#Spectacular volcanic lands
The volcanic landscapes of the Canary Islands are of surprising and spectacular beauty: especially with the changing colours of the Lanzarote lava fields and the volcanoes omnipresent in the landscape as in Fuerteventura or Gran Canaria... Lunar landscapes due to the presence of numerous dusty and eroded craters, steep peaks, erect dykes and petrified lava flows. Each island has its own particular beauty! Indeed, the seismic activity of each one has not sculpted the same types of landscapes, but all have in common this very marked relief of volcanoes! On one side, Tenerife and La Palma are very high, and their respective central canada is due to a massive landslide forming a huge crater. El Hierro, Lanzarote and the south of La Palma are the most interesting to admire fields of lava, black basalt stone also petrified in countless small stones. You will also discover cuevas, those lava tunnels that have been dug in the heart of a volcano. A visit to one of these volcanic tubes is a must! Volcanic rock is also part of many constructions of houses, apartments, low walls, and vineyard protection as in La Gerria de Lanzarote (the wine route). Lanzarote is very popular all year round for visiting its volcanoes (more than 300!) and especially in the Timanfaya Natural Park: endless queues of cars and buses often await you there...
A caressing climate all year round :
What a joy this eternal spring that envelops the archipelago! What could be better than to enjoy a pleasant life all year round! Thanks to the trade winds, the climate remains temperate, varying between 17°C in January and 30°C in August: the sun is therefore always present, but never suffocating. Each island has a microclimate orchestrated by the winds: the coasts are constantly sunny from 600 m: the landscape settles in the clouds, above this velvety layer, the sun dries up the heights and, beyond 2,000 m, the tops of the mountains are often cold. If you encounter clouds, know that soon after the sky can turn deep blue and bright sunshine, and vice versa! This climatic muse surprised the poet Saint-Amant: "And during all the months one can see in this place the spring and the summer confused in autumn".
An unspoilt nature
Proud of their natural resources and history, the Canary Islands have carefully preserved their ecological and cultural heritage on many islands! Especially in Lanzarote where advertising and building standards were set up thanks to César Manrique, who continues to live today through his foundation! If entire coasts are devastated by tourist urbanization, spectacular sites are preciously protected in National Parks! The forest of Garajonay National Park in La Gomera, the pine forest in the heart of the caldera crater from Tiburiente to La Palma, the sand dunes of Corralejo in Fuerteventura or the lava field formed by Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote are all examples. The most beautiful site remains the Teide Volcano National Park in Tenerife. Think of moving away from tourist complexes and trails to discover villages, isolated wonders nestled in the depths of cliffs, forests...
Far from the seaside resorts, the Canaries have managed to keep an authentic rural character of another century, which can be discovered at random: in the hollow of the mountains, at the top of a steep cliff, by taking a road on the right that seems impractical... Go for beauty is never far away! Discover small villages frozen in time, rich in cultural and folk traditions, gastronomy, the rhythm of life and especially the romerías, these patronal celebrations mixing Christianity and profane feast, which make all the particularity of these villages. To find them, it is certainly necessary to deserve it sometimes and to take roads of cornices and innumerable curves across the mountain and along the coast. Nestled in the heart of banana plantations or hung on the cliff, these picturesque villages offer a maze of steep and narrow streets, lined with traditional houses with original architecture.
Art and architecture
The capital of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, is worth a visit with its magnificent historic centre to visit both for its architecture and its museums... Casa-Museo Colón is a museum with a typical architecture with beautiful wooden balconies, palm trees and parrots. It is dedicated to Christopher Columbus who is said to have stopped here in 1492. Discover the navigator's journeys through stories, a replica of a galleon, and paintings from the Spanish-Flemish school... The historic city centre is colourful and has a jewel with its cathedral Santa Ana (15th century), and many other museums and buildings of great beauty! Further on the island, don't miss the troglodytic dwellings of Artenera!Even if the 7 Canary Islands do not have as large museums as in Spain, you will discover here artists who have left their mark on the peninsula and their time through their works, such as the sculptures of Caesar Manrique (and his foundation) and Martín Chiniro on Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, the incredible paintings of Óscar Dominguez displayed in his native Santa Cruz de Tenerife... And as you walk along your paths, you will be amazed to see village houses with picturesque gardens full of sculptures (Lanzarote, Route de Teguise...).
Beaches and outdoor sports
Thanks to white sandy beaches exposed to the wind, kitesurfing aficionados will find a field and schools to enjoy this discipline! All this against a backdrop of turquoise waters, azure sky, sand dunes, and volcanic backgrounds. Hikers and cyclists will not be left out! The many paths and cycle paths, and even some fast arteries authorized for bicycles, allow unforgettable rides. In terms of relaxation, idleness, the many spas and thalassotherapy will help you to recover!
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette