There, between Europe and Africa, in Spain‘s westernmost and southernmost point lies a paradise: it is the Atlantic archipelago of the Canaries, where the climate is always warm and the natural heritage is priceless, the perfect destination for any type of travel, including hiking in the national parks, windsurfing, skiing and night life.

The islands are seven (Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma, El Hierro, La Gomera), each unique and with different characteristics. Today we take you to discover these paradisiacal islands that despite the mass tourism, in the last few years are engaging more and more in environmental protection, focusing on sustainable development.

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria, Canaries

The bustling nightlife of Las Palmas and Playa del Ingles meets the desert. Gran Canaria looks like a small continent, with different climates and ecosystems, from mountain peaks to the cliffs, from woods to beaches. The western area of ​​the island was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 2005 and experiences to try are infinte: whale watching, walks in the park of El Nublo, 60 km of beaches, not to mention a little shopping and museums.

Where to stay: in the heart of the island, in the village of La Lechuza, you can stay in a really nice rural hotel, with traditional architecture and design.

Tenerife

Tenerife, an island of Canaries
Photo by S. Hoya via Flickr

Tenerife is the largest and the highest island of the Canaries and it surprises its visitors for its culture and the diversity of landscapes: you can relax on the beach and then get to 3,718 meters above sea level, on the Teide volcano, the third highest in the world. Despite its size, the island has two World Heritage Sites: the Teide National Park, with its lunar landscapes, and the historic center of La Laguna, with its beautiful colonial architecture. Do not miss the beautiful beach of La Tejita and the incredible Anaga Rural Park. In Tenerife a few years ago it was inaugurated a village with 25 bioclimatic housing, completely self-sufficient from an energy point of view.

Where to stay: LodeCarta casa rural Arafo Tenerife awaits you for an eco-holiday. The property, that dates back to the eighteenth century, is powered only by the sun and is located on the road leading to the Teide National Park.

Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura, Canaries
Photo by Xavier via Flickr

Uncontaminated coastline, emerald waters make the island of Fuerteventura a paradise for water sports, especially windsurf. You can choose from over 150 km of beaches to enjoy fresh fish, tame the waves and watch the sunset. But in recent years the tourism has become more varied, they increase the different paths, well-marked and maintained, to be covered on foot or by bicycle. And do not miss the delicious cheese!

Lanzarote

Lanzarote, Canaries
Photo by Dieter Meyer via Flickr

It is the oldest island of the Canaries and is characterized by black and red volcanic soils that find their maximum expression in the Timanfaya National Park. Already a Biosphere Reserve in 1993, Lanzarote has become the first destination in the world to achieve a sustainable tourism certification, the Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification. It is the perfect place to relax among the vineyards, volcanoes and caves.

Where to stay: Finca De Arietta is the perfect place for a rustic and simple holiday. Sleep in a yurt or in a ecological cottage, just a few steps from the sea.

La Gomera

La Gomera, Canaries

Its lush forests make it the greenest island in the Canaries. Few tourists, it’s the perfect destination for trekking and hiking in an authentic and pristine environment. It remains one of the few places in the world where you can admire a laurel forest of humid subtropical climate that reach 40 meters high. Do not miss the unique and charming cliffs of Los Órganos, accessible only by boat.

La Palma

This island, far away from mass tourism and a Biosphere Reserve, is also called Starlight: the clear and protected skies offer unbeatable conditions for stargazing. Immerse yourself in the lush nature, discover the waterfalls, the black beach of Puerto Naos, the old town of Santa Cruz De La Palma: you’ll love this piece of heaven.

Where to stay: Finca Los Vientos is a country house, elegantly restored, in the east of the island, halfway between the airport and the capital, with a spectacular view of the valley and the ocean.

El Hierro

El Hierro, Canaries

It is certainly the wildest and authentic island, a perfect destination for rural tourism and it is our favorite for an extraordinary event: it is the first island in the world to be 100% sustainable thanks to a system that can harness the hydro and wind power of the island. Already in the ’90s the island has adopted a model of sustainable development, focusing on recycling, organic agriculture and farming and eco-friendly transportation. It is definitely an example to follow in the world and also is a real gem, one of the most beautiful ocean floor of the world, steep cliffs, and the beautiful contrast between the lava fields and green forests are waiting for an unforgettable holiday.

Have you ever been to the Canaries? Share with us your experience!

 

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