Canary Islands Travel Guide
The Canary Islands are a verdant part of the globe, renowned for their beauty and pristine ivory beaches. They are home to four national parks, awe-inspiring volcanic scenery and an abundance of outdoor activities, including scuba diving, hiking, rock climbing, spelunking and cycling.
Whether you’re planning your first or 10th trip to the Canary Islands, read on for insights into the islands and about two great cruise options.
Where Are the Canary Islands?
The Canary Islands are an archipelago consisting of seven main islands located in the Atlantic Ocean close to southwest Spain and northwest Africa. The archipelago is part of Spain and the official language spoken there is Canarian Spanish.
What is the Best Time of Year to Travel to the Canary Islands?
The Canary Islands are memorable during any time of the year. You’ll return from the islands with an excellent tan in any season and the food is always great. Some seasonal variations are worth mentioning, however. To best suit your specific travel needs, be aware of these five seasonal facts:
- The Canary Islands are warm all year round with daytime winter temperatures hovering around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- July and August are the hottest and busiest tourist months in the Canary Islands with average daytime temperatures around 83 degrees. So, if you wish to avoid the crowds and the hottest months, it’s best to opt for a different time of year.
- If you want to spend a lot of time in the water, the warmest water temperatures are found in August through October.
- The cheapest month to fly to the Canary Islands is generally around February, while the high tourism season is May through July.
- If you intend to do a lot of hiking, springtime and autumn are the best months for walking as the weather is balmy (but not as hot) as during the summer months.
Which of the Canary Islands Should I Visit?
While each of the seven main islands has something unique and beautiful to offer, different islands may appeal to different travelers.
If you are lucky enough to visit more than one of the islands, you will be amazed by the natural diversity in the landscapes. But, if you can only squeeze in a visit to one or two of the islands on your upcoming trip, here’s an overview of what you can expect.
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and the most frequently visited for its mixture of natural beauty and colonial towns. The island is known for its rustic Spanish charm, delectable cuisine, ornate mansions and Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak.
Located in the north of the island, the town of La Orotava boasts old-time Spanish architecture and urban splendor, with its cobblestone streets and buildings dating to the 17th Century. Also, visit Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the volcanic Mount Teide as well as a range of otherworldly landscapes.
The second largest of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura is popular with outdoor sports and beach enthusiasts.
People visit the island to snorkel, surf, dolphin or whale watch, go off-roading or sail. This island is a great place to relax and indulge in your hobbies.
Gran Canaria is breathtakingly gorgeous and filled with a mix of seaside cities, beautiful coastlines and green forests for the traveler to enjoy.
Some noteworthy destinations on Gran Canaria include Playa de Mogán (a vibrant coastal town brimming with shops, restaurants and bars), Santa Ana Cathedral in the Veguenta quarter, Dunas de Maspalomas (sand dunes on the South Coast), and Playa de Maspalomas (one of Gran Canaria’s best beaches).
Located just off the North African coast, Lanzarote abounds with volcanic scenery, verdant vineyards and deep blue waters.
Some of the top activities to do while in Lanzarote include a visit to Timanfaya National Park, taking a wine tour through La Geria (the island’s wine region), or basking in the effervescent beauty of Playa Papagayo (one of the island’s main beaches).
La Palma is a vibrant island bursting with gorgeous Flora — 50 species of which are unique to the island and cannot be found elsewhere. Not only does the island have lots of interesting plants, natural parks and heavenly hikes, La Palma is also the perfect place to spot whales and dolphins gliding through the crystal waters.
Destinations of note on La Palma include La Caldera de Taburiente National Park, Roque de los Muchachos Astrophysical Observatory, La Cumbrecita and Bosque de los Tilos.
Arriving at La Gomera is akin to being transported back in time to a paradise abounding with banana trees, moss-covered boulders and giant ferns. La Gomera exudes tranquility with its captivating landscape, and the healing smells, sounds and ambiance of nature.
Visit UNESCO World Heritage site Garajonay National Park, Mirador de Abrante, Playa de la Cueva, Los Organos and Torres del Conde Park during your sojourn on La Gomera.
The smallest of the Canary Islands, El Hierro is the prime location for diving, as it has ideal weather and water conditions. Though the smallest of the Canaries, the island still offers a range of gorgeous landscapes, intrigue and charm.
Travel to the Canary Islands On a Luxury Cruise
AAA offers two world-class luxury cruises to the Canary Islands including an eight-day cruise (that also visits Portugal and Spain) and a comprehensive 70-plus day cruise that visits many countries in Europe, Africa and the United States.
To learn more about AAA’s luxury cruises to the Canary Islands, read on or get in touch with AAA to speak with an experienced travel agent. Please note that specific dates, amenities and itineraries are subject to change.
1. Azamara – Canary Islands Intensive Voyage
This eight-day cruise gives passengers the chance to explore the Canaries and Portugal and get familiar with their effervescent cultures, delectable cuisines and magical landscapes. Immerse yourself in the sun-soaked coasts, epic volcanoes, lush forests, craggy cliffs and black sand beaches, all while basking in the relaxing ambiance of cruise life.
This intensive voyage will introduce you to four of the Canary Islands including Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Gomera and La Palma.
2. Concierge Grand Africa Voyage
Travel to the Canary Islands in style on one of Holland America Line’s ornate vessels. During this epic voyage of discovery, you will get to experience numerous cultures, indulge in culinary excursions on various continents, and get a more well-rounded understanding of the world as a whole.
This voyage is roundtrip, starting in Fort Lauderdale and voyaging to ports in Egypt, Ghana, Greece, the Ivory Coast, Morocco, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Senegal, Gambia, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Tunisia, South Africa, Tanzania, the Canary Islands and North America.
This two-month cruise is truly the experience of a lifetime and one that will open your eyes to the wonders of the globe and introduce you to some of the most fascinating, beautiful and enriching experiences of your life.
Travel to the Canary Islands with AAA
Whether you need additional travel guidance for the Canary Islands or you wish to book one of AAA’s world-class Canary Island travel packages, get in touch with AAA today to speak with a seasoned travel agent.
AAA has been in the business of curating high-end travel experiences for decades and uses its knowledge to create vacation packages to accommodate and reflect the needs and desires of every traveler.
Get in touch with AAA today to speak with a passionate travel connoisseur about your upcoming vacation.