Ten Tips For Lanzarote - Canary Islands

Ten Tips For Lanzarote - Canary Islands

Scattered in the Atlantic off the North African coast, the Canary Islands offer unique holiday experiences. With a winning combination of year-round sun, stunning beaches, dramatic landscapes and lively nightlife, holidays to the Canary Islands keep travellers coming back for more year after year.

lanzaroteA group of seven Spanish islands located right off the coast of northwestern Africa, the Canaries are blessed with a warm beach-going climate all year round. Their tropical location make them a prime getaway spot for Europeans during the winter but even with the islands' increasing tourism and popularity, it's still possible to explore unspoilt areas rich with native flora and fauna, such as their wild beaches, mountainous regions, and national parks.

Most notably, the islands form a formidable volcanic archipelago. Their landscapes include four of the highest peaks within Spanish territory and some mightily bizarre yet inspiring scenery: from black sand beaches with soaring cliffs to rugged, red, Mars-like panoramas. The breadth of these landscapes evokes regions from every corner of the planet, and even, sometimes, from others. Each of these seven islands is a completely different world, and adventure, in itself.

The Canaries are split into 2 different communities: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

This region of petrified lava make up the National Park of Timanfaya and its Mountains of Fire, where visions of a lifeless, prehistoric (or even apocalyptic) earth, with enormous craters of an incandescent red color, can be seen on a bus or even camel tour. Its unique atmosphere has made it a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and one of the most impressive natural parks in all of Spain.

The following islands are part of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria:

The volcanic nature of the island of Tenerife meant that the land has few natural beaches. Those that exist are characterised by black sand created from the island's volcanic rocks. The demand for tourist sun-bathing space, however, has led to the creation of resorts and man-made beaches, with golden sand having been imported in some cases. Some of the best beaches of Tenerife are Los Gigantes and San Juan in the west and Fañabe, in the South with its golden s, excellent facilities and showers. Also popular are Torviscas with its marina, Playa las Americas for its grey sandy stretches and los Cristianos' beach. Candelaria in the east has a little black shingle beach. Up north Puerto de la Cruz has a beach with fine black sand, and at Santa Cruz golden sand has been imported for its Terasitas beach.

Getting there: Flights to Lanzarote from most major cities in Europe, as well as from the other islands, arrive at the Lanzarote Airport 5 km away from the capital, Arrecife. Ferries arrive at Playa Blanaca from Fuerteventura, La Palma, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria. Some of these ferries are legs of an overnight ferry from Cadiz , Spain.

The Canary Islands' climate is perfect for a week of enjoying the sun and making trips across the islands. Summers are mostly between 25º and 30º during the day and still above

South east of Lanzarote, Gran Canaria's golden sands and bright sunshine attract holidaymakers every year, and the island's natural beauty with huge stretches of dunes and pine forests make them fall in love with the destination.

The largest resort on the island, Playa del Ingles, is on the south coast and offers fun-filled holidays for visitors who enjoy strolling down its promenade and drinking in the bars and clubs. Other popular resorts include Playa del Ingles' quieter neighbour, San Augustin; advanced Maspalomas with its world-famous sand dunes; pretty and exclusive Puerto Mogan; and stylish Meloneras.

Getting there: Flights come into Fuerteventura Airport, 5 km outside of Puerto del Rosario, from the other islands and from most major European cities. Ferries arrive at Corralejo from Lanzarote, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria.

The most extraordinary sights on this island are its steep ravines of granite rock, which plummet from almost 2,000 meters high to meet the coastline. From just about anywhere you can appreciate the sheer force of nature that Gran Canaria has to offer. Its vegetation can be found in such far-away places as America, Europe, and Africa. You can explore a variety of flora in areas like Tejeda , with its lush green valleys of almond trees, and Mogan , a valley where tropical fruits are cultivated. There are also many fishing villages worth visiting for their mountainous sea views and small-town charm, Arinaga and such as Agaete. In the ancient city of Arucas, huge banana plantations, rocky coves, and volcanic areas form neighboring landscapes.

Don't forget about the endless white sand beaches and turquoise waters, which can be enjoyed in Maspalomas , located next to an area of sand dunes, and also in Playa del Inglés, both of which make up the more popular areas for beach-going. For quieter beaches and pretty coves, try La Costa de Bañaderos or Playa de las Nieves, both of which offer incredible mountain views.

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These airports receive a lot of flights from all over Europe , Tenerife South Airport having by far the most possibilities. Lowcost airlines like Easyjet (from London and Manchester ) and Ryanair have found their way as well, the last having most flights, including to/from Brussels , Dublin , Edinburgh , London , Glasgow , Madrid , Porto and Weeze (near Düsseldorf ).

The Canary Islands' location off the North African Coast implies that they enjoy year-round sun. Lanzarote, for example, sizzles at around 28C in August. And even if you visit between November and February, you'll still be able to enjoy a blast of much-needed heat and can expect temperatures of up to 23C in November in Tenerife.

The Canary Islands host a number of events throughout the year which include parades, street parties and fiestas. Here are some of our top options...

The most surprising thing about the beaches in Tenerife are the stretches of thick, black sand found on some, for example on Playa de El Puertito and Playa del Roque on the eastern coast. In the town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, two beaches are worth visiting: Las Teresitas, an artificial beach with 1,500 meters of sand taken from the Sahara desert, and Las Gaviotas, a remarkable nude beach with black sand. For extraordinary waves and even more opportunities to get out in the nude, check out the beautiful, hard-to-access beaches of Playa de los Patos and Playa de Bollullo.

Getting there: Tenerife has two airports, Los Rodeos airport in the north and the Reina Sofia airport in the south. Most international flights come through the Reina Sofia airport, whereas inter-island flights arrive at Los Rodeos. Ferries arrive at the city of Santa Cruz from Gran Canaria, La Palma, and Fuerteventura.

Naviera Armas runs weekly services between Portimao in mainland Portugal to Madeira and on to Tenerife, with connections to other Canary Lanzarote, Isl, s and like Gran Canaria.

The Canary Islands are connected by a smaller airline called Binter Canarias , which also has a flight to Marrakech from a couple of the islands.

As the coastline consists mostly of jagged cliffs, the majority of the beaches on the island are small coves. Nevertheless, beaches such as Valle del Gran Rey and Playa de Santiago have that crystalline water and golden sand all vacationers seek. Also recommendable to see is the Acantilado de los Organos, or the Organ Cliff, which contains thousands of basalt columns soaring up from out of the water, giving the impression of a giant, rocky organ.

To rent a car is the best option for discovering the remote wilderness regions.

Buses are the most common method of public transportation around the islands. Mile per mile they are expensive while compared to mainland Spain but you are not going to travel really far away. We are, after all, islands. Most buses in touristic routes are adequate. Do not expect the drivers to know more than a couple of sentences in English or German, though they would try to be helpful.

Nightlife: Playa de las Americas on Tenerife is the ultimate night-spot. With an array of bars, parties, clubs and entertainment, energetic night owls will be spoiled for choice!

Canarian cuisine is a mix between African cultures, Latin and Spanish. Most of Canarian cuisine is a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish, generally light meals, more easy to digest in a warm climate. Meat is usually consumed as a part of stews or as steaks.

Getting there: Direct flights to La Palma airport in the town of Santa Cruz de La Palma are available from mainland Spain, the other islands, and some cities in northern Europe. Ferries arrive in Santa Cruz de La Palma from Tenerife and Gran Canaria

This is the smallest island of the Canaries, as well as the least populated and least traveled, which makes it a perfect spot for those wishing to get away from it all and experience nature to its fullest. Its clean beaches and mountain scenery provide a relaxing, non-package tourist vacation.

A plateau and mountainous area make up the central part of the island, where rises up as the highest peak. From here, you can admire the views of the gulf, forests, volcanic craters, and of the entire island. The coast also offers a fascinating and unfamiliar sight with its cliffs jutting out from under the water, as if they were little crag islands. El Golfo is where the largest amount of cliffs can be found along with the some of the highest viewpoints of the area.

Gofio - Grain flour used especially at breakfast or to accompany potaje, a local stew.

Arepas - tortas created from fine corn flour filled up with minced meat, cheese, or sweet mango.