Isolated in the Atlantic Ocean, west of the Sahara, the Canary Islands form an archipelago (chain of islands) made up of seven main islands and many small secondary islands. Although they are constituted as an autonomous community of the Canary Islands, the larger islands still preserve their unique individuality, encouraging the visitor to discover them one by one. If you are looking for relaxation, holidays in Tenerife and Gran Canaria will delight you with their large seaside resorts and beautiful hotels in the immediate vicinity of the beaches. Those who prefer the more exotic side of things have the choice of the less touristy islands which are famed for their sublime natural scenery. To the west of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote bears witness to the intense past seismic activity of the islands, with its sumptuous lava flows, frozen into history. The small island of El Hierro is home to a UNESCO recognized biosphere, a natural paradise where strange and exotic living creatures such as the giant lizard and the fountain tree come together.


By far the most popular of the Canaries, the large island of Tenerife is one of Spain’s leading tourist destinations, with two airports. With its many idyllic beaches and sand varying from yellow to black, Tenerife is home to large seaside resorts on its south coast, and an abundance of hotels. If you want a little more privacy, many apartments and other private rentals are also available. But Tenerife also guards its treasures, away from the most touristy areas. To the north-east, San Cristobal de la Laguna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is extremely attractive with its religious buildings and colonial style. To the north-west, the small city of Garachico is a precious jewel curled up on the coast. Tenerife has a preserved and concrete-free nature, with the great Teide National Park at its centre, the highest point on the island, with its impressive volcano. Tenerife is also home to the lesser known and wilder parks of Teno and Anaga, which are worth a visit for their thick vegetation and unrivalled views of the Atlantic.
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The second most visited island in the archipelago, Gran Canaria is a world in its own right with its unique landscapes and particular climates. A holiday in Gran Canaria should include a stay in Las Palmas, the capital of the island and co-capital of the Canaries with Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Of all its remarkably well-preserved buildings and historic monuments, the 16th century Canary Islands cathedral its undeniable jewel. Every February of every year Las Palmas comes alive with its world famous carnival. Gran Canaria also knows how to seduce its visitors with its unspoilt nature, ranging from sublime beaches to steep mountains and cultivated and wild plains. The Maspalomas dunes, spread over a few kilometres, transport you in time to a magical pristine setting, while the imposing Roque Nublo, 80m high, dominates the centre of the island, commanding respect.
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The third most visited island in the Canaries, Lanzarote is nicknamed "the island of volcanoes" because of its volcanic origin, now extinct. Lanzarote is thus endowed with the largest underwater lava tunnel in the world, and sumptuous landscapes of frozen lava. The aridity of the soil, however, did not discourage farmers on the island, who adapted by using craters to collect rainwater and protect their plantations from the wind. The wine valley of La Geria is home to an eye-catching curiosity, semi-circular walls, each containing vine shoots, carefully aligned next to each other. Timanfaya National Park is Lanzarote's most popular destination, well served by its paved roads. The islands’ cities have maintained a human dimension, including the capital Arrecife, with its airport, thanks to a conservative policy aimed at preserving traditional architecture without giving in to the tantalizing grip of tourism. Lanzarote is also known for its carnival, mainly in the capital and Teguise.
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The small island of El Hierro is one of the least visited of the Canaries. And for good reason, it does not shelter the large beaches that the Canary Islands have become renowned as a top tourist destination for. El Hierro offers discovery and adventure – and the island truly is worth a visit. Enviously preserved – El Hierro is a biosphere recognized by UNESCO – the island is home to exceptional wildlife and environment, where tourism is under strict control. El Hierro offers stunning views of the Atlantic from the top of its volcano perched at 1500m high, with the Valle de El Golfo forming a sublime steep walled semi circle stretching for more than 12km. In this biosphere’s accessible parts, you will find large pine and laurel forests, inviting you to take a relaxing walk in a world preserved for thousands of years. Finally, for all those lovers of scuba diving, El Hierro is renowned for its unparalleled spots in the Mar de las Calmas, boasting seahorses and devil rays amongst others.