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3rd December, 2020

Explore the Canaries

Back to Spain

Found off the west coast of Africa, the Canary Islands glitter with the beautiful contrasts of sun, sea, sand, and forest. The archipelago boasts a bit of everything, from deep-sea diving to a winter ski resort on Tenerife’s Mount Teide – a dormant volcano!

The Canary Islands may have a reputation for their beaches, but go two steps back from the beach and you’ll see that the islands are a trove of beauty, history, and unique experiences. That said, the beaches are still lovely to relax on.

The archipelago’s stark contrasts can have you go from a film-like sand-dune to the world’s third tallest mountain in a day. There’s a lot to see, and the year-round temperate climate makes exploration a joy no matter what time of year you decide to visit. Just remember to pack a water bottle and some good walking shoes!

Five things to do in the Canary Islands

Visit one of the oldest trees in the world

Volcanos in Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote

The town of Icod de los Vinos on Tenerife is home to a Dracaena Draco tree that’s thought to be over a thousand years old. And even if it isn’t that old, it’s certainly the oldest, largest known specimen of the Dracaena tree. Set amidst a stunning landscape, the Drago Milenario is one of the symbols of Tenerife.

Aside from the impressive tree, the town of Icod also hosts a yearly festival, the Tablas de Icod de los Vinos, where brave youngsters speed down its steep hills on wooden boards. It’s also a chance to drink the wine the town is known for!

Visit one of the tallest volcanoes in the world

Sunset over Mount Teide in Tenerife, Spain

Mount Teide on Tenerife is a dormant volcano with a breathtaking breadth of scenery. Measured from the ocean floor, it also happens to be the fourth largest volcano in the world.

Its huge expanse of land makes up the Teide National Park - home to a variety of flora and fauna, including dazzling lizards and plants as alien as their surroundings.

The landscape of Teide has provided an excellent foundation for testing scientific equipment intended for Mars, and its otherworldly landscapes may seem like they’re plucked straight from movie sets; in fact, many films (such as One Million Years B.C.) have used it as a shooting location.

Listen to the whistling language of La Gomera

Beautiful evergreen forest in Garajonay National Park

Silbo Gomero is a language spoken by whistling on the island of La Gomera. The island’s vast canyons offer whistlers the opportunity to communicate up to 7km. And, if you get lucky, you might just hear some echoing whistles as you explore the Garajonay National Park.

The language is currently, technically, an imitation of Spanish, but it has its roots in the need for the island’s original people, the Guanches, to communicate effectively over vast terrain. Widely regarded as the unsung Canary Island, there’s plenty to see and do on La Gomera, with a more authentic vibe than some of the other islands - in part due to the absence of international flights. Look out for the historical monuments in San Sebastian, marvel at local ceramics in El Cercado, or simply enjoy the view from one of the island’s many viewpoints.

Explore the magic of Timanfaya

Volcanos in Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote

Timanfaya National Park is found in the southwestern portion of Lanzarote. Made up entirely of volcanic soil, a visit to the national park is widely regarded as a must-see when it comes to planning a trip to Lanzarote.

Head to the Montañas del Fuego Centre to experience the geothermal anomalies of the land first hand, with demonstrations showcasing the immense heat still found within the ground. You’ll even find a restaurant where the geothermal heat is used for cooking, a process that was designed to also help ventilate the restaurant’s foundations. One thing’s for certain, you won’t want to forget your camera!

Go hiking in Gran Canaria

Mountains on Gran Canaria

As with all of the Canary Islands, once you head off the beaten track and away from some of the busier tourist resorts you’ll find yourself spoilt with some of the most breathtaking landscapes on the planet. The perfect way to experience them is on foot, so pack up your walking boots and head to Gran Canaria - the third largest of the islands.

While perhaps a little less famous than its rival Tenerife, Gran Canaria has plenty to offer walkers - including a network of beautiful trails that criss cross the diverse island. Many say the island boasts a whole continent’s worth of diversity, so...

Explore the Canary Islands with Saga

Whatever takes your fancy, the Canary Islands have a huge amount to offer - and we’ve got the perfect break to make your travel dreams possible. From cruises to dancing-themed stays, there’s never been a better time to plan a trip to the Canary Islands with Saga.

Come explore with us.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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