Booming Tourism on the Spanish Islands
Spain is among the most popular holiday destinations within Europe. People love city trips to Barcelona, Madrid or Sevilla and Spanish coasts like the Costa Brava, Costa del Sol and Costa de la Luz attract many beach-hungry Europeans from all over the continent. After many years of economic crisis, the country is celebrating a steady recovery. Also, its touristic sector, which also suffered from stagnation over the years, is coming back strongly. This is caused partly also from crises and political instabilities in other touristic hotspots such as Turkey and Egypt. Many travelers consider Spain as an attractive alternative.
The Spanish islands benefit from this trend as well and thanks to the still growing sector of low-budget airlines and low oil prices it is cheaper than ever to get there. If you think now of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, hold on! Spain has more beautiful islands to visit. While Mallorca and its sister islands are definitely nice spots, the Canary Islands are the true island dream-destination of these days.
If you book early or manage to get your hands on one of those limited deals offered by many airlines, you can get there quite cheaply. There are several airports and many direct connections available: Fuerteventura Airport (FAE), Las Palmas Airport (LPA), Lanzarote Airport (ACE), Tenerife South Airport (TFS) and Tenerife North Airport (TFN) can be reached easily from many European cities via airlines like Thomas Cook (MT), Condor (DE), TUIfly (X3), Niki (HG), Eurowings (EW), Ryanair (FR) and easyJet (US).
Tenerife – area: 2.034 km²; Highest spot – Pico del Teide (3.718m)
Fuerteventura – area: 1.660 km²; Highest spot – Pico de la Zarsas (807m)
Gran Canaria – area: 1.560 km²; Highest spot – Pico de las Nieves (1.950m)
Lanzarote – area: 845 km²; Highest spot – Peñas del Coche (671m)
La Palma – area: 708 km²; Highest spot – Roque de los Muchachos (2.423m)
La Gomera – area: 369 km²; Highest spot – Alto de Garajonay (1.487m)
El Hierro – area: 268 km²; Highest spot – Pico Malpaso (1.501m)
Volcanos, nature and a never-ending summer
Going to the Canary Islands is always nice, but particularly beautiful during the winter – at least for the folks from Northern Europe. While at home it´s cold, gray and windy, the Canary Islands offer great weather conditions during all the years. The reason for this is their far southern location in the west of Morocco´s southern Atlantic coast. The eastern islands Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are famous as great beach-holiday destinations. Those coming to the Canary Islands to explore nature often favor Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro with their stunning vegetation. But basically, every single island offers much more than sunbathing and beach-bumming.
Basically, all of these islands are of volcanic origin with Tenerife being the place with the highest volcano-crafted mountain. The Pico el Teide there is a massive 3718m high mountain with spectacular hiking trails and views over the island and the close see. And Gran Canara, on the other side, has become famous as kind of a mini-continent as it offers all kinds of climate zones with respective flora and fauna within its limited territory. From sand dunes, over rocky coasts at sea level up to rainforests with exotic plants, you can find everything there. Its botanic garden in Barranco de Guiniguada hosts one of the most diverse collections of interesting plants which nature-lovers will definitely enjoy.
The smallest of the Canary Islands – El Hierro – is also a nice spot to visit. It´s much calmer there. The main town Valverde has just 1500 inhabitants and those who come there love the relaxed atmosphere of this chilled-out place. For those spending their holidays on one of the other islands, a visit of one or two days in El Hierro is highly recommended. You can just take one of the many ferries that go there for quite reasonable prices.
When to travel to the Canary islands
As the Canary Islands are located quite in the south right next to Morocco, many might think spending a summer there might be unbearably hot. But while the sun is indeed strong in July and August, relatively fresh Atlantic streams in that area guarantee a quite balanced climate. As a result, temperatures are in between 20°C and 30°C all year long and in winter times you can hang out at the beach and have a swim. In summer you won´t overheat like it happens in the south of Spain with temperatures beyond 40°C. As in other touristic regions, summer, therefore, is the most frequented season also in the Canary Islands. But if you are not bound to school-holidays and flexible to travel at another time, this might be the better choice.
Especially spending winter-holidays on these beautiful islands is a real win as this allows you to trade rain, gray and cold weather and winter-depression for a visit in the sun. The lowest temperatures you will get at night are around 14°C and with just around six rainy days on average during winter months, you can definitely expect good weather.
Another great season for a trip to Tenerife, Fuerteventura or any other of the Canary Islands is fall. Outside temperatures are still around 25°C then and the sea is still hot from summer with water temperatures between 22°C and 23°C. Regarding the water temperatures, there is always a little lag which means, while in spring outside temperatures will be similar, the sea will be much colder. Therefore spring is best to discover nature as then you will see even more beautiful blossoms and active wildlife.