The Canary Islands are the perfect place for a holiday, regardless of who you are travelling with. The excellent beaches are great for families with children, the scenery is fantastic for romantic couples or those who like to explore their surroundings on foot, and the weather provides a year-round climate that will put a smile on anyone’s face.
However, whilst many people will be very familiar with islands such as Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, these are not the only destinations within this beautiful archipelago. There are in fact eight inhabited islands in this group and so let’s take a look at some of the quieter Canaries that are slightly less chirpy than their neighbours.
In the days when everybody thought that the world was flat, the tiny island of El Hierro was assumed to be the most western point of land on the planet. Nowadays we are fully aware that this isn’t the case but that doesn’t mean that it has lost any of its charm. El Hierro has the smallest area out of the main Canary Islands but manages to cram so much for tourists to see and do into this limited space.
People flock here from all over the world to experience the crystal clear waters that are said to be just perfect for diving. Away from the coastline, the landscape is made up of striking volcanos, deep valleys and lush forests. The whole island was designated a Biosphere Reserve in 2000 and it is home to many rare species of animals and plants, including the extremely vulnerable El Hierro giant lizard.
The quiet and laid back nature of this relaxing holiday destination gives visitors the feeling that they are truly cut off from the rest of the world. Perfect for the kind of break where you want to fully escape the rituals of everyday life.
Aside from the main three, Fuerteventura is probably the most well-known of the remaining islands. Its name can be literally translated as ‘strong winds’ but it is also possible that it is down to a joining of the two French words ‘forte’ and ‘aventure’ which mean ‘great adventure’.
This relatively popular holiday hot spot has some of the best beaches in Europe and, due to its close proximity to Africa, has the most amount of sunshine per year across all of the Canaries. Water sports are very popular here, whilst other people come to see the beautiful sand dunes and rugged natural landscape.
The fact that Fuerteventura is quite large but nowhere near as built-up as Tenerife or Gran Canaria makes it a paradise for those looking for excellent weather, marvellous scenery and a bit of peace and quiet.
The relatively untouched island of La Gomera is home to Fred.\’s Hotel Jardin Tecina and possibly has the most dramatic natural landscape of all the Canary Islands. The land is covered in valleys, ravines, sheer cliffs and areas of dense forest and thus the locals even use their own whistling language to communicate between these vast areas.
Hotel Tecina and its breath-taking golf course are not the only draws of a place which, due to the fact that the great Christopher Columbus stopped here for supplies during his first voyage in 1492, is known locally as Columbian Island. The stunning Garajonay National Park covers a large percentage of La Gomera and is a key reason why there is so much beauty and serenity to be found here. This is something Columbus would have surely been struck by too.
Every year tourists visit this small island for some much needed rest and relaxation; something that the Hotel Jardin Tecina can offer in abundance.
La Palma is an island that is incomparable to the bustling beaches and tourist areas of the more famous Canary Islands. It has been shaped, in large parts, by volcanic activity and the most recent eruption (which occurred in 1971) has left its black yet fertile mark on part of the land. This has done nothing to alter the beauty of this amazing place though, as the landscape, scenery and views across to the other Canaries are magnificent.
Whereas holidaymakers may visit La Gomera or El Hierro to relax and do nothing at all, people generally take a trip to La Palma to be a bit more active. For example, there are banana plantations to explore, cliffs to dive off and perfect conditions for paragliding.
It is two other things that attract the most tourists to this location though, namely stargazing and hiking. Whilst the volcanic landscape and network of intricate footpaths offer excellent adventure opportunities for keen walkers; the clear, pollution-free skies provide the ultimate astrological experience. So much so that, in 2013, La Palma was given the title of the first Starlight Reserve in the world and is home to the biggest optical telescope on Earth. Our planet will be the last thing on your mind though as you gaze up and enjoy unrivalled views of the Milky Way.
All of these fantastic islands can be enjoyed by using La Gomera as your base. Fast ferries and connecting flights make it relatively easy to island hop and there is even a service operated by Fred Olsen so you can travel with a name that you trust. Why not speak to the team at Fred.\ and start your Canary Island adventures at the Hotel Jardin Tecina.