Located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of West Africa, Spain's Canary Islands boast year-round sunshine, a vast number of exquisite beaches and enough activities to keep even the most demanding holidaymakers happy. The islands are particularly perfect for anyone who wants an exotic winter holiday in the sun without having to travel half way around the world.
The main Canary Islands consist of Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, La Palma and La Gomera. Four of these islands have airports: Las Palmas (LPA) on Gran Canaria, Lanzarote (ACE) and La Palma (SPC). Tenerife has two airports: North (TFN) and South (TFS). Choosing which airport is most suitable usually comes down to finding the one nearest your final destination but whichever you choose, you'll find a large variety of Canary-Islands flights available. Travelling to some of the smaller islands such as La Gomera and El Hieroo is easy thanks to a large network of boats and ferries.
Each of the islands has something different to offer, whether you are looking for a theme park for the kids, a beach to relax on or would simply rather spend your time sightseeing and shopping, you can easily find it. With tropical forests, breathtaking cliffs, beautiful countryside and plenty of unspoiled inland villages where tourists rarely venture, there's a huge amount of variety to explore.
Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria in particular have a large number of nightclubs based in lively resorts where it's easy to dance all night and then relax and recover on the beach throughout the course of the day. For a complete contrast, head to El Hieroo, the smallest of the islands but one with a huge amount to offer travellers. Rather than tempting tourists with British bars and all-day breakfasts, El Hieroo remains authentic and is the ideal place to go to experience the real charm of the Canary Islands.
If you prefer a more active holiday, you'll never run out of things to do on the Canary Islands. From rock climbing on Tenerife to kite surfing, diving and wind surfing off the coast of Fuerteventura or Gran Canaria to trekking through the volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote or La Gomera, the only thing you'll have to worry about is how to fit it all in.
For much of the year, the highest peaks of Tenerife are capped with snow, providing a stunning contrast to the sunny weather down at beach level. By hiring a car you can explore the fascinating interior of this or other islands. If you don't have a vehicle, you can take a cable car up to the top of Mount Teide where you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the entire island.