The attractions of the Canary Islands are mainly the local nature and favorable climate. The greatest magnet of this archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean are its varied beaches, interesting landscapes and lush vegetation. In the Canary Islands, there are also charming towns with historic architecture that still remember the colonial times. The entire archipelago is diversified by mountainous areas and cliffs falling straight into the ocean.
But perhaps the biggest attraction of the Canary Islands is the local climate. It is the perfect weather conditions that attract tourists from all over Europe and from other parts of the world. This archipelago is often called the Islands of Eternal Spring due to the favorable temperatures that reign here all year round. The Canary Islands are particularly popular not only in summer, but also in winter, when the thermometer bars do not fall below these 20 degrees.
Attractions of the Canary Islands
The greatest tourist traffic takes place on four of them – Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. It is there that crowds of tourists most often look for relaxation and active rest, and of course attractions. These islands tempt with their difference from the Spanish continent, not only because of the unique nature, but also the local gastronomy and, above all, the local culture.
Visiting the Canary Islands
Visiting the Canary Islands takes time, because each of them is slightly different and it is worth spending at least a week of time on each of them. Tenerife is the largest of them and the best developed tourist destination. There is no shortage of amusement parks, mountain trails, and night venues where the fun lasts until dawn. It is an ideal island for families with children, groups of friends, as well as for elderly people who just want to relax.
Gran Canaria, in turn, is called the Spanish continent in miniature. This island offers not only vast beaches, often varied with dunes, but also many mountain trails, exotic vegetation and historic towns. This is the second place that is most often visited in the Canary Islands by families with children, the elderly, but also young people.
Fuerteventura is most often chosen by water sports enthusiasts, because it is their Mecca due to the wind blowing here and numerous beaches. Families with children and all those who like to spend time on the sand or in the ocean will also find their place here. There are also many places to visit on the island, such as the famous windmills and botanical parks.
Lanzarote, on the other hand, will delight fans of exploring unique, elegant architecture and, above all, interesting nature. The island is full of volcanic landscapes and various formations associated with them, and even national parks and reserves to protect them. The island is also a good place for lovers of sunbathing and blissful relaxation.
When it comes to the best time to visit the Canary Islands, it lasts almost all year round. The local ocean and subtropical climate means that the weather is good 365 days a year. Temperatures range from 20 to 24 degrees, no matter what the season. The Canary Islands are therefore the perfect place for a winter break in the sunshine. The warmest of them are definitely Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. However, the most important thing when visiting the Canary Islands is the fact that it will never be too hot or too cold. This also applies to the temperature of the water in the ocean.
Monuments of the Canary Islands
Casa de los Balcones in Tenerife
When it comes to monuments in the Canary Islands, there aren’t many of them. The archipelago is dominated by natural attractions rather than historical buildings. Nevertheless, in Tenerife, and more specifically in La Orotava, we have an example of a historic building, which is the House of Balconies from the 17th century, i.e. Casa de los Balcones.
It is an example of classic Canarian architecture that still remembers the times of the first conquistadors. Casa de los Balcones has three floors, and what makes it stand out is wooden, carved balconies. The House of Balconies was built in 1632 and now houses a museum. On site, you can learn a lot of information about the craft traditions of the local population, including the production of artistic handicrafts and wine production.
See also the attractions of Gran Canaria.
Columbus House in Gran Canaria
Another undoubted monument in the Canary Islands is Casa de Colón in Las Palmas, or the House of Columbus in Gran Canaria. It is a historic building, actually a three-house estate that belonged to the governor. This is where Christopher Columbus stopped on his way to America.
Fragments of the original 16th century architecture have survived to this day. Currently, in Case de Colón there is a museum devoted to the travels of the famous traveler, divided by themes. Here you can learn about the history of discovering America, as well as the history of the island itself and the city of Las Palmas. Columbus House is a colonial-style house located in the historic Vegueta district.
Betancuria on Fuerteventura
An important place in terms of monuments in the Canary Islands is also the whole town on Fuerteventura – Betancuria. It is the first capital not only of the entire island, but also of the Canary archipelago. It is in the center of this town that you can see historic buildings in the form of charming white houses.
In turn, in the middle of the square itself, there is the oldest church on the island – Inglesia de Santa Maria. The present building dates from the 18th century, because the original one, still erected by the Spanish conquistadors, was simply destroyed over the years. St. Maria definitely stands out from the urban buildings of Betancuria with its soaring tower. In addition, it is worth visiting the archaeological and ethnographic museum, where artifacts and exhibits related to the history of this town have been collected.
Fundación César Manrique in Lanzarote
Another monument in the Canary Islands that is now a museum is the Fundación César Manrique in Lanzarote. It is a house that belonged to a painter, architect and sculptor – Cesar Manrique. It was designed in such a way as to take advantage of the natural, volcanic terrain. Some of the rooms are located in volcanic lava caves, and the added walls are white, which only gives a contrast to the entire structure.
At the Fundación César Manrique, you can see a private collection of modern art, and of course also works by Cesar Manrique himself. Even before his death, the artist presided over the entire transformation of his property into a kind of local museum. In addition to works of art, you can also admire the garden here, which was incorporated into the frozen lava.
Tourist attractions of the Canary Islands
Teide National Park in Tenerife
The biggest tourist attraction of the Canary Islands is undoubtedly the Teide National Park in Tenerife. One of the oldest protected areas in Spain. Within its borders there is the highest peak of this country and at the same time an active volcano – Pico del Teide (3718m above sea level). Interestingly, you can get on it (if weather conditions allow) by cable car. The entire Teide National Park covers 19 hectares, where you can admire the entire spectrum of unique flora and fauna.
Within its borders there is also the second largest volcano, Pico Viejo. On site, you can also see various other geological formations, such as craters and volcanic chimneys, or solidified lava. In addition, an astronomical observatory has been created in the Teide National Park, from which you can admire the sky with a collection of stars and other planets through telescopes.
Dunas de Maspalomas in Gran Canaria
A big tourist attraction of the Canary Islands is also the Dunes Reserve – Dunas de Maspalomas in Gran Canaria. It is an amazing place where sand covers an area of over 400 hectares. Such amount of it makes you feel like you are in the African desert. The largest dunes here are up to 20 meters high. Dunas de Maspalomas is the largest area of this type in the entire Canarian archipelago.
Maspalomas dunes are also home to several species of local flora and fauna. Here, for example, you can see a gallotia (a kind of lizard) or a palm – Canary date palm. You can move around Dunas de Maspalomas in a designated area, which is to prevent further destruction of this area.
Dunas de Corralejo National Park in Fuerteventura
Another attractive tourist area in the Canary Islands is the Dunas de Corralejo National Park on Fuerteventura. This is another large area – over 26 square kilometers, covered with sand. There is no shortage of beaches and places for blissful relaxation. The light sand here contrasts with the blue of the water, which translates into the landscapes of extraordinary beauty.
In the Dunas de Corralejo National Park you can not only enjoy the beach and the possibility of swimming in the ocean. There are also water equipment rentals in this area, thanks to which we can try our hand at windsurfing, kitesurfing and diving. It is also worth adding that interesting beach events and sports events are organized in the Corralejo commune, such as, for example, a half-marathon or the International Kite Festival.
See also the attractions of Tenerife.
Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote
In turn, a completely different type of natural tourist attraction in the Canary Islands is the Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote. Instead of the vast expanses of sand, the lunar landscape dominates here. This park was created as a result of volcanic eruptions that took place in 1730-1736, then the lava flowing out of them took a huge area, destroying everything that stood in its way.
Currently, while visiting the Timanfaya National Park, you can see for yourself that the area is still active, and the stone extracted from the ground may have a temperature of over 100 degrees. The great attraction of this place are geothermal shows, organized especially for visitors. In addition, the restaurant “El Diablo” has been built on one of the craters, where dishes are prepared on grills using the heat from the inside of the earth. In addition, an Interpretation Center was created on the spot, which presents information about the local volcanoes and their activities.
What’s worth seeing in the Canary Islands?
What else is worth seeing and visiting in the Canary Islands, apart from the mentioned monuments and attractions?
Loro Park and Siam Park in Tenerife
There is no shortage of places worth seeing in Tenerife, one of them is definitely two amusement parks. Loro Park is a type of zoo where animal training shows are held. You can see short performances of, among others, sea lions, dolphins or huge killer whales. In addition, in the Loro Park there is a penguinarium with various species of this flightless bird, as well as enclosures for tigers, gorillas and meerkats. In addition, there are large aquariums with sea animals, along with an underwater tunnel where sharks circle overhead, as well as an aviary and a cinema screening educational films.
Siam Park, in turn, is a large water town with all attractions. There are water slides, swimming pools with artificial beaches, or crazy water tracks on which we move on special pontoons or inflatable wheels. The entire area of Siam Park is divided into three zones: relaxation, family and adrenaline. All this is surrounded by lush vegetation and specific buildings that give the impression of a Thai village.
Jardin Botanico Canario Viera y Clavijo in Gran Canaria
In the Canary Islands, it is also worth seeing the Botanical Garden – Jardin Botanico Canario Viera y Clavijo in Gran Canaria. On an area of 27 hectares, many endemic species of plants that can only be found in the Canary archipelago, as well as other exotic trees and shrubs, have been planted here.
Here you can admire large specimens of cacti, dracaena and palm trees, and even a fragment of the laurel forest. Importantly, in Jardin Botanico Canario Viera y Clavijo we can also find endangered plant species, originating from Africa or other islands in the ocean. The entire botanical garden has been divided into several parts, thanks to which the individual specimens have been properly arranged. There are even greenhouses in its area, where the plants most endangered with extinction are grown.
Windmills of Villaverde, Fuerteventura
While visiting the Canary Islands, it is also worth seeing the windmills in Fuerteventura, which are located mainly in the vicinity of Villaverde. They were erected in the 17th and 19th centuries for the purpose of grinding the grains of local farmers. The windmills in Fuerteventura have two types of construction, female (molina) – single-story and male (molino macho) – two-story. Interestingly, these structures are most often equipped with four wings, but there are also six-arm windmills on this island.
If you are interested in exploring and learning more about Fuerteventura’s windmills, head to the Los Molinos open-air museum in Tiscamanita, where you can see them not only from the outside, but also from the inside. Thanks to such a visit, you can also find out what the production of gofio, so popular in the Canary Islands, looked like in the past.
See also the attractions of Fuerteventura.
El Golfo in Lanzarote
Another place worth seeing in the Canary Islands is the small village of El Golfo in Lanzarote. The town is located in an area where a volcanic eruption took place in 1730-1736, which made the area resemble an amphitheater with a view of the ocean. It is also worth adding that it is currently located in the Los Volcanes nature reserve.
However, the biggest attraction of El Golfo is the local lake – Charco de Los Clicos, whose waters have a rare green color. This color comes from the phytoplankton living here and the presence of a certain type of algae. The green lake in El Golfo is part of a volcanic crater flooded with seawater, surrounded by a black beach. This reservoir is protected and it is not allowed to drip in it.
Interesting places in the Canary Islands: Masca gorge in Tenerife
One of the most interesting places in the Canary Islands is the Masca gorge in Tenerife. Located in the Teno mountain range, at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level. The main destination of tourist excursions here is a small village of the same name – Masca, where only 100 people live. On site you can admire the buildings made in the classic Canarian style.
Until recently, the greatest attraction of the Masca gorge was trekking, which you could take part in. The route led from the village to the beach, near the Los Gigantes cliffs. Unfortunately, there were too many accidents during bad weather conditions and the trail was temporarily closed by the local authorities.
Roque Nublo in Gran Canaria
An interesting place in the Canary Islands is also Roque Nublo in Gran Canaria. It is the second highest peak (1,813 m above sea level) on the island. Due to the fact that Roque Nublo was a long-revered holy place for aborigines, it was placed under protection in 1987. Today this peak is located in a rural park.
The rock was formed over 4.5 million years ago as a result of a volcanic eruption. To this day, many people in Gran Canaria believe that touching a monolith brings good luck. Roque Nublo can be reached by taking a fairly easy 5 kilometer route. Along the way, apart from Canarian vegetation, tourists are also accompanied by fantastic views.
Playa de Cofete and Villa Winter on Fureteventura
Yet another interesting place in the Canary Islands is Playa de Cofete beach and Villa Winter in Fuerteventura, located right next to it. Cofete Beach is considered to be one of the prettiest on the island. A bit inaccessible, but therefore there are no crowds of tourists. There is no beach infrastructure on Playa de Cofete, this place is mainly visited for the amazing views.
On the other hand, Villa Vinter, located near the beach, is quite a mysterious building. This house was erected in 1946 by the German architect William Winter, allegedly commissioned by the famous Austrian watercolorist himself – Hitler. Interestingly, the villa can be visited, but what fascinates tourists the most are the conspiracy theories, according to which Villa Winter was to be a secret Nazi laboratory or an underground base of German U-bots.
See also attractions on Lanzarote.
Jameos del Agua in Lanzarote
An interesting place in the Canary Islands is also Jameos del Agua on Lanzarote. It is another site designed by the chief Canarian architect Cesar Manrique. This time, he used a volcanic cave and an adjacent tunnel to create a concert hall and restaurant here, on an underground salt lake.
In addition to the grotto, where there is a diner and an auditorium where not only concerts are organized, but even festivals (e.g. the August Jameos Music Festival), you can visit the research and education center (Casa de Los Volcanes) in Jameos del Agua. It contains material on the geology and volcanology of the Canary Islands, including a collection of rock samples.
What are your favorite monuments, tourist attractions and places of interest in the Canary Islands? We are waiting for your opinions on the forum.