If you’re planning a family holiday this year, you can’t go very far wrong with the Canary Islands. The climate is beautiful year-round, and around this little archipelago just off the south west coast of Morocco, there’s a holiday, and a hotel, to suit you. Whether you’re looking for peace and quiet, or for a bustling party destination, there really is something for everyone. Here are my top five Canary Island experiences:
1. The ‘Firework Wars’ at Los Realejos
Every year on May 3rd, the Day of the Cross, Los Realejos in the north of Tenerife is packed with visitors who flock to the area to see the enormous fireworks display signifying the traditional rivalry between the ‘farmers’ and the ‘rich families’ dating back to 1770. The display marks the start of the May festivities, with all sorts of events, beautiful floral street displays and parties. It’s the best time to visit Tenerife.
2. Mount Teide
No visit to Tenerife should be complete without a trip to the otherwordly, lunar landscape of Mount Teide. The journey up through winding roads is an adventure in itself, and when you finally arrive, it’s breathtaking. If you’re really adventurous, you can take the cable car up to the higher slopes, within 500ft of the summit (take a jacket, it’s really cold!) where the views are quite incredible.
3. Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
If you’re a beach bum, Maspalomas is one of my favourite beaches of all time. Not purely because of the gorgeous white sand dunes, but also because of the fabulous seafood restaurants that line the seafront. After working up an appetite walking the gorgeous dunes and swimming in the clear water, seek out El Senador on the seafront. It’s a prime, people-watching location and the seafood is fabulous. Finish off with their legendary Galician almond cake with a Pedro Ximenez reduction.
4. The Castillo de San Jose, Lanzarote
Arrecife is the capital city of Lanzarote and often gets overlooked in favour of the beautiful resort beaches and tourist attractions. If you’ve got a couple of hours to kill, though, it’s a fascinating place to explore and the Castillo de San Jose, which was originally built in 1799 is a fab place to visit. It now holds an art gallery and a restaurant that serves great tapas and has a lovely view over the harbour too.
5. Bodegas Monje, Tenerife
Holding a working winery and a lovely restaurant, and beautifully situated on the cliffs overlooking the sea on the north eastern coast of Tenerife, Bodegas Monje is well worth a visit. Visitors can tour the cellars and vineyards (an appointment is necessary) and try traditional Canarian dishes too. I loved it.
So from beautiful white beaches to wine tasting and exploring, there are holidays for everyone! What about you? Booking anything for this year?