Top 10 attractions in the Canary Islands

Thursday, 11 August 2011 2:13 PM

Top 10 attractions in the Canary Islands

Top 10 attractions in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are renowned for their fantastic beaches and glorious weather, yet they still have a range of activities and attractions available for anyone hoping to make the most of their holidays to the Spanish archipelago.

If you have booked private villas in the Canary Islands and are looking to explore the region's stunning oceanic waters, then diving is one pastime that is particularly popular with tourists.

The sea benefits from having very little plankton, which immensely improves visibility, while the number of endemic species in the waters makes it a perfect option for anyone hoping to learn more about the local flora and fauna.

Staying in Gran Canaria holiday rentals? There is no better place to see the landscape than on horseback, with several operators running riding tours through the mountains of the island, which is the second most populous in the Canary Islands.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider, there should be a route to keep you challenged while you see the views.

For a full panoramic sightseeing adventure, you may instead wish to book a helicopter or light aircraft to take you into the skies so you can catch a glimpse of all of the island's major attractions, such as the famous Roque Nublo stone monolith and the Maspolomas dunes.

Gran Canaria also draws a large fishing crowd, particularly in marlin season. The ultimate catch is the blue marlin, which can reach weights of 500 kg.

However, even if you don't manage to land one of these ocean giants, you could still hook a white marlin, yellowfin tuna, big eye tuna and a variety of other sea dwellers.

Looking to try something a little more active? Gran Canaria is a haven for water sports and with warm and clear waters, the island is very popular with tourists.

Try your hand at surfing, jet skiing, kite surfing or body boarding. There are also banana boats available for younger children and teenagers.

For a more cultural look at the island's history you should take a daytrip to the Banana Park. The fruit was an important export for the Canary Islands and more than 4,000 palms are situated here, as well as in excess of 400 orange trees.

If you're spending your holiday in Lanzarote villas, there are just as many sightseeing wonders to experience.

A helicopter tour will allow you to get a birds-eye view of the volcanoes at Timanfaya National Park, which has an almost Martian-like dry, red landscape with unique animal and plant species.

Alternatively, you may wish to see the Famara Cliffs. Overlooking a beach 6 km long, these rocky structures rise up directly from the ocean and provide excellent walking opportunities for those interested in getting some fresh sea air.

You should also take the chance to eat at one of the simple restaurants nearby, where you can enjoy some of the freshest fish available.

Animal lovers can partake in a whale-watching expedition, which allows you to see the majestic sea creatures up close. You may even get the chance to spot dolphins if you are lucky.

Boat trips leave from several areas in the south of the island, including Puerto del Carmen and Puerto Calero.

If you are looking to expand your cultural horizons, take a trip to the ancient capital of Teguise, where you can see Castillo Santa Barbara - a fort that once formed a barrier for the city against outside threats.