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Activities, Canary Islands

You can enjoy a whole range of adventurous activities across the Canary Islands. While you’re surrounded by the ocean, ensure you revel in big game fishing, hop aboard a whale-watching boat trip or try your hand at one of many water sports.

If you’re more of a nature buff, explore the volcanic countryside and escape to the mountains on foot. Plus, the wild landscape in La Gomera is an absolute paradise for hikers and climbers.

Boat Trips

No matter what time of year you visit the Canary Islands, you’ll still be able to take astonishing boat trips, as the mild climate makes them possible all year round!

One popular excursion in Tenerife is to clamber aboard and set off on a whale-watching adventure. Many of the tours have an eco-friendly and conservation focus, where marine biologists will teach you about sea life before hopefully getting up close and personal to these amazing creatures, too.

See if you can spot one of the famous yellow boats in Gran Canaria which transport passengers on a relaxing ride around the coastline. As well as experiencing spectacular views of the surrounding cliffs and wide ocean, you’ll arrive at a protected beach for a snorkelling break, where you can explore life under the sea! 

If you want to delve further beneath the waves, some boat trips also offer an introduction to scuba diving. The clear water and vast marine life here are a hotspot for divers.

Fishing Trips

If you’re quite the fisherman, you’ll feel right at home in the Canary Islands! Anglers have the opportunity to fish from boats, beaches, lakes and rivers here, all of which are home to a vast variety of different fish species. These islands are also popular for international fishing competitions, with pro fishermen arriving from all over the world to compete.

Any angling enthusiasts will jump at the chance to catch rare game fish such as the Atlantic blue marlin, a pinnacle of offshore fishing. This challenging species is usually found in the deep water off the coasts of La Gomera, Gran Canaria and Tenerife. They’re often spotted from May to September, so be sure to plan your break accordingly!

Holidaymakers can book exciting fishing excursions on a number of the islands. Try out freshwater fishing in Gran Canaria and catch some carp, or take a tour out to sea in Tenerife to practise trolling and bottom fishing. Suited to all levels of experience, there’s no shortage of opportunities here!

Golf

While incredible golf courses can be found across the Canary Islands, the best courses appear on the two large islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Play a game on the lush greens and tee off under the sun with a magnificent view of the coastline!

The finest courses are often part of luxury hotels, meaning you can enjoy the other fantastic facilities after a round. Savour a sit-down meal or grab a quick drink! One popular venue is Anfi Tauro Golf on the southwest coast of Gran Canaria. This spectacular spot boasts an 18-hole emerald fairway set against the dramatic volcanic landscape.

Abama Golf, designed by the Welsh golf pro-turned-golf course architect Dave Thomas, is a hugely prestigious resort in Tenerife. Travel to this course and you’ll find yourself playing on velvet greens with the astonishing backdrop of neighbouring island La Gomera in the distance. This world-class course is well worth the trip for any putting enthusiasts!

Mountain Biking

The hot weather in the Canary Islands means mountain bikers will be in their element when traversing dry and dusty trails. There are tracks available for all abilities, as well as the opportunity to go on guided tours across the islands.

Choose to explore the wild landscape of Gran Canaria by navigating your way through long routes on varying terrain. Take on steep inclines on a 70-kilometre ride into the hills of Inagua or do a shorter 50-kilometre cycle from the resort of Meloneras to Agüimes. You’ll even pass La Sorrueda dam on the way!

In La Palma, you can ride 35-kilometres along the forest tracks around Cumbre Vieja. Set off with the sea on one side and volcanic scenery on the other, but remember to look where you’re going! 

Avid riders can enjoy a longer 100-kilometre path across the north of Lanzarote from the fishing village of Órzola and across the Timanfaya National Park. You’ll finish your cycle at the coast, where you can relax and rest your tired legs on the beach at Playa Blanca

Mountain Trips

Experience the volcanic landscape of the Canary Islands with a trip to the mountains. By venturing into the vast national parks and exploring walking trails, you can really soak up this unique environment.

The highest mountain in Spain happens to sit in the centre of Tenerife in the Teide National Park, which is popular with paragliders and stargazers.

Take the cable car up the mountain for astonishing views of your surroundings, from craters and rivers of petrified lava to wildflowers and pine forests. Once you reach the end of the journey, there is another footpath that leads right to the summit of Mount Teide!

Any avid hikers or climbers should catch the ferry across to La Gomera, where they can traverse the wild landscape and admire the incredibly diverse scenery.

If you’re in Lanzarote, be sure to head to Timanfaya National Park to see the famous Montañas del Fuego – Fire Mountains! You can access this park on foot, or sometimes, by camel.

Shopping

No matter where you are on the Canary Islands, each destination boasts a fantastic mix of markets, shopping centres and high streets, so you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. Plus, thanks to the low tax here, you can snap up items for particularly cheap prices!

Santa Cruz, in Tenerife, is the perfect place to spend an afternoon browsing the shops. Visit Calle del Castillo high street or find designer brands tucked away on Calle del Pilar. 

If you’d prefer to pick up traditional souvenirs for your family and friends, you’ll find many items made from lava and olivine (a volcanic mineral). Aloe Vera also grows all over the islands and is made into creams and soaps due to its anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties.

La Oliva, in Fuerteventura, hosts multiple markets a week where you can sample some tasty treats, including wine and cheese, two important parts of Canarian cuisine. Alternatively, watch as cigars are hand-rolled in La Palma, produced from tobacco grown on the island.

Snorkelling

Snorkelling is a thrilling way to explore an underwater world in the warm, clear seas around the Canary Islands. This amusing activity is easy to get the hang of and doesn’t require any heavy equipment or a professional instructor, making it great for families with young children.

Early in the morning, before the beachgoers arrive, head to Playa de Amadores in Gran Canaria. Thanks to the famously calm and relaxed waters here, you’re bound to see plenty swimming along underneath you, from flounders and pufferfish to cuttlefish and parrotfish. If you’re lucky, you might even spy an octopus hiding in the rocks!

Tucked away at the southernmost point of El Hierro is La Restinga, a sleepy fishing village that comes alive when scuba divers and snorkelers hit the sands. They’re all headed for Punta de la Restinga, where the edge of the harbour meets a rocky reef. In this spot, there have been sightings of moray eels, trumpetfish and groupers. To catch a glimpse of a green turtle, you’ll have to venture inside the breakwater!

Surfing

All surfers, from brand new beginners to talented experts, are sure to find their perfect wave on the Canary Islands. This Spanish archipelago boasts year-round warm weather and consistent surf, thanks to its location off the coast of northwest Africa. The isles are exposed to powerful currents and strong offshore winds from the Atlantic Ocean – prime conditions for all water sports!

The main surfing season takes place from September until April, but the best waves hit between November and February. If you’re an experienced surfer, this is your time to shine! The heavy swells on Lanzarote are great for you and it’s often quieter here than neighbouring islands Tenerife and Fuerteventura.

Gran Canaria’s mellow waves provide the ideal spot for newcomers to practise this exhilarating sport. Head over to Playa del Inglés or Playa de Las Canteras and have a go! If you’re elsewhere in the Canaries, don’t worry, endless beaches on each island offer surf courses and have surfboards ready to rent.

Theme Parks

As well as the gorgeous beaches and sunny weather on the Canary Islands, you’ll also discover a range of exhilarating activities. Keep the whole family entertained by visiting one of the theme parks in Gran Canaria.

Originally built as a film set in the 1970s, Sioux City Park is a replica of a town from the American Wild West. Travel back in time and become immersed in a world of cowboys and outlaws. Have a drink in the saloon, witness a bank robbery and meet the town sheriff!

Hop in the car for a quick drive to Hangar 37, a military-themed airsoft park. This fantastic destination boasts a battlefield full of realistic army equipment such as tanks and jeeps. Active kids and adults alike can enjoy an exciting day out here.

If you’re looking for a classic amusement park, head to Holiday World Maspalomas, home to the largest Funfair in the Canary Islands! With more than 30 different attractions (including a bowling alley, Ferris wheel and a rollercoaster) you certainly won’t be short of fun things to do.

Water Parks

Take some time off from relaxing by the pool to enjoy a smashing day out at a water park. Siam Park is not only the biggest water park in the Canary Islands, it’s also the biggest in Europe! You’ll find this thrilling park in Tenerife, packed with rides and restaurants.

Adrenaline junkies should take on the Rapids or the Tower of Power, which starts with a 28-metre drop before you slide past shark-infested waters! For a more relaxed ride, laze through the park in a rubber ring on the Mai Thai river. The Lost City, which has 15 fun water slides, is great for little kids who can splash around in safety.

If you’re staying in Lanzarote, there are a couple of brilliant parks you can visit. Aqualava Water Park is based in the popular resort of Playa Blanca, offering five water slides and a lazy river. So, it’s perfect for young children.

AQUAPARK in Costa Teguise also has fantastic rides and rapids, as well as a host of other activities, including paintball and a cinema!