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Canary Islands

The Canary Islands (Spanish: Islas Canarias) are an Atlantic territory of Spain off the coast of Morocco and Western Sahara.

Islands

The Canary archipelago consists of 8 inhabited islands, and a few smaller uninhabited ones.

  • 1 Tenerife — The largest island with an area of 2 034 km² and also the most popular tourist destination of the archipelago, with 5.77 million tourists in 2016. It has many museums and monuments that serve as portrayals of its rich history, but suffers under low cost mass tourism from the European mainland. Its oldest mountain ranges are young compared to its neighboring islands, and volcanic activity did not begin to occur here until 8-12 million years ago, while other islands had it well over 20 million years ago. The highest mountain of Spain and 3rd largest volcano in the world (3718 m), El Teide, dominates the landscape of the island. The Capital city is Santa Cruz de Tenerife, home to the Canary Island Parliament. The title of capital city is shared with San Cristóbal de La Laguna, home to the oldest university on the Canary Islands. With a population of 900k people, it is the most populous island.
  • 2 Fuerteventura — Second largest island, with an area of 1 660 km², but compared to Tenerife relatively thinly populated with only 100k inhabitants. There are fewer attractions, but in turn the island has not yet fallen prey to mass tourism. Its capital, Puerto del Rosario, is fairly laid back and has a few architectural gems to offer. Fuerteventura is a paradise for windsurfing.
  • 3 Gran Canaria — The third largest island and second most popular (after Tenerife) receiving 4.22 million tourists in 2016. It has the highest population density of the Canary Islands, with 540 inhabitants per km², and with tourists added to that number it gets a bit crowded at times. Its capital city Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has the shared title of capital of the Canaries. Green and steep in the north, dry and flat in the south.
  • 4 Lanzarote — About half the size of Gran Canaria and also of volcanic origin, but low lying and arid, with a spectacular volcanic landscape in the west of the island preserved as Timanfaya National Park. The island, along with others, emerged after the breakup of the African and the American continental plates. The greatest recorded eruptions occurred between 1730 and 1736. The capital is Arrecife and has its own airport, and draws most of the 2.9 million tourists visiting Lanzarote annually.
  • 5 La Palma — The total population is about 86k, of which 18k live in the capital, Santa Cruz de la Palma and about 20k in Los Llanos de Aridane. La Palma's geographic layout is a result of the volcanic formation of the island. The southern part of La Palma is dominated by the Cumbre Vieja, a volcanic ridge formed by numerous volcanic cones built of lava and scoria. The Cumbre Vieja is active but dormant, with the last eruption occurring in 1971 at the Teneguia vent, located at the southern end of the Cumbre Vieja.
  • 6 La Gomera — The Magic Isle, with San Sebastián as capital, is a paradise for hikers. It is shaped like an orange that has been cut in half and split into segments. The terrain is rough, which has left deep ravines or barrancos between them. These barrancos, in turn, are covered by the laurisilva (laurel rain forest). It is home to the only remaining Laurisilva rain forest in northern Africa. The local wine has a distinct taste, and is often accompanied with a tapa (snack) of local cheese, roasted pork or goat meat. Other cultural dishes include almogrote, a cheese spread, and a syrup extracted from palm trees called miel de palma. The local people have a unique way of communicating across deep ravines by using a whistled speech called Silbo Gomero. This whistled language is indigenous to the island, and its existence has been documented since Roman times.
  • 7 El Hierro — "The edge of the world". It is also known as the Meridian Island, and Valverde is its capital.
  • 8 La Graciosa — The smallest inhabited island of the Canaries in terms of area and population, being only 29 km² in size and having a population of approx. 650. Its capital is Caleta de Sebo, and located a few km to the north of Lanzarote.

All islands use the same time zone - Western European Time (WET). This means the time is synchronized e.g. with Portugal and United Kingdom.

Cities

  • 1 Las Palmas — the largest city, situated on Gran Canaria and one of the capitals of the Canary Islands
  • 2 Santa Cruz de Tenerife — another capital of the Canary Islands, situated on Tenerife

Other destinations

Understand

Demographics

The islands have a population of 2 million. Since the Canary Islands are a major European tourist destination, all the major islands have well-developed communication systems, airports, and ports.

Ethnically the population is mostly a mix of Spanish, European (German and British), South American, and especially Cuban and Venezuelan as well as Northern and Sub-Sahara African. There are also historical minorities such as Indians, Koreans and lately Russians.

Pico del Teide (on Tenerife) at 3718 metres above sea level is the highest point in both the Canary Islands and Spanish territory.

Each island speaks with a slightly different accent and there is a strong rivalry between the main islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Most of the accents in the Canary Islands are closer to Latin American Spanish than to Castililan Spanish spoken in continental Spain.

The Canary Islands are very modern, very European, and extremely liberal.

History

Ancient legend claims the Canary Islands are the ‘lost islands’ of Atlantis. They have also been referred to as the lands without sorrow, holding on to the edge of the world. The first settlers were known as Guanches, thought to have arrived in the 10th century B.C. The main economic system was built around agriculture and animal farming. During the 14th century, the Islands were continuously invaded by different European countries. Sugar cane became the dominant crop, and since the early 20th century, bananas have been widely farmed.

During the Age of Sail, the islands were an important waypoint on the Cape Route.

Get in

The Canary Islands are an integrated part of Spain, and part of the Schengen area.

By plane

The Canaries is a popular destination with Europeans, and swarms of charter and discount flights descend on the island year round. The North & South airports on Tenerife and the Gran Canaria Airport are the busiest, but it's also possible to fly to many of the other islands, although it's often more expensive.

  • 1 Tenerife–South Airport (TFS IATA).
  • 2 Tenerife-North Airport (TFN IATA).
  • 3 Gran Canaria Airport (LPA IATA).
  • 4 Lanzarote Airport (ACE IATA).

By ferry

The Spanish company Naviera Armas has weekly connections between Huelva in Spain and Arrecife (Lanzarote), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) and Tenerife.

Get around

By car

To rent a car is the best option for discovering the remote wilderness regions.

By train

A tram on Tenerife linking Santa Cruz bus station and La Laguna opened in 2007 costing €2.35 return in about 40 minutes.

There are also tentative plans for a train linking Santa Cruz and Los Cristianos.

By bus

Buses are the most common method of public transportation around the islands. Mile per mile they are expensive while compared to mainland Spain but you are not going to travel really far away. We are, after all, islands. Most buses in touristic routes are adequate. Do not expect the drivers to know more than a couple of sentences in English or German, though they would try to be helpful.

By taxi

Taxis can be expensive, and inside a city they are not worth the money unless you are in a real hurry or cannot balance yourself after a shopping day.

By ship

If you want to travel between the islands a good option might be to take a ship if you are in any particular hurry, specially between close by islands. Most ferries are now quite modern and cheap. The most important companies are Fred Olsen, Transmediterránea and Armas.

By plane

If you are afraid of the sea, or get sick just by staring at a ship, then a plane is what you need, and that usually means a turboprop ATR-72 or ATR-42 by one of the airlines like Binter or Canaryfly. They are perfectly safe and adequately fast as you are likely to spend more time at the airport than in the plane itself.

See

  • Beaches; lots and lots and lots of them.
  • Volcanoes and volcanic landscapes, in particular Teide which is also the highest mountain in Spain.
  • Cueva de los Verdes, a volcanic cave on Lanzarote
  • Historical architecture in the old town of Las Palmas
  • The subtropical rainforest of La Garajonay National Park
  • The world heritage listed town of La Laguna
  • El Hierro, the small island once thought to be at the end of the world

Do

Lanzarote: There is a bustling nightlife in four main resorts... Arrecife, Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca.

Gran Canaria: The main resorts on the Island are Las Palmas, Maspalomas,Puerto Rico and Playa del Ingles.

Fuerteventura: The main resorts of Fuerteventura are Corralejo, Caleta de Fuste and Morro Jable.

Tenerife:

  • The Tenerife Auditorium is an incredible building designed by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It is highly recommended to tourists to visit this incredible structure and even to enjoy any of the concerts and events held in it.
  • The amazing Loro Parque (Parrot Park) will surely fascinate you no matter your age. A visit to the park can take you nearly a whole day, so reserve some time for it. The park which was originally devoted to parrots shows has now grown into Tenerife's second biggest attraction after mount Teide.
The Loro parque is home to the world’s most important Parrot collection with over 300 species, an amazing seal show, Dolphin Show, Parrot Show, Aquarium with Shark tunnel, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Tigers, Jaguars, Flamingos, Alligators, Tortoises, Orchid House, Gambian Market, a 'NaturaVision' Cinema and the worlds largest Penguinarium with a reproduction Antarctic climate within which 12 tons of snow falls a day.
  • Puerto de la Cruz is one of the top resorts in the Canary Islands. It is also the longest established most complete of all resorts on Tenerife. The old part of the town keeps beautiful spots, one of the few places where the locals still work, eat and drink. Much of the area around the old fishing port is full of narrow cobbled streets packed with colonial architecture. Further resorts are for example Santa Cruz, and Playa de las Americas.
British tourism arrived here over a century ago and today 'el Puerto' has a wide span of magnificent hotels to suit all tastes and budgets. In addition to its old world charms it offers some of the best visitor attractions in the islands.
  • The volcanic nature of the island of Tenerife meant that the land has few natural beaches. Those that exist are characterised by black sand created from the island's volcanic rocks. The demand for tourist sun-bathing space, however, has led to the creation of resorts and man-made beaches, with golden sand having been imported in some cases.
Some of the best beaches of Tenerife are Los Gigantes and San Juan in the west and Fañabe, in the South with its golden sand, showers and excellent facilities. Also popular are Torviscas with its marina, Playa las Americas for its grey sandy stretches and los Cristianos' beach. Candelaria in the east has a small black shingle beach. Up north Puerto de la Cruz has a beach with fine black sand, and at Santa Cruz golden sand has been imported for its Terasitas beach.
  • A large number of companies offer boat trips for tourists, varying from a 'booze cruise' on a cruiser offering lunch, drinks and watersports to a trip around the island on a sailing boat or catamaran. One of the main attractions is the chance to see whales and dolphins in the wild. Visitors on most trips spot whales; dolphins are not so much of a certainty but can be seen generally - often very close to the boat. Trips go from either Puerto Colon in Playa de las Americas, or from the port at Los Cristianos and most operators offer a free bus service from the larger hotels in the main resorts.
  • The Canary Islands are one of the best spots in the world for big game fishing and a number of companies offer fishing trips in Tenerife. While blue marlin are the most highly prized trophy fish there are plenty of other species including white marlin, wahoo, dorado, yellowfin tuna, and mako and hammerhead sharks. Regular catches of blue marlin range from 331 to 496 pounds (150 to 225kg) with last year's record standing at 794 pounds (360kg). Trips cost around €45 including all equipment, but excluding lunch.

Buy

Money

The euro (€) is the currency of the Canaries. The islands are outside the EU VAT area and have a separate sales tax from the VAT levied in mainland Spain.

Eat

Canarian cuisine is a mix between Spanish, Latin and African cultures. Most of Canarian cuisine is a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish, generally light meals, more easy to digest in a warm climate. Meat is usually consumed as a part of stews or as steaks.

  • The local fish is quite good. You will find a wide variety of international recipes of fish and seafood, too. Two popular fish dishes from Tenerife are Caldereta, a meal with tomatoes, goat meat and potatoes and the Sancocho Canario, a salted fish, usually white, in a “mojo” sauce.
  • The Tapas concept is one of the most delicious Spanish contributions to international gastronomy. A Tapa is a light and small piece of food that Spaniards have either before lunch or dinner, usually with a glass of wine or beer. The Tapa can be presented in several ways. It can be made as a pincho (with a stick), as a mini-dish of a traditional recipe, as a canapé, etc...
  • The Canary Islands are Europe's only exporter of plantain bananas. They are famously delicious here. These bananas are usually fried and are also commonly found in the West Indies.
  • Papas Arrugadas or papa sancochada - Potatoes boiled in very salty water until they are "wrinkly" -- hence the name -- and served with mojo picón, a spicy cold red sauce made with chili and garlic. These are often served as a tapa.
  • Gofio - Grain flour used especially at breakfast or to accompany potaje, a local stew.
  • Conejo en salmorejo
  • Miel de Palma - Palm honey.
  • Arepas - tortas made from fine corn flour filled with minced meat, cheese, or sweet mango.
  • Mousse de gofio or gofío amasado - a desert made from gofio, miel de palma, and plantains.

Drink

  • Wines. There are several brands of wines in the islands. North of Tenerife, La Geria in Lanzarote or La Palma have very appreciated vineyards.
  • Rum. There are also well known rum factories, specially in Gran Canaria (Artemi and Arehucas). The 'ron miel' is a sweet liquor made from rum and honey.
  • Barraquito, also called barraco, is a coffee speciality from the Canary Islands and particularly popular on Tenerife but also on La Palma.
  • Beer. There are three locals beer factories (Dorada, Tropical and Reina).

Stay safe

112 is the common emergency number.

Go next

There are no regular ferries to the surroundings (Madeira, Morocco, Azores), but flights are available.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Canary Islands

DK Travel

Explore the Canary Islands, a volcanic archipelago, and see this unique location for yourself. Visit the historic Las Palmas on Gran Canaria and climb mountains while discovering the region's art, history, and culture.

Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canary Islands.

   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights.    • Detailed city maps include street finder indexes for easy navigation.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations.

With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canary Islands truly shows you the region as no one else can.

Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide.

The Canary Islands: A Cultural History

Juan Cruz Ruiz

The beautifully written history of a culturally vibrant destination.

Traditional guidebooks give straightforward advice on what to do and where to go, but in this remarkable cultural history, celebrated journalist and Canary Islands native Juan Cruz Ruiz offers something much more―a fusion of literature and travel that will captivate both globetrotters and interested readers looking for a more intimate exploration of this rich archipelago, which is part of Spain, yet completely distinct from the mainland.

Over twelve million visitors travel to the Canary Islands every year to see its famous black and white sand beaches and attend Carnival. Reading The Canary Islands is like traveling with a personal tour guide, one who will tell you in exquisite language about the original inhabitants of the Canaries, the history of the islands, and what life was like for residents of the Canaries before tourism. Weaving together lectures, memories, and experiences, Ruiz explores the geography, the food, and the local art of the Canaries, and tells the stories of the Canarian people. Including writings, anecdotes, and comments of personalities connected to island―Ignacio Aldecoa, Unamuno, Humboldt, García Márquez, Chillida, César Manrique― Juan Cruz Ruiz introduces readers to the very essence of the Canary Islands and its people.

The Canary Islands is both inspiring and useful―an in-depth look at the islands and the islanders, as well as a unique guide to unusual Canary Islands destinations, the native cuisine, and the history, mythology, and ecology of this cherished destination.

1 Map

The Canary Islands: A Cultural History (Landscapes of the Imagination)

Peter Stone

The seven volcanic Canary Islands that bask in the Atlantic off shore from the north-west African coast have long had legendary connotations. To the Greeks they were the Gardens of the Hesperides, blessed with a perennial spring-like climate, while the Carthaginians christened them the 'Purple Isles' on account of the rich dye material they obtained there. Inhabitants have ranged from the early Berber-descended Guanches, of whom cultural traces still remain, to the rich blend of European and Latin peoples that evolved after the Spanish conquest in the fifteenth-century. Famous visitors have included Columbus, Humboldt and General Franco, who famously flew from Gran Canaria in a (British-piloted) Dragon Rapide in 1936 to launch Spain's Civil War. In today's cosmopolitan capitals of Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife Spanish colonial-era buildings merge with modern centres equipped with sophisticated amenities. For holidaymakers tiny ecologically-oriented havens like Gomera vie with big brash tourist resorts like Playa del Ingles and Playa de las Americas, today's major money-makers after the brief trade boom of yesteryear. Peter Stone explores the fascinating history and culture of this archipelago, where nature and geology provide a spectacular setting for today's tourism industry. FANTASY LANDSCAPE Bone dry 'badlands', orange-grey dunes, giant craters, frozen lava flows, black-sanded coves, rich green bananas plantations and sylvan woodlands shrouded in perennial mists all form part of this multi-faceted paradise. NATIONAL PARKS AND WILD LIFE Four of Spain's fifteen great national parks are located on the islands; Tenerife's 3,700-metre Teide, the country's highest mountain, is the most visited. Island fauna vary from the desert-like lizards of Lanzarote to the rich bird life of La Palma. UNIQUE LOCAL CULTURE Local fiestas abound and traditional dance and music exhibitions are held in cultural centres like Gran Canaria's Pueblo Canario. Mould-breaking Lanzarote architect Cesar Manrique has left a supreme legacy of innovative buildings and monuments.

Lonely Planet Canary Islands (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Canary Islands is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Ride the cable car to the summit of Tenerife's El Teide, celebrate Carnaval with dawn-to-dusk frivolity, or catch the waves at Playa de Sotovento; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of the Canary Islands and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet's Canary Islands Travel Guide:

Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - including customs, history, art, , music, architecture, politics, landscapes, wildlife, cuisine, and wine Over 29 maps Covers La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Tenerife, Lanzarote, La Geria, Tahiche, Santa Maria de Guia, La Oliva, El Teide, La Laguna, and more

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet.

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.

Birds of the Canary Islands (Helm Field Guides)

Eduardo Garcia-del-Rey

The only illustrated field guide to birds of the Canary Islands, an area with an impressive range of species.

The Canary Islands are a popular destination for birders and travelers with an interest in wildlife and nature, and the one of the best places in the world to see several scarce species, such as the Houbara Bustard, and endemic birds that occur nowhere else, such as the emblematic Blue Chaffinch.

This beautifully illustrated guide covers all the birds found in the islands, providing concise descriptions and images for easy identification of all species. It's the perfect guide for any visitor to these sun-kissed islands.

Canary Islands (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

DK Publishing

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canary Islands shows the Canary Islands at their sun-soaked best. From sandy beaches to craggy peaks, this uniquely visual guide provides cutaways and floor plans of all of the major sights. Special coverage of the islands' unique geography and the wildlife of the archipelago includes its volcanic rock formations and geysers, diverse flora, and marine life.

No trip to the Canary Islands would be complete without joining revelers at one of its glorious carnivals; and with sights, beaches, markets and festivals listed town by town, you won't miss a thing. With a reliable selection of hotels, bars, and restaurants, and full-color, detailed maps of all the towns and regions, this is the perfect guide to help you experience the best of the islands.

Additionally, this expanded DK Eyewitness Travel Guide brings to life the islands' culture and history, explaining the legends of the islands, revealing tales of Spanish, Portuguese, and Catalan conquests, and the story that the islands were once believed to be the lost land of Atlantis.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canary Islands — showing you what others only tell you.

Top 10 Gran Canaria (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide)

DK Travel

True to its name, this Gran Canaria travel guide covers all the island's major sights and attractions in easy-to-use top 10 lists that help you plan the vacation that's right for you.

This newly updated pocket travel guide for Gran Canaria will lead you straight to the best attractions this location has to offer, from hiking to national parks to museums.

Expert travel writers have fully revised this edition of DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Gran Canaria.

   • Brand-new itineraries help you plan your trip to Gran Canaria.    • Expanded and far more comprehensive, new laminated pull-out map now includes color-coded design, public transportation maps, and street indexes to make it even easier to use.    • Maps of walking routes show you the best ways to maximize your time.    • New Top 10 lists feature off-the-beaten-track ideas, along with standbys like the top attractions, shopping, dining options, and more.    • Additional maps marked with sights from the guidebook are shown on inside cover flaps, with selected street index and metro map.    • New typography and fresh layout throughout.

You'll still find DK's famous full-color photography and museum floor plans, along with just the right amount of coverage of history and culture. A free pull-out map is marked with sights from the guidebook and includes a street index and a metro map.

The perfect pocket-size travel companion: DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Gran Canaria.

Series Overview: DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Top 10 are handy travel guides that take the work out of planning a trip. Packed with amazing ideas, informative maps, insider tips, and useful advice, DK's Top 10 guides lead you to the very best your destination has to offer. The pocket size make these the perfect guide to take on vacation. Discover the history, art, architecture, and culture of your destination through Top 10 lists, from the best museums, bars, and sights to the places to avoid. Visit TravelDK.com to learn more.

Insight Guides Pocket Canary Islands (Insight Pocket Guides)

Insight Guides

Insight Pocket Guides: ideal itineraries and top travel tips in a pocket-sized package. Now with free eBook, and a pull-out map.Plan your trip, plan perfect days and discover how to get around - this pocket-sized guide is a convenient, quick-reference companion to discovering what to do and see in the Canary Islands, from top attractions like El Teide on Tenerife and the Costa Calma beache on Fuerteventura, to hidden gems, includ.ing the small islands of El Hierro and La Gomera.Compact, concise, and packed with essential information about Where to Go and What to Do, this is an ideal on-the-move companion when you're exploring any of the Canary IslandsCovers Top Ten Attractions, including the Jardin de Cactus on Lanzarote and Maspalomas sand dunes on Grand Canaria, and a Perfect Day in Tenerife itinerary suggestionsOffers an insightful overview of landscape, history and cultureContains an invaluable pull-out map, and essential practical information on everything from Eating Out to Getting AroundIncludes an innovative extra that's unique in the market - all Insight Pocket Guides come with a free eBookInspirational colour photography throughoutSharp design and colour-coded sections make for an engaging reading experienceAbout Insight Guides: Insight Guides is a pioneer of full-colour guide books, with almost 50 years' experience of publishing high-quality, visual travel guides with user-friendly, modern design. We produce around 400 full-colour print guide books and maps, as well as phrase books, picture-packed eBooks and apps to meet different travellers' needs. Insight Guides' unique combination of beautiful travel photography and focus on history and culture create a unique visual reference and planning tool to inspire your next adventure.

Lonely Planet Canary Islands (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Canary Islands is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Ride the cable car to the summit of Tenerife's El Teide, celebrate Carnaval with dawn-to-dusk frivolity, or catch the waves at Playa de Sotovento; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of the Canary Islands and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet Canary Islands Travel Guide:

Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries show you the simplest way to tailor your trip to your own personal needs and interests Insider tips save you time and money and help you get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - including hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, and prices Honest reviews for all budgets - including eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, and hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer and more rewarding travel experience - including customs, history, art, , music, architecture, politics, landscapes, wildlife, cuisine, and wine Over 20 local maps Useful features - including Month-by-Month (annual festival calendar), Outdoor Activities, and Travel With Children Coverage of La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Tenerife, Lanzarote, La Geria, Tahiche, Santa Maria de Guia, La Oliva, El Teide, La Laguna, and more

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Josephine Quintero, and Stuart Butler.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in.

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category

'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

Walking on Tenerife (Cicerone Guide)

Paddy Dillon

This guidebook to 45 day walks and treks on Tenerife in the Canary islands explores the coast and mountains of Tenerife with walks ranging between 4 and 32km, with short, easy strolls suitable for walkers of all abilities, to long and challenging routes.Detailed route descriptions are illustrated with the author's own clear contour mapping and colour photographs. This guide is one of a five-part series of guides to the walking on the Canary Islands.Tenerife, as a popular winter sun destination, provides a fascinating and varied landscape for walkers to explore, including the Tenerife section of the long-distance GR131 which links all the Canaries.The guide is split into seven sections - Anaga, Teno, Arona/Guía, Valle de la Orotava, Parque Nacional and El Teide - covering all the best walking to be had on the island, including the rugged 'Three Peaks of Tenerife' route, climbing Guajara, Pico Viejo and finally El Teide. Walks also explore the Parque Nacional del Teide, Las Cañadas, Corona Forestal, Teno and an ascent of El Teide itself, Spain's highest mountain. Alongside the 45 routes in this guide, are essential practical details on travel to and around Tenerife, as well as advice on accommodation and preparation, as well as information on the history, geology and culture of the largest of the Canary Islands.

Exercise normal security precautions

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

You should confirm your booking arrangements before entering or leaving the Canary Islands.

Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Southern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Southern Europe, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, leishmaniasis, Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.


Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Southern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Canada and Spain are signatories to the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Spain to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Spanish authorities.

Driving laws

An International Driving Permit is strongly recommended. However, you may use a Canadian driver's Natural disasters & climate

Money

The currency of the Canary Islands is the euro (EUR).

Climate

Hierro Island has been experiencing a higher than normal level of seismic activity since July 2011. Temporary small-scale evacuations may take place with little notice. On October 12, 2011, villagers of La Restinga living near the coast were evacuated to higher ground. Exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities.

On August 1, 2009, thousands of residents were evacuated from the Island of La Palma due to wildfires. The most affected zones were the area southeast of the San Antonio volcano and the town of Fuencaliente, located southwest of Santa Cruz de La Palma Airport.

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