Top 5 Tener-ific Things to Do in the Canary Islands


Coast Beach Tenerife

Faced with which Canary Island to visit this summer? Read our guide to the Canary Islands.

When it comes to picking an ideal holiday destination, many say that the Canary Islands have it all. For one, Holiday Extras' customers absolutely love the Canary Islands, and are among the most popular holiday destinations every year.

With glorious weather, dramatic landscapes, beautiful beaches and plenty to do, it's easy to see why this cluster of volcanic islands off the coast of northwest Africa make for a perfect escape.

If you find yourself asking which Canary island is best for couples, where the best beaches are, or that you just want to travel better, read on!

Q1: Which Canary Island is best for diving?

A: El Hierro

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Here's why...

Experienced divers from all over the world are booking diving holidays to El Hierro in order to discover the island's unique underwater beauty.

El Hierro underwater wildlife includes the rare Cuvier's beaked whale and many more creatures, like:

  1. Spiny Globefish
  2. Trumpet Fish
  3. Puffer Fish
  4. Black Sea Bream
El Hierro Diver

Scuba diving in El Hierro has many appeals, including the vast volcanic tunnels, underwater caves and black coral reefs to explore. At the very south of the island at La Restinga is Mar de las Calmas Marine Reserve, which serves as the main launch point for most dives.

What else is there to do in El Hierro?

Measuring just 30 km end to end, El Hierro is the least populated island of the Canaries.

Like the rest of the Canary Islands, parts of El Hierro are considered a Biosphere Reserve of Europe.

This means that it's diverse ecosystem, which includes vast seabeds, volcanoes, lava fields, rugged cliffs, lush valleys and dense forests containing prehistoric plant species, ancient trees, rare reptiles and aboriginal legends, is sustainably and responsibly looked after.

Any visitor of the Canary Islands will know how windy it gets – great news for El Hierro since the island is powered entirely by renewable energy.

Q2: Which Canary Island has the best beaches?

Fuerteventura

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OK… that's a lie. All of the Canary Islands' beaches are pretty awesome, but with 150 km of stunning coastline kissed by twinkling turquoise waters, Fuerteventura wins hands down.

Let's attempt to break this down…

What are the beaches like in Fuerteventura?

Morro Jable

Morro Jable a beautiful beach on the Jandia peninsula. It’s ideal for families and also very popular with surfers.

Costa Calma

Costa Calma

Popular with families with small children, it’s calm waters and outstanding facilities make it the perfect place to relax.

La Lajita

Often overlooked by tourists, La Lajita is ideal if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle. With smaller, wilder islands such as Isla de Lobos, Playa del Cofete and Puerto de la Cruz just a stone’s throw away, there’s plenty of exploring to do!

What's the weather like on Fuerteventura?

Those winds we talked about earlier – well, they're a big deal on this island. They strong and reliable all-year round making it one of the best and most popular destinations for surfboarding, kiteboarding and sailing.

Q3: Which Canary Island is best for families?

Lanzarote

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If you’re planning a family holiday to the Canary Islands, be sure to show the kids the volcanic paradise that is Lanzarote.

Why Lanzarote?

Travelling with the whole family isn’t cheap, that’s why we recommend staying in Playa Blanca. Nestled in the south of the island, it offers a great choice of family-friendly accommodation in Lanzarote, ranging from budget, family holiday villages to swanky, private villas. No matter the size of your brood, Lanzarote guarantees great value for money places to stay.

Lanzarote Beach

What is there to do in Lanzarote?

There are plenty of things to do with the kids in Lanzarote but we think it's worth a trip for the spectacular landscapes alone. Dazzling black sand beaches can be found alongside more familiar white sands, creating a unique, beautiful setting. Top Tip: These beaches are great locations for selfies.

Lanzarote Selfie

But the island is much more than just a pretty face.

No family trip to Lanzarote would be complete without a visit to the Canary Cretacean Museum to learn all about dolphins and whales, or to the Timanfaya National Park and its awe inspiring lava fields.

There’s also plenty of animal parks and water parks to keep even the cheekiest of kids entertained. Oh, and a Submarine Safari... definitely something worth bribing for good behaviour.

Q4: Which Canary Island is best for partying?

Tenerife

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Craving all night happy hours, foam parties and cocktails of every colour? Tenerife has you covered.

Where's the party?

Head to Playa de las Americas to the south of the island for the legendary strips Veronica’s and Starco’s. There, you can revel in all manner of misbehaviour (in Tenerife, we wouldn’t have it any other way), with clubs such as Tramps Tenerife and Sugareef Tenerife able to keep the party going as long as you can.

Tenerife Party

What else is there to do in Tenerife?

As much as some might hate to admit it, it’s hard to keep a party going for a solid week; fortunately, Tenerife has plenty more to offer. If your hangover permits, find the Pirámide de Aron, where you can relax with its flamenco/modern fusion dance performances.

What’s more, the hip Noria District is packed to the rafters with cool restaurants, bars and live music. Perfect for if you’re not ready for the party to end, but feel the need for a more refined, reserved soirée.

If you really wanted a chance to take some photos you can show your parents, head to the Buenos Aires quarter for the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra and Guimerá Theatre. Classy!

What about Gran Canaria?

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The nightlife on Gran Canaria is second to none. With very little happening before midnight, you can truly burn the candle at both ends.

Playa del Ingles serves as the island’s party capital, with countless bars, clubs and pubs to suit all tastes for the perfect night out.

As such, Playa del Ingles is a great LGBT-friendly holiday destination, with most of Gran Canaria’s gay bars and clubs located here. Expect to see drag queens, regular ‘Pride’ processions and dress-up nights galore in a part of town where partying is a way of life and almost nothing is off limits.

Just note that if you’re travelling to the Canary Islands with the kids, Playa del Ingles is not a family destination, with many resorts enforcing strict adults-only policies. Instead, why not visit the historic capital of Las Palmas or the natural beauty of Maspalomas.

Read our guide to where to stay in Gran Canaria for more information on what the island has to offer.

Q5: Which Canary Island is best for stargazing?

La Palma

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Fancy yourself a keen astronomer? La Palma is the place for you.

The island is the home of the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, which includes to Gran Telescopio Canarias (GranTecCan), the largest optical telescope in the world.

Can't fit your telescope in hand luggage?

La Palma Stars

Even without expensive equipment, it’s impossible to miss the majestic canvas of space and stars that makes up La Palma’s sky.

We recommend booking an evening course with a local astronomer, or take a tour of the observatory to make the most of your stay.

No matter where you go, start your holiday right. Travel better with Holiday Extras and find out how you can get airport transfers from just £2.33.

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