Spanish culture; African landscapes
Just off the coast of Morocco, the Canary Islands offer up Spanish island life with a North African flair. Volcanic landscapes, rolling sand dunes and year-round beach weather make the Canaries popular pretty much all the time.
Fuerteventura lines up a curved coastline of dune-backed beaches and a virtually untouched interior landscape that hikers and bikers are fans of. The biggest island, Gran Canaria, has little seaside resorts and vibrant cities dotting its coast, including the charming capital of Las Palmas, known for its cobbled streets and UNESCO-listed old quarter.
Lanzarote’s gorgeous scenery also has UNESCO status – its huge national park is scattered with more than 100 volcano craters, while Tenerife’s towering Mount Teide is a dramatic backdrop to its Instagram-worthy beaches. Just off Tenerife’s west coast is the littlest Canary. La Gomera may not draw in the big crowds, but that’s just the way we like it.
Around 4 hours 15 minutes from the UK.
The Canaries are a true year-round holiday destination. Being so close to Africa, you get steady average temperatures that stick in the high teens and early 20s throughout winter, climbing steadily to a mid-30s peak in July and August. The heat is tempered by winds, particularly in Lanzarote, which takes the edge of summer humidity but can make evenings feel cooler.
Currently visas are not required for UK citizens travelling to Spain.
Restaurant bills include a service charge by law in Spain, so whether you choose to tip further is up to you. If you enjoyed the meal and service, it is customary to leave 5-10%. Hotel porters and maids will appreciate a small tip, and while taxi drivers don’t require a tip, it’s common to round up the fare.
The official language of Spain is Spanish. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.