We all know what it’s like when the nights begin to draw in and the weather takes a distinct turn for the worse – it’s depressing and usually heralds the start of months of cold and dreary weather. My solution to stave off depression is to book a villa holiday.
This year I’m considering the Canary Islands, but I’m finding it tough to choose between them. If you’re having a similar problem, check out my brief guide to four of the most popular isles in the group.
Best for: a varied holiday and families
If you’re looking for a little bit of everything on your holiday in the sun, Tenerife is probably the best choice as it has a wide range of attractions. As with all of the Canary Islands, it boasts some stunning natural landscapes, particularly in Teide National Park, which surrounds the volcanic peak of the same name.
What I think makes Tenerife a top choice – especially for families – is the exciting theme and animal parks that are (mostly) centred on its south coast resorts. Places like Siam Park, Loro Parque and Aqualand Costa Adeje are perfect if you’re looking for fun-filled and action-packed days in the sunshine, not to mention that the beaches in this part of the island are a beautiful place to have a Canary Islands holiday.
Best for: water sports and active travellers
Personally, I love being active and trying new things while I’m on holiday – and if I’ve travelled to somewhere with good weather I like to take advantage of the seaside. Fuerteventura is a great choice if you’re like me, as there are lots of water sports centres on the island where you can try everything from snorkelling and kite surfing to kayaking and surfing.
Actually, there’s just as much to do on land here as there is in the water, with things like quad biking, golf, cycling, hiking and horse riding also available. I think it’d be a lot of fun to have a go at Canary bowling, too – it’s a traditional throwing game similar to bowls that’s played by locals all over the island.
Best for: seeing the Canary Islands’ volcanic landscapes and beach lovers
The Canary Islands are volcanic in origin and nowhere is this more evident than on Lanzarote, where there are areas boasting astounding rock formations created by lava. The beaches are stunning and primarily made up of black volcanic sand – something that I think adds to their appeal as they’re different from the norm.
Lanzarote is a great place to soak up some of that winter sun on your Canary Islands holiday, with plenty of beaches along its coastline – some of which are busier than others. What I love about this island is that it looks like it would be quite easy to find a secluded cove just by hiring a car and going for a drive or even taking a walk away from the main beachside resorts.
Best for: quiet holidays and nature lovers
A large part of Gran Canaria has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve because of the diversity of its habitats and the wide array of flora and fauna that inhabit this small island. The coastline is truly stunning with plenty of golden sand beaches where you can relax and unwind.
Among the quietest seaside spots are Puerto de Mogan, San Agustin and Amadores, although you should certainly visit Maspalomas – even though it’s one of the busiest beaches – because it is backed by amazing sand dunes that stretch away inland.