Canaries Guide: Which Canary Island is the Best?

Lanzarote ‚Äď the Artistic One

Entrance to the Fundación César Manrique
Entrance to the Fundación César Manrique

The northeasternmost of the seven major Canary Islands is mainly known as the home of the artist and environmentalist C√©sar Manrique, who lived from 1919 to 1992 on the canary island and contributed significantly to its design. Manrique’s aesthetic ideology, the harmony between nature and artistic creation, is reflected in each of his diverse works. In addition, the UNESCO declared Lanzarote and its volcanic landscape as the first whole island a Biosphere Reserve in 1993.

The Main Sights in Lanzarote

  • Jameos del Agua, Manrique’s first center for art, culture and tourism with the endemic crab species Munidopsis polymorpha
  • Fundaci√≥n C√©sar Manrique, private cultural institution in the former mansion of Manrique
  • Viewpoint Mirador del R√≠o, designed by Manrique
  • Cactus garden¬†Jard√≠n de Cactus
  • Cave Cueva De Los Verdes in one of the longest lava tubes on earth
  • Timanfaya National Park, also known as Monta√Īas del Fuego (“Fire Mountains”), with¬†viewpoint¬†Islote de Hilario,¬†restaurant¬†El Diablo¬†and visitor center¬†Centro de Visitantes e Interpretaci√≥n de Mancha Blanca
  • Volcanic crater and lagoon Lago Verde¬†at El Golfo
  • Lava caves and rock formations Los Hervideros
  • Salinas de Janubio,¬†largest salt production plant of the Canary Islands
  • Wine growing region La Geria
  • Castillo de Santa Barbara¬†on the crater rim of the volcano Guanapay
  • Capital Arrecife¬†with the fortresses¬†Castillo de San Gabriel and¬†Castillo de San Jos√© with the International Museum of Contemporary Art (MIAC)
  • Valley of the Thousand Palms at Har√≠a
  • Beaches Playa Dorada,¬†Calet√≥n Blanco¬†and¬†Papagayo

Map of Lanzarote

Our Blog Posts about Lanzarote

Lanzarote: Artful Volcanic Island

How do I get to Lanzarote?

Near the capital of Arrecife is the international Lanzarote Airport (ACE), which represents the main traffic connection of the island.

From the port of Puerto de Arrecife there are ferry lines to Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma and C√°diz on the Spanish mainland. There are also daily ferries between Corralejo on the neighboring island of Fuerteventura and Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen in southern Lanzarote.

Impressions of Lanzarote

The crab Munidopsis polymorpha: the symbol of the Jameos del Agua
The crab Munidopsis polymorpha: the symbol of the Jameos del Agua
View from the Castillo de Santa B√°rbara
View from the Castillo de Santa B√°rbara
Volcanic crater and lagoon at El Golfo
Volcanic crater and lagoon at El Golfo
View of Lanzarote's northern neighboring island: La Graciosa
View of Lanzarote’s northern neighboring island: La Graciosa

 


La Palma ‚Äď the Green One

Typical scenery on La Palma: Banana plantations as far as the eye can see
Typical scenery on La Palma: Banana plantations as far as the eye can see

With 40 percent forest cover, La Palma is the most densely wooded of the Canary Islands.¬†It is therefore also called “La Isla Verde” (“the green island”) or “La Isla Bonita” (“the beautiful island”). It is also one of the geologically youngest islands in the Canaries: its volcanic activity can still be seen in many craters and lava flows along the volcanic route on Cumbre Vieja and the large crater of the Caldera de Taburiente. Since the third smallest canary island has largely been spared mass tourism, many places on the island have retained their original character. Due to its many hiking opportunities, it is perfect for nature lovers – and also for the ones interested in astronomy, because here you’ll find the largest reflector telescope in the world.

The Main Sights in La Palma

  • Caldera de Taburiente National Park¬†with visitor center Centro de Visitantes de La Caldera de Taburiente
  • Viewpoints Mirador de la Cumbrecita,¬†Mirador de Los Roques¬†and¬†Mirador Lomo de las Chozas
  • Roque de los Muchachos (2426 meters), highest point of the island
  • Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos¬†with¬†Gran Telescopio Canarias, the largest¬†reflecting telescope in the world
  • Capital¬†Santa Cruz de La Palma
  • Tazacorte¬†with banana plantations and mansions
  • Plaza de La Glorieta, designed by the palmeric architect and artist Luis Morera
  • Los Llanos with Plaza de Espa√Īa¬†and¬†Acueducto de Argual
  • Volcano San Antonio
  • Lighthouse Faro de Fuencaliente and salt pans Salinas de Fuencaliente
  • Volcano Tenegu√≠a¬†with¬†Cumbre Vieja y Tenegu√≠a¬†Natural Park
  • Sea water pool Charco Azul
  • Viewpoint Mirador Astron√≥mico del Llano del Jable

Map of La Palma

Video of La Palma

Our video of La Palma

Our Blog Posts about La Palma

La Palma: La Isla Bonita

How do I get to La Palma?

About 8 kilometers south of the capital Santa Cruz de La Palma is the international La Palma Airport (SPC).

Several ferry companies run between Los Christianos in the south of Tenerife and Santa Cruz de La Palma, some with a stopover in La Gomera. There is also a connection to Gran Canaria and Lanzarote as well as Cádiz on the Spanish mainland.

Impressions of La Palma

Old villa in Tazacorte
Old villa in Tazacorte
View into the crater Caldera de Taburiente
View into the crater Caldera de Taburiente
Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos
Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos

 

Faro de Fuencaliente with Salinas de Fuencaliente in the foreground
Faro de Fuencaliente with Salinas de Fuencaliente in the foreground

 


La Gomera ‚Äď the Alternative One

Valle Gran Rey
Valle Gran Rey

The volcanic origin of the second smallest of the Canary Islands is still very visible. The closely spaced volcanic vents and the largest coherent laurel forest in the world belong to the Garajonay National Park, which is part of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage. It is named after the Garajonay, which is the highest point of the island at 1487 meters. The peculiarities of La Gomera include the whistling language of the Gomeros, El Silbo, which exists only here worldwide and is said to have been used by the indigenous peoples for communication over long distances. It is on the list of protected World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. The most famous valley of the island is the Valle Gran Rey, home to hippie communities for many years and dropouts still today. An extensive network of mainly signposted hiking trails connects all parts of the island.

The Main Sights in La Gomera

  • Garajonay National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Garajonay (1487 meters), highest point of the island
  • Valley Valle Gran Rey¬†and village¬†La Calera, hippie hotspot of the island
  • Capital San Sebasti√°n de La Gomera¬†with¬†Torre del Conde,¬†Playa San Sebasti√°n, Town Hall and¬†Iglesia de la Asunci√≥n
  • the “Organ Pipes” in the¬†Los √ďrganos¬†National Park
  • Roque de Agando
  • Agulo

Map of La Gomera

Video of La Gomera

Our video of La Gomera

Our Blog Posts about La Gomera

7 Places on La Gomera You Must Have Seen

How do I get to La Gomera?

The La Gomera Airport (GMZ) is located at Playa Santiago in the municipality Alajeró. The runway is too short for international charter aircraft, so the airport only serves regional traffic. There are regular connections to all other Canary Islands as well as some other destinations such as Madeira, Cape Verde and Morocco.

La Gomera can be reached by ferry from Los Cristianos in the south of Tenerife. The harbors on La Gomera are Valle Gran Rey and the port of the island’s capital, San Sebasti√°n de La Gomera.

Impressions of La Gomera

On the way to the National Park Los √ďrganos
On the way to the National Park Los √ďrganos
Valle Gran Rey
Valle Gran Rey
Agulo
Agulo
Roque de Agando
Roque de Agando
La Calera
La Calera

 


El Hierro ‚Äď the Unknown One

El Hierro is the only one of the seven main islands that we haven’t visit yet, so unfortunately we can not show you any pictures. It accounts for only 3.5 percent of the land area of the Canary Islands, making it the second smallest inhabited Canary Island after La Graciosa near Lanzarote. With about 1.2 million years, it is also the youngest of the volcanic islands. El Hierro was declared an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2000 and in 2014 received the “Geopark” award from UNESCO. The island capital Valverde has nearly 5000 inhabitants, which represents almost half of the total population of the small Atlantic island. Due to lack of direct accessibility and not too many classic beaches¬†spurned by mass tourism, the island is definitely a destination for explorers and nature lovers.

The Main Sights in El Hierro

  • Pico de Malpaso, highest point of the island
  • La Cumbre, the wooded summit region of the volcanic mountains
  • Juniper forest El Sabinar
  • Capital Valverde
  • Lighthouse¬†Faro de Orchilla
  • Monumento Meridiano Cero
  • Rock formation Roque de la Bonanza
  • Viewpoints Mirador de Las Playas¬†and¬†Mirador de la Pe√Īa
  • Sea water pools Pozo de las Calcosas, Charco Azul, Charco Manso, La Maceta and¬†Los Sargos
  • Beaches Playa del Verodal,¬†Las Playas,¬†Arenas Blancas,¬†Playa de Tacor√≥n and¬†Playa De Timijiraque

Map of El Hierro

How do I get to El Hierro?

El Hierro Airport (VDE) serves domestic flights to the neighboring islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

About 7 kilometers from the island’s capital Valverde is located on the east coast of El Hierro the main island port Puerto de La Estaca. From here there are regular ferry services to Los Cristianos in the southwest of Tenerife.

 


Conclusion

As you read, each of the Canary Islands has its advantages and peculiarities. Therefore, a general answer to the question “Which Canary Island is the best?” is hardly possible. One thing is for sure: There is something for everyone! We highly recommend you to visit them all. Each island is accessible by plane, ferry and car ferry. If you have any further tips or know other sights in the Canary Islands, please let us know in the comments.

 

 

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