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A Holiday Guide To The Canary Islands

Apr 1, 2008
Situated in the Atlantic Ocean about 100 miles from the coast of Africa, the Canary Islands enjoy a climate that is reported to be the best in the world. Average temperatures vary little during the 12 months of the year, peaking at around 27 degrees in the summer and falling to a low of 21 degrees in the winter.

The number one destination for winter holidays in Europe, the Canary Islands are part of Spain. Tourism is the major industry and English is widely spoken. There is a good choice of self catering holiday accommodation, both apartments and villas.

There is also a large ex-pat population with mostly British, German, and Swedish people moving there to retire or to make a living in the tourism industry. The coastlines of all the islands are fully developed with hotels, apartments and villas. Many of the villas and apartments have been bought by absentee owners who occupy their property for part of the year and let the accommodation for self catering holidays; so there is a wide choice of rental accommodation available.

Tenerife is the largest of the islands. Triangular in shape with a dormant volcano, Mount Teide, in the middle of the island, Tenerife is the most popular winter holiday destination in Europe with most visitors coming from the UK. Tourism is concentrated in the south of the island which is hotter and drier. The north is more lush and cooler. Mountains separate the two different mini-climates.

Gran Canaria has the largest population of the seven Canary Islands and is home to the largest town, Las Palmas which is a shopper's paradise. Like Tenerife, Gran Canaria's climate is split into tow distinct halves with a hotter, drier south and a cooler, greener north. Mountains separate the two.

The most popular beaches (Maspolmas, El Ingles, and Casa de los Coroneles) are in the south of the islands. The fishing villages of Puerto Rico, Puerto de Morgan and Pasito Blanco enjoy picture-postcard scenery and are a 'must' for your holiday itinerary.

The Canary Islands were formed by volcanic eruptions in the 17th and 18th centuries. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in Lanzarote where the landscape is black and almost moon-like. The National Park of Timanfaya includes spectacular scenery and is a popular tourist choice. The beaches here are famous for their fine sand.

The island of Fuerteventura boasts the longest beaches in the Canaries. Best is the 4 mile stretch running between Pajara and Jandia which is home to uninterrupted golden sands and a spectacular underwater world which attracts divers from all over the world.

The other 3 Canary islands are less developed in terms of tourism and offer much less choice of self catering apartments and villas. Tenerife has a ferry service to the island of La Gomera which has large banana plantations and small sandy bays. La Palma, or Green Island as it is also known, is, as the name suggests, home to lush green forests. The island also has spectacular waterfalls and a wild landscape. The smallest of the Canary Islands is El Hierro which is very popular with divers.

The popularity of the Canary Islands results from a climate that is close to perfection, and varied and spectacular scenery. Tenerife and Gran Canaria take this variation to an extreme with the north and south of each island experiencing different local climates and vegetation. Visitors to these islands return time after time, as each experience is a different one.
About the Author
The Canary Islands are the first choice holiday destination for many Europeans. There is a wide choice of self catering accommodation in Lanzarote, Tenerife and Fuerteventura. The weather is close to perfection and varies little all through the year.
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