23 Feb 2024 By AK

The Islands of Spain: Unveiling the Hidden Treasures of the Canaries and Balearics

Spain boasts a diverse collection of 179 islands, only 48 of which are inhabited. While the renowned Balearic Islands beckon with their bustling nightlife and picture-perfect beaches, the lesser-known Canary Islands offer authentic charm and unique landscapes calling for further exploration.

Canary Islands – A Tapestry of Diverse Landscapes

This Spanish archipelago of rugged volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of north-western Africa, offers year-round sunshine, and are easily accessible by short flight from cities across mainland Europe.

Tenerife: Venture into the heart of volcanic wonder at Mount Teide, Spain’s tallest peak. Immerse in the lush Orotava Valley, where botanical gardens, banana plantations and historic towns await. Discover the island’s Carnival of Santa Cruz, a lively celebration of colour, music, and dance that rivals Rio’s festivities.

Fuerteventura: This is a paradise for surfers, divers and beach lovers. Miles of pristine white sand beaches kissed by turquoise waters await. Don’t miss the windswept dunes of Corralejo, a playground for water sports enthusiasts (especially windsurfers), and explore the charming village of Betancuria, a window into the island’s history.

La Palma: Known as “Isla Bonita” (Beautiful Island), this island is a hiker’s haven. Traverse the verdant landscapes of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, or follow The Volcano Trail of Cumbre Vieja Natural Park and discover a recently formed new volcano (created after the 2021 eruption). Then when evening falls, stargaze at the UNESCO-designated Starlight Reserve, where some of the world’s clearest skies await.

La Gomera: Step into the pages of a fairy-tale by exploring the mystical Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO site with ancient laurel forests and mist-shrouded trails. Witness the unique whistled language, Silbo Gomero, a living cultural treasure still practiced on the island today.

El Hierro: Dive into crystal-clear waters and uncover a marine paradise teeming with life. Explore the legendary Sabinar forests, where the wind-sculpted juniper trees create an otherworldly landscape. This is tranquillity redefined.

Lanzarote: Surrender to the surreal landscapes of Timanfaya National Park, where volcanic craters and geothermal wonders paint an almost extra-terrestrial scene. Discover César Manrique’s artful influence across the island, seamlessly blending architecture with nature.

Balearic Islands – Sun, Sea, and Sensation:

These famous and much-loved islands encapsulate the very best of the Mediterranean Sea, and Mediterranean lifestyle.

Ibiza: Dance the night away in some of the world’s best nightclubs, but also explore Ibiza’s serene side – hidden coves, bohemian markets, and charming old town streets. On this world-renowned party island, travellers can choose to go big or completely chill out. Don’t miss Ibiza old town and the historic castle and cathedral.

Mallorca: Beyond the bustling beaches, delve into history with Palma’s impressive Gothic cathedral and explore the dramatic Serra de Tramuntana mountain range.

Menorca: A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Menorca is a haven of unspoiled beauty. Discover secret beaches, meandering coastal trails, and ancient ruins that whisper tales of its past.

For more information on the islands of Spain visit www.spain.info/en/ or for inspiration follow @spain on Instagram.