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Things to do in the Canary Islands

Things to do in  Canary Islands

Welcome to Canary Islands

Tropical in appearance yet Mediterranean in character, the Canary Islands attract visitors from all over the world to lounge on black- and white-sand Atlantic beaches, seek out adventure in world-class national parks, and enjoy an array of leisure activities from aerial-tram riding to scuba diving. Needless to say, these islands pack a vacation punch much larger than their diminutive size, and the wide range of activities on offer combined with the seven airports and plentiful boat transfers account for the Canary Islands' popularity among travelers of all types. The largest of the islands are Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote, and most visitors choose to base themselves out of one of these while island-hopping to see their neighbors' main draws. Pair whale-watching with Mt. Teide excursions in Tenerife, beach lounging with catamaran sailing in Fuerteventura, cultural walking tours with camel riding in Gran Canaria, and wine tasting with trips to the volcanic Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote. Although the climate remains warm and welcoming year-round, visit during the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in February to see parades that easily rival the splendor of Rio's and put the islands' hybridized Spanish, African, and South American culture on full display.

Top 15 attractions in Canary Islands

Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide)

The largest and oldest national park in the Canary Islands and home to Spain’s highest peak—Mount Teide—Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide) is one of the top attractions on Tenerife. The rugged landscape of the park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is magnificent—a geological wonder featuring an expanse of rugged lava fields, ancient calderas, and volcanic peaks.More

Masca Valley

Characterized by rugged cliffs, forested trails, and waterfalls, the wild landscapes of the Masca Valley are among Tenerife’s most beautiful. The remote gorge offers a thrilling backdrop for a hike—the trail winds down through the gorge and finishes at a black-sand beach.More

Timanfaya National Park (Parque Nacional de Timanfaya)

Spanning 20 square miles (51 square km) of southern Lanzarote, Timanfaya National Park (Parque Nacional de Timanfaya) is a unique and eerie landscape of dormant volcanoes and lava fields. Visitors flock to the park from nearby beach towns to explore the otherworldly terrain that looks more like the moon than the Canary Islands.More

Lobos Island

Lobos Island (Wolf Island) is named after the “sea wolves” (monk seals) that used to live here. Now a protected nature reserve, the small, rocky island is home to wildlife—from birds to sharks—beaches, hiking paths, a visitor center, and, at the northern tip, the lonely Punta Martiño Lighthouse.More

Mt. Teide (El Teide)

At 12,198 feet (3,718 meters) above sea level, Mt. Teide (El Teide) is the highest point in the Canary Islands and all of Spain. The towering peak in Tenerife allows visitors to stand atop a volcano and look out over nearby islands including La Palma and Gran Canaria—if the clouds cooperate—whether they get there on foot or by cable car.More

Roque Nublo

Roque Nublo (Cloud Rock is a lofty, 262-foot (80-meter rock formation that was formed millions of years ago during a volcanic eruption. Located in Nublo Rural Park (Parque Rural del Nublo, the landmark is the island’s second-highest peak after Pico de la Nieves.More

Jameos del Agua

Jameos del Agua occupies a series of lava caves on Lanzarote’s northeastern coast. The masterwork of local artist and architect César Manrique, the underground complex—a bar, restaurant, nightclub, and swimming pool—makes innovative use of the natural volcanic landscape, formed by the eruption of the La Corona volcano 4,000 years ago.More

La Orotava Valley

Some of Tenerife’s most scenic landscapes can be found along La Orotava Valley. Stretching from the Teide Volcano, this picturesque region is dotted with vineyards, banana plantations, and pine-clad mountains popular for hiking. The historic town of La Orotava serves as a base for adventure in the valley.More

English Beach (Playa del Inglés)

Situated on the southern tip of Gran Canaria, the golden sandy beaches, calm waters, and luxurious resorts of Playa del Ingles are hugely popular with tourists. Aside from sunbathing, windsurfing, and volleyball at the beach, the Playa del Ingles area offers heaps of shopping, nightclubs, and family-friendly attractions such as mini-golf, waterparks, and camel rides.More

Bandama Caldera (Caldera de Bandama)

Rising nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, the Bandama Calera is a crater left behind after a major volcanic eruption on Gran Canaria over 5,000 years ago. You can hike at its base, around its rim, or down into the caldera itself to enjoy the impressive natural scenery. Viewpoints, caves, and ponds are all points of interest on its various trails. The lands are part of the Bandama Natural Monument and Tafira Protected Landscape.Because of the rich volcanic soil here, there is rich wildlife and plant life the call the caldera home. Walking around the area feels almost otherworldly. From its lowest point, you are surrounded by the crater walls extending up from its floor. Its highest point Pico de Bandama reaches 569 feet up in the air. The Pico de Bandama peak and its observation center are also worth a visit.More

Papagayo Beach (Playa de Papagayo)

One of a string of sandy beaches and bays lining Lanzarote’s southern coast, Papagayo Beach (Playa de Papagayo) lies within the Monumento Natural de Los Ajaches Park and is one of the island’s most beautiful beaches. Visit the horseshoe-shaped bay cocooned between sea cliffs and blessed with swaths of pale gold sand for a relaxing day on the beach.More

Los Roques de García

A cluster of uniquely shaped rocks lying in the shadows of the notoriously volatile Teide volcano, Los Roques de García are among the top attractions of Tenerife’s UNESCO-listed Teide National Park. Formed by years of ancient volcanic activity, the pyroclastic rocks are best known for their impressive stature and peculiar shapes, some appearing to defy gravity and others taking on an otherworldly presence.The most famous rocks include the ‘Roque Cinchado’, known as ‘God’s Finger’, now one of Tenerife’s most iconic landmarks, and the imposing La Catedral, the tallest at 200-meters high and a popular challenge for climbers. Each rock has its own unique moniker, including ‘El Queso’, ‘Roques Blancos’ and ‘Torrotito’, and the best way to enjoy the views is hiking the circular trail around the valley, which takes around 2 hours.More

Corralejo Dunes National Park (Parque Natural de Corralejo)

The Canary Islands sit just 70 miles (113 kilometers) off the coast of western Africa. But the 6,425 acres (2,600 hectares) of rolling sand dunes within Fuerteventura’s Corralejo Dunes National Park (Parque Natural de Corralejo) might have you thinking you’re visiting the African continent as opposed to a beach-filled archipelago.More

La Geria

Famed for its rugged volcanic landscapes and sweet Malvasia grapes, La Geria is Lanzarote’s flagship wine region. Wine lovers come not only to sample the distinctive wines but to explore the unusual vineyards, where the vines are grown in volcanic rock pits dug into the black sand.More

El Golfo

Far removed from the golden sands of Lanzarote’s beach resorts, El Golfo is one of the island’s most unique geological areas. The star attraction is the bright green crater lake on a black sand beach, which gets its distinctive color from the Ruppia Maritima algae that lives in the waters.More
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Recent reviews from experiences in Canary Islands

Sunset Cruise
Katherine_R, Jan 2023
Private Sunset Sailing Tour from Corralejo Fuerteventura 3h
What a relaxing and fun experience, to see Fuerteventura from the water!
Fun, informative & fabulous views
Alison_B, Nov 2022
Jeep Tour 4x4 in Gran Canaria
His English was great & he was good fun.
Half day trip to Teide mountain
Zsfia_K, Dec 2022
Teide National Park Tour
This trip is perfect for those who are tight with time but want to see Teide, the highlight of Tenerifere nonetheless.
Las Palmas Tour
Vernon_S, May 2022
Visit to Las Palmas town with pickup from South
I highly recommend this trip for anyone wishing to see some of the history and life of the provincial capital of the Canary Islands.
Fabulous day out
Hannah_D, Oct 2021
Gran Canaria Highlights Small Group Tour with Hotel Pick-up
Nice to see the varied landscapes, different towns of Gran Canaria, and the windy roads, although still very quiet out of the resorts.
A brilliant day, packed with truly memorable experiences
Martin_C, Aug 2020
Custom Private & VIP Highlights Tour of Gran Canaria
Other than Gran Canaria, We've been to 3 other Canary Islands over the years, and on each island we have taken a bus tour of the points of interest and attractions.
My wife, son who is almost 6 months...
Brent T, Jul 2017
Whale and Dolphin Watching Sailing Boat with Drinks, Snacks and Swimming Time
I didnt bother to ask either so the blame also falls on me.
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People Also Ask

What are the Canary Islands famous for?

The Canary Islands are famous for their sandy beaches, warm weather, and extensive tourism infrastructure, particularly on major islands such as Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura. The island of Tenerife is also known for Teide National Park, one of the most visited national parks in the world.

How many days should you spend in the Canary Islands?

You should spend at least five days in the Canary Islands to experience the lifestyle and properly unwind. You may want to spend much longer, though, particularly if you plan to visit more than one island.

Which is the hottest of the Canary Islands?

Tenerife tends to be the hottest of the Canary Islands, making it an ideal option for winter getaways. Lanzarote is a pretty close second, and sometimes is hotter than Tenerife, but its windier location makes it feel a tad cooler.

Which Canary Island is best for exploring?

Tenerife is the best island for travelers who want to do a bit of inland exploration. In addition to its great beaches, Tenerife is home to the massive Teide National Park, which offers fantastic hiking trails.

Which Canary Island is the most fun?

If you’ve come to the Canary Islands for dining and nightlife, you’ll likely find Tenerife to be the most fun; it has a great dining scene and a mix of beaches and hiking opportunities. Windsurfers may prefer Fuerteventura, while history buffs will likely enjoy Gran Canaria the most.

Is it safe to go to the Canary Islands?

Yes. The Canary Islands are very safe and the crime rate is generally low. Driving on the islands is straightforward (just note that you’ll need to drive on the right) and most of the major beaches have professional lifeguards.


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