Canary Islands holidays 2019
With enviable hours of sunshine all year, stunning beaches, and spectacular landscapes ranging from volcanoes, forests, mountains and deserts, UNESCO has designated the entire islands of Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura as Biosphere Reserves.
The Canary Islands are and remain an enduring favourite with British tourists and are always a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in a unique and fascinating culture, while remaining a cheap holiday option with plenty of choice on flights and hotels.
Find out more about the top attractions, beaches, cuisine, culture, nightlife and some top recommendations for family and couple’s holidays and discover why the Canary Islands can be great last minute holiday option pretty much all year round.
Most popular hotels in Canary Islands
Elba Lucia Sport and Suite Hotel
Costa de Antigua, Fuerteventura
El Tope Hotel
Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
Hesperia Lanzarote Hotel
Puerto Calero, Lanzarote
Occidental Lanzarote Playa
Costa Teguise, Lanzarote
Playa de las Americas, Tenerife
Playa de las Americas, Tenerife
Blue Sea Puerto Resort
Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
Laguna Park II
Costa Adeje, Tenerife
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 4h 20m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Things to do in the Canary Islands
Spoiler alert, all the Canary Islands have lovely beaches, but there is plenty more to see and do besides.
Things to do in Tenerife
- Volcano El Teide, one of the world’s largest volcanoes, this active giant and its surrounding national park are one of the most visited natural wonders in the entire world.
- Siam Park, an incredibly popular Thai-themed water park is the place to go to slip, slide and get the adrenaline flowing.
- Cueva del Viento. If you ever fancied walking around inside giant caves created by lava flows, then this is the one for you. Take a guided tour through these amazing natural wonders.
Things to do in Lanzarote
- Timanfaya National Park. Nearly 20 square miles of nature reserve on volcanic soil. Much of the park is closed to open exploration to protect the delicate ecosystem but there are several options to get a glimpse of some of it, including tours by camel.
- César Manrique Museum. Manrique’s impact on the island cannot be understated. As an activist for its protection against overdevelopment, his architectural output and his artistic styles dominate the island. A complicated figure, his home and studio have been preserved as a museum since his death in 1992.
- Montana Roja is great for hikers and walkers. This is not the easiest climb but almost everyone that manages to walk to the top says that the views are worth it.
Things to do in Fuerteventura
- Bentancuria is the historic capital of Fuerteventura dating back to 1404, it wasn’t replaced as the capital until 1834. An interesting option for an afternoon excursions.
- Central Comercial El Campanario. A pretty little shopping street that will provide you with local fresh produce, essential staples and souvenirs, as well as bars and restaurants to pass the time.
- Corralejo Dunes. A spectacular set of sand dunes that run right up to the ocean. Basically a giant beach, be prepared to come across the people going au naturale here.
For more about Gran Canaria, La Gomera & El Hierro, check out our blog on the top 20 things to do in the Canary Islands
Food in the Canary Islands
The huge numbers of international visitors have meant that there is a wide choice of cuisines available in resorts across the Canary Islands.
The local cuisine on each Canary shows the influence of different cultures over the centuries, from the indigenous Guanches to foods brought back by sailors from the Americas and the influence of the Spanish conquests. There are dozens of resorts across the Canary Islands where you can try out this tasty cuisine.
· Gofio, a cereal thought to have been central to the Guanche diet, is used in many dishes.
· Fresh fish is a staple across the Canary Islands, including sea bass, wreckfish, parrot fish and sea bream.
· Stews are also popular, often made with chicken, beef or rabbit. They are often accompanied by papasarrugadas, ‘wrinkled potatoes’, and mojo, a typical Canarian sauce. Mojo picón is made with peppers, while mojo verde is made with parsley and other herbs.
The Canaries have been producing wines for at least five centuries, and there are now ten D.O. (denomination of origin) regions. You can visit bodegas (wineries) on most of the islands. You’ll also find spiced herbal liqueurs and rums.
Canary Islands for families
The Canary Islands are a fantast family holiday destination. You've got the chance to pick what sort of Canary holiday suits you. So whether you want an easy, fully contained, family-friendly all inclusive resort to take the really little ones in Tenerife or Lanzarote or you have active teenagers and adventurous young adults to entertain, the Canaries will provide.
- H10 Rubicon Palace Hotel in Playa Blanca, southern Lanzarote has five adults swimming pools (three for kids) and six restaurants.
- The Mogan Princess & Beach Club set in the Atlantic facing mountainside of Playa Taurito, Gran Canaria. The hotel offers family rooms so you can all have enough space while staying under the same roof.
- The Labranda Cactus Garden in Jandia, Fueteventura has a kid's pool and good proximity to the beach.
Culture in the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands boast a rich and unique traditional culture that has been forged over centuries. Although the indigenous Guanche people were wiped out after the island was conquered, their culture lives on in the Canarian cuisine and in the traditional sports such as cart-pulling and stone-throwing that take place during festivals.
The island of Tenerife is home to the historic city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna (better known simply as ‘La Laguna’), which is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. Lanzarote was saved from over-development by the artist and architect César Manrique, whose legacy is celebrated in gardens and buildings across the island.
His former home near Costa Teguise is now a foundation and museum. All the island capitals boast excellent museums, theatres and venues for the performing arts: in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, there is the Auditorio de Tenerife, designed by Santiago Calatrava, and in Las Palma, in Gran Canaria, Óscar Tusquets designed the fortress-shaped Auditorio Alfredo Kraus.
Best beaches in the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, some boast the amazing black sand that attests to the volcanic origin of the Canary Islands. The water is turquoise and usually startlingly clear.
Some of the most highly rated beaches include:
- On Tenerife, you can admire the stunning dark sands of El Bollullo, a gorgeous bay near Puerto de la Cruz, or tuck into some of the best seafood in the Canary Islands at San Andres, a fishing village overlooking the fabulous Las Teresitas beach.
- Playa Dorada on Lanzarote is all about clean white sands, easy access and lots of local amenities with a family friendly vibe. While Famara is a surfer’s paradise and one of Lanzarote’s loveliest and most unspoilt sandy bays.
- Fuerteventura has its own great dunes. Corralejo, at the northern tip of the island, is built around a glorious sandy beach and dunes that are a protected nature reserve.
- Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés on Gran Canaria, which are magnificent swathes of golden sand backed by undulating sand dunes.
Some of our most highly recommended beachfront properties include:
- Annapurna Hotel Tenerife on the Costa del Silencio sits on the southern coast of the island and has a large ocean filled pool and a patio that leads down to the small beach.
- Ereza Mar is in the popular Calete de Fuste part of Fuerteventura and has immense views of the Atlantic Ocean and is only a few hundred metres from the sandy Castillo Beach.
- Blue Sea Costa Teguise is popular with beach lovers on Lanzarote thanks to its close proximity to Jabilillo and Cucharas beaches on the eastern, more sheltered side of the island in Costa Teguise.
Nightlife in the Canary Islands
If you’re looking to party, you won’t be disappointed on the Canary Islands. Whether you want international DJs, fashionable beach clubs or an intimate jazz bar, there’s something to suit everyone.
Tenerife is generally considered the best island for nightlife, but most of the largest islands offer something for everyone. We recommend:
- Playa de las Américas, which is often described as the party capital of the Canaries.
- The island capital of Santa Cruz has plenty of lively bars and clubs.
- Low-key Puerto de la Cruz has lots of venues to hear live music and go dancing.
- Costa Adeje has a wide array of chic beach bars, where you can sip cocktails and listen to DJ sessions.
- Gran Canaria is a popular LGBTQ holiday destination, and there are some fabulous gay clubs and bars in and around Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés.
- Lanzarote’s nightlife scene is centred around the Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca beach resorts, and you’ll find plenty of buzzing bars in the capital of Arrecife.
- Fuerteventura is great for live music and laid-back beach parties, making Fuerteventura the spot to be for relaxing evenings.
Canary Islands for couples
The Canary Islands are the perfect escape for couples. We recommend Fuerteventura, as there are some truly unspoilt, romantic spots.
You’ll enjoy long walks with beautiful views, dine in charming restaurants and sip cocktails in fashionable beach bars. You can pamper yourselves with a massage or spa or get a thrill on a two-seater parasailing ride.
And if you’re party people, hit the bars and clubs at the big resorts on Lanzarote and Tenerife and dance till dawn. If you want to make sure you have plenty of grown-up fun, take a look at our fantastic range of adult-only hotels.
Canary Islands frequently asked questions
Which Canary Island is the hottest in Winter?
There isn’t a lot in it and to be honest they all tend to pleasant throughout the winter time with average day time temperatures above 20°c.
When seeking dry weather and winter heat, consider the south and eastern coasts of the respective islands and stay in a lower lying area if possible.
Are the Canary Islands warm in October and November?
Yes, the Canary Island will average in the low to mid twenties throughout the autumn months, with plenty of hours sunshine and limited rainfall.