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Things to do in the Canary Islands

Things to do in  Canary Islands

Welcome to Canary Islands

Tropical in appearance yet Mediterranean in character, the Canary Islands attract visitors from all over the world to lounge on black- and white-sand Atlantic beaches, seek out adventure in world-class national parks, and enjoy an array of leisure activities from aerial-tram riding to scuba diving. Needless to say, these islands pack a vacation punch much larger than their diminutive size, and the wide range of activities on offer combined with the seven airports and plentiful boat transfers account for the Canary Islands' popularity among travelers of all types. The largest of the islands are Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote, and most visitors choose to base themselves out of one of these while island-hopping to see their neighbors' main draws. Pair whale-watching with Mt. Teide excursions in Tenerife, beach lounging with catamaran sailing in Fuerteventura, cultural walking tours with camel riding in Gran Canaria, and wine tasting with trips to the volcanic Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote. Although the climate remains warm and welcoming year-round, visit during the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in February to see parades that easily rival the splendor of Rio's and put the islands' hybridized Spanish, African, and South American culture on full display.

Top 15 things to do in Canary Islands

#1
Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide)

Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide)

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The largest and oldest national park in the Canary Islands and home to Spain’s highest peak—Mount Teide—Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide) is one of the top attractions on Tenerife. The rugged landscape of the park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is magnificent—a geological wonder featuring an expanse of rugged lava fields, ancient calderas, and volcanic peaks.More
#2
Masca Valley

Masca Valley

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Characterized by rugged cliffs, forested trails, and waterfalls, the wild landscapes of the Masca Valley are among Tenerife’s most beautiful. The remote gorge offers a thrilling backdrop for a hike—the trail winds down through the gorge and finishes at a black-sand beach.More
#3
Timanfaya National Park (Parque Nacional de Timanfaya)

Timanfaya National Park (Parque Nacional de Timanfaya)

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Spanning 20 square miles (51 square km) of southern Lanzarote, Timanfaya National Park (Parque Nacional de Timanfaya) is a unique and eerie landscape of dormant volcanoes and lava fields. Visitors flock to the park from nearby beach towns to explore the otherworldly terrain that looks more like the moon than the Canary Islands.More
#4
Lobos Island

Lobos Island

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Lobos Island (Wolf Island) is named after the “sea wolves” (monk seals) that used to live here. Now a protected nature reserve, the small, rocky island is home to wildlife—from birds to sharks—beaches, hiking paths, a visitor center, and, at the northern tip, the lonely Punta Martiño Lighthouse.More
#5
Papagayo Beach (Playa de Papagayo)

Papagayo Beach (Playa de Papagayo)

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One of a string of sandy beaches and bays lining Lanzarote’s southern coast, Papagayo Beach (Playa de Papagayo) lies within the Monumento Natural de Los Ajaches Park and is one of the island’s most beautiful beaches. Visit the horseshoe-shaped bay cocooned between sea cliffs and blessed with swaths of pale gold sand for a relaxing day on the beach.More
#6
Mt. Teide (El Teide)

Mt. Teide (El Teide)

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At 12,198 feet (3,718 meters) above sea level, Mt. Teide (El Teide) is the highest point in the Canary Islands and all of Spain. The towering peak in Tenerife allows visitors to stand atop a volcano and look out over nearby islands including La Palma and Gran Canaria—if the clouds cooperate—whether they get there on foot or by cable car.More
#7
Roque Nublo

Roque Nublo

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Roque Nublo (Cloud Rock is a lofty, 262-foot (80-meter rock formation that was formed millions of years ago during a volcanic eruption. Located in Nublo Rural Park (Parque Rural del Nublo, the landmark is the island’s second-highest peak after Pico de la Nieves.More
#8
La Orotava Valley

La Orotava Valley

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Some of Tenerife’s most scenic landscapes can be found along La Orotava Valley. Stretching from the Teide Volcano, this picturesque region is dotted with vineyards, banana plantations, and pine-clad mountains popular for hiking. The historic town of La Orotava serves as a base for adventure in the valley.More
#9
Cocodrilo Park Zoo

Cocodrilo Park Zoo

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Situated in Agüimes, on the island of Grand Canary (Gran Canaria), Cocodrilo Park is the principal exotic animal rescue center in the Canary Islands. Here, education and fun come together with live crocodile, bird, and monkey feedings, plus zoo exhibits and opportunities to interact with the animals.More
#10
Los Hervideros

Los Hervideros

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Ranking among Lanzarote’s most unusual geological attractions, Los Hervidores is an extraordinary collage of rocks, caves, and lava tubes that loom over the island’s west coast. Formed during the 18th-century eruptions of the Timanfaya volcanoes, the dramatic coastline was created when hot lava met with cold water.More
#11
Bandama Caldera (Caldera de Bandama)

Bandama Caldera (Caldera de Bandama)

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Rising nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, the Bandama Calera is a crater left behind after a major volcanic eruption on Gran Canaria over 5,000 years ago. You can hike at its base, around its rim, or down into the caldera itself to enjoy the impressive natural scenery. Viewpoints, caves, and ponds are all points of interest on its various trails. The lands are part of the Bandama Natural Monument and Tafira Protected Landscape.Because of the rich volcanic soil here, there is rich wildlife and plant life the call the caldera home. Walking around the area feels almost otherworldly. From its lowest point, you are surrounded by the crater walls extending up from its floor. Its highest point Pico de Bandama reaches 569 feet up in the air. The Pico de Bandama peak and its observation center are also worth a visit.More
#12
Jameos del Agua

Jameos del Agua

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Jameos del Agua occupies a series of lava caves on Lanzarote’s northeastern coast. The masterwork of local artist and architect César Manrique, the underground complex—a bar, restaurant, nightclub, and swimming pool—makes innovative use of the natural volcanic landscape, formed by the eruption of the La Corona volcano 4,000 years ago.More
#13
La Geria

La Geria

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Famed for its rugged volcanic landscapes and sweet Malvasia grapes, La Geria is Lanzarote’s flagship wine region. Wine lovers come not only to sample the distinctive wines but to explore the unusual vineyards, where the vines are grown in volcanic rock pits dug into the black sand.More
#14
Los Roques de García

Los Roques de García

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A cluster of uniquely shaped rocks lying in the shadows of the notoriously volatile Teide volcano, Los Roques de García are among the top attractions of Tenerife’s UNESCO-listed Teide National Park. Formed by years of ancient volcanic activity, the pyroclastic rocks are best known for their impressive stature and peculiar shapes, some appearing to defy gravity and others taking on an otherworldly presence.The most famous rocks include the ‘Roque Cinchado’, known as ‘God’s Finger’, now one of Tenerife’s most iconic landmarks, and the imposing La Catedral, the tallest at 200-meters high and a popular challenge for climbers. Each rock has its own unique moniker, including ‘El Queso’, ‘Roques Blancos’ and ‘Torrotito’, and the best way to enjoy the views is hiking the circular trail around the valley, which takes around 2 hours.More
#15
Corralejo Dunes National Park (Parque Natural de Corralejo)

Corralejo Dunes National Park (Parque Natural de Corralejo)

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The Canary Islands sit just 70 miles (113 kilometers) off the coast of western Africa. But the 6,425 acres (2,600 hectares) of rolling sand dunes within Fuerteventura’s Corralejo Dunes National Park (Parque Natural de Corralejo) might have you thinking you’re visiting the African continent as opposed to a beach-filled archipelago.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Tenerife

How to Spend 3 Days in Tenerife

How to Spend 2 Days in Tenerife

How to Spend 2 Days in Tenerife

How to Spend 3 Days on Gran Canaria

How to Spend 3 Days on Gran Canaria

Top activities in Canary Islands

Night Sky Star Safari Teide National Park Tenerife
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Lanzarote: La Graciosa island cruise with lunch and water activities
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Whale and Dolphin Watching Sailing Boat with Drinks, Snacks and Swimming Time
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Tenerife: Quad Adventure Teide Tour
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Buggy Fuerteventura Off-Road Excursions
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Buggy Fuerteventura Off-Road Excursions

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Whale and Dolphin Watching Yacht Trip in Puerto Colon
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Lanzarote: Catamaran Cruise to Papagayo beaches with Lunch and water activities
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Five Star Boat Experience
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Five Star Boat Experience

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Tandem Paragliding Flight in South Tenerife
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Pirate Adventure Boat Tour in Fuerteventura
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Recent reviews from experiences in Canary Islands

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Las Palmas Tour
Vernon_S, May 2022
Visit to Las Palmas town with pickup from South
I highly recommend this trip for anyone wishing to see some of the history and life of the provincial capital of the Canary Islands.
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Fabulous day out
Hannah_D, Oct 2021
Gran Canaria Highlights Small Group Tour with Hotel Pick-up
Nice to see the varied landscapes, different towns of Gran Canaria, and the windy roads, although still very quiet out of the resorts.
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A brilliant day, packed with truly memorable experiences
Martin_C, Aug 2020
Custom Private & VIP Highlights Tour of Gran Canaria
Other than Gran Canaria, We've been to 3 other Canary Islands over the years, and on each island we have taken a bus tour of the points of interest and attractions.
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My wife, son who is almost 6 months...
Brent T, Jul 2017
Whale and Dolphin Watching Sailing Boat with Drinks, Snacks and Swimming Time
I didnt bother to ask either so the blame also falls on me.
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All about Canary Islands

Currency
Euro (€)
Time Zone
WEST (UTC 0)
Country Code
+34
Language(s)
Catalan
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