TUENoemi123's blog

If you're looking to go above and beyond your typical paradisiacal island vacation and want to experience much more than just pristine sandy beaches, the astonishing diversity and extreme landscapes of the Canary Islands offer many kinds of paradises to relaxed vacationers and adventurers alike.

lanzarote weatherEach of the Canary Islands (and their satellite isles) are extremely different in feel. Some people love one island, but hate another. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder and your island experiences may be totally different to the experiences of another. While some of them are real beach destinations, like Fuerteventura, others combine culture and nature, Tenerife and like Gran Canaria. Whereas La Palma is very beautiful with a tropical feeling.

Most notably, the islands form a formidable volcanic archipelago. Their landscapes include four of the highest peaks within Spanish territory and some mightily bizarre yet inspiring scenery: from black sand beaches with soaring cliffs to rugged, red, Mars-like panoramas. The breadth of these landscapes evokes regions from every corner of the planet, and even, sometimes, from others. Each of these seven islands is a completely different world, and adventure, in itself.

The Canaries are split into 2 different communities: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

The following islands are part of Santa Cruz de Tenerife:

As the island is fairly small, you can simply travel to its extremities and go on excursions by car. Heading north, you'll pass La Cueva de los Verdes, or Greens' Cave," created 3,000 years ago by lava streaming from an eruption, and also the Jameos de Agua, a network of subterranean caves and lakes and home to a rare species of blind crabs. At the northernmost point of the island, the prow-like Mirador del Rio extends over the ocean. Here at this windy spot, you can experience a magnificent panorama of the ocean and of the neighboring islet La Graciosa, which is a very recommendable ferry destination.

Not only is Lanzarote home to bizarre and fantastic landscapes but also to beaches which can compete with any found in the tropics. The best ones are situated in the southern part of the island. Playa Blanca, one of the most popular, has long stretches of clear sand and crystalline waters, and so does the nearby Las Coloradas beach. For a less touristy one, check out Papagayo , a beautiful large cove encircled by impressive cliffs.

British tourists head to resorts such as Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca, Costa Teguise and Haria where accommodation is on offer for a range of budgets and tastes from all-inclusive five-star resorts and eco lodgings to budget apartments.

The oldest of the Canaries, this island is known for its kilometers-long beaches of white sand and shallow, clear water, ideal for water-skiing, wind-surfing, fishing, or sailing. It has the longest coastline of all seven islands, spanning 340 kilometers, and is easily accessible by a 40-minute ferry from Lanzarote.

South east of Lanzarote, Gran Canaria's golden sands and bright sunshine attract holidaymakers every year, and the island's natural beauty with huge stretches of dunes and pine forests make them fall in love with the destination.

On the eastern coast, you'll find steep cliffs and coves which are well suited for snorkeling or scuba-diving, due to the subterranean trove of caves and rock formations. In the southern part, a region of virgin beaches called Jandía makes up one of the most important wild areas on the island. Almost all the beaches here are nude beaches and offer an experience of untouched nature away from the bustle of tourism, where hardly any roads can access. You can also take a short ferry-ride over to the Island of Lobos, a protected natural reserve where a great variety of bird and plant species can be spotted.

The other three islands that complete the Canaries - La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera- offer serene holidays away from the crowds as they are still relatively undiscovered and unspoilt. Only La Palma is served by direct flights from the UK into Santa Cruz de La Palma airport (SPM) while you can reach all three islands via flight or ferry from Tenerife.

La Palma has celebrity connections - Madonna's song La Isla Bonita is rumoured to have been about the island and Manolo Blahnik was born there - but don't expect glitzy attractions when you arrive. Instead, visit the island for relaxing breaks taking in the beautiful scenery from rainforests to waterfalls and, if you are feeling active, long hikes in the mountains.

Only a few cities in Africa are served, though Mauritania Airways started flying to a number of Mauritanian cities from 2009 onwards. Binter Canarias , has flights from Marrakech to the islands.

Tenerife is serviced by two airports: Tenerife North (TFN) and Tenerife South (TFS).

Sun-worshippers are well served on Canary Island holidays. Read on to find out the best time to visit for you...

Mount Teide and its surrounding volcanic craters and peaks of Las Cañadas make up the considerable Mount Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can take the cable car all the way up near to the summit of Mount Teide, and if you're up for some walking, load your lungs up with oxygen for the altitude. There are numerous hiking trails that showcase a view of an extraterrestrial landscape.

The Canary Islands host a number of events throughout the year which include fiestas, parades and street parties. Here are some of our top options...

The most surprising thing about the beaches in Tenerife are the stretches of thick, black sand found on some, for example on Playa de El Puertito and Playa del Roque on the eastern coast. In the town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, two beaches are worth visiting: Las Teresitas, an artificial beach with 1,500 meters of sand taken from the Sahara desert, and Las Gaviotas, a exceptional nude beach with black sand. For extraordinary waves and even more opportunities to get out in the nude, check out the beautiful, hard-to-access beaches of Playa de los Patos and Playa de Bollullo.

Tenerife Carnival; February; visit Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz for the biggest celebrations: Held just before Lent every year, this carnival sees tourists and locals partying into the night and includes a glitzy opening parade, the burial of the sardine" and the High Heels Marathon.

Dia de Canarias; May 30; throughout the Canary Islands: Canarian culture is celebrated on this public holiday to celebrate the autonomous Canary Islands' Parliament's first session in 1983.

Day of the Cross; May: Towns across the Canary Islands hold street parties on this day and numerous crosses adorned with flowers will be displayed.

As the coastline consists mostly of jagged cliffs, the majority of the beaches on the island are small coves. Nevertheless, beaches such as Valle del Gran Rey and Playa de Santiago have that crystalline water and golden sand all vacationers seek. Also recommendable to see is the Acantilado de los Organos, or the Organ Cliff, which consists of thousands of basalt columns soaring up from out of the water, giving the impression of a giant, rocky organ.

Getting there: There are no international flights to Gomera, so you have the option of taking a flight first to Tenerife-Reina Sofia and then catching a ferry, or flying into Tenerife-Los Rodeos and catching a connecting flight to Gomera. Ferries arrive at the town of San Sebastian from Tenerife.

Active types: Catch some waves at Costa Teguise on Lanzarote. Whether you're a beginner or a well-seasoned pro, the ideal wind and wave conditions will give you lots of opportunities to sharpen up your skills.

But the most spectacular site by far on the island is the National Park of La Caldera de Turburiente , a massive crater formed by the erosion of a volcano. With a perimeter of 9 kilometers and depth of up to 770 meters, this crater is one of the largest in the world. Covered with thick forests and home to a biological diversity of almost a hundred different plant species, its beauty can be appreciated from the surrounding mountains, and also from points such as Mirador de la Cumbrecita.

An excursion by car around the island will take you to such places as Breña Baja on the east, a series of small coves with transparent waters which include the popular Playa de Cancajos. In the southernmost point, you will find the town of Fuencaliente , which is filled with pine trees, vineyards, and volcanic craters. On the western coast, towns such as Puerto de Naos and Tazacorte have picturesque ports and attractive beaches. La Palma also has one of the world's most important telescopes at the International Astrophysical Observatory, located close to the island's highest mountain, Roque de los Muchachos.

Getting there: Direct flights to La Palma airport in the town of Santa Cruz de La Palma are available from mainland Spain, the other islands, and some cities in northern Europe. Ferries arrive in Santa Cruz de La Palma from Tenerife and Gran Canaria

The tapas concept is one of the most delicious Spanish contributions to international gastronomy. A Tapa is a light and small piece of food that Spaniards have either before lunch or dinner, usually with a glass of wine or beer. The Tapa can be presented in several ways. It can be made as a pincho (with a stick), as a mini-dish of a traditional recipe, as a canapé, etc...

A plateau and mountainous area make up the central part of the island, where rises up as the highest peak. From here, you can admire the views of the gulf, forests, volcanic craters, and of the whole island. The coast also offers a fascinating and unfamiliar sight with its cliffs jutting out from under the water, as if they were little crag islands. El Golfo is where the largest amount of cliffs can be found along with the some of the highest viewpoints of the area.

Other attractions on El Hierro include its natural swimming pools of tranquil water at Tamaduste and Monacal, both situated in the north. In La Frontera, separated from the rest of the island by mountains, you can taste some delicious products cultivated on its fertile lands: wines, smoked cheese, tortillas. A curious sight is the region of Sabinar, where the Sabinas, trees native to the island, can be seen. These trees are unlike any others, with their trunks bent over double and twisted into strange shapes by the strong winds of this region.

Arepas - tortas created from fine corn flour filled up with minced meat, cheese, or sweet mango.