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Canary Islands at a glance

Why are the Canary Islands different?  Yes, they’re volcanic. They are like Mother Nature theme parks with amazing beaches and breathtaking scenery.

Yes, they positively erupt with a superb range of outdoor activities, fantastic resorts with tremendous facilities, great shopping and great food.

So why are they different? 

Because the joy of the sub-tropical climate means that all these things and more can be enjoyed at any time of the year. And they are only four-hours from the UK.

That’s why. 

If you’ve been there already, then we hope to tempt you to go back again, maybe to somewhere different. Each island has its own magnificent character.

If you haven’t been before here’s what to expect on the five islands you can visit with Olympic Holidays.  How can you resist!

Where to stay in Canary Islands

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Fuerteventura

Welcome to the three-in-one desert island that promises you a fantastic holiday any time of the year.  Fuerteventura is the second largest Canary Island, but it is only 60 miles from the brilliant-white sand dunes in the north to the seemingly endless golden s…

Gran Canaria Sunrise

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria has a kind of magic. You can soak up the sun on a beach and then marvel at the view from a snow-capped mountain.  There are miles of desert-like sand dunes and waterfalls in lush forests. Some atmospheric towns and villages have stepped from hist…

La Palma Coast Canary Islands

La Palma

Welcome to La Isla Bonita! (The Beautiful Island.) With its sugar and banana plantations and laid-back Spanish culture, La Palma feels more South American than European. Maybe the Caribbean isn’t as far away as you thought! The lush landscape, enchanting for…

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Lanzarote

Black sand, a sleeping volcano, breath-taking scenery, fantastic food and marvellous facilities for tourists. No, not Santorini but Europe’s other amazing volcanic island: Lanzarote. One big difference between these two holiday ideals is that this unique Cana…

Canary Islands holidays

Tenerife

Why do two million people from the UK choose Tenerife as a holiday destination each year? Is it the fabulous beaches, stunning scenery, breath-taking volcano and tremendous amenities? Yes. But there is one more crucial consideration. The wonderful weather. T…

Best Time to Visit the Canary Islands

As in the UK, the weather in the Canary Islands is variable. But whichever island you are on and whenever you are on it you can expect it to be a lot warmer and drier than at home.

They may be little more than a four-hour flight away, but the islands enjoy a sub-tropical climate that makes them great for a holiday at any time of the year.

Winter temperatures are mild enough to sunbathe on Christmas Day with maybe six or seven hours of sun and the thermometer nudging 22 degrees. Although the Atlantic may be warm enough for a dip the temperature will be much lower on the hills and mountains where, sometimes, it snows.

In the summer it rarely gets uncomfortably hot. The sun can shine for up to 10 hours a day, but maximum temperatures are usually between 25 and 30 degrees Centigrade.  Between May and September, it rarely rains on the coast.

The average annual rainfall for the Canary Islands is less than 150mm a year. London has almost four times as much. It may rain in Tenerife for 14 days a year but London has more than 100 wet days. Micro-climates mean some islands have wetter and drier areas.

Canary Island Travel Advice

Car hire:  Road networks are good on the Canary Islands and car hire is popular and widely available.  Drivers must be over 21 and should carry with them in the car picture ID (like a driving licence or passport) and the car hire document. Drive on the right.

Taxis: They operate on all five islands and fares are regulated. Most drivers speak English so you can discuss the fare before you travel. Expect fares to climb if your journey takes you outside the town or resort you are in. Flag a cab, go to a rank or book by phone (your hotel will help).

Buses:  Reliable and regular bus services run on all five islands. The routes, timetables and fares are available on-line and in English for some islands. Discounts can usually be obtained for multiple journeys.

Ferries:  Hydrofoils and ferries link all the islands.

Make the most of your trip Things to see & do

Frequently asked questions

Are the Canary Islands named after the birds?

No, the birds are named after the islands. The islands are named after large dogs that were running wild when the Romans arrived. The Latin word for dogs is canis. The chirpy yellow birds on the islands got their name in the 17th century.

Are all the beaches in the Canary Islands black?

Definitely not. The islands are famous for their very many beautiful white and gold sand beaches and sand dunes. However, there are some stunning black or dark-coloured beaches to be found on all these volcanic islands. Most of La Palma’s beaches are black.

Are the Canary Islands in Africa or Europe?

Geographically they are closer to Africa, Fuerteventura is less than 70 miles from Morocco. But the islands have been Spanish since the 15th century. They are part of the EU and the euro is the currency.

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