Last year, a whopping 1/3rd of Brits chose holiday here. The year before, 13 million tourists descended across the year. Where are we talking about? The Canary Islands, of course.
The Islands consist of Tenerife, Lanzarote, La Palma, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and 15 more of varying sized. As a Spanish archipelago, the individual places lucky enough to be a part of it are each popular in their own right. Tenerife, for example, is suggested to have a return visitor rate of around 77%.
With figures like this, it is an undisputable fact that when it comes to holidays, Brits love the Canaries. The more complex questions, then, is why? Read on to find out…
At the Timanfaya National Park, in Lanzarote, you’ll find a place that has been subject to over 100 volcanoes in the past. Don’t worry, though; there haven’t been any more since 1824. As a result, the National Park is now Lanzarote’s single most popular tourist attraction. Entry fee is still humble, though, and includes a coach tour of the landscape. The temperature underground here is so hot it can vary from 400oC to 600oC. While at the park, you can watch meat being cooked with this heat. And then you can eat it!
There is a pretty widespread belief that all of the Canaries are pretty barren. While this is true in some parts, there are islands where there is much vegetation that is green and lush. Take La Palma, for instance. Having been declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO back in 2002, there are strict limitations on pollution. This allows the thick forests and lush landscapes to thrive. It also means clear skies, which makes this island, which is slightly smaller than some of its neighbours, great for stargazing. You can imagine, then, why is it known as ‘the beautiful island.’
This is not to say that the more ‘barren’ areas are any less fascinating! The Timanfaya National Park mentioned above was an official training site for NASA’s Apollo 13 crew. This was because the landscape is naturally so moon-like!
Usually, anywhere within four hours of the chilly UK isn’t super hot! However, while this is the rule, the Canary Islands are the exception.
With temperatures usually a steady 18 to 24 degrees Celsius, in the height of summer they can reach past 30oC. Even in the winter, though, temperatures at around 17oC can be found too.
The reason for these temperatures is largely to do with its proximity to other countries we more often regard as hot places. Take Lanzarote, for example. When there, you’re only 62 miles away from the Moroccan coastline.
The islands in this part of the world have become more and more popular with tourists over the years. This means that tourist-focused business is booming. Hotels, restaurants, and tours are popping up everywhere. As a result, in the more populated areas, competition is fierce. This means great news for those on a budget. Flights may be more expensive than places closer to home like France or Spain. However, once there, affordable hotels and packages are attainable.
All inclusive holidays to Lanzarote are a good bet if you want all of your food and drink sorted. This is because Lanzarote is regarded by many as the most affordable of all of the islands.
Plus, thanks to a ban on high-rise building from the government here, the landscape is largely unspoiled and visible.
The family-friendly vibe
For the most part, the Canary Islands are very safe part of the world. This means that they are accessible for young, old and solo travellers alike. There is also much to keep children and young people occupied. The Canary Islands are home to some fantastic water parks, like Siam Park in Tenerife. And, thanks to the weather, most accommodation has outdoor pools to keep the young and old alike cool and refreshed.
Warm and beautiful aren’t the only words you would use to describe the beaches in the Canaries. Try through in unique and unusual also. In Lanzarote, for example, you’ll find El Golfo. Thanks to algae in the waters, the lagoon found in the natural cover is green! This contrasts magnificently with the beaches black sand, a common occurrence on this island. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find golden sand beaches also, however. Head to places like Gran Canaria, and the town of Maspalomas for these, as well as sand dunes and blue seas.