a holiday guide to the canary islands

Sumary of A holiday guide to the Canary Islands:

  • What to doBase yourself in the rugged north, where low-key fishing villages – Arrieta, Punta Mujeres, La Santa, Órzola – and major works by the Lanzarote-born artist César Manrique await, including the Casa-Museo César Manrique (in leafy, historical Haría) and the Jameos del Agua..
  • its protected historical core is packed with ancient mansions, fanning out from a restored 15th-century church..
  • Lanzarote increasingly lauded wine region, known for its volcanic malvasia grape, is best savoured with local experts Wine Tours Lanzarote, who visit independent wineries as well as La Geria big-name bodegas..
  • For the lunar-like Parque Nacional de Timanfaya, sidestep the crowds by hiking the coastal Ruta del Litoral path, or hop over into the Parque Natural de los Volcanes..
  • Don’t miss the natural pools in Punta Mujeres and, time permitting, all-natural Playa del Risco (accessible by a one-hour hike), or Los Caletones coves near Órzola..
  • Eat and drinkPeople travel from all over Lanzarote for fresh grilled fish, seafood paella and other local delights at Casa de la Playa, overlooking Arrieta beach (mains €10-€15)..
  • Bar La Piscina, by the Punta Mujeres pools, is a go-to for typical tapas (chunky tortilla, seafood salpicón) at around €3-€10..
  • What to doCycle to Caribbean-worthy Playa de las Conchas, hike up Las Agujas Grandes or Montaña Amarilla volcanoes, swim at golden Playa Francesa and wander the “capital”, Caleta de Sebo, with its views of Lanzarote Famara cliffs..
  • La Graciosa sits within the Parque Natural del Archipiélago Chinijo, which protects various uninhabited surrounding islets known for their rich birdlife;.
  • Where to stayFamily-owned Pensión Enriqueta (+34 928 842 051, doubles €35) is one of La Graciosa tourism pioneers, with cheery, rustic rooms in Caleta de Sebo..
  • Eat and drinkEl Marinero, opposite Caleta de Sebo 20th-century church, is a locally loved tapas haunt serving home-cooked tortilla and seafood rice dishes (up to €10)..
  • Simone Spada/Getty Images With its salty breezes, renowned surf, volcanic landscapes and honey-gold coastline, Fuerteventura is the Canaries’ destination for beach bliss..What to doStay in northern Fuerteventura to soak up the surf vibe in El Cotillo, Corralejo and Lajares, hike to tiny, beach-side Majanicho, take a day trip to the near-deserted Isla de Lobos (for snorkelling, paddleboarding and more) and get away from it all in the dune-lined Parque Natural de Corralejo..
  • Around 15km south of Corralejo, La Oliva is known for its historical architecture and the Centro de Arte Canario Casa Mané, devoted to Canarian greats..
  • In the lusher interior, explore gentle-paced villages such as Betancuria (Fuerteventura oldest settlement, surrounded by a mountainous natural park), pint-sized Casillas del Ángel and Pájara (home to a 17th-century Aztec-style church)..
  • On the unmissable southern Península de Jandía (it worth tacking on a couple of days here), you’ll uncover dreamy, protected beaches (including Playa de la Barca, Playa del Matorral and Cofete), surfy La Pared village and the lonely Punta de Jandía lighthouse..
  • Where to stayA 200-year-old volcanic-stone home just north-east of La Oliva has been sensitively restored as the Hotel Rural Mahoh (doubles from €60 B&B), with nine rustic rooms, a pool and a superb Canarian restaurant..
  • The Avanti Lifestyle Hotel (doubles from €120) sits right on the coast in Corralejo, and if that too far to walk there a rooftop Jacuzzi from which to take in the sea view..
  • The lofty, mountainous interior unfolds in a series of dramatically located villages, exhilarating hiking trails, volcanic calderas and distant peaks..
  • Las Palmas’ historical Vegueta neighbourhood has a magnificent cathedral (dating back to the 15th century), the Columbus-themed Casa-Museo de Colón, the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno and other worthwhile sights..
  • In the rugged, elevated heart of the island, explore Teror (with its 18th-century church and weekly local market) and Artenara, the highest village (known for its cave houses)..
  • And go walking around pretty Tejeda, the much-photographed Roque Nublo and Gran Canaria tallest peak, Pico de las Nieves (1,949m)..
  • Where to stayHotel Fonda de la Tea has rustic rooms, apartments and independent homes in Tejeda (all from €105)..
  • In Las Palmas, Bed and Chic (doubles from €52) makes a boutique splash across two tile-floored 20th-century buildings, or stay at the beautifully revamped, 19th-century landmark hotel Santa Catalina (doubles from €110)..
  • There no better introduction than the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where you can explore Santiago Calatrava performing arts centre the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín, the contemporary design TEA gallery and other cultural highlights, before diving into the shopping, dining and drinking scenes..
  • Spain highest peak, El Teide (3,715m), headlines any Tenerife itinerary, but it doesn’t take long to slip away from the crowds along the hiking trails of the lunar Parque Nacional del Teide..
  • drop into San Andrés village for beachfront seafood restaurants, as well as surfy north-coast Roque de las Bodegas..
  • Where to stayLa Laguna Gran Hotel (doubles from €94) in San Cristobal de la Laguna is a stylishly reimagined 18th-century manor with a rooftop pool..
  • Eat and drinkIn Santa Cruz, Guannabi (mains €15-€25) fuses Canarian, Peruvian and Mexican flavours in glorious rice dishes and other market-fresh bites..
  • Robert Harding/Alamy Distant El Hierro, the Canaries’ westernmost island, is an off-the-beaten-track adventure, with thrilling footpaths, sweeping viewpoints, glinting Atlantic pools and misty forests…

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