Canary Islands Recap + Photo Highlights

The islands are a hiker’s paradise! Unfortunately, I only had time to visit three of the seven Canary Islands, but I made the most of my time by exploring as many trails as possible. I spent my time on Gran CanariaLa Palma, and Tenerife and unlike my other travel recaps and guides, the islands are listed in order of my preference (although I did love them all !!). This post is more of a recap and photo reel than travel guide, as I highlight a few of my favorite places to base yourself around for the best hikes along with photos from the islands. I hope you’ll enjoy!

GRAN CANARIA

Why Gran Canaria? The second largest Canary Island stole my heart. Of the month I spent in Spain, hiking around Agaete and Artenara were without a doubt the highlights. The island is rich in biodiversity and breathtaking beauty all around. And if hiking isn’t your thing, check out the resorts in the south.

Don’t Miss:

  • Tamadaba Natural Park: I spent the majority of my time hiking in and around Tamadaba. I stayed in Agaete and Artenara and hiked right out of the hostels into the park. I almost cancelled my flight to Seville because I was so in awe of Tamadaba’s beauty.
  • Bandama Caldera: If you’re staying in  Las Palmas or nearby, I’d recommend checking out this amazing volcanic crater. It’s a quick hike down to the bottom (and back up), but the real highlight is the hike around the rim. It’s relatively easy and the views are phenomenal.

 

Stay:

 

LA PALMA

Why La Palma? This (entire) very green little island has been declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve since 2002. According to the Canary Islands information website, La Palma is know as the beautiful island due to its “incredible landscapes, imposing volcanoes, deep forests, welcoming beaches and star-filled night skies”. Is that enough to entice you?

Don’t Miss:

  • Caldera de Taburiente National Park: I spent all of my time on La Palma hiking in Caldera de Taburiente. The Caldera de Taburiente is a massive crater that is surrounded by the island’s highest peaks. The park is insanely beautiful with its rugged landscape, steep cliffs, and diverse plant species- I could’ve spent weeks exploring!
  • PR LP 13 Trail: This was my very favorite hike from the entire time I spent on the Canary Islands. This 27.1 km (16.8 mi) circuit was challenging at times but the views were incredibly rewarding. Bonus: you can start it straight from Los Llanos!

 

Stay:

  • Granja Rosaburiente Hostel: I loved my stay on this cozy organic farm right outside of la Caldera de Taburiente National Park. It’s a 15 minute walk to the heart of Los Llanos, where frequent public buses run throughout the island and you can access other hiking spots.

TENERIFE

Why Tenerife? Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s seven Canary Islands. I stayed in El Médano, which I would highly suggest. It is located near Tenerife South Airport and there’s a lot going on in El Médano- from cafes and bars to beaches and mountains, you’ll be entertained for sure. Plus, it’s fairly easy to get around the island from there. Please note though, I would highly recommend renting a car as public transport is infrequent.

Don’t Miss:

  • Teide National Park: The park is named for Mount Teide, a volcano and the highest peak in Spain. A permit is required to hike to the summit and must be booked at least a month in advance. Otherwise explore the many trails in the park.
  • Montaña Roja: If you’re staying near El Médano, check out Montaña Roja for sunset. It’s only about 15-20 minutes to walk up to the top of the mountain from the base and offers beautiful views of El Médano.
  • La Masca: Masca is a small mountain village accessed via a winding (and slightly nauseating) road. From there, hike down the gorge to the beach for more breathtaking views.
  • Los Gigantes: This beautiful resort town on Tenerife is known for its massive rock formations.

 

Eat:

  • SEAFOOD: I mean you’re on an island…
  • Restaurante Santa María: For delicious, reasonably priced seafood and the friendliest staff.
  • Caballo Blanco: For scrumptious (but pricey) seafood. Make sure you order the bread basket filled with freshly baked breads!

 

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