5 things to do on the Canary Islands

I was born and raised on the Canary Islands. This makes me biased when I say that these islands in the middle of nowhere are the actual paradise on earth. What I do know as an objective fact, however, is that a considerable number of British people think the same way as I do. There are around  253,928 British ex-pats in Spain, 27,000 of which live on the Canary Islands, an article published in Spanish paper La Provincia reads. Whether you are thinking about visiting these beautiful volcanic islands for the first time or you have already settled down there, here are 5 things you should do in Canarias.

1. Visit El Confital

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Sunset from El Confital. Source: Ivan Batista

El Confital beach is the best kept secret on the island of Gran Canaria. Hidden at the very end of Las Canteras, one of the islands’ most famous and crowded beaches, El Confital is the best place to get your tan on without having to fight for a good spot. It’s on the most northern side of the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and one can see perfectly both the sunset and sundown from there.  For the more outdoors-y tourist, El Confital is a great place to fish or go for a run.

2. Go on a hike

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Teide, Tenerife. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Most people I know assume that all you can do on the Canary islands is just go to the beach or stay at the resort during the day, and go out at night. Well, these people have probably never been to the inner side of any of the islands. There are unique and beautiful habitats in each one of the islands. I would recommend going to the rainforests in La Gomera and El Hierro, visiting the extinct volcanoes in Lanzarote, or exploring the Teide, Spain’s biggest mountain, in Tenerife.

3. Enjoy the dunes

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Dunes in Corralejo, Fuerteventura. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Let’s be honest, the main reason most people go to Canarias is because of the beaches and the weather. I completely understand. The average temperature on the islands is 21 degrees Celsius, making the place ideal to visit any time of the year. If what you are looking for is enjoying a day at the beach, but you still want some adventure the dunes in the cities of Maspalomas in Gran Canaria, and Corralejo in Fuerteventura are the right place for you. There are guided tours and camel rides for families to enjoy.

4. Carnavales (Party!)

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A group of dressed-up locals enjoying Carnavales. Source: Ivan Batista

Carnavales is, without a doubt, the biggest event of the year in Canarias. Canarian Carnaval is the most famous carnival in Spain and it’s been considered one of the best in the world. In this two-week holiday, locals dress up in flamboyant costumes and enjoy the different events planned throughout  the festivities. It’s usually on February, but the dates vary depending on the island and the city. Carnavales is a great excuse to drink during the day and out on the streets without it being socially unacceptable. I would recommend checking the timetable before going out, since there is a party called “Indianos” where everyone is dressed in white and people throw baby powder at each other. Be careful or you might end up covered in it!

5. Watch a game

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Gran Canaria Stadium, home of Union Deportiva Las Palmas. Source: Ivan Batista

If you are a soccer fan, you should check the archipelago’s main team out:  Union Deportiva Las Palmas. They are on the middle of the table at the moment, but the “pio-pios” -nickname of the team-  have been making the whole country fall in love with the way the play football, which has been compared to Barcelona’s or Brazil’s football style. Besides, tickets are not that expensive for a La Liga team, ranging from 30 to 60 euros.

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