The Canary Islands are a longstanding favourite with Irish holidaymakers – and for good reason. Sunny in the summer, warm in the winter, the Canary Islands are perfect any time of year.
We’re taking a closer look at the various islands which make up the Canaries, helping you figure out which one is best for your 2020 holiday.
The largest of the Canaries, it takes between two and three hours to drive the length of Tenerife. The capital, Santa Cruz, sits in the northeast, with the active Mount Teide dominating the centre of the island.
If you’re looking to holiday somewhere lively, Playa de las Americas fits the bill, with many clubs, bars and restaurants on offer. However, its sandy beaches and attractions – including the famous Siam Park and dolphin boat rides – also make it a good choice for families too.
Costa Adeje has also seen tourism boom over the past few years, but still retains a quiet and high-end charm. You’ll easily be able to visit Mount Teide from here too.
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Situated 100km from Morocco off the northwest of Africa, Fuerteventura enjoys year-round good weather and a constant warm breeze which attracts many water sports enthusiasts.
For ease and simplicity, Caleta de Fuste is a popular resort located nearby the airport, and is often compared to California with its palm trees and splendid beaches. If you want to get closer to the life and soul of the island, Corralejo is the place to be; from here you can easily take a catamaran tour to the small islet, Los Lobos, which is home to just nature reserves and deserted beaches.
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Gran Canaria is great for outdoor enthusiasts, as it’s greener than its other Canary cousins, with a varied landscape that draws hikers, cyclists and rock climbers.
Some of the most popular resorts include Puerto Rico, which boasts the stunning Amadores beach, as well as Playa de Ingles, one of the largest resorts in Spain favoured by Brits. Finally, Puerto de Mogan is a smaller, picturesque port to the southwest. A charming fishing village, this resort is ideal for those looking for a quieter, laidback break. The stretch of golden sand and clear calm sea makes it ideal for families.
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Lanzarote is a UNESCO Biosphere Site, meaning it consists of both marine and coastal ecosystems – all thanks to the 300 volcanic cones on the island. As a result of its volcanic landscape, you’d be forgiven for confusing Lanzarote with somewhere in outer space (after all, multiple sci-fi movies have been filmed here)
Puerto del Carmen is the most popular resort, and although the beaches can get busy it’s well worth the trip. If you fancy a break away from the sun loungers, head to the El Varadero harbour in the west, famed for its seafood and picturesque fishing harbour.
The southernmost town on the island, Playa Blanca, is quieter and more upmarket – perfect if you want somewhere to relax.
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The first of three lesser known islands to the west of the Canaries, La Palma is a hidden gem. By far the greenest of all the islands, it’s another UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, with rain forests, volcanic creators and a craggy coastline. The Caldera de Taburiente National Park is at the heart of the island, containing a massive 8km wide canyon that’s surrounded by walls of rock.
The lack of sandy beaches might be why less tourists visit the island, but La Palma’s landscape makes it a dream for anyone looking for a more active holiday.
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Another of the Canaries which often flies under the tourist radar is La Gomera, mainly due to the fact that it isn’t known for its buzzing nightlife – but for many that’s what makes it so appealing.
With no international airport, visitors must fly to Tenerife and then hop across on the ferry to La Gomera. We promise it’s worth it though, as you’ll get to experience the lush scenery and laidback vibe. Valle Gran Rey, or Valley of the Kings, is the most popular place for holidaymakers to stay, and is made up of traditional towns and villages.
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Last, but by no means least, is El Hierro. Surrounded by cliffs, El Hierro is like a small fortress, reachable through Tenerife and Lanzarote.
This island feels more remote than the others, which only adds to its appeal and charm for many, and again means that it’s not a popular mainstream tourist destination. Highlights include the coves of black sand that dot the coastline, and El Golfo, a natural rock formation which resembles an amphitheatre.
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