Canary Islands: Suggested Itinerary
More than simply Sun, Sea and Sand
Days 1-2: Going to the Canary Islands is a unique experience in itself but to truly get the best out of your trip, it’s advisable to either hire a boat or take trips to the various islands. The place to begin is Santa Cruz - the main yacht base in the Canary Islands. It is ideally situated in the middle of the islands, providing ready access to all the surrounding islands.
Santa Cruz is characterised by its nightlife consisting of ‘discotheques’ and pubs in the Marina park named after César Manrique, as well as pubs in La Noria street and surroundings. Around this important port are wide avenues, squares and exotic landscaped areas, not forgetting some beautiful examples of modernist architecture. Its privileged setting allows you to enjoy beautiful beaches such as las Teresitas, get to know the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, declared a World Heritage site, or visit the Teide National Park, the symbol of the island.
Days 3-4: For the next couple of days, move into La Gomera - one of the smaller seven Canary Islands along with El Hierro and La Palma. This island is an ideal escape for any tourist or even Canary Island resident wishing to retire for a few days in the tranquil surroundings of a beautiful natural island with its own national park. The Island is visible on a clear day from Tenerife and on occasions you can actually see the port of San Sebastian. The most popular attraction on the Island has to be the national park, De Garajonay. It was first recognised as a national park and declared part of the World Heritage of Humanity in 1986. The island provides a stark contrast to the harsh Tenerife south environment, with its dense permanently green forest and its continuous mist on the centre of the Island; this is a genuine subtropical island not to be missed.
Days 5-6: For the next two days, make haste to El Hierro - the smallest of the Canary Islands, with very little signs of tourism or development. It is on the edge of the Atlantic with Punta de Orchilla being first discovered many years ago and believed to be the end of the known world until the America was discovered. The island has spectacular cliffs over 1,000 feet with unbelievable lava formations an all encapsulating lush forests. El Gofo is an unusual sight where the water has reacted with volcanic rock and minerals to form a "green pool ". Another spectacular sight is the Salmor Lizard dating back to the tertiary age which a protected species of the Canary Islands. Scuba divers will find this most attractive with an abundance of marine life from big rays and hammerheads to trumpet fish. The people of El Hierro fight to retain their tradition with regular fiestas, folklore and their crafts. The Bajada de La Virgen de Los Reyes celebrates the religious procession of the patron saint every four years with processions around all the hidden paths of the island.
Days 7-8: The next place to visit is La Palma - one of the smaller Canary Islands. There's no mass-tourism here. Enjoy the peace and quiet of this friendly, green island. Santa Cruz de La Palma is the main town. At the centre of the town is the Plaza de Espana, the church of El Salvador and the old city hall, all dating from the 16th century. Other churches worth a visit include that of San Francisco Associated with the San Francisco church is the town museum. There is a also a naval museum, housed in a concrete replica of Christopher Columbus's flagship, the Santa Maria. There are numerous other buildings worth seeing, such as the Casa Salazar, now used for art exhibitions and the tourist information centre, and 'los balcones' on the sea-front. Alternatively a happy afternoon can be spent wandering around the cobbled streets. This is an island of contrasts and variety all close together. This is the ideal place just to get really away from it all. In the hills above the city is the sanctuary of Nuestra Senora de Las Nieves. This is a beautiful renaissance building from the 16th century, in which resides the image of Nuestra Senora de Las Nieves, the patron of the island. Every 5 years this is taken down to the city, where the famous fiesta of the Bajada de la Virgen is celebrated.
Days 9-10: Your final bit of island hopping ends with one at the southern tip of Tenerife, Los Christianos is a bustling modern resort town. What used to be a fishing village has today become one of the biggest holiday areas, with large beaches including a new man-made beach. There is also excellent nightlife if you have the energy. Los Cristianos tends to attract a slightly older holidaymaker compared to Playa de las Américas. It has managed to keep a little of its original architecture and atmosphere as a quaint fishing village, but you will need to look hard!
Day 11: Sail back to Tenerife to catch your flight home and enjoy the last of the sea air.