Canary Islands

By Jade Hindley

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The main tourist destinations within the Canaries are Lanzarote, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, and Gran Canaria. These islands are located off the coast of northwestern Africa, but are an autonomous community of Spain and therefore a lot of the culture is influenced by Spanish traditions.  They are well known as being perfect for a relaxing beach holiday but there is a lot more to them! With the varied volcanic, forest and desert landscapes, the views are often dramatic and breathtaking, with a lot of excursions to offer such as hiking, mountaineering, scuba diving, and a range of watersports. Also, four of Spain's National Parks are located within the islands so it is incredibly easy to see some natural beauty up close if that is your drive when travelling. 

Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria

Weather

The Canary Islands are a popular destination for UK tourists year-round due to the warm temperatures during our winter months so there isn’t really a low season. Prices are usually highest around January and February for this reason. July and August are still the hottest months of the year with temperatures up to 40°C and this is when they are at their busiest, whereas Autumn is the quietest time of year. Areas at a higher altitude, particularly in in Tenerife and Gran Canaria are a little cooler and can be foggy at certain times of the year.

Shoulder Season: April-June and September-November

High Season: July-August and December-March

Cave in Jameos del Agua, Lanzarote

Budgeting

The currency in the Canary Islands is Euros. You can arrange a currency exchange before you travel, purchase a currency card, or exchange money once you have arrived.

We have included below some average costs to help you budget for your trip.

Accommodation

1 Night in a Budget Double Room: £25 - £50

1 Night in a Double Room: £55 - £100

1 Night in a Luxury Double Room - £100+

Food

Wonderful markets and supermarkets for self catering : £2 - £15

Restaurant Meal: £20 - £30

Luxury Restaurant Meal: £50 - £100

Extras

Museums: £4 - £10

Car rental: £15+ per day

Waterpark/Entertainment Tickets: £15-£30

Tipping

Taxis: Not necessary but you can round up to nearest Euro

Restaurants: 5% - 10%

Bars: A 5-10% tip for table service

Mt Teide

Food

The Canarian cuisine is wonderful mix of Spanish, African and Mediterranean due to its proximity, immigration and travellers stopping over. Traditional meals are usually quite light due to the warm climate and consist of a lot of fresh produce and fish, with some meat. However, due to the high rate of tourism there are usually a whole range of cuisines on your doorstep and you will easily find something to suit your tastes.

Papas Arrugadas and Mojo

Mojo is a popular sauce in the Canary Islands pronounced as mo-ho. It is made from oil, garlic, vinegar, salt, red pepper, thyme, oregano and coriander. Rojo is the red version of this usually served with meat and Verde is green and often served with fish. There is also a spicy version call Mojo Picon. You will often see this sauce served with Papas Arrugadas which translates to wrinkly potatoes and is a staple dish you have to try! 

La Gomera Bananas

These bananas which are grown on the smaller island of La Gomera in the Canaries is a rare treat. The unique and aromatic taste is something you should certainly sample whilst visiting. 

Ropa Vieja

This translates as "old clothes" but don't be put off by this. This is actually a national dish of Cuba and popular among Carribean islands but originated in the Canaries. It used to be made of leftovers but has been developed and is now a sensational combination of beef, chicken, potatoes, chickpeas and vegetables.  

Majorero 

This is a delicious, milky, nutty flavoured goats milk cheese from the island of Fuerteventura. It is often served fried in the Canary Islands and mainland Spain with a pear sauce as a side dish. 

Gran Tarajal, Fuerteventura

Phrases

Buenos días / Buenas tardes / Buenas noches

(Boo-en-os dee-as / Boo-en-os tar-dehs / Boo-en-os no-chehs)

Good morning / Good afternoon / Good evening

Cuánto cuesta?

(koo-an-toh kwhehs-ta)

How much does it cost?

Yo no comprendo

(yoh no kom-pren-doh)

I do not understand

Cactus Garden in Guatiza village, Lanzarote

Interesting Facts

1.       El Teide, which is a mountain towering 3718 metres over the island of Tenerife, is the highest point in Spain. It also has one of the biggest collections of astronomical telescopes on the planet, and the largest actual telescope.  

2.       If you are visiting Lanzarote, stop by El Diablo Restaurante in Timanfaya National Park and you can sample food cooked over a volcano! Although the last eruption was in 1824, they are still able to use the heat from just below the surface as a grill. They also put on demonstrations for visitors.

3.       The beautiful waters of the Canary Islands are home to the incredibly rare Loggerhead Turtles. You can take diving trips from the islands to catch a once in a lifetime glimpse of them!

Loggerhead Turtle

Call 0161 440 6735 to book your next adventure to the Canary Islands!