Walking and wildlife holidays in the Canary islands
- Capital: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
- Area: 7,447 km²
The Canary Islands, a breathtaking archipelago located off the north-western coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean, is a true gem of the Kingdom of Spain. Consisting of seven larger and four smaller volcanic islands, the Canary Islands are a nature lover’s paradise waiting to be explored.
Situated just 108 km away from the north-western coast of Africa, this group of islands forms an autonomous community of Spain. Each island boasts a unique and diverse landscape that has been shaped by volcanic activity, creating a stunning natural environment that is unlike anywhere else on earth.
The Canary Islands have become famous as a starlight destination organizing stargazing events, astronomy festivals, and astrophotography workshops.
Whether you’re looking to explore the rugged terrain of the mountains, soak up the sun on the golden sandy beaches, or immerse yourself in the rich and diverse flora and fauna, the Canary Islands have something for everyone.
The larger islands are: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro and the smaller ones: Graciosa, Alegranza, Los Lobos and Montana Clara.
Useful books for exploring the Canary islands
Tours in the Canary islands from Viator
The Canary islands have a vast array of sites to visit and enjoy. Below are some of the options listed on the Viator website. (We recieve a small commission if you book a tour which doesn’t cost you more and helps us to keep Wildside Holidays up to date with the best information.)
The Canary Islands, a few details about them
- Together with the Azores, Cape Verde, Madeira, and the Savage Isles they form Macaronesia. This is a new name for these tropical and subtropical volcanic Islands in the Atlantic Ocean near Europe and Africa.
- The Teide volcano on Tenerife is the highest mountain in Spain at 3,718 m and the third largest volcano on Earth.
- Four of Spain’s fourteen National Parks are located in the Canary Islands which is a testimony to their huge environmental value.
- The flora of the islands consists of about two thousand species, five hundred and twenty of which are to be considered endemic, and as many as five hundred and ninety three that are rare or becoming extinct.
- The Haria Lizard is the smallest of the Gallotias which is a genus of 5 different lizards endemic to the Canary Islands. There are also 3 endemic species of skinks and 1 gecko.
- There are some bird species which are confined to the Macaronesia Island group, others to individual Islands and occasional avian waifs from the Americas all of which are a draw for ornithologists. White-Faced Storm Petrel, Cory’s Shearwater, Madeiran Storm-Petrel, Berthelot’s Pipit, Fuerteventura Stonechat and Blue Chaffinch are just a few specialties
1 Las Nieves, 2 National Park of caldera de taburiente, 3 Cumbre viejas, 4 Majona, 5 National park of Garajonay, 6 National Park of Teide, 7 La corona forestal, 8 Tamadaba, 9 Pilancones, 10 Archipilago chinijo, 11, National Park of Timanfaya, 12 Los volcanes, 13 Islote de lobos, 14 Corralejo, 15 Jandia, 16 Betancuria, 17 Pozo negro
Natural and National parks in the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands hold some wonderful natural parks and protected reserves and some are considered to be among the most important ecosystems on the planet.
Of the sixteen national parks that exist in Spain, four are located in the Canary Islands. These natural parks, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO are: Timanfaya National Park, in Lanzarote the National Park Caldera located in Las Palmas, the Garajonay National Park , located in La Gomera and the Teide National Park in Tenerife.
On each island of the Canary archipelago you will find protected natural spaces with stunning landscapes and diversity of different ecosystems such as dunes, lush forests, volcanoes, natural pools and of course all surrounded by the the atlantic ocean.
The Chinijo Archipelago Natural Park located north of Lanzarote, is a group of small islands that have environmental protection. It is the largest marine reserve in the European Union. Among the group of islands that make it up is the Island of La Graciosa , a small island of virgin beaches, unpaved streets and where the natural beauty of its beaches and the sea delight visitors who come to it to enjoy the tranquility that characterizes it.
Lanzarote also has its natural spaces. In addition to the Timanfaya National Park, the island has wonderful natural environments to explore. Close to Timanfaya are the Charcos de los Clicos, the Natural Park of Los Volcanes and La Geria in Yaiza, the Green Caves in Haría, Jameos del Agua in Órzola and the Natural Park of the Volcanoes in Tinajo.
Find a hotel in Lanzarote
If you visit Fuerteventura, take a tour of the Corralejo Natural Park. To the north of the island is the largest area of dunes in the Canary Islands that ends in wide beaches of very white sand and are surrounded by the turquoise blue ocean.
Other natural spaces worth seeing are the Montaña de Tindaya or the Natural Monument of Malpaís de la Arena , located in the municipality of La Oliva, the Protected Landscape of Vallebrón or the Isla de Lobos Natural Park. The Jandía Natural Park located in the south of the island offers a desert landscape between mountains and beaches.
Find a hotel in Fuertaventura
Tenerife , with its magnificent Teide National park has a great variety of natural environments such as the Protected Landscape of Costa Acentejo, the Guajara Mountain, the Mountain of the Frailes and the Special Natural Reserve of Montaña Roja.
The Acantilados de los Gigantes, located between Buenavista del Norte and Santiago del Teide, are part of the Teno Rural Park in Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands in Spain. These cliffs, aptly named “Cliffs of the Giants,” offer breathtaking views from Los Guíos beach on the island’s western coast. Read more here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/acantilados-de-los-gigantes-tenerife-majestic-cliffs-and-endangered-wildlife/
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Activities in the Canary Islands with get Your Guide
In Gran Canaria , you can visit several natural parks such as Tamadaba Natural Park, Maspalomas Dunes Natural Reserve, Pilancones Natural Park, Barranco Oscuro Integral Natural Reserve and Inagua Integral Natural Reserve.
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La Gomera has the Natural Monument of Los Órganos and the Natural Reserve of Benchijigua and of course the spectacular Garajonay National Park
Find a hotel in La Gomera
All of the natural and national parks in the Canary Islands offer activities to visit and explore them, with a guide or self guided. The only way to get the best out of a visit is to start off at the many information and interpretation centres on the islands.
For the National Parks on ther Canary islands a good starting point for further research before your visit is here.
maybe you are looking for information about other Spanish islands? Information about the Balearics here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/natural-parks-in-the-balearic-islands/
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