Canary Islands Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia


The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago
in the Atlantic Ocean, just off Morocco in North Africa. Formed by volcanic eruptions and shaped by
hot desert winds, they are comprised of 7 main islands. When powerful seismic forces lifted these
islands out of the ocean millions of years ago, they sculpted landscapes of unimaginable beauty. So spectacular are the Canary Islands that
for centuries, it was believed that this archipelago formed the peaks of the legendary lost city of Atlantis. Today, the Canary Islands are a magnet for
sun seekers, beachcombers and adventurers from all over
the world. With, 160 miles of coastline, 150 beaches and a climate that feels like it is always
spring, the island of Fuerteventura is a perfect place
to start your exploration. Head to Corralejo, once a small fishing village, now one of the island’s largest resort towns. Just a short walk away is Corralejo Dunes
National Park, with dunes that seem to stretch out forever. On the southern end of the island, Sotavento de Jandia Beach is famous for its turquoise waters and golden sands while Ajuy Beach has long drawn visitors west
to its black sands. These islands have long been renowned for
their hospitality, so relax on a sun lounge or enjoy a seafood
specialty at a local restaurante. Beautiful beaches and picturesque villages are just some of the offerings in this land
of wonders. Brave twisting roads to admire the panoramic view over the island from Mirador
Morro Velosa, once thought to be the home of the Gods. A short ferry ride to the west of Fuerteventura
is Gran Canaria a place of ever changing climates and vistas. This island abounds with otherworldly landscapes that have been inspiring visitors for centuries. Take a hike to Pilancones Natural Park. The spectacular plateaus and cool ravines
in this area are around 12 million years old. Visit the town of Agaete where volcanic cliffs plunge into the Atlantic
Ocean. Take a drive to see the Roque Nublo, and the surrounding valleys, once described by a visiting Spanish philosopher
as “a petrified storm”. No matter where you go on the island, great beaches are never far away. Soak up the sun at Amadores Beach or hit the surf at Caleta de Arriba but be
aware, at some beaches, clothing is optional. A port town since the Age of Discovery, Gran Canaria’s relaxed beachside capital
city, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has long been a
cultural melting pot. Stroll the boulevard at Las Canters Beach
or visit the Cathedral of Santa Ana a labour of devotion that took 350 years to
complete. Tenerife, is the largest and busiest of the
Canary Islands, receiving around 5 million visitors a year. Tenerife’s beaches come in many shades, from the golden sands of Las Americas Beach and Los Cristianos to the black sands of Jardín
Beach. For water adventures of a different kind, head to the Siam Water Park. Hit the water slides or just relax in the
lush environment of this enormous Thai-themed park. Or, make a splash at Loro Parque which has attracted more than 40 million visitors
since opening in 1972. The island’s capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife is home to the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán
Martin. The auditorium’s sail-like silhouette, harks back to days when the islands were an
important stopover for early adventurers such as Magellan and
Christopher Columbus. Experience the archipelago’s mythic past
at Icod de los Vines. Stand before the “Drago Milenario” a Dragon
Tree, reputed to be more than 1000 years old. At Teide National Park, watch the sun set
over El Teide, Spain’s highest mountain. It is easy to
believe, as the island’s indigenous people did, that this magnificent mountain actually touches
the sky. Lanzarote is the Canaries’ easternmost island and is sometimes called the “Island of 100
Volcanoes.” Be humbled by Mother Nature’s destructive
power on a tour of Timanfaya National Park. This region suffered a series of devastating
eruptions in the 1700s and has remained largely unchanged ever since. Standing guard at the park’s entryway is
El Diablo, the Devil, an image designed by Lanzarote’s most famous
son, César Manrique. Manrique’s artistic vision was to seamlessly
integrate art, local traditions and the natural elements and almost everywhere you go on this island
you’ll see his influence. Descend a spiral stone staircase into Jameos
del Agua, a natural cave transformed by Manrique into a magical amphitheatre and performance
space. Just a short journey away you can hire a guide and venture even deeper into the earth at
the Cueva de los Verdes, the green caves. Just like the other Canaries, Lanzarote is blessed with many different beaches. Relax under the sun at Playa Blanca at the
south of the island or stroll to Papagayo Beach. The tidal rock pools at Punta Mujeres are
the perfect place to cool off or rent some snorkelling gear and discover the island’s underwater wonders. Lanzarote’s busiest town is Puerto del Carmen and is a great place to enjoy the Canary Islands’ incredible sunsets. No matter which of these magnificent islands
you choose, as the sun’s molten rays merge the ocean
with the earth, you’ll realise this is a place where Mother
Nature and history collide. The mythical city of Atlantis may be a story, lost in the mists of time, but the Canary Islands are only a plane ride
away. Whether you are searching for dramatic adventures
or a sun-soaked vacation, this archipelago is alive with a powerful
magic all its own.

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