Canary Islands in detail

Planning Tips


  • Lonely Planet ( Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.
  • Canary Islands Government ( Local government information with plenty of details for tourists.
  • Official Tourism Office ( Region-wide and island-specific information.
  • Daily Connections ( Daily news.
  • Turismo Tenerife ( Helpful local tourism board.
  • Turismo Gran Canaria ( Gran Canaria's handy tourism body.

Top Tips

  • Whatever season you choose to visit, it's best to reserve car hire and accommodation well in advance, and check which activities require prior booking.
  • Flying between the islands can save you a lot of time and hassle, and air tickets are inexpensive.
  • Take advantage of discount cards for sights and transport, and consider using buses to save on transport (and car fumes).
  • Think carefully before visiting the many family-oriented attractions where animal welfare is a potential concern.
  • Where possible, explore by foot – hiking gets you to fabulous areas that most visitors miss out on.
  • On La Gomera and El Hierro, though driving distances may seem small, narrow winding roads can mean drives take longer than you'd expect.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your arrival date
  • Inform your debit-/credit-card company you’re heading away
  • Arrange travel insurance
  • Reserve car hire, accommodation and any highlight restaurants ahead
  • Book interisland ferries and flights in advance
  • Check data-roaming allowances for smartphones

What to Take

  • Sunscreen, swimwear, sandals, sunglasses and sun hat
  • Good walking shoes and activewear
  • Warm clothing for higher altitudes
  • Small day pack
  • Electrical adaptor
  • Layers and light jacket for cooler evenings
  • Plans for rainy days (they do sometimes happen!)

What to Wear

All the Canary Islands are pretty relaxed in terms of what to wear, though you'll want to dress up for the smarter bars, restaurants and hotels. Skimpy summer wear is generally perfectly acceptable, though perhaps throw on a T-shirt to pop into the supermarket, for example, and remember to dress respectfully when visiting churches. On the beach, plenty of women sunbathe topless, and there are nudist spots dotted around, too. In the evenings, you may want a light extra layer. You'll also need sportswear if going hiking and so on, and warm clothing for Tenerife's El Teide and the archipelago's most elevated towns and villages.