Scattered in the Atlantic off the North African coast, the Canary Islands offer unique holiday experiences.
With a winning combination of year-round sun, stunning beaches, dramatic landscapes and lively nightlife, holidays to the Canary Islands keep travellers coming back for more year after year.
And don't assume that, as you've visited one of the seven islands, you've been there and done that, as each island is completely different. There's a vast range of holiday types on offer from budget self-catering breaks to luxurious five-star getaways. So, read on to plan the ideal Canary Island holiday for you.
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and is a firm favourite with Brits as it's possible to spend a week or two in the sun completely relaxing on a beach, but also to have a more active break playing golf, diving, hiking in Teide National Park or riding the waves on a surf board. And while families will love the attractions on offer such as the “water kingdom” Siam Park, those after wild nights out will enjoy the lively nightlife in resorts such as Playa de las Americas.
The island is served by two airports Tenerife South Airport (TFS) and Tenerife North Airport (TFN) with the majority of tourists landing in the south and heading to resorts such as Playa de las Americas, Los Cristianos and the quieter Costa Adeje. Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island is another firm favourite with British holidaymakers and the nearby Loro Parque wildlife park with parrots, sea lions and penguins is a big hit with all of the family.
The second largest of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura, is still relatively unspoilt and whether you want to take the kids to a waterpark, to flop on a secluded spot of beach and completely relax, or to embrace the elements and windsurf, you'll find the perfect break for you.
Corralejo on the north coast is a popular spot for British holidaymakers with miles and miles of unspoilt beaches and dunes, a range of nightlife options from romantic meals overlooking the sea to fun-filled nights out in bars and clubs, and activities for all of the family. Other popular resorts include Caleta de Fuste which is a hit with families due to its sheltered beach and calm waters, and Costa Calma on the Jandia Peninsular, a good spot for watersport enthusiasts with miles of golden sand. To make the most of any trip to the island, hire a car to explore the volcanic landscape inland.
North of Fuerteventura and the closest of the islands to Africa, Lanzarote offers art and architecture, sunshine galore, a lunar-like landscape and activities for those who want to work up a sweat including mountain biking and surfing.
British tourists head to resorts such as Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca, Costa Teguise and Haria where accommodation is on offer for a range of budgets and tastes from all-inclusive five-star resorts and eco lodgings to budget apartments.
Lanzarote is relatively small and a hiring a car will allow you to drive from one end of the island to the other easily. Be sure to visit Timanfaya National Park with moon-like landscape, steaming geysers and Timanfaya Volcano; the Fundación César Manrique, the past home of the island's famous artist and architect; and Los Jameos del Aguas, a huge collapsed lava tube with an underground lake and a stunning blue pool that is used as a concert venue.
South east of Lanzarote, Gran Canaria's golden sands and bright sunshine attract holidaymakers every year, and the island's natural beauty with huge stretches of dunes and pine forests make them fall in love with the destination.
The largest resort on the island, Playa del Ingles, is on the south coast and offers fun-filled holidays for visitors who enjoy strolling down its promenade and drinking in the bars and clubs. Other popular resorts include Playa del Ingles' quieter neighbour, San Augustin; sophisticated Maspalomas with its world-famous sand dunes; pretty and exclusive Puerto Mogan; and stylish Meloneras.
The other three islands that complete the Canaries - La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera - offer serene holidays away from the crowds as they are still relatively undiscovered and unspoilt. Only La Palma is served by direct flights from the UK into Santa Cruz de La Palma airport (SPM) while you can reach all three islands via flight or ferry from Tenerife.
La Palma has celebrity connections - Madonna's song La Isla Bonita is rumoured to have been about the island and Manolo Blahnik was born there - but don't expect glitzy attractions when you arrive. Instead, visit the island for relaxing breaks taking in the beautiful scenery from rainforests to waterfalls and, if you are feeling active, long hikes in the mountains.
El Hierro is the smallest of the Canary Islands and its western end was once considered the end of the world. Visit to truly get away from it all. La Gomera is slightly bigger and the perfect destination if you like exploring the great outdoors on foot or by bike. Alternatively, pack your beach bag and surf board and head to the black sands along the coast to sunbathe without having to fight for a spot.
Whichever Canary Island takes your fancy and whether you are looking for an all-inclusive getaway or a self-catering bargain, find the best prices by using TravelSupermarket's search tool.
The Canary Islands' location off the North African Coast means that they enjoy year-round sun. Visit between November and February to enjoy a blast of much-needed heat and expect temperatures of up to 23C in November on Tenerife.
Tenerife Carnaval; February: visit Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz for the biggest celebrations: Held just before Lent every year, this carnival sees tourists and locals partying into the night and includes a glitzy opening parade, the “burial of the sardine” and the High Heels Marathon.
Dia de Canarias; May 30: throughout the Canary Islands: Canarian culture is celebrated on this public holiday to celebrate the autonomous Canary Islands' Parliament's first session in 1983.
Best of Canary Island holidays for...
Families: For a day out with a difference, why not treat the family to a camel ride across the sand dunes of Maspalomas on Gran Canaria? From your elevated position, you'll be able to take in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Active types: Catch some waves at Costa Teguise on Lanzarote. Whether you're a beginner or a well-seasoned pro, the ideal wind and wave conditions will give you plenty of opportunities to sharpen up your skills.
Nightlife: Playa de las Americas on Tenerife is the ultimate night-spot. With an array of bars, parties, clubs and entertainment, energetic night owls will be spoiled for choice!