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The Spanish owned Canary Islands are nestled a surprisingly long way south of the Spanish mainland, 100km west of the southern tip of Morocco. Their southern location lends them a warmer and more tropical climate than Spain, and one whose average temperature never drops below 20 degrees Celsius all year
The Canaries are made up of several familiar sounding islands including Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura. Due to their climate and heavily Spanish influenced culture, the Canaries have long been a popular destination amongst British tourists.
Package deals and cheap flights mean that the Canaries are a great holiday destination for anyone looking for a no frills week in the sun with a cocktail in one hand the latest paperback phenomenon in the other. But with stunning landscapes, fascinating history and delectable local cuisine, there's also much more on offer.
As there are several main tourist destinations in the Canaries, the Island you choose to visit is an important consideration. Each has its own character and charm. If you want to sample several of the islands, it may be best to choose a centrally located one and take day excursions by boat to the surrounding islands.
Tenerife is the largest and perhaps best known island, with a deserved reputation for it's heady and sometimes outrageous nightlife. However, Tenerife also has some beautifully scenic landscape that makes it a wonderful location for hillside walks and bike rides.
Gran Canaria is only the third largest island but houses half of the native population making it the backbone of the local culture, so those looking for the most authentically "Canarian" experience would do well to visit this island. Gran Canaria also has a dramatic and varied landscape, offering naturalists and assorted lovers of nature much to marvel at while enjoying a microcosm of Spanish culture.
For those looking for the most relaxing experience in the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is perhaps the best bet. The island is a wonderland of geology as it was born of a volcanic eruption 15 million years ago. Nowadays it offers some of the most stunning landscapes in the Canaries. Due to its size and location, Lanzarote is less touristy and busy than the larger destinations, and works well for those looking for a relaxing break.
With several islands and a Spanish style culture, the Canary Islands offer a range of holiday packages depending on your needs.