The best of Gran Canaria
- 1 Week
A week on Gran Canaria gives you enough time to explore the museums and restaurants of the capital, munch seafood along the coast, admire the mountains and even spend a little time on the beach.
Start in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with a gentle stroll on Playa de las Canteras or a dip in the ultra-calm ocean – perfect for snorkelling. Pass 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 Med-style yachting harbour. Day five, swing southeast to the shimmering sands of Maspalomas for a stroll or a swim, then take the GC-60 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, wind 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.
- 6 Days
The beaches here are brilliant, but there is more to the island. This route covers quaint fishing towns and inland villages as well as the famous dunes and beaches.
Start at Corralejo’s pretty harbour for a little beach time or some watersports. Continuing in seaside mode, head southeast, past the endless shifting dunes on the FV-1 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 the 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. Spend day five in the low-key beachside town of El Cotillo, sampling its fine cafes, eating seafood and watching the surfers. Day six return to Corralejo via the hip 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 dash of seafood and a whole lot of spectacularly stark scenery.
Explore Arrecife's art and history, take a dip at the Playa del Reducto and have dinner and drinks at the smart new marina. Next day head north for the Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua before the tour buses arrive, then backtrack and take the rest of the day off in simple 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, a great little town that's a joy to wander. 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. Day six explore the lava fields of the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya, joining the bus tour through the dramatic Ruta de los Volcanes. Stay over in unspoiled 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 fishermen’s cottages. Day five head for the extraordinary El Teide for a day of walking, gawping and camera snapping. 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, 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 salt-water 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 the smallest islands: rustic cuisine, forest hikes, ocean swims and plenty of winding roads.
Spend the first day on La Gomera exploring the backstreets, big streets and everything in between in San Sebastián. The next day recover from all that urban exhaustion with a dip at Playa Santiago. Day three head to the verdant north, stopping at traditional Hermigua and postcard-pretty Playa de la Caleta. Next day continue south for a trek through a fern-filled rainforest up to the lofty peaks (and views) of the Alto de Garajonay. Drive beside the stunning Valle Gran Rey gorge until it reaches the sea. Stay overnight at La Playa before returning to San Sebastián to catch the ferry to El Hierro.
Check out the low-key capital of Valverde, before heading south to the Ecomuseo de Guinea, a natural-cum-cultural treat. Dine on superb Canarian food at down-to-earth Tigaday and stay overnight. Next day head for the natural pools at Charco Azul, before heading to the lush pines of El Pinar, the Centro Volcanicológico and the off-shore scuba-diving at La Restinga.