The Best of Gran Canaria
- 1 Week
A week on Gran Canaria gives you enough time to explore the capital's museums and restaurants, dine on seafood along the coast, admire the mountains and even squeeze in some beach time.
Start in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with a gentle stroll on Playa de las Canteras or a dip in the ultracalm ocean – perfect for snorkelling. Spend the second day wandering the cobbles of historic Vegueta with its stellar museums. Day three head to the lovely town of Arucas before hitting the north coast to sample seafood in Puerto de las Nieves. Day four tackle the spectacular winding west-coast road, grabbing lunch in quiet Puerto de la Aldea, then continue the magnificent drive to pretty Puerto de Mogán, with its Mediterranean-style yachting harbour. Day five, swing southeast to the shimmering sands of Maspalomas for a stroll or a swim, then take the GC60 north to Tejeda for lunch with a view. Spend day six on a mountain hike or drive, drinking in the jaw-dropping scenery. To finish, meander your way down to Agüimes with its lovely pastel-painted buildings and historic charm, then veer back inland to the lush Barranco de Guayadeque for lunch in a cave.
- 5 Days
Fuerteventura's beaches are brilliant, but there is more to this island. This route covers quaint fishing towns and inland villages as well as the famous dunes and sands.
Start at Corralejo’s pretty harbour for a little beach time or some water sports. Continuing in seaside mode, head southeast, past the endless shifting dunes on the FV1 road. End the day with a stroll and dinner in Puerto del Rosario. Day two, continue south, stopping at pint-sized Pozo Negro, where simple seafood restaurants overlook the surf. It’s time for a break from all those blues, so wend your way inland to pretty Pájara; pop into the extraordinary church here and pray for a free room at the town’s lovely casa rural. Day three stop at Betancuria's eye-catching church and quirky museums then spend the afternoon exploring the art and architecture of La Oliva. Laze away day four in the low-key beachside town of El Cotillo, sampling its fine cafes, eating seafood and watching the surfers. Day five return to Corralejo via the surfing village of Lajares, ending with an afternoon ferry to unspoilt Isla de Lobos for a relaxing stroll on the sand.
Lanzarote Hot Spots
- 6 Days
A touch of art, a splash of wine, a seafood feast and a whole lot of spectacularly stark volcanic scenery.
Explore capital Arrecife's history, take a dip at Playa del Reducto and have dinner and drinks at the Charco de San Ginés. Next day head north to the Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua before the crowds arrive, then backtrack and take the rest of the day off in seaside Arrieta. Day three head for overlooked Órzola, launchpad for ferries to Isla Graciosa. Spend the day on deserted beaches and the night in utter tranquillity. Back on Lanzarote, stop at postcard-pretty Haría to visit artist César Manrique's former home. Then head south to Teguise, the island's former capital and a joy to wander, and don't miss Tahíche's Fundación César Manrique. End in La Caleta de Famara for a seafood dinner as the sun sets. Watch dawn surfers in action before visiting the wineries of La Geria and sleeping in an arty hotel. Day six explore the lava fields of the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya, joining the Ruta de los Volcanes bus tour. Stay over in unspoilt El Golfo and enjoy more seafood overlooking the waves.
Tenerife and La Palma
- 10 Days
It's all perfectly preserved architecture and impressive mountain backdrops on this island-hopping adventure.
On Tenerife, stay two nights in Puerto de la Cruz, enjoying the shops, bars and beaches. Day three visit La Orotava, with its grand 17th-century mansions. Still in historical mode, continue on to La Laguna’s traditional quarter for an overnight stay. Next day, retrace your steps to contrasting Garachico and its simple fisher’s cottages. Day five head to extraordinary El Teide for a day of walking and gawping. Day six hightail it to Los Cristianos and catch the daily ferry to La Palma.
Spend a couple of nights in the capital Santa Cruz de la Palma, exploring the old town, kicking back on the beach and taking a pilgrimage to the Santuario de la Virgen de las Nieves. Continue north to explore the hilly, cobbled streets of San Andrés. Day eight visit the lush rainforest of Los Tiles before cooling off at the saltwater pools at Charco Azul. Day nine hike through the stunning Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente. Continue south to lively Puerto Naos before visiting the handicraft museum at Villa de Mazo.
La Gomera and El Hierro
- 1 Week
Simple pleasures reign on these two small, western islands: traditional cuisine, forest hikes, ocean swims and plenty of winding roads.
Spend your first day on La Gomera exploring the historical backstreets in San Sebastián de la Gomera. The next day recover from all that urban exhaustion with a dip and lunch at Playa Santiago. Day three head to the verdant north, stopping at traditional Hermigua and sparkling volcanic Playa de la Caleta. Next day continue south for a hike through the Parque Nacional de Garajonay's ethereal laurisilva forest. Drive down the stunning Valle Gran Rey gorge until it reaches the sea. Stay overnight before hopping over to El Hierro, via Tenerife, by ferry or plane.
Check out the low-key capital of Valverde, before heading south to majestic El Golfo and perhaps hiking the cliff-hugging Camino de Jinama. Dine on superb Canarian food in down-to-earth La Frontera and stay overnight. Next day head for the natural pools at La Maceta, before seeking out the lush pines of El Pinar and the offshore scuba diving at La Restinga.