The Canary Islands are a popular holiday destination, but there’s more to these fantastic, volcanic islands than meets the eye. Check out some of these exciting sights and really embrace the unique culture of the Canaries.
1. Canary Island Carnivals
Taking place between January and April in almost every town in the Canary Islands, the colourful celebrations, music and dancing of the carnivals offer the experience of a lifetime.
From the Drag Queen Gala and talcum powder fights of Las Palma, to the Wacky Races style costumed derby of Los Arretrancos, Fuerteventura, and not forgetting the famous Burial of the Sardine tradition in Gran Canaria, these carnivals are certainly unique! Don’t forget your camera; carnival is the perfect place for unforgettable holiday snaps.
2. Loggerhead Turtles
The rare and endangered Loggerhead Turtle lives in the waters of the Canary Islands. Take an unforgettable diving trip to catch a glimpse of one of these majestic creatures.
3. Canarian Wrestling
Canarian wrestling, known locally as Lucha Canaria, is a type of ancient folk wrestling and one of the most popular sports in the Canaries. The sport is fast paced and exciting and can be watched in many of the major towns in the Canary Islands, particularly around festival time. If you’re a sports lover, or just fancy watching a traditional activity while on holiday, Canarian wrestling is just the ticket.
4. Lanzarote’s Green Lagoon
Located at the south-west end of Lanzarote is the famous El Golfo Crater, a volcanic crater with a lagoon in the centre filled with green glowing water. The unusual colour is caused by volcanic minerals and people come from far and wide to see this natural phenomenon. Buy yourself a piece of the volcanic rock from one of the vendors as the perfect souvenir.
5. Fantastic Food
Food on the Canary Islands is an exotic mix of Spanish, North African and Mediterranean, and uses many exciting ingredients. The La Gomera banana is a rare and aromatic delight, it doesn’t grow on mainland Spain so comes as a special treat. Another traditional dish to try is ‘Ropa Vieja’ which means ‘old clothes’. Don’t be fooled by the name though, this chicken, beef, potato and chickpea dish is delicious.
6. Natural Swimming Pools
Take a dip in Lago Martianez’s seven natural salt water swimming pools designed by the famous architect Cesar Manrique. Nestled in the old town of Puerto de la Cruz you can enjoy seven huge pools, tropical plants and fountains, a Jacuzzi, playground, restaurants, and even an underground dance hall and casino.
7. Visiting Volcanoes
The Canary Islands are naturally volcanic and while none of them have erupted in hundreds of years, there’s still plenty of excitement to be had.
Visit Mount Teide on Tenerife, it’s the third largest volcano in the world. Over 12 million people a year visit this magnificent landmark for its stunning natural beaches made of volcanic black shingle and sand.
The famous Timanfaya National Park on Lanzarote is another must see. Make sure you visit the El Diablo Restaurante, where the chefs cook the food over a 9m hole, using the heat from the volcano – now that’s a meal you’ll never forget!