Rarely do you come across an archipelago as diverse as the Canaries. From lunar landscapes to sand dunes that will transport your mind right to the heart of the Sahara Desert, you’ll soon find that each island has a natural paradise making it completely unique. Want to discover them? All you have to do is keep reading as we take you on a journey through our 7 wonders…
Our journey begins in what’s known as la tierra de fuego (the land of fire), in the easternmost of the Canary Islands. Lanzarote is home to the Timanfaya National Park, a place where aside from being able to observe a huge number of geological phenomena related to its volcanic nature, you’ll take in some truly captivating surrounding landscapes, thanks to the many volcanoes situated in the area. Following the eruptions that have taken place in the past on the island, the volcanoes have since enjoyed a long dormant phase, leaving their unmistakable imprints on the landscape and preventing any sort of urban planning in the area (it’s completely inhabitable). Its unique scenic beauty and the fact that less than 10 metres below the surface temperatures can be registered of close to 600°C makes Lanzarote a true land of fire!
From fire we cross over to water, more specifically the Atlantic Ocean that surrounds the island of El Hierro, where we find some of the most spectacular underwater scenery in the world. Discover a submarine paradise where not only will you witness an incredibly diverse selection of fauna and flora, you’ll also be astonished by its unique volcanic morphology. These crystal-clear waters attract divers from around the world, in search of an exceptional example of underwater nature. Its enormous environmental importance has seen it become classified as a protected marine reserve. Part of its appeal lies in the fact that within very few metres from the coastline you can dive down to amazing depths.
For an authentic laurel forest (laurisilva), where lush green vegetation abounds, we hop over to La Gomera, more specifically to the Garajonay National Park. The park’s terrain, which includes almost 20 different types of tree, often appears to be wrapped in a foggy blanket, taking us into a leafy world that reconnects us almost instantly with the beauty and power of nature. The laurel found in these parts is typical in places where there is very little change in temperature throughout the year and, since there is also abundant rainfall, it’s also almost permanently humid.
Next we lose ourselves among the majestic sand dunes of Maspalomas, situated in the south of Gran Canaria. This special nature reserve is unique on the island, offering us the chance to travel to the heart of the desert without leaving the Canary Islands. With a huge diversity of flora, the dunes also boast some species protected by national laws and we’ll probably also encounter some weird and wonderful insects from Africa as well as Gran Canaria’s native “giant lizard”. Thanks to the pleasant average temperatures that prevail in this area, rain is very scarce and the nights are warm and mild.
For scenery that looks like it’s come straight from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we head across to the verdant, leafy surroundings of the Taburiente National Park on the island of La Palma. Right in the very heart of the park it the stunning Cascada de Colores (Waterfall of Colours). To get there, just follow the yellow river, or, for the more imaginative, the yellow brick road. The stones and water achieve their colour due to high levels of iron found in the surrounding earth. It’s a stark contrast with the grey and black rocks found in the area and helps us to appreciate the uniqueness of the landscape. The waterfall came about in the 1960s, when a wall was built to try and contain the water in the national park. Iron and other minerals are responsible for the different colours, converting the area into a multi-coloured vision of natural beauty that will leave you spellbound.
From Baobab suites to the Moon! Yes, in this wonderfully varied archipelago you’ll also find a fascinating lunar landscape right here in Tenerife. Not only does the Teide National Park offer a backdrop that seems anything but Earth-like, with its lava flows, cones and caves; the path that takes us to the Lunar landscape will transport us even further away. This pleasant walk starts from the Camino de Chasna trail in Vilaflor, after which we delve into a fascinating area dominated by Canarian pine trees, unique in the world. Around 6km later we reach an incredible lookout point, where we can take in the indescribable moon landscape in all its glory.
To complete the tour of our islands, what better last stop than the stunning beaches offered to us by the island of Fuerteventura? From the Playa de la Concha to Morro Jable, the soft, golden sands and clear water will make you feel like you’ve dies and gone to heaven. Gorgeous virgin bays are perfect for those looking for a more intimate space to soak up the sun, surrounded by nature’s beauty. The larger beaches, on the other hand, are perfect for family moments including some incredible photo opportunities, and are equipped with all the facilities you need for an unforgettable day out, including restaurants, bars and even some shops. The best souvenir, however, will be the photos you take and the memories you create at these incredible spots!