Canary Islands Travel Guide

Spain  #2 in Best Beaches in Spain
Credit

Courtesy of Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61

Free Things To Do in Canary Islands

If you have extra time, Roque Nublo (Gran Canaria) is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Playa de Maspalomas (Gran Canaria)
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    #1 in Canary Islands
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Playa de Maspalomas is one of Gran Canaria's most popular beaches. It's especially known for its impressive sand dunes and its old lighthouse, which first shined in 1890. The beach is also backed by a host of hotels and restaurants, and many find the area a good place to base a Canary Island vacation.  

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  • #2
    Las Palmas (Gran Canaria)
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    #2 in Canary Islands
    Beaches, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Las Palmas is a popular place to base a Canary Islands vacation. Not only is it the Canaries' largest city, it's also got a number of world-class attractions. Its beach — the 2½-mile Playa de las Canteras — is an attractive urban shoreline. Guarded by a barrier reef, the waters are gentle and suitable for travelers of all ages. And the promenade that backs the beach is a spectacular place for a sunset stroll.

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  • #3
    Roque Nublo (Gran Canaria)
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    #3 in Canary Islands
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Roque Nublo, which is translated as "Clouded Rock," is a rock formation rising more than 250 feet into the sky on Gran Canaria. The rocks are popular among tourists because they're easily traversed — a short hike (roughly an hour) from La Goleta car park will get you to the top. Also, the views from Roque Nublo are spectacular: On a clear day, you can see across the horizon to Tenerife's Mount Teide.

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  • #4
    Parque Nacional del Teide (Tenerife)
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    #4 in Canary Islands
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Parque Nacional del Teide covers nearly 75 square miles in central Tenerife. This national park contains the towering Teide volcano, which is currently dormant. Rising 12,198 feet into the sky, Tiede constitutes Spain's tallest peak; it's also the world's third-largest volcano. The rest of the park is not to be missed either. Many visitors describe it as having an "otherworldly" or "lunar" landscape, with its weird-looking rock formations and multicolored lava deposits. The best way to see these volcanic remains is by walking, and there are more than 20 trails you can choose from.

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  • #5
    Caldera de Taburiente National Park (La Palma)
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    #5 in Canary Islands
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Caldera de Taburiente National Park is a huge crater surrounded by volcanic peaks lined with streams and waterfalls and peppered with pine groves. One of the most popular ways to experience the park is to hike one of its many trails, though you can also just drive up one its peaks like El Roque de los Muchachos. Either way, you should make a stop at the El Paso Visitors Center to plan out your trip.

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  • #7
    Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Tenerife)
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    #7 in Canary Islands
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Santa Cruz de Tenerife is not a tourist town — citizens live and work here, and it may be a bit harder to find English speakers here than in the island's southwest resorts. That said, a visit to Santa Cruz de Tenerife a great way to experience authentic island life. And there are some interesting things to do as well.

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  • #8
    Valle Gran Rey (La Gomera)
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    #8 in Canary Islands
    Beaches, Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Valle Gran Rey (Great King Valley) is a valley located on La Gomera's southwest coast. Exploring on foot is one of the main things to do here, and there are scenic paths that crisscross the valley's small villages and banana plantations. As travelers journey eastward toward the coast, they'll find the port beach, which features calm, safe waters for swimming. More experienced swimmers can head to La Playa's pebble beach, just north of the port beach. La Playa also contains beachfront hotels, a small promenade and a handful of terrace cafes.

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