Canary Islands: Where Volcanic Wonders and Beachside Bliss Collide

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Advisor - Syd Wolchok
Curated By

Syd Wolchok

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Beaches

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Spain

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Coastal

A seashore with white color building and small houses.
Curator’s statement

Experience the Canary Islands like never before through the enchanting realms of Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Discover the unique allure of these volcanic wonders, where dramatic landscapes, rich history and carnival festivities await. Bask in the year-round sunshine, explore natural marvels, indulge in culinary delights and gaze at the stars on Mount Teide — all in one extraordinary adventure just off the Moroccan coast.

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Day 1: Arrival in Gran Canaria

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Upon your arrival, you'll be captivated by Gran Canaria's unique allure. Check into your chosen hotel, whether it's a luxurious beachfront resort or a charming boutique stay in Las Palmas, the island's capital.

In the afternoon, after settling in, indulge in a beach day, basking in the Canary Islands' year-round sunshine. In the evening, explore the vibrant city life, shopping on Calle Triana and strolling through the historic Teror Old Town. Puerto de Mogan offers colorful streets and narrow canals, making for a delightful visit. For those seeking nightlife, Playa del Ingles offers lively clubs, bars and discos, while Masapalomas houses a vibrant casino.

Day 2: Exploring Gran Canaria's natural beauty

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Embark on a scenic adventure by renting a car and heading for the clouds at Roque Nublo, an iconic rock formation. Continue to the Caldera de Bandama volcano center and hike down to the center's viewing platform. A drive through the laurel forest of Los Tilos de Moya and walk to Pico de Las Nieves, where panoramic views of the island and ocean await.

Day 3: Coastal paradise & culinary delights

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Begin your day with a leisurely walk along the beaches, making your way to the iconic Sand Dunes. Explore Playas de Masapalomas, including the striking Faro lighthouse. For adventure seekers, indulge in quad biking, dune surfing or camel riding. Alternatively, enjoy a beach or pool day at your hotel or unwind at Puerto de Las Nieves surrounded by charming cafes.

Savor a unique wine tour experience at Bodega Los Berrazales or Bodegas Bentayga, both producing wines from the island's volcanic soil. Visit the Arehucas Rum distillery, famous for its rum crafted from locally grown sugar cane or take a cheese tour at Cortijo de Caideros, a family-run cheese producer.

Day 4: Crossing to Tenerife

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Bid farewell to Gran Canaria as you catch a ferry to Tenerife, a journey of approximately one hour and 30-minutes, arriving in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, check into your hotel, which may take about an hour from the port.

In the afternoon, take time to relax or enjoy a beach club. As evening falls, embark on a star-gazing adventure on Mount Teide, one of the best locations in the world for clear skies and minimal light pollution.

Day 5: Island exploration and beach delights

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Set sail on a boat tour to explore the stunning coastline, with views of neighboring islands. Alternatively, beach hop from lively Troya Beach to the serene Playa del Duque. Consider a visit to a beach club, such as Monkey Beach Club or Papagayo Beach Club. Dive into the world of Canarian wines and cheeses with a tour at Bodegas Monje, surrounded by rolling vineyards at a high altitude, or explore Casa Del Vino, a wine museum and tasting room.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Iceland: An Adventure in the Land of Fire and Ice.

Advisor - Syd Wolchok

Travel Advisor

Syd Wolchok

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Spain.