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Formed by volcanic activity, the seven different islands that make up the Canaries have been popular tourist hotspots for years...
The largest, Tenerife, is full of monuments and museums which showcase its rich and varied history. Gran Canaria is the island with the largest population and features green hills in the north and a dry, flat landscape in the south. Lanzarote is preserved as a National Park and has a lush green north and a barren lunar-like south, whereas Fuerteventura is a mecca for windsurfers. The islands of La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro all have their own unique charms, not to mention a fantastic range of Canary Islands hotels to suit every style and budget.
With each of the Canary Islands you get to experience a different part of island life. You can lounge around on the black volcanic sand of the beaches, or get out and explore the lush landscapes that are teeming with exotic wildlife. There are also plenty of water sports to be enjoyed on all of the islands, whether you are interested in diving, fishing, kite surfing or just swimming around in the beautiful blue sea.
Whether your ideal holiday consists of big resorts and fast food or unspoilt villages and traditional cuisine, the Canary Islands has it all and more.
The wide variety of different hotels in the Canary Islands means that all kinds of visitors can find their ideal island getaway...
There is every type of hotel here, from simple haciendas and pensions to family-friendly resorts. The resorts range from three- and four-star hotel complexes which feature pools, kids' clubs and a wide variety of different entertainments, to spectacular five-star spas and resorts with world-class restaurants and luxurious rooms. There are also plenty of self-catering options, from the simplest of apartments to luxury villas, which come complete with their own private pools.
There are Canary Islands hotels at a variety of different price points to ensure that your holiday here is as low cost as you need or as extravagant as you would like. There are many international chains here as well as renowned Spanish companies. These include H10, Hesperia, Nunez and Riu Hoteles as well as Sirenis, Viva, Barcelo and Tyrp. You will also find Sol, Melia, NH Hoteles, AC Hoteles and Abba Hoteles on the islands.
Every kind of holiday in the Canary Islands can be filled with wonderful things to see and do...
There's no shortage of attractions on these Spanish islands. From fun-fuelled family waterparks to long, hushed walks over mountains, and from strips of pubs and clubs to village retreats that stir utter contentment within visitors, there's a spot for you in this enchanting Atlantic archipelago in the sun.
Top five attractions
Teide National Park
Spain's highest peak soars into the skies above the island of Tenerife and offers plenty of opportunities for adventure. Take a cable car to the top or summon up the energy for a big hike.
Located close to Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife, this parrot park turned animal kingdom entices thousands of delighted squeals and smiles as the resident dolphins and whales wow the crowds.
Timanfaya National Park
The volcanic landscape of Lanzarote is home to this fiery treasure: Timanfaya. To preserve the raw beauty of the landscape, no private vehicles can be driven around the park. So hover near the window as the obligatory bus tour winds its way around volcano cones and your guide unveils the mysteries of the land. The steaming geyser trick at the end of the tour is also neat.
Maspalomas sand dunes
The desert-like landscape can be found in Gran Canaria's south. You can walk, run or roll on the dunes (children prefer the latter) or take a camel safari over the undulating hillocks.
More sand dunes, this time on the quieter island of Fuerteventura. There is plenty of space here so you can stretch your legs and find your own slice of paradise.
The Atlantic winds that hit certain parts of the islands create ideal spots for surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing and an array of other thrilling activities. Choose your resort carefully if you want to have a go at these sports, as some parts of the islands are a lot more sheltered than others and do not usually see the sort of waves that prompt adrenaline highs.
What's on during your visit to the Canary Islands? Find out if your holiday coincides with a major annual event...
There are certainly plenty of events taking place across these islands, where no excuse is ever needed to put on a party and have a good time. The typical Spanish welcome will be extended at all of these events and many more.
Carnival; February/March: Annual carnivals are held across all of the islands and within many of the major cities and resorts. No one would argue that Santa Cruz, the capital of Tenerife, sees the biggest floats, the most colourful parades, and the very best parties.
Ironman Lanzarote; May: This gruelling annual triathlon is famed the world over and is a qualifying competition for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. The challenging swim, ride and run are not all that bad: competitors get a great view of the splendours of Lanzarote.
International Kite Festival; November: If you're in Fuerteventura late in the year you should visit one of the windiest spots in all of the Canaries to see kites dancing in the sky over Corralejo's dunes.