Regions In Canary Islands
Holidays in Fuerteventura
Holidays to Fuerteventura remain ever popular amongst British holiday makers, Fuerteventura is lies off the north African coast so it benefits from a fantastic year round climate. With its beautiful broad golden sandy beaches and peaceful resorts, Fuerteventura holidays perfect for relaxing.
Who holidays in Fuerteventura?
Holidays to Fuerteventura are a beach lovers paradise boasting broad sun soaked beaches and gentle breezes that whip off the Atlantic. Fuerteventura holidays are suited for people all ages looking for relaxation, for more active holiday makers Fuerteventura has near perfect conditions for surfing and windsurfing.
Book holidays to Fuerteventura and arrive at the second largest of the Canary Islands lying just 100 kms from the African coast. Fuerteventura has 150 beaches spread across a coastline stretching 340 kms, some are renowned as being the best beaches in the Canaries.
Fuerteventura holidays are an ideal opportunity to kick back and relax with a range of resorts with excellent tourist facilities and within easy access of Fuerteventura airport. Located in the north of the island is Corralejo, once a fishing village now a vibrant town filled with shops, bars and restaurants leading down to a harbour offering fantastic views.
Further south is the resort of Caleta de Fuste, a modern resort with a cosmopolitan atmosphere with developing resort centre close by. Fuerteventura holidays in Caleta de Fuste are great for families with children because the sheltered bay is safe for bathing. In the south of the island is the resort of Jandia offering 20 miles of sandy beaches with a beautiful coastline with Atlantic breezes making it a favourite spot windsurfers.
Value Holidays in Fuerteventura with Olympic Holidays
Fuerteventura holidays are a perfect choice for those looking for package holidays filled with sun and unspoilt beaches. Olympic Holidays offers package holidays to Fuerteventura from a wide range of UK airports including London Gatwick and Manchester. Fuerteventura is the only airport on the island and is conveniently located for access to the popular holiday resorts. As well as package holidays to Fuerteventura, Olympic Holidays has great range of cheap flights to Fuerteventura.
A holiday to Fuerteventura is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of its exemption from normal EU excises. Visitors can pick up bargain items including alcohol, tobacco, perfumes and scents. During Fuerteventura holidays there are great savings to be made, in the popular resorts such as Jandia and Caleta de Fuste you have a great selection of shops including modern shopping centres with a huge choice of shops and boutiques. Visit Jandia's market where you can buy locally produced crafts that make wonderful gifts for family or friends.
Things To See
Oasis Park: Located close to the fishing village of La Lajita in the south of the island and open 365 days a year the Oasis Park is the largest of its kind in the Canaries and comprises of an amazing animal park and a botanical garden with the largest cactus reserve in Europe. The animal park is home to over 3000 animals of 250 different species. Visitors can enjoy amazing exhibitions and are invited to interact with many of the different animals such as Sea Lions & Lemurs. With three restaurants and playgrounds for children a trip to the Oasis Park makes for a great day out for the whole family.
American Star Shipwreck: Located on west coast in a small remote beach (Playa de Garcey) lies the ship wreck of the American Star. This ship was once the pride of the US maritime industry and was stranded in 1994 as a result of a violent storm.
Canarian Arts Centres: A creation of a local art lover Manuel Delgado Camino, the Canarian Arts Centres has a mixture of galleries. The centre houses formal gardens showcasing a variety of artwork from landscapes to modern art including a flock of delightful iron goats. This is a inexpensive and fun day out and will keep the whole family occupied and you can also pick up memento's of your Fuerteventura holidays from a shop selling cheap mounted other tasteful souvenirs.
Artesania Lajares: Located north west from La Oliva, Lajares houses this extensive craft shop & gallery. You can see lace and embroidery being made and even buy these authentic products. Children and adults can enjoy Camel Safaris discovering the volcanic landscape, this may not necessarily be the most comfortable experience but great fun for everyone and will provide some unforgettable moments from your Fuerteventura holidays.
Betancuria: Founded by Jean de Bethencourt the Norman conqueror was once the island's capital. The village now has a small population that rely on tourists visiting the Santa Maria church and a museum documenting the island's history called Casa Museo Arquebiologico.
Things To Do
Oasis Park Zoo at La Lajita: Located in the south of the island near Costa Calma, Oasis Park is a not to miss experience for the whole family. Comprising of an amazing animal park and a botanical garden with the largest cactus reserve in Europe, visitors can enjoy amazing exhibitions and are invited to interact with many of the different animals such as Sea Lions & Lemurs or even take a ride on a camel.
Kite Flying: An increasingly popular activity for those on Fuerteventura holidays. The conditions are perfect for kite flying, so much so Fuerteventura hosts an annual competition.
Kite Surfing: This an exhilarating activity that is a combination of surfing and kite flying. Fuerteventura is home to a number of schools that offer courses for beginners and experts.
Snorkelling: A perfect way to experience Fuertevetura's beaches and marvel at the marine life. There are numerous diving schools all over the island who offer snorkelling lessons for all levels. Snorkellers can expect to see cuttlefish, sea urchins and more.
Hiking: The terrain in Fuerteventura is ideal for hiking, the island has a variety of walks ranging from seaside strolls to more challenging hikes up steep ascents.
Taxi: The taxi service in Fuerteventura is reliable, most towns and resorts have taxi ranks that are easily accessible. If your are travelling in a group this could prove to be a cost effective method of transport.
Bus: The Fuerteventura bus service is a pleasant and cheap of travelling around the island. The air conditioned buses service most parts of north and south of the island. If you're planning regular trips by bus it is advisable to buy a bus discount card (Tarjeta Dinero).
Car Hire: For complete flexibility to explore the island car hire is the best mode of transport. There are a number of care hire companies in Fuerteventura offering cars at a variety of budget. To hire a car you must be over 21 and must have held a clean drivers license for at least one year. You will be required to produce your drivers license and passport when hiring a car.
- Excellent year round climate
- Miles of broad sandy beaches
- Peaceful resorts great for relaxation
Holidays in Gran Canaria
Come to Gran Canaria, one of the most popular of the Canary Islands, to explore an amazing diversity of landscape: the stunning sands of the southern coastline; a rocky mountainous interior with weird and wonderful formations; lush foothills with stunning views perfect for hiking or biking, all illuminated by endless year-round sunshine. Discover unchanged rural villages, ancient cave etchings and historic sites. Then try your hand at golf, or a new water sport, shop at top stores, eat in great restaurants, and dance the night away in lively clubs and discos. It's all here - let Olympic Holidays show you the way.
Who holidays in Gran Canaria?
Olympic Holidays in Gran Canaria are for anyone with an adventurous spirit to ring the changes between sporty beach fun and taking it easy, cultural exploration and living it up to the hilt. There is entertainment for all ages and so Gran Canaria makes a great choice for a family holiday, too.
Known by its earliest inhabitants as Tamaran, from the Arabic name for date palm, tamar, it was later renamed Canaria by the Romans. The island was colonised by a succession of largely European adventurers throughout its history, accounting for the diverse cuisine and rich cultural heritage. Though only the third largest of the islands in the Canaries archipelago, Gran Canaria has the second highest population after Tenerife, living mainly in the larger coastal towns, but also inland in unspoilt traditional villages and hamlets. These are part and parcel of the allure of this exciting island for the ambitious traveller. Gran Canaria has been described as the microcosm of an entire continent containing a startling variation of landscape - it has much to entice anyone with a mind to explore. It's possible to get a good flavour of what's on offer with a few days in a hired car, and even on public transport within a slightly longer time frame. From the stunning desert-like sand dunes of Maspalomas in the south, through the forested peaks of the dramatic mountainous interior, towards the verdant lush greenery of the north, there are surprises in store if you're game enough to seek them out. Nearly half the island goes to make up a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, including six rural communities where traditional activities have been preserved. In the central massif which reaches nearly 2000 metres at the peak of Mount Las Nieves, a vast caldera, the Tejeda, dominates the interior of the island. From here rainwater zigzags its way down through ravines to meet the sea. Along the coastline, underwater volcanic gorges, towering cliffs and sand banks are home to a wide variety of species including such glorious creatures as the loggerhead turtle or bottlenose dolphin, and millions of smaller life-forms thriving in the excellence of this amazing natural environment.
It easy to holiday here and remain unaware of the treasure trove of Gran Canaria's magnificent hinterland, such is the range of things to do in the established holiday resorts along the coast. Indeed, if intrepid adventures in nature are not what it's all about for you, you won't be short-changed on a holiday to Gran Canaria in any case. For, as well as the rich cultural rewards in the museums and historic towns, such leisure activities as sunbathing, swimming, watersports and nights on the town are all amply catered for too.
The island's cosmopolitan capital - and airport - Las Palmas, is to be found on the northeast coast, situated between two lovely sandy bays. Its essence flows at night in the colourful vibrancy of the bars, clubs and restaurants which people throng to in anticipation of a good time. From here it is a drive of between 60-90 minutes to Olympic Holidays selected resorts in the south of the island. Rest and relaxation await you in the small former fishing villages of Puerto de Mogan and neighbouring Playa de Taurito, where fish restaurants abound and water sports are key. Life gets a little livelier in nearby Puerto Rico, and further round the coast, the fabulous sands of Maspalomas which stretch for miles, and the famous strip of vibrant Playa del Ingles at the southernmost tip, give beach lovers just what they're looking for. San Augustin, a little round the southern tip, is a quieter, sandy beach resort.
As well as package holidays to Gran Canaria, Olympic Holidays has great range of cheap flights to Gran Canaria.
Look out for traditional goods including African wood carvings, embroidery, jewellery and pottery, drums and much more. Locally produced crafts include exotic candles and glass sculptures. You will also find clothes, leather goods and watches. If you are suffering big-store withdrawal, though, a trip to the shopping malls of Las Palmas will ensure a swift recovery.
Things To See
Museum and Archaeological Reserve of Cueva Pintada: Find out what life on Gran Canaria was like hundreds of years ago in this museum with the nickname The Painted Cave, in Galdar, in the north of the island.
San Bartolome de Tirajana: This is the location for a variety of ancient sites including the Tunte Settlement, an entire underground village, complete with dwellings, granaries, burial areas and cave paintings; the Arteara Necropolis, a prehistoric burial ground 2 kms long and 1 km wide, made up of over a thousand burial mounds; Las Fortalezas, a fortified settlement of natural and artificially excavated caves - the remains of prehistoric paintings can still be found on the walls of some caves, while some others were used for burial rites and grain storage; and Almogaren de Amurga, one of the most complex and spectacular archaeological site, believed to have been the site of religious ceremonies.
Dunas de Maspalomas: No holiday to Gran Canaria would be complete without visiting the world renowned Maspalomas sand dunes rolling for miles along the coast - a desert next to the sea.
Teror: Accessed by steep winding roads, this town may be suitably named for the faint-hearted. It has great symbolic value to islanders, though, as it is said to be the place where La Virgen del Pino, the island's patron saint, appeared. An annual pilgrimage takes place to the Basilica in this rural town.
Vegueta: Travel back in time to tread the narrow, cobbled streets in the old city centre where Columbus is believed to have walked half a millennium ago.
Guayadeque Ravine: Close to the southern shore is this palm-covered ravine where rock paintings will transport you back in time.
Bandama: Hold your heart in your mouth as you descend into the Caldera of a volcano crater to find one of the oldest wineries on the island.
Whales and Dolphins: A paradise for whales and dolphins, of the 87 species in existence around the world, 29 can be found here in one of the most ecologically valuable locations in Europe. In addition to bottlenose dolphins, visitors can also see common, striped and spotted varieties. Safari trips are available lasting approximately 2 hours.
Parque Natural de Tamadaba: A huge network of ravines, slopes and mountains create an area of stunning beauty where one of the island's best preserved natural pine forests can be found. A Special Bird Protection Area, Tamadaba is an enormous massif uniting the ecosystems of the precipitous cliffs of Aden Verde with the crags and slopes of Guayedra. Various protected species inhabit the forest and Guayedra cliffs, many exclusive to the area. The park is also the location of some remote, semi-abandoned hamlets and important archaeological areas such as El Risco and the Guayedra valley.
Things To Do
A land full of opportunity for endless outdoor activities, surfing, mountain biking, rock climbing, swimming, walking, windsurfing, biking, golf, diving, and virtually anything imaginable, is available in Gran Canaria .
Watersports and Activities: The beautiful beaches in the south provide ample opportunity for sporting activity including snorkeling, scuba-diving, jet-skiing and paragliding. The whole family can take part in some whale and dolphin spotting, both of which can sometimes be seen from the shore as well as on the safaris which run regularly. Colourful shoals of tropical fish populating the warm harbour waters of Puerto de Mogan can be closely observed from a yellow submarine in the bay, an exciting trip for children especially.
Fishing: Go big fry with the deep sea your horizon; tuna and blue marlin weighing hundreds of pounds can be found in the waters off the southern coastline. Will you reel in the catch of your life?
Golf: Golf is now a very popular pastime on Gran Canaria with many courses to be tried out.
Cycling: Gran Canaria brings an amazing diversity of landscape to the adventurous traveller and a range of steep slopes to challenge even the fittest rider. There are thousands of tracks through the mountainous areas of the island for all levels of rider to push themselves a little towards the peak of fitness. If you prefer gain without pain, electric bikes can be hired to do all the hard work for you.
Hiking, climbing and other mountain adventures: A bike is not necessary to enjoy the scenery - a network of trails will take you deep into the beautiful countryside for a close up with nature. Challenge yourself that little bit further on a range of vertical ascents and enjoy the views from the top. Look out for the fun of a zip wire, wobble your way along a hanging bridge or abseil down the sides of a ravine. These are just some of the many ways to put your skills and courage to the test on the stimulating island of Gran Canaria.
Holiday World: Holiday World is located 3 kms inland from the Faro Lighthouse on the Maspalomas coast and includes a funfair with roller coaster, big wheel, sky drop, autoscooter, centrox, pirate ship, mechanic bulls, children's carousel, pony rides and bouncy castle. There is also a bowling alley and wellness centre. The park is open all year round.
Palmitos Park: For families taking holidays in Gran Canaria this a firm favourite. Located 10 kms north of Maspolomas it will keep the children entertained for hours. The park is a subtropical paradise with an aviary, aquarium, butterfly house and orchid house. The park puts on shows where birds such as parrots perform a variety of tricks.
Sioux City: A must for all the family, Sioux City is a theme park based on the wild west. The theme park arranges excellent shows featuring stunts such as bank robberies and shooting enactments, can-can dancing, rain dances and heart-stopping knife throwing acts.
Bus: You can travel all round the island via the coastal routes from Las Palmas, with regular services, many running hourly. However, it is always advisable to check timetables as there can be gaps in the schedule. Other routes will take you inland to the mountains and villages away from the shore.
Taxi: You will find taxis are generally available in most towns which can be picked up easily. However, it is often more reliable to obtain a number and telephone to book.
Ferry: Ferries and jetfoils link Gran Canaria with Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, using Las Palmas and Agaete ports. You will also see ocean-going yachts beginning their journey across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.
Car Hire: Car hire is a great option for getting around and seeing the many attractions of Gran Canaria.
- Sub tropical climate
- Gorgeous beaches
- Fantastic flora that usually flourish in Europe, Africa and the Americas
Holidays in Lanzarote
Book your trip to Lanzarote with Olympic Holidays and life will be a beach - literally - there are so many to choose from! An island largely unspoilt by tourism, you'll nonetheless find excellent hotels and places to stay in Lanzarote, with facilities and services befitting such a popular destination. Make your base in one of our four chosen - very different - resorts at Playa Blanca, Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen and Matagorda. Sun yourself, letting life's cares drift away, enjoy the sumptuous cuisine of the Canary Islands, and pamper yourself with siestas and spa treatments. Then, when sun, sand and sea begin to pall - if they ever do - there is always the lunar-like landscape, and amazing national park, Timanfaya, to explore - a product of the volcanic history of this unusual island - or the unspoilt towns, villages and lava-landscape of the northern coastline. Get sporty with the wide range of facilities available on land and water, and breathe in the exotic air as you hike or bike your way through amazing terrain. Whichever way you spend your time, you'll return from your Olympic Holiday in Lanzarote knowing you've had a holiday in every sense of the word.
Who holidays in Lanzarote?
Lanzarote is a great choice for everyone; it offers the essential ingredients of reliable sunshine, a plentiful supply of fabulous sandy beaches, crystal-clear seas and tip-top accommodation. On top of that, there is plenty to see and do and an abundance of opportunities to stretch your fitness to the max. Couples and young families not tied to school holidays can make the most of it's all-year-round appeal.
Say you are going to Lanzarote and, as if by reflex, someone will mention the black sands. What they probably don't know, and you are about to discover, is that this familiar feature is just one of many facets to this fascinating island. There is so much more to discover, if you know where to look.
It's true, many beaches have sand that defies the usual golden descriptions, but for thousands of tourists each year, this does not detract from the excellent facilities and dependable sunshine of the host of popular resorts along the southeast coast, where the island's tourism reaches its pinnacle, nor the amazing variety of panoramic vistas, and stunning natural formations towards the north, that characterise the Canaries.
You don't have to try that hard, either, to find beautiful golden fringed bays and attractive, unspoilt towns, particularly in the northwest. This is where the scenic beauty is at its height - land ravaged by nature to imbue a wildness as stimulating to the senses as it is unexpected to most visitors here. Archetypal Mediterranean whitewashed dwellings huddle among the volcanic landscape, a surprising green colour as if an enormous snooker baize has been draped for modesty over the helpless exposure of solidified lava. In pretty villages such as Haria, in a valley in the north-western tip, palm trees populate the view in multitude, and eucalyptus trees line the town square. Understated seaside towns such as La Caleta de Famara offer spectacular cliff views and an ample handful of worthwhile places to eat. A couple of examples only: with the island under 70 kms - or an hour's drive - from tip to top, Lanzarote's treasures are within easy reach, and discovery is all part of the pleasure.
If, though, a taster is all you need before returning to the serious business of sun and fun, make it a trip to the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya for extraordinary out-of-this world sights. Formed by one of the greatest volcanic eruptions in recorded history, which began on 1st September 1730 and which did not fully subside for six years, an area of 200 sqm, and 50 towns and villages were destroyed. At its centre are the Montanas del Fuego, or mountains of fire, so called because just 4 kms below the surface is a cauldron of magma which continues to bubble and boil, giving off an intense heat which can be felt through the ground underfoot.
Everywhere is evidence of Lanzarote's most famous native, Cesar Manrique, an artist who certainly left his mark on his homeland: as well as carrying out seven major architectural and artistic projects on the island, Manrique campaigned for a ban on high-rise development and roadside advertising hoardings, along with protection of the natural environment. Initially successful, the rise of tourism threatened to undermine it, but since his death, an environmental group, El Guincho, has taken up the cause, making him their posthumous honorary president. The traditional green woodwork to white-washed buildings and their unusual shaped chimneys are an enduring testimony to his influence, along with the colourful artworks and metal sculptures to be seen around the island.
When you book your Lanzarote holiday with Olympic, you will have a choice of four resorts, each which with its own distinct flavour. Peaceful Playa Blanca at the southern tip, on the edge of the Timanfaya National Park, is a perfect spot to begin your exploration of the enticing coastline and exciting volcanic scenery, and a pretty place to return to for relaxation when required. The sand is white, and the beach has Blue Flag status.
Costa Teguise, a short transfer from the airport at Arrecife, is a purpose built resort, with a bustling atmosphere and excellent tourist facilities including an 18-hole golf course and aqua park. Watersports abound here on the wide expanses of sand. It is ideal for families and couples where the emphasis is firmly placed on having fun.
The 5 kms of sand, backed with shops, bars and restaurants, make Puerto del Carmen & Matagorda holidays among the most popular with British visitors to Lanzarote. The oldest purpose-built resort on the island, Puerto del Carmen hits the bullseye in catering for the home-from-home, super-sun seekers. Its close neighbour Matagorda, has a similar vive but is a touch mopre laid back. The vast sweep of beach front and promenade are perfect for evening strolls and here you will find the island's only drive-thru for the world's most popular hamburger!
Lanzarote holidays are ever popular amongst British holidaymakers, Lanzarote holidays are available from a wide range of UK airports including London Gatwick and Manchester. Arrecife is the only airport in Lanzarote and is conveniently located for access to the popular holiday resorts. As well as package holidays to Lanzarote, Olympic Holidays has great range of cheap flights to Lanzarote.
Every Wednesday and Saturday, the market in Marina Rubicon is the place to go for a good selection of arts and craft souvenirs; you'll find jewellery, toys and clothes.
Bottles of the traditional mojo sauces or the excellent local olive oil, are a good choice, and local wines make great gifts and souvenirs.
Things To See
Cueva de los Verdes: This is one eighth of an 8 km-long tube of lava from an eruption 5000 years ago. The roof of the chasm was formed when the lava hit the sea and the top layer cooled, allowing the liquid magma beneath to continue to flow. There are two chambers, an upper and lower, with structures resembling stalactites along their tops. Guided tours of around 45 minutes are available, but be prepared to stoop, and avoid if you are uncomfortable in enclosed spaces.
Fundacion Cesar Manrique: A few kilometres north of Arrecife, Manrique's former home is now an art gallery and cultural centre dedicated to him and his work. This extraordinary building features subterranean rooms formed in massive air bubbles in the molten lava, now frozen in time. As well as the Manrique gallery, lesser known paintings from Picasso, Miro and others can be seen. Manrique was killed nearby in 1992 in a car accident, just six months after the opening of the foundation.
Guinate Tropical Park: Situated in a village of the same name in the north of the island, this family attraction houses around 1300 rare and exotic birds, monkeys, meerkats and other animals. There is a penguin pool, a parrot show, botanical garden and glass-bottomed boat rides. Nearby is a fine vantage point to take in the view across El Rio and the islets.
Isla Graciosa: An island breakaway at the northern tip of Lanzarote, Isla Graciosa, along with a scattering of other small islets, forms part of a nature reserve and are known collectively as Minor Canaries. A trip here will provide a stress-busting opportunity par excellence far from the well-beaten tourist tracks. There are some lovely sandy beaches and five small volcanic peaks. The population numbers around 600, mainly in the harbour town of Caleta del Sebo. Bike hire is available to give you access to all the island's hidden secrets. The seas around the island are great for surfing.
Jardin de cactus: Nearly 1500 different species of cactus are on display in this botanical garden in a disused quarry. Some amazing-looking specimens are to be found, grouped like armies of aliens lined up for a battle to take place in a crater of the moon. A restaurant and bar offer refreshments if the parched scene takes its toll.
Lagomar: In the village of Nazaret between Tahiche and Teguise, a building carved into the rock face was designed for Omar Sharif by Lanzarote architect, Jesus Soto. It is now an exhibition gallery, small museum and restaurant and bar serving Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fare.
Lanzarote Aquarium: The largest aquarium in the Canaries, there is an underwater tunnel from where you can see all manner of sea creatures and colourful fish. There is a shark tank and three touch pools, ideal for days out with small children.
Museo de Cetaceos: This is a natural history museum devoted to whales and dolphin, with particular information about the 24 species of whale to be found in the seas around the island¿s shore. Refurbished in 2012, it has reopened to offer audiovisual displays and life-size exhibits.
Parque Nacional de Timanfeya: The spectacular result of a six-year long volcanic eruption in which 50 towns and villages were flattened, this park is a wonder to behold with its extraordinary twisted formations in shades of grey to black and red to maroon, halting the downward flows of copper coloured, volcanic soil. There is a look-out designed by Manrique at Islote de Hilario, where there is a restaurant, gift shop and car park. Here you will see startling demonstrations of the temperature under ground, where magma continues to swirl and bubble to this day - a great opportunity for souvenir photos; make sure you have a camera. Take the bus trip along the Ruta de los Volcanoes for some spectacular landscape vistas. North of the park is the Mancha Blanca Visitors Centre where audio visual displays provide a wealth of information about the park and you can see a simulated a volcanic eruption.
Tiagua: In the centre of the island, the town of Tiagua is the location of Museo Agricola El Patio, a reconstruction of a 19th-century traditional farmer's dwelling. Here you will be able to sample the local goats cheeses and Malvasia and muscatel wines. Camels, donkeys, the odd windmill and traditional equipment and household items complete the scene.
Things To Do
Deep Sea Fishing: Not an obvious activity on holiday in the Canaries but very enjoyable, as Lanzarote is a deep sea fishing haven where the volcanic sea beds are at depths of up to 3500 metres. A great day out at sea.
Fire Walks in Timanfaya (Fire Mountains): Not to be missed - holidays to Lanzarote would be incomplete without a journey to the fire mountains where you witness volcanic action among the craters and lava fields. The two-hour guided walk is over 3.5 kms of fairly difficult terrain and so you will need to be moderately fit to accomplish it.
Punta del Papagayo: Visit this promontory, a protected nature reserve, by taxi-boat for a relaxing day out. Explore the picturesque coastline of pretty coves with golden sandy beaches.
Riding: What better way to discover the beauty of Lanzarote than on horseback? Guided treks are available, and, in some places you will also find camel rides, and pony rides for children.
Rancho Texas Theme Park: Live western music, line dancing, shows and great entertainment, the park is located just outside Puerto del Carmen. Western nights are legendary here, with great food and entertainment for the whole family.
Scenic drives: If you've hired a car for your holiday, or a taxi for the day, there are many amazingly scenic routes to be enjoyed, particularly in the island's interior around the wine country. Alternatively, driving west from Puerto del Carmen, pick up the LZ-702 just before Uga for a winding, climbing route through goat fields and green valleys. With the sea to the west, and low-lying mountains to the east, this route will take you to Femes, a great place to purchase some local goat's cheese and enjoy an incredible view out to the coast at the Balcon de Femes. The drive continues down to Playa Blanca.
Submarine safaris: Visit Puerto Calero, a few kilometres west of Puerto del Carmen, for this charming one-hour descent to 30 metres depth in the Yellow Submarine.
Wind Surfing and Watersports: With warm waters and steady winds, Lanzarote has some great surfing spots, attracting many water sports enthusiasts. World-class competitions are held in venues such as Costa Teguise. Jet ski-ing, snorkeling and scuba diving are available; there are a number of diving schools offering tuition from beginner to more accomplished, and from child to adult.
Airport Transfer: Lanzarote has one airport at Arrecife, on the south-east coast. Olympic Holidays resorts of Puerto del Carmen and Matagorda are just five minutes drive away, and Costa Teguise a little further, approximately 15 minutes. Playa Blanca is the longest transfer, a drive or around 40 minutes.
By Bus: Buses are called guaguas and pronounced wa-wa. There is a frequent service around Arrecife and to Lanzarote's main tourist areas. However, services to other parts are minimal or simply don't exist. Car hire is therefore a good option in Lanzarote.
Car Hire: To see all there is to see, car hire is highly recommended; you will find all the names you would expect in car rental, as well as a few more local companies. You need to be over 21 and have a valid driving licence and credit card. Some of the smaller firms may not require the latter. Fuel is not heavily taxed and is therefore cheaper than on Mainland Spain. Driving is on the right.
Bicycle Hire: If you are fit and energetic, hiring a bike is one of the best ways to see the island, with maximum flexibility and minimum cost. Bike hire is readily available in tourist resorts, including helmet and basic equipment, at a rate of somewhere over £10 per day.
Island Hopping by Air: Each of the seven Canary Islands has its own airport and therefore island hopping is possible, with a handful of airlines covering all islands between them. One airline, Binter Canarias has flights to all islands.
- Excellent year round climate
- Golden sandy beaches
- Lots to see and do
Holidays in Tenerife
With over 10 million visitors each year, Tenerife is the island that epitomises the Canaries for most travellers. It earns its stripes in the sheer diversity of experiences it offers: a 350 mile circle of coastline backed up with tropical forest and protected national parkland where eerie moonscapes surround Spain's highest peak, the volcanic Mount Teide. The glistening white sands of the southern coastline and consequent abundance of hotels and concentrated tourist development cater with ease for the needs for sun seekers, serious shoppers and night revellers alike. Along with fabulous food and the fiery Fiesta spirit, particularly in the capital, Santa Cruz, Tenerife is a treat for all the senses. Year-round sunshine means a holiday any time of year makes perfect sense. So call Olympic Holidays now to book yourself the break you deserve.
Who holidays in Tenerife?
The endless possibilities of an Olympic holiday to Tenerife make it a holiday destination for anyone and everyone. Whether you're a sporty type, a party person, beach babe or nature lover, you'll be in your element on the Canaries largest island of Tenerife.
It's easy to overlook but impossible to overstate the range of experiences offered by this fabulous holiday destination. Countless holidaymakers every year travel here and return without realizing what they've missed. The key is to be adventurous and explore. Don't restrict yourself to the unquestionably beautiful beaches and undeniably lively resort towns of the southern coast; travel inland to discover the commanding beauty of the landscape of the interior. Even here, the variation is vast, from forested ravines to volcanic moonscapes, and the majestic peak of Mount Tiede in the centre of the Parque Nacional del Tiede. It is the most visited national park in Spain with a total of nearly 3 million visitors annually; walkers, cyclists and fitness enthusiasts of every passion flock to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, but with an area of 18,990 hectares, the sense of solitude and tranquility remain entirely unruffled.
Anywhere on the island is easily within range for day trips away from the beach. The north of the island is lush with the abundance of flora and fauna, giving rise to a distinctly tropical climate and stunning scenery. Discovering the delights of capital Santa Cruz at the north-eastern tip, is a must for anyone whose holiday is incomplete without finding out more about the cultural identity of this dream destination. Filled with places to visit and things to see, the city buzzes with life and zings with a lively latin air, particularly during the main festival season in February and March, when it gives Rio a real run for its money. Animal lovers and families will find Loro Parque a great way to spend a day, with the worlds largest collection of parrots and a variety of other animals to see in realistic replicas of their natural habitat. Ancient towns and villages such as La Orotava and Masca give a glimpse of Tenerife's past, and offer outstanding views on the way. For many though, its the sunshine, sands and sheer youthfulness of Tenerife's renowned resorts such as Playa de las Americas and the slightly quieter Los Cristianos in the south of the island which are the pull, and these certainly live up to their reputation for fun. At Olympic Holidays we've a fabulous range of places to stay Playa de las Americas, and places to stay in Los Christianos, and three other enchanting resorts as well: for families who perhaps need things a bit quieter occasionally, but still like to be near the centre of the action, Costa Adeje is a great choice with its up-market accommodation and smart restaurants. Callao Salvaje, within the same district is similarly perfect for families particularly with very young children, being a small and quiet resort with some bars and restaurants of its own and a sand and shingle beach. Attractive Puerto de la Cruz is our resort in the north of the island. At the foot of the stunning La Orotava Valley, it's a great choice for absolutely anyone, with stunning scenery, great food, proximity to the capital, and the volcanic black-sand beaches the Canaries are known for. Take your pick and prepare for a voyage of discovery.
Tenerife holidays are ever popular amongst visitors for package holidays, Tenerife holidays are available from a wide range of UK airports including London Gatwick and Manchester. As the epicentre of the island's tourism, the majority of flights go to the south, though there is also an airport in the north. As well as package holidays to Tenerife, Olympic Holidays has great range of cheap flights to Tenerife.
Both ends of the spectrum await you when it comes to spending in Tenerife, whether you want to notch up a few more conquests on your credit card, or rummage out bargains with authentic charm among the products and produce displayed at one of the local open-air markets. There are plenty of them all around Tenerife, including some very large ones, and a night market in Los Abrigos, in the south of the island. They are a great place to go for souvenir inspiration or just browsing, with everything on sale from a variety of leather goods to hand-woven tablecloths and mats, or delicious tapas. Be aware, though, that designer goods on sale here at drop-down prices are almost certainly not the copies. Head to the main malls of the larger towns for the genuine article complete with guarantee of authenticity.
In Fanabe, you can spend an entire day at the GRAN SUR shopping centre where you will find a wide variety of retail outlets, and a food hall to relax in over lunch. Take the weight of your feet at the end of the day in front of one of the seven screens of the cinema there - English language films are shown daily. Alternatively, the Safari Centre in nearby Playa de las Americas will satisfy a lust for labels with its designer boutiques and high-end stores. Road test your new gear in one of the swanky bars or restaurants in the Centre later on.
Things To See
Festivals and Carnivals: Tenerife is an island that revels in its colourful celebrations which go on year round. Carnivals take place in all areas, but especially Santa Cruz during February and March, when huge costumed parades and partying fill the streets. Easter celebrations are held in many places including Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava. The latter also plays host to the Corpus Christi festival in June, when the town square is decorated with tons of colourful sand to illustrate biblical events. August 14th and 15th are when the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands, the Virgin of Candelaria, is honoured with pilgrims from all over the Canaries travelling to the city of Candelaria in Tenerife to take part in processions. In late November, the Fiesta de San Andres takes place in Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava when, traditionally, wine cellars are opened up and the new wine is tasted. Youngsters in Icod de los Vinos enjoy a tradition of sliding down the town's steep streets on greased wood boards. The climate in the Canaries makes it a favourite winter destination, too, and at Christmas and New Year, you may catch sight of the Baile del Nino (Dance of the Child) where groups of people in traditional dress dance before the image of the infant Christ, or one of the firework displays welcoming in the new year.
As well as religious celebrations, one of the most prestigious European classical music festivals takes place in June with a varied programme and impressive line up of musicians performing at various locations around the island. In Laguan in September, is the Sabandeno Festival of folk music with both Canarian and international bands in the line-up.
Loro Parque: One of the most famous animal parks in the Canary Islands, Loro Parque houses the largest collection of parrots in the world. It was founded as a refuge for the colourful birds in 1972 and has since become of the island's most popular tourist attractions. Covering 135,000 square metres, it includes an aquarium and a wide variety of other animals including dolphins, sea lions, gorillas, chimps, penguins and killer whales in realistic replicas of their natural habitats. Whale shows are a big attraction in the park. One of its newer attractions is Katandra Treetops, a network of suspended bridges from which you can observe a range of exotic birds at close quarters.
Los Gigantes: Cliffs are large by definition, it's true, but none more so than these awe-inspiring examples on the west coast, towering over the town named after them; they range up to 600 metres high. Take in their majesty on one of the many boat trips out from the chic marina of Puerto de la Cruz.
Mount Tiede: Unless you feel confident navigating intimidatingly winding mountain roads, its best to seek out an organised trip to Mount Tiede, 3717 meters high. It is the highest Volcano in the world, and the highest Spanish mountain. It sits in the massive crater of a prior ancient volcano, which so resembles the surface of the moon with its petrified lava formations, it was used by NASA to simulate actual moon landings. Look out for the Roques de Garcia. The obsidian (cooled magma), gives the rocks - and the consequent beach sands - their black colour and off-cuts are often polished up to fashion into striking jewellery. The mountain shelters the north of the island from Saharan winds creating quite a microclimate, but on the mountain itself, it can get quite cold, so take a warm sweater.
Bananera El Guanche: A visit to this private banana plantation includes a short video about Tenerife and a guided tour of the plantation. At the end, there is an opportunity to sample the banana liqueur made there, and to order flamingo flowers and bunches of bananas to be delivered to your hotel.
Museo Arqueologico del Puerto de la Cruz: This is one of the most important archaeological museums in the Canary Islands offering a collection comprising more than 2,600 specimens of items from the Guanche culture, and a document collection named after researcher, Luis Diego Cuscoy. It has an enormous collection of Guanche aboriginal pottery, including the remains of several Guanche mummies. Also to be seen are two unique pieces from the island, one of which is two limpet shells, a finding of Telesforo Bravo, and a clay idol called El Guatimac.
Masca: For the fit and strong, this picturesque village, located at the foot of the mountains in the northwest of the island, is well-worth the three-hour walk through deep ravines along breath-stopping winding roads. You'll be rewarded with stunning views, so remember to take your camera, as well as factoring in the uphill walk back.
Anaga Mountains: For breathtaking scenery and unusual landscapes, a hike through this protected part of northeast Tenerife is hard to beat. Still relatively unexplored, you will discover unusual rock formations and hidden villages in which some people still inhabit caves. The path to Barranco de Las Huertas is spectacular and leads to an amazing panorama of the craggy northern coastline.
Santa Cruz: The island's capital, this city is well worth a visit. It is home to one of the most historically important harbours in the Atlantic Ocean, a frequent stop-off point for 19th-century fleets heading for the Americas. Today it is a vibrant cosmopolitan city choc-a-bloc with interesting things to see, arresting architecture and, of course, great places to shop and eat. Explore it on an open-topped bus with the option to get off and on to fit your schedule.
Canarian Wrestling (Lucha Canaria): A popular tourist attraction, this is a spectator sport practised throughout the islands, usually in teams of twelve.
La Orotava: Located within the stunning Orotava valley is this ancient town distinguished by its picturesque buildings and quaint cobbled streets. Its historic centre is a popular tourist destination, where the Concepcion Church and Casa de los Balcones (houses of the balconies) perfectly represent the island's unique architecture.
The town also has a beautiful botanic garden, La Hijuela del Botanico. Created to acclimatise new species coming over from America, the garden was commissioned between 1788 and 1832 and came into being through investment from the Marquis of Villanueva del Prado. In the middle of the 19th century, gardener Germï¿¿n Widpret further developed it into a splendid display and in 1941 it came into the hands of the Institute for Agronomic Research. It is now home to more than 3,000 plant species, mainly native Canary Island flora but also including spectacular exotic species.
Playa de las Americas: Renowned for its round-the-clock party atmosphere Playa de las Americas is one of the most popular places to visit in Europe. Located on the south coast of Tenerife, it is the place young people head to for its hedonistic appeal. This emanates in particular from the one-kilometre stretch known as Veronicas, packed with nightclubs, cabaret bars, live music venues, shops and restaurants. Neon lights, music pumping out of doorways and people dancing in the street are all to be expected here every night of the week!
Things To Do
Sport: The enviable climate of the Canary Islands makes them the perfect holiday destination for sports lovers of all kinds, and Tenerife is no exception; virtually every sport is catered for on the island, with water sports facilities in abundance.
Deep-sea fishing: With some big fish potential in the catch, Tenerife is a great place from which to set sail to the briny blue and give deep fishing a go.
Diving: Immerse yourself in the colourful underwater world that swims beneath the waves of Tenerife's fascinating coastline. You may catch sight of barracudas and groupers as well as enjoying some close encounters with rays, turtles and sometimes even small sharks. Diving schools are located all over the island, especially in the south, at various beaches along the Costa Adeje coastline.
Sailing: Look out for the sports marinas (puerto deportivo), local sailing clubs and federations. You can rent yachts and catamarans for day excursions or longer trips.
Water-skiing: Experience the fantastic feeling of bobbing along on top of the waves with the wind whistling through your hair. Alternatively, bounce over the breakers on a jet ski, or parasail above the sparkling sea.
Windsurfing: This is one of the most popular sports as there's always a breeze in the air - sufficient to keep boarders skudding along the sea's surface. Windsurfing equipment can be hired at many places along the coast.
Cycling: Head for the hills and challenge yourself around the hairy mountain passes on a hired mountain bike, available in most resorts.
Hiking: If you're not up to the effort of cycling, don't miss out on the stunning countryside. With 21 marked trails through the Parque Nacional de las Canadas del Teide, you can take your time appreciating the wonders of Tenerife's amazing landscapes. Alternatively, there are spectacular walks through the Anaga Mountain region in the north-east and around the Valle de la Orotava, also in the north of the island. (Click on Things to See for more details).
Golf: Golfers from all over the world flock to Tenerife every year to enjoy indulging their passion on verdant green fairways and challenging courses with amazing ocean views to boot. There are numerous courses on the island.
Karting: There are several places to go-kart in Tenerife. Tracks vary in speed, size and facilities but most cater for all ages.
Tennis: Tennis is a popular sport in Tenerife with both public courts and tennis facilities within hotels.
Lago Martianez: Enjoy a day out as relaxed or active as you please, at this renowned lido which includes a spectacular swimming pool complex, with cascading waterfalls and beautiful landscaped gardens where sculptures by Lanzarote-born architect Cesar Manrique, who designed the complex, can be admired. By night, the scene is enchanting with the pools lit from beneath and lights illuminating the pathways to the casino. There are restaurants, bars and a kiosk serving ice-cream and confectionary.
Aqualand: A little further afield, on the Costa Adeje stretch is this water adventure park for a family day out. It offers a selection of swimming pools, slides, tunnels and play areas. Entry includes an ever-popular dolphin show, seven of the amazing mammals having been born at the park. Restaurants, cafes, shops, sunbeds and parasols are all readily available.
Buses: An island-wide bus service operates, with the saucy-postcard acronym, TITSA (Transportes Interurbanos de Tenerife, Sociedad Anonima). The no. 111 bus runs every 30 minutes between the terminal at Santa Cruz and Playa de las Americas along the main motorway, calling in at the airport en route. However, some services are very infrequent and it is advisable to get hold of and use the timetable, which provides all the information you will need about routes and schedules. The buses or 'guaguas' are a distinctive green and white colour and are clean, efficient and generally run to schedule. Ask for ida y vuelta (phonetically: eeda ee vwelta) for a return ticket which is more economical. From bus stations, and certain shops displaying a round green logo, you can purchase a Bono travel card, which will save you even more, and which can be shared. It is also valid for use on the trams in the capital, Santa Cruz, and discounted entry to some museums. Queuing is not the norm, and it can become quite a free-for-all when the last bus of the day arrives.
Taxis: Generally white Mercedes, the island's taxis are roomy and a very convenient way to get around for groups of people. If you pick up the Guia de Horarios leaflet from the information booth on arrival at the airport, you will find in it an approximate guide to taxi fares. Larger groups than family-size can be accommodated in un grande (pronounced grand-ay), a people carrier or minibus. It's advisable to ask for the fare (Cuanto por [destination]) at the start of your journey to avoid any tourist premium.
Car Hire: One of the best ways to explore the amazing landscapes of Tenerife is to hire a car, which is reflected in the fact that there are over 100 hire-car companies on the island. However, mountain roads can be very winding and hairy, and not for anyone of a nervous disposition. There is a free, efficient highway system which runs around the island called autopista del sur and autopista del norte depending on which side of the island it caters for. Driving is on the right, petrol is relatively cheap, and most roads are quiet. In towns, though, road use and parking can sometimes be rather haphazard.
Trains: Tenerife currently does not have a train service, though there are plans afoot for a transrapid train between the north and south airports which it is hoped will also be a tourist attraction.
Ferries: Tenerife's capital, Santa Cruz, is a hub of ferry and hydrofoil travel to the other islands of the Canaries and to Cadiz in southern Spain.
- Excellent year round climate
- Plenty of things to see and do
- Vibrant nightlife with a wide choice of bars and nightclubs