A prosperous archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Morocco, the Spanish-controlled Canary Islands offer vacationers a taste of paradise. Lush tropical greenery, kaleidoscopic sunsets, and miles of perfect beaches draw millions of vacationers here from all around the world. From the historic attractions of Tenerife to the untouched natural beauty of the Chinijo Archipelago Natural Park, the Canary Islands have much more to offer than just sunshine and surf, so pack your camera and come ready for adventure.
The main attractions in the Canary Islands include:
-Tenerife: Mountainous and scenic, Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, and it is home to the majority of the cultural and historical attractions the archipelago has to offer.
-La Gomera, the "Magic Isle": If you enjoy hiking across rugged terrain, La Gomera is well worth a visit. Home to the last remaining rainforest in the northern part of the African continent, the "Magic Isle" is also crisscrossed by deep gorges which are spectacularly photogenic.
-Gran Canaria: The chain's most populated island is where most of the activity and popular beaches are located. Gran Canaria is an excellent spot to base your Canary Islands honeymoon or holiday, as it's easy to travel to the other islands from here. This island is also where you'll find many of the spas in the Canary Islands.
-Fuerteventura: If you enjoy windsurfing or sailing, a visit to Fuerteventura is a must. This island lies in the path of constant trade winds, ensuring there's always a breeze to support wind-aided water sports.
-Lanzarote: This island is worth a visit for the majestic volcanic landscapes which tower over its western reaches. The Timanfaya National Park preserves the remnants of the island's peak period of volcanic activity, which occurred in the 1730s.
Rather than competing with the crowds at the islands' hotels, why not enjoy a more authentic holiday by staying in a vacation rental instead? You can choose to stay along the beach or in the Canary Islands' towns and cities. There are plenty of options available to suit people of all tastes and budget ranges.
If you're taking a Canary Islands cruise, you can also head into the neighboring Azores and Madeira Islands, scenic tropical archipelagoes that belong to Portugal.