The Canary Islands: a year-round beach destination
Seaside resort:
Canary Islands
Map:

The Canary Islands in brief

 

Visit the Canary Islands for relaxing beaches, volcanic landscapes, camel rides, water sports, local art, spa treatments and award-winning cheese.

Location:

Off the west coast of Africa, near Morocco

Nearest airport:

Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and La Palma

Key resorts & areas:

Playa de las Americas, Puerto de la Cruz, Los Cristianos (Tenerife), Playa del Inglés, Maspalomas, Puerto Rico (Gran Canaria), Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca (Lanzarote), Corralejo, Caleta de Fuste, Costa Calma (Fuerteventura), Puerto Naos, Tazacorte (La Palma)

Major sights & activities:

Hiking, cycling, camel rides, lava fields, nature parks, spas, art

Best time to go

April to November; July to September is the peak season. Mean temperatures are still in the 18C area between December and March.

Did you know?

The Canary Islands produce some excellent cheeses that have won nearly 200 World Cheese Awards since 2003.

 

Beach holidays in the Canary Islands

 

Located off the coast of Africa, the Canary Islands are famous for their year-round warm temperatures, spectacular black sand beaches created by volcanic activity and generally relaxed vibe.

The islands have a distinctive Spanish culture despite their location, and holidaymakers can enjoy some fantastic Spanish food and wine here, including many specialities exclusive to the Canary Islands.

Here are some of the highlights of a beach getaway to the Canary Islands:

 

Tenerife

Tenerife is the largest and most popular of the Canary Islands - its perhaps best known for harbouring the highest peak in Spain (Mount Teide) and its bustling resorts. It has some particularly and busy beach destinations sitting alongside quieter ones, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

  • Playa de las Americas - This resort is well-known for its buzzing nightlife that makes it popular among young holidaymakers in particular. Other attractions include golf and water-based sports such as windsurfing and diving, as well as numerous family-friendly amenities.
  • Puerto de la Cruz - This northern Tenerife destination is located in the middle of a lush, green region called Orotava Valley. The main beach is Playa Jardin and is made up of 1 km of black sand. Family-friendly attractions include Loro Parque and Lago Martianez.
  • Los Cristianos - This is a popular all-round resort with good beaches, nightlife and shopping. The main town beach can get quite busy, but the nearby Playa de las Vistas offers a quieter alternative. Nearby attractions include Aqualand and Siam Park.

 

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is home to half the population of the Canary Islands and has a landscape that varies from mountains and desert to forests and dune-laden beaches. There are a number of highly popular beach holiday destinations in Gran Canaria.

  • Playa del Inglés - This resort is very much just for sun, sand and sea seekers. What it lacks in culture and history it makes up for in large expanses of golden sand, great shopping and a buzzing nightlife. 
  • Maspalomas - Maspalomas is the luxurious counterpart to nearby Playa del Inglés and offers camel rides, bird-watching and more alongside more traditional beach activities. Families are well catered for thanks to attractions like Aqualand Maspalomas and Sioux City.
  • Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico is a smaller family-friendly resort that offers peace and quiet for holidaymakers, especially outside of the peak season. The beach is made up of sand transported from the Sahara.

 

Lanzarote

Lanzarote has long been a popular beach holiday destination and now offers a good mix of lively and laidback resorts. Its main claim to fame is the influences of Cesar Manrique, who created some unique attractions in the island’s volcanic rock.

  • Costa Teguise - Situated in eastern Lanzarote, Costa Teguise is the most popular destination for beach holidays on the island. Its beaches include Cucharas for windsurfing and Bastian for families. A water park and a golf course can also be found here.
  • Puerto del Carmen - This area has 6 km of beaches and a particularly lively nightlife. The biggest beaches include Grande Beach, Los Pocillos and Matagorda, with diving and windsurfing among the main activities.
  • Playa Blanca - This up and coming resort has excellent white sand beaches (Papagayo, Dorada and Flamingo) and is a peaceful haven for families in particular. Timanfaya National Park and El Golfo are some of the nearby attractions.

 

Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura is a Biosphere Reserve perfect for relaxing while taking in a stunning natural landscape. It has more than 150 km of beaches and lots of sporting possibilities.

  • Corralejo - Located in the north of Fuerteventura, Corralejo is a charming beach town with white sand beaches and a lively atmosphere. There are plenty of bars, shops and restaurants to choose from and protected sand dunes that are a popular attraction.
  • Caleta de Fuste (Castillo) - This popular resort located 12 km from the capital has a good selection of beaches and attractions such as an 18th century fortress. The main beach is 800 m long and 40 m wide.
  • Costa Calma - Costa Calma is an attractive wide bay with a 2 km golden sand beach that measures up to 300 m wide in certain places. While the beach can be windy, the waters are calm (hence the area’s name).

 

La Palma

This is an often overlooked island that has only recently started to attract more attention. La Palma boasts more greenery than the other Canary Islands and some interesting black sand beaches, although there are no golden sand beaches here.

  • Puerto Naos - The 500 m beach here holds a Blue Flag award and has a laidback atmosphere due to the relatively small size of the town. Snorkelling and diving are on offer here, and there are more beaches located nearby, including ones suitable for windsurfing.
  • Tazacorte - The beach here is 500 m long and 50 m wide on average and is particularly ideal for windsurfers thanks to the swells that build up here. Local attractions include the Church of Nuetros Senora de las Angustias and some scenic walks.
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