Canary Islands: Main Sights
More than simply Sun, Sea and Sand
Sightseeing in the Canary Islands is a unique experience, and can be enjoyed by just about everyone as there is such a wide variety of choices Choose your island destination based on the type of sightseeing you wish to do: if you want historic towns, why not explore the inland areas of Lanzarote? Or if family entertainment is your main priority, Fuerteventura has lots of festivals and amusement centres for you to visit. For peace and quiet and untouched landscape, look no further than the lesser-known El Hierro. Canary Islands holidays may be associated with beach activities and partying, but look beyond this and you will discover that the islands have so much more to offer.
Main Sights in Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The island's capital has rich architecture, churches, museums and a colourful and bustling market. After you have seen all of the sights the city has to offer you will love the opportunity to relax on the golden sands of Playa de Las Teresitas.
Teide National Park
If you are taking a holiday in Tenerife you will be able to take a cable car up Mount Teide, which is the highest point in all Spanish territory. It stands at 3,718m (12,198ft). and climbs to within 300m (1,000ft) of the summit. From there you can walk the rest of the distance, provided you obtain a free permit. Teide National Park was declared a World Heritage Site in 2007.
Main Sights in Gran Canaria
Caldera de Taburiente
Situated in Gran Canaria's capital city La Palmas, this is one of the largest and most fertile volcanic craters on earth. It is an excellent place to go hiking in, or alternatively you may wish to just take in the view from the Mirador de La Cumbrecita. Afterwards, you can explore the charming little capital, Santa Cruz.
Some 300 crocodiles, several species of tropical fish, the ‘Parrot Show on the Treasure Island’, and a cacti garden are just some of the attractions you will see in this unusual animal park. A restaurant divides the park into two halves, and the second part of the park is a zoo. All of the animals have been rescued, some from the streets (used as street entertainment), some no longer wanted by their circus owners and some even started out as pets but outgrew their homes or became uncontrollable by their ill-informed owners.
Main Sights in Lanzarote
Timanfaya National Park
This is an awe-inspiring moonscape that was created by an 18th-century volcanic eruption. The eruption covered a third of Lanzarote's landscape in lava. Coach tours are available, and you will be able to feel the heat of the dormant volcano while you are there. You can also book a walking tour of Timanfaya National Park.
A famous artist from Lanzarote, Manrique is also a landscape designer and ecological champion. He has managed to define the essence of the island wiht his many creations, and there are endless visitor attractions available for you to visit during your Canary Islands holiday. Highlights include Jameos del Agua or Jardín de Cactus.
Teguise is the Colonial-style picturesque former capital of Lanzarote. It is home to many aristocratic palaces, historic convents and churches as well as a castle which was built on a volcanic cone. The castle offers magnificent views over the town. If you visit Teguise on a Sunday you will enjoy the colourful and lively market.
Main Sights in Fuerteventura
La Lajita Zoo / Oasis Park
With botanical gardens, many zoo favourites and Europe's biggest camel reserve, Oasis Park is a wonderful attraction for the whole family to enjoy during your holiday in Fuerteventura.
The former capital of Fuerteventura lies in a picturesque valley next to a dried up stream which flowed up until the 16th century. Casa Museo Arquebiologico, flanked by the famous cannon, contains a collection of important and fascinating archeological finds and runs through the main street of Betancuria. Almost all of the town's income comes from tourists. It is an excellent place to visit if you would like to see some local handicraft.
Main Sights in La Palma
Santa Cruz de La Palma
Santa Cruz de once possessed the third most important harbour in the Spanish Empire. The close commercial ties with Flanders and South America, export farming and the close relationship with Cuba and Venezuela led to a colourful mixing of nationalities and the interweaving of the most varied lifestyles and economic systems. A faithful reproduction of this evenful history is reflected, last but not least, in the local handicrafts.
Main Sights in El Hierro
Hierro is not known for its tourism possibilities, which means the land has been kept free from the type of development associated with the other islands. This has encouraged the realization that there is enormous treasure in the purity and tranquility of the island. Thus tourism in El Hierro is focused on visitors wishing to flee from the hustle and bustle and worries of modern-day life in order to "lose themselves at the end of the world." El Hierro has an abrupt coastline, but there also are small coves and natural pools where the transparent waters are perfect for swimming and for underwater exploration. The coastal towns of Timijiraque, La Caleta, and Tamaduste offer ideal conditions for enjoying the sea, particularly Tamaduste which has an interesting natural lava pool opening onto the sea.