The best attractions of all the islands of the Canary Islands

1. Tenerife Teide – the highest peak in Spain

Teide, Spain’s highest peak, is by far Tenerife’s most popular and well-known attraction. A large proportion of tourists make a day trip to Teide National Park on holiday to see the 3,718-meter-high volcano. Here you can go various hikes, tour the national park or climb to the top of the mountain by gondola lift.

Tenerife TourismTenerife's most popular attraction
Tenerife has many ways to see the volcano Teide.

If you want to experience something different in Teide, stay overnight at the Parador del Teide. When the tour buses disappear in the evening, there are no people in the area other than hotel residents. In the mountains, for example, you can see an exceptionally clear starry sky.

Teide is located in central Tenerife, making it easy to visit from both the southern and northern resorts. Warm clothes should be booked for the road trip, as the mountains have their own microclimate. During the winter months there may even be snow.

Remember also: A variation on a beach holiday – take a day trip to the charming town of La Laguna in Tenerife

2. Gran Canaria Las Palmas is the most famous city on the islands

It is almost difficult to choose which Gran Canaria attraction is above all others. The island includes hiking trails leading to the rock of Roque Nublo, the sand dunes of Maspalomas and Puerto de Mogán, known as the Venice of the Canary Islands. However, Gran Canaria cannot pass Las Palmas, the most famous city in the whole of the Canary Islands, which was once one of the first southern holiday destinations for Finns.

In Las Palmas, you should at least see Vegueta, the old part of the city with its handsome squares, buildings and cathedral. Playa de Las Canteras is the main beach in Las Palmas. If you want a touch of history, stay at the island’s oldest hotel in Santa Catalina. The hotel has been in operation since 1890.

ShutterstockGran Canaria attractions
Las Palmas Cathedral is located in the old district of Vegueta.

Las Palmas is located in the north of Gran Canaria, and is also the island’s only airport. The various resorts in the south are about 50-70 kilometers from the capital. Las Palmas is easy to visit by rental car or bus.

Remember also: The best attractions in Gran Canaria – see 7 tips

3. Lanzarote hot landscapes in Timanfaya National Park

Located on the west coast of Lanzarote, Timanfaya National Park is the absolute number one destination on the island. In the wake of volcanic eruptions, the national park resembles a dark, dry moonscape. There are hiking trails in the park, but you can also get there by car. Montañas del Fuego – literally volcanoes – is a popular area in the national park.

ShutterstockTimanfaya National Park
Timanfaya National Park is known for its impressive scenery.

There is an entrance fee of € 12 for the national park, and during queues during the busy travel season, car queues may form at its gate. Guided tours are also available. Also, don’t miss the park’s visitor center, designed by the island’s architect. Cesar Manrique.

Remember also: Canary turquoise gem – Bathing is forbidden in Lanzarote’s most beautiful swimming pool

4. The sand dunes of Fuerteventura

The landscape of Fuerteventura, known for the best beaches in the Canary Islands, is defined by huge sand dunes in the Corralejo Natural Park. You can’t visit Fuerteventura without seeing the special feature of the island. Hollywood productions have also been depicted in these landscapes Wonder Woman 1984.

ShutterstockThe sand dunes of Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura is known for its sand dunes.

On the sand dunes, there is the FV-1 motorway, along which holidaymakers who rent a car can take a hike in the dune scenery. Package trips are made to Corralejo from Finland.

Remember also: Have you seen the strangest beach in the Canary Islands? Here you lurk on corals that look like popcorn

5. La Gomera UNESCO site Garajonay

Many tourists have made a day trip from Tenerife to the neighboring island of La Gomera. The smaller island is also suitable for the actual destination of the holiday – if the main purpose of the trip is not to enjoy the beaches. The strengths of La Gomera can be found elsewhere.

La Gomera is known, among other things, as the place where Christopher Columbus stopped before his conquest of America. However, the most unique attraction on the island is Garajonay National Park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is a laurel forest growing in the area, over which clouds and fog almost always float. The green landscape and humid air are clearly different from the dry terrain of the most famous islands.

ShutterstockGarajonay National Park
Garajonay National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Garajonay Forest is a popular hiking destination. The national park is said to be named after the young lovers Gara and Jonay. Because the parents of the young people did not accept the relationship, they decided to take their lives in the woods.

Some package tours are made to La Gomera from Finland. Travel to the island by ferry via Tenerife – the journey takes less than an hour. Tour operators offer guided tours of Tenerife to La Gomera.

Remember also: The Canary Glass-based Lookout makes your knees sag – have you either walked over this landscape?

6. El Hierro lighthouse and former zero meridian

The tiny El Hierro is a volcanic island where no major tourist flows have been heard. Many travelers have certainly not even heard of the Canary Island called El Hierro. The beach holiday at El Hierro is not worth going to, but it is well suited for adventurous travelers who want to see the other side of the Canary Islands.

Of the sights, it’s worth experiencing at least the Orchilla Lighthouse: at the same time, you’re close to where the former Zero Circle passed before it was moved to Greenwich, Britain. On the outskirts of the lighthouse you will find a monument dedicated to the zero meridian. Another place of interest in El Hierro is the lava cave pool of Charco Azul.

IstockphotoOrchilla lighthouse
Orchilla Lighthouse is located near the former zero meridian.

There are no package tours to El Hierro, but you can travel there on your own. Have you ever dreamed of island hopping in the Canary Islands?

Also read: There is one Canary Island that few know anything about – 10 facts about the unknown El Hierro

7. The advantage of La Palma is the hiking terrain

Called the Green Island, La Palma is not a place to go after sightseeing. The most popular place to visit on the island is the Caldera de Tabueriente National Park, with its many different hiking trails. You can expect to see the crater, cliffs and coniferous forest.

Inka KhanjiCaldera de Taburiente National Park
The island of La Palma is ideal for active holidaymakers.

Travel to the island of La Palma on your own. Flights depart from the larger Canary Islands such as Tenerife and Gran Canaria. In addition, there are ferries between the islands in the Canary Islands.

8. La Graciosa – when you miss no attractions at all

The newest Canary Island is La Graciosa, located next to Lanzarote, which officially became the eighth member of the archipelago in 2018. The island, with less than a thousand inhabitants, is largely in a natural state. For example, there are no paved roads – and no sights. However, on the island you can visit its clean and peaceful beaches such as Playa de las Conchas.

La Graciosa is a general day trip from Lanzarote, but there is also some accommodation. The ferry ride between the islands takes less than half an hour.

Also read: Which island is right for you? Here’s how to choose a holiday destination in the Canary Islands

Text: Maria Hietala
Photos: Shutterstock and Tenerife Tourism

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