archipelago?
There are plenty of amazing places to visit, and it’s nearly impossible to tell you about all of them. So, we’ve created this list of some of the best places to visit in the Canary Islands, just to give you some insight into the archipelago.
7 best things to visit in the Canary Islands
1. Pico del Teide (Tenerife)
Pico del Teide (Mount Teide) is a volcano on Tenerife. At 3718 meters its summit is the highest point in Spain and the fourth-highest volcano in the world.
Tenerife is the most popular island in the archipelago, and mount Teide is probably the most popular tourist attraction in the Canary Islands.
The volcano and its surroundings comprise Teide National Park, which was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Because of Teide which divides Tenerife into two distinct climate zones, the island of Tenerife is often called “miniature continent” as the weather varies a lot on the island.
There are two ways you can ascend the volcano — hiking all the way up or taking the Teide Cableway.
The Teide cable car starts at the base station and it ascends to the top station at 3555 m in eight minutes.
2. Santa Cruz de Tenerife & Playa de las Teresitas (Tenerife)
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the administrative center of Tenerife and an important port city.
It’s known for its well-preserved buildings in its old town and, of course, the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Each year the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has taken place in February and March. The carnival in Santa Cruz is considered the main carnival in the Canary Islands, and it is one of the largest carnivals in the world.
There are several great beaches not far from Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Playa de las Teresitas is one of them. It is a well-known beach north of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
3. Parque Nacional de Timanfaya (Lanzarote)
Lanzarote is almost totally devoid of vegetation, but the unique volcanic landscape of the island makes up for it.
Thanks to the gorgeous landscape, the island is considered one of the most picturesque in the archipelago.
Timanfaya National Park is one of the most beautiful places on the island, and one of the best places to see in the Canary Islands.
In the 1730s the Montanas del Fuego, a mountain within the park, erupted, burying entire villages, and covering Lanzarote’s fertile lowlands with volcanic rock, lava, and volcanic sand. Today, the lava remains are the island’s top attraction for tourists.
Femes offer awe-inspiring views of Montanas del Fuego.
Ruta de los Volcanes is among the most interesting parts of the park. It’s a magical trail through the majestic Montanas del Fuego.
El Golfo, a sleepy village not far from the park, is home to a small crater lagoon, Lago Verde, which was created by an underwater volcano. Its emerald green color is due to the sea algae that live in it.
Caldera Blanca is another interesting sight in the area. The Caldera Blanca hiking route starts at Our Lady of Sorrows Church (La Iglesia de los Dolores) and is suitable for everyone.
4. Parque Natural de Corralejo & Grandes Playas Corralejo (Fuerteventura)
Corralejo is a town on the northeast coast of Fuerteventura, the second largest of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife. Fuerteventura was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2009.
Corralejo is one of the most important vacation centers on the island and boasts some of the best attractions in Fuerteventura.
Parque Natural de Corralejo and Corralejo’s Grandes Playas (Big Beaches) must be on your must-visit list if you plan to visit Fuerteventura!
Parque Natural de Corralejo boasts a belt of seemingly endless shifting sand dunes that descend to the ocean.
The Big Beaches of Corralejo (Grandes Playas Corralejo) are among the most beautiful beaches in the Canary Islands. The sand is white and fine, and the clear water is a beautiful shade of blue.
Corralejo offers striking views of nearby Lanzarote and Isla de los’ Lobos. Also, Corralejo is a gateway to Lanzarote and Los Lobos, its neighboring islands.
5. Jandía (Fuerteventura)
Jandía peninsula is one of the most scenic locations in Fuerteventura.
Costa Calma and Jandía are two well-known beaches in Fuerteventura. The two of them are among the most beautiful beaches in Fuerteventura and definitely are among the best places to visit in the Canary Islands.
Jandia peninsula boasts miles of gorgeous beaches with fine white sand and clear blue water.
The beaches of Jandia and Costa Calma are long and have the highest waves on the island, and that’s why they are particularly attractive to surfers.
If you are visiting Jandía, certainly do not miss Cofete! Cofete is a small village in the western part of the Jandía peninsula and it has the wildest and emptiest beach in all of Fuerteventura. This part of the island is virtually uninhabited.
The wild and untouched beach of Cofete is quite hard to get to if you don’t have a rental car.
6. Roque Nublo (Gran Canaria)
Roque Nublo is a 60-meter tall basalt monolith that tops a 1700 meter peak. This finger-shaped rock was formed by a volcanic eruption 4.5 million years ago.
Located right in the middle of the island, the peak Roque Nublo tops offer awe-inspiring views of the area.
Next to the Roque Nublo are other unique rock formations, such as Roque del Fraile and La Rana.
7. Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente (La Palma)
La Caldera de Taburiente is a massive crater formed in the course or several powerful eruptions. Some walls of the crater reach up to 2000 m.
La Caldera de Taburiente has many walking trails that offer sweeping views of the area. As there are no roads in the park, make sure you have enough water and snacks!
One of the best views of the area is Roque de los Muchachos viewpoint. On cloudless days you can even see Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro in the distance.
The Canary Islands travel tips
- You don’t need a visa. As the Canary Islands is Spanish territory, EU nationals do not need a visa to go to the best places to visit in the Canary Islands.
- There are seven main islands in the archipelago. The best way to travel in the Canary Islands is to explore one island at a time. Or, stick to just two close-by islands (e.g., Fuerteventura + Lanzarote or Tenerife + La Gomera).
- It’s easy to travel between the main islands of the archipelago. The islands are connected with excellent ferry service.
- The best way to travel around each island is to rent a car.
- Bus services operate on the larger islands. But still, the best way is to travel around each island is to rent a car, as buses do not go everywhere.
- The Canary Islands are a year-round destination, but the best time to visit the archipelago is in spring and autumn. But even in winter, the water temperature at most beach resorts is comfortable for swimming. If you plan to hike during your vacation, avoid traveling to the Canary Islands during the summer.
- Carnival in the Canary Islands. One of the best things to do in the Canary Islands is to attend the carnival. The carnival usually takes place in February and March. Each island has its own carnival schedule. Check it before booking your holiday. The largest carnival is in Tenerife (the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife).
Diving and snorkeling. Both are very popular attractions for tourists visiting the Canary Islands. Thanks to clear blue water and rich sea life, the Canary Islands provide attractive diving and snorkeling grounds for beginners and experts alike.