In this week’s blog, to help you make an informed decision for your next hiking holiday, we answer some of your most frequently asked questions about hiking holidays in the Canary Islands.
Please note, if you are planning a group holiday to the Canary Islands, we have a dedicated FAQ page with information about organising a group. We also have a page for Travel Agents and a page for organising a Charity Hiking Challenge.
Q1 Where are the Canary Islands located?
The Canary Islands are a group of islands (archipelago) situated in the Atlantic Ocean, around 1000 KM south-west of mainland Spain and 100 KM west of Morroco.
There are 7 main islands. In order of population size, they are Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro.
Q2 How do I get to the Canary Islands?
There are direct flights to the Canary Islands (Tenerife and Gran Canaria) from most major European cities. Direct flights from Dublin & London airports take approximately 4 hours to 5 hours. Available flights to the Canary Islands can be checked here.
Flights from the U.S. and Canada will generally stop over via Europe (Spain).
There is an airport on all of the main islands, however, the vast majority of external flights will go to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
The smaller islands such as La Gomera can be accessed by ferry from Tenerife, from Los Cristianos. The ferry runs 4 times a day and can be booked in advance.
Q3 Are the Canary Islands in the EU?
Yes, the Canary Islands are an autonomous community of Spain and as such are part of the European Union.
Spanish is the language that is most commonly used on the islands. We have a list of Basic Spanish phrases which may help you on your holiday.
The Euro € is used as the currency in the Canary Islands and they also enjoy other benefits of being part of the European Union but are excluded from certain tax requirements.
Q4 Are the Canary Islands safe to visit?
Yes, in general, the Canary Islands are safe to travel.
However, the islands receive over 12 million visitors per year for the purposes of tourism and there is always a risk of some crime in any popular tourist areas.
It’s always best to store your passport and valuables in the hotel safe and to exercise caution when out and about.
Q5 What is there to do in the Canary Islands?
What makes the Canary Islands great is the variety of activities that can be enjoyed on Canary Islands.
Here is a list of activities that are popular on each of the islands:
|Tenerife||Scuba diving, whale watching, snorkelling, surfing, hiking, Stargazing.|
|Gran Canaria||Camel riding, sand dunes buggy ride, hiking, scuba diving, parasailing.|
|Lanzarote||Boat hire, whale & dolphin watching, scuba & snorkelling, hiking.|
|Fuerteventura||Cave exploration, food markets, natural pools, hiking, sailing.|
|La Gomera||Hiking, sailing, cycling, diving, whale watching|
|La Palma||Stargazing, natural pools, hiking, diving, historical tours|
|El Hierro||Forest hiking, diving, museums.|
Q6 Which of the Canary Islands is the hottest in winter?
From November to January, Tenerife and Gran Canaria have the highest average temperature out of the 7 main islands.
The average temperature on the islands during the day is around 22 Degrees Celcius or 72 Degrees Fahrenheit.
However, the islands are full of various microclimates so on the north of Tenerife for example, you could one minute be hiking in the sunshine and the next minute you could be in the midst of a rainforest climate. It depends on which area of the island you are on and the altitude. From our own experiences hiking in Gran Canaria and La Gomera, we have found something similar.
What we would advise is to dress for all weathers and come well prepared for both sun and rain.
Q7 Which Canary Island is the best for hiking?
We get asked this question quite often! In fact, we wrote a blog post about this earlier this year.
Our answer would be La Gomera.
By its very design, the island is a hiker’s paradise. Think of extreme landscapes and stunning scenery.
The island is extremely well equipped and signposted for hikers and provides many challenging routes, some of which are for more experienced hikers.
The island is off the beaten track and the routes are generally quiet.
If you enjoy an active holiday away from it all, our Hiking Holiday in La Gomera is for you!
Q8 Why choose the Canary Islands for hiking holidays?
Whether you are new to hiking or hiking holidays are your thing, the Canary Islands offers something for everyone. There are certain things that are unmissable on each of the islands.
On Tenerife, don’t miss the Teide, on Gran Canaria it’s Roque Nublo and on La Gomera, it’s Garajonay National Park.
In addition to the highlights on each island, we love hiking holidays in the Canary Islands because the weather is perfect for hiking, the landscapes are stunning, the food is excellent and the Canarian people are friendly and helpful. The islands are only a few hours away but they feel like a world away from the daily grind.
At Canariaways.com we are a team of travel experts and enthusiasts, many of whom have hiked in the Canary Islands. If you need any expert advice from one of our dedicated team, please do not hesitate to contact us!