The Canary Islands are a collection of 13 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, near the coast of Africa. They are geographically closer to Africa than Europe and Morocco is only 100 kilometers away from its nearest island, Fuerteventura. They are a popular travelling destination because every season is pleasantly warm there. However, only eight of the Canary Islands are populated.
Canary Islands can be divided into two groups.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s provinces form the western islands. The western islands include Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro.
The Eastern Island group, Las Palmas, consist of three islands: Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote.
Lanzarote is believed to be the first Canary Island ever to be inhabited. Lanzarote is visibly different from other islands due to its whitewashed building. The island holds onto this overall appearance, and other color buildings are not allowed without special permission. In addition to Lanzarote, you should also take some time to visit the other Canary Islands.
Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is highly popular among tourists. About 5 million tourists travel there every year. And no wonder, because it offers everything you can expect from a holiday. Tenerife with its soft-sand beaches is great for families. Spain’s largest volcano, Teide, can be found in Tenerife and is extremely popular attraction among tourists. The terrain of the island is variable. There are many steep hills, lot of forest, mountains, rough sand… therefore, its is also popular among hikers. Forests remind a bit the Northern European forests, and there is plenty to explore.
Fuerteventura is located in the second largest island. It is different from other islands because of its winds. Be aware that it is almost always windy in Fuerteventura. The wind is naturally most welcome for the surfers visiting the island. The sun is almost always shining, and there are hardly any rainy days: during the winter one can expect rain about three days in a month. The winds have formed dunes in Fuerteventura’s bare sandy terrain.
Gran Canaria is the third largest of the islands. It is very popular holiday destination and 4 million tourist travel there annually. The largest city of the Canary Islands, Las Palmas, is located in Gran Canaria. People travel there to have fun, for sunbathing, shopping, endless nightlife… Overall, Gran Canaria has everything, and that is undoubtedly one of its greatest advantages. You have the city, beach, amusement parks, and natural attractions. Hustle and peace.
La Palma was born in the eruption of an underwater volcano. The island has a lot of verdant nature and also black sand. The black sand beaches are formed from the broken lava. The beaches are mostly rock and therefore not ideal for children. Locals call their island La Isla Bonita, the beautiful island. Tourists do not visit La Palma as much as the other Canary Islands, as it is still unknown to many. However, the island is perfect for hikers due to its green nature and hiking trails. In La Palma you can admire special salt pools that are among the most popular sights for tourists.
La Gomera, second smallest of the islands, does not have many attractive beaches and that makes it different from the other Canary Islands. Instead, La Gomera has good terrain for hiking and tourists come there for day-trips from Tenerife. Otherwise, there is not much tourism on this island. The island can be reached by ferry from Tenerife. La Gomera’s landscapes are beautiful and imposing with greatness. The untouched nature is incredibly beautiful with its high cliffs and green forests.
El Hierro is one of the smallest of the Canary Islands, and very small number of tourist goes there. Hardly any package trips are organized to El Hierro. There are not many hotels on the island, and its nightlife and shopping possibilities are very minimal. The easiest way to get to El Hierro is taking a ferry from Tenerife. Landscapes at El Hierro are spectacular, and you can, for example, swim in the turquoise waters of the Chargo Azul, which is a natural pool in the shelter of cliffs.
La Graciosa is located in the northern part of Lanzarote. You can get there with ferry which leaves from Orzola, Lanzarote. La Graciosa depends more or less on Lanzarote’s services, for example, electricity comes from Lanzarote. Bottled water also needs to be brought from somewhere else because the island has no drinkable water. The island is really dry and bare, and it is one of the few places in Europe that doesn’t have any paved roads. In La Graciosa you can, for example, go fishing or diving. Fishing is one of the most important livelihoods on the island.
The uninhabited islands of the Canary Islands include Alegranza, Isla le Lobos, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste. Nobody lives on these small islands.
Alegranza’s nature and fauna are protected. There lives, for example, Canary Gecko, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. You can make a day trip to this island, but you need a permission from the authorities to do so.
Isla le Lobos is located near Fuerteventura and is a great destination for day trips. You can actually gaze at Lobos from Playa Blanca. The island is a natural park and completely uninhabited. Besides the nesting bird species, the fauna of the island includes, for example, Barracudas and hammerheads.
Montaña Clara is located between Alegranza and La Graciosa, north of Lanzarote. The island is a natural reserve, and there are no buildings or inhabitants.
Roque del Este, ”eastern stone”, is located a little further away from other islands, north-east of Lanzarote. The island is only six hectares in size. Its name comes from being the easternmost island of the Chinijo Archipelago Nature Reserve.
Roque del Este, “western stone”, is an island located on the west side of the previously mentioned nature reserve. It is only 0.015 square kilometers in size. This island is basically impossible to access.