HomeTravel InsuranceExploring the Enchanting Canary Islands

Exploring the Enchanting Canary Islands

Winter sunshine doesn’t come much more budget-friendly than a trip to the Canary Islands. Discover why this Spanish archipelago off the coast of north-western Africa was my top choice for a winter break, and why the place is so popular for Brits who want to go abroad.

Image by Kerry McCarthy

Why Visit the Canary Islands?

With year-round warm weather, diverse terrain, and a multi-lingual population, it’s easy to see why tourists from the world over visit the Canaries. For me, I wanted sun, sea, sand and stunning landscapes. As well as a little “me” time – which is why I chose to go solo!

I also wanted something that was easy on the bank account. I wanted to escape the grey skies of the UK and top up my vitamin D without sacrificing a holiday later in the year.

The Canary Islands are comprised of 7 islands in total, the most popular being Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura. More about each to come, starting with…

Lanzarote (by lunchtime)

An early morning flight from Stanstead got me to Lanzarote by lunchtime, and with just a 30 minute transfer from the Arrecife Airport to the resort of Costa Teguise, I was soaking up the sunshine well before the sun was setting.

Where I stayed: Hotel Paradise (apartments) Costa Teguise, Lanzarote

Super-basic apartments, but clean and good value. The complex was located a 10 minute walk from Playa Bastian, a very pleasant beach, and a 20 minute walk from Playa Las Cucharas where most of the shops, markets, bars and restaurants are, as well as a beach that is excellent for windsurfing and hydrofoiling.

Lanzarote Paradise Hotel swimming pool view

Image by Kerry McCarthy

What I did: Hiked the volcanic landscape, walked along the coast and did a run along the outskirts of the resort. I also visited a few shops and ate out. With a south-facing balcony I also soaked up the sun with a good book and a couple of cheeky cocktails from the pool bar.

The weather: 25°c and windy! The Canaries are known for blustery weather which is why they are such a draw for windsurfers and the like. This weather is also great for hiking, biking, running and working out outdoors – plenty of which was going on around the resort. Out of the wind the sun felt blazing hot, and if the clouds came over (which they did on occasion) the wind soon blew them out of the way.

What it was really like: I was only there for a long weekend so didn’t adventure outside Costa Teguise. The resort itself was calm, safe, and everyone was friendly. It was difficult to find anything that felt authentic in terms of culture or cuisine, but that’s what you get for staying in a resort built for tourists! The lack of “places of interest” to explore in the near vicinity did actually make it the perfect destination to just recoup, read, walk and top up the vitamin D.

Map of Costa Teguise Lanzarote

Image by Kerry McCarthy

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Top Places to Visit in the Canary Islands


Tenerife is the largest and most popular island in the Canary Islands. It’s known for its stunning beaches, lively nightlife, and iconic Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain. You can also visit the charming towns of La Laguna and La Orotava, both designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is the third largest island in the Canary Islands and is known for its diverse landscapes. You can explore the bustling capital city of Las Palmas, relax on the golden sand beaches of Maspalomas, or hike through the rugged mountains of the interior.


Lanzarote is a unique island with a lunar-like landscape, thanks to its volcanic origins. You can visit the Timanfaya National Park to see the dramatic volcanic landscapes up close, or relax on the beautiful beaches of Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen. Don’t miss the Jameos del Agua, a stunning underground cave system turned into a cultural centre.


Fuerteventura is the second largest island in the Canary Islands and is known for its beautiful beaches and water sports. You can try your hand at windsurfing or kitesurfing in the crystal-clear waters of Sotavento Beach, or relax on the white sand beaches of Corralejo.

Black Beach and blue sea Lanzarote

Image by Kerry McCarthy

Tips for Traveling to the Canary Islands

Best Time to Visit: for warm weather and beach days, visit between June and September. If you prefer cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, visit between October and May.

Getting Around: renting a car will give you the freedom to explore the islands at your own pace. You can also take ferries between the islands, which is a great way to see more of the archipelago.

Local Cuisine: influenced by Spanish and African roots. Don’t miss the local specialties, such as papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes), mojo sauce, and gofio (a type of flour made from roasted grains).

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventure-filled trip, the Canary Islands have something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to explore this beautiful part of the world!

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Travel Writer Bio

Feet on a a sandy beach with sea views lanzarote

Image by Kerry McCarthy

Kerry McCarthy is a Writer, Editor, Artist & Breathwork Instructor who loves to travel. You can find out more about her adventures over on instagram at @kerrymccarthystars