Travel & Tips

Is it worth it to visit Canary islands?

Nadja Ebner

13 Nov 17 · 4 min read

Are you kidding? Yes, yes and thousand times yes. Oh, I shouldn’t give you the answer so early, now you’ll stop reading. :)
But for all who are still with me, and haven’t visited Canary islands yet, let’s check what I liked. I will mostly take in consideration Tenerife because we spent the most of our time there.

Weather

We have to start with the weather, so we don’t betray everyday chit-chat. Climate on Canary islands was the best I’ve ever experienced. We were there in October, but they say the temperatures are quite constant throughout the year. During the day it was around 25 degrees. On sunny days it could get up to 30. During night time I was never cold. And I can get cold quickly. When we were staying by the seaside, temperatures never lowered under 19 degrees. But it is another story if you go higher up. That will sound logical: higher you go, colder it gets. It also depends which side of island you are on. We checked Tenerife and Gran Canaria and on both islands, it’s considerably warmer on the south. And sunnier. One thing I was impressed with: even though the island isn’t big, you can always find the sun. If you are somewhere in the north (let’s say you are in Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife), you can just jump in the car or bus and drive towards the south. Sometimes you’ll get sun half an hour away in Santa Cruz. If not, drive lower toward El Medano. If still nothing: go west. Somewhere you’ll find the sun shining. The clouds are moving so fast that it can start to rain in one minute but in the next one it’s already sunny. I don’t think you’ll ever find a day when depressing dark clouds cover the whole island. If you plan to stay in the north of the Tenerife, don’t be surprised if clouds do stick there for a couple of days. It looks like volcano holds them in the north.

Clouds come and they go.

Transportation: Because of the changing weather I recommend you to rent a car. Gas is cheap on Canary islands, and you’ll feel much better if you can hop in the car whenever you like and explore the whole island. Or chase the sun. But you have to know, that there are many tourists and most of them rent a car. So, when you try to get to touristic attractions, you can get stuck in a traffic jam.

Nature

The diversity of species it’s astonishing. With a car, you can get all around the island in less than three hours, but you can see everything from the rocky land to forests, palm trees, and cactuses. I was amazed that I was able to collect chestnuts in the forest and prickly pears from cactuses, only couple kilometers apart. On Gran Canaria, you can run on sandy dunes, and after an hour drive towards the mountains, you can walk in the spacious pine forest. Beaches are diverse as well. The color of the stones and sand varies from one beach to another. But more about shores in the next article.

Tenerife. Photo taken to the left and to the right. I am telling you: diversity!

Cities vs. Villages

On Tenerife and Gran Canaria, you have big capitals (if you compare it with the size of the islands) where you can find almost everything one might search in a city. They have universities, schools, libraries, parks, restaurants, bars, coworking spaces, etc. If you are not city type and you crave for relaxation resorts you can stay in Los Cristianos area on Tenerife or Maspalomas on Gran Canaria. But if you want local experience then you have to go in villages hidden inland, away from the beaches. Big warning here: you have to know how to speak Spanish; otherwise you won’t be able to communicate in small towns. One thing that surprised me is that they have tons of shopping centers. Every couple of kilometers there is some supermarket. They have IKEA; they have Decathlon. Capitalistic obsession with consumption is definitely present, but probably because of the tourists.


Playground in Las Palmas and village Santa Lucia on Gran Canaria

Summary:

It’s beautiful! It is a great place to relax and also to explore. The mild climate, sunshine, blue sea and warm breeze will do you good. Majestic cliffs, green forests, colorful blossom bushes, unusual cactuses, banana plantations, tropical fruits, volcanic sand will enchant you. Give it a try.

Last tip: Learn some essential Spanish words, like how to say hello, bye and thank you. Learn how to order drinks. It won’t be only useful; it will also be appreciated.


Edited: 1 year ago by Nadja Ebner

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