Canary Islands in detail

Flights & getting there

Getting to the Canary Islands is a cinch. Low-cost carriers are plentiful from all over Europe, particularly from Germany, the UK and, of course, mainland Spain. Flights, tours and rail tickets can be booked online at www.lonelyplanet.com/bookings.

Air

All of Spain’s airports share the user-friendly website and flight information telephone number of Aena, the Spanish national airport authority.

Airports & Airlines

All seven major Canary Islands have airports. Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and, increasingly, La Palma absorb nearly all the direct international flights and those from mainland Spain, while the others are principally for inter-island hops.

The following main airports handle international flights:

Aeropuerto Tenerife Norte Handles just about all inter-island flights and most of those to the Spanish mainland.

Aeropuerto Tenerife Sur Handles the remaining scheduled flights, and virtually all charter flights to the island.

Aeropuerto de Gran Canaria Located 16km south of Las Palmas.

Aeropuerto César Manrique–Lanzarote Located 6km southwest of the capital, Arrecife.

Aeropuerto de Fuerteventura Located 6km south of the capital, Puerto del Rosario.

Dozens of airlines, many of which you’ll have never heard of, fly into the Canary Islands. There are direct flights to cities in Morocco, Senegal, Venezuela, Israel, Madeira and many other destinations: however, there are no nonstop flights from North America to the archipelago. Increasingly, there are flights into La Palma Airport, including flights from Gatwick (easyjet) and Manchester (Tui Airways) in the UK.

Departure Tax

There is no departure tax in the Canary Islands at present. However, a sustainable tourism tax, similar to the tax levied on visitors to the Balearic Islands, was being considered at the time of writing to help finance environmental protection efforts and manage visitor numbers.

Sea

Just about every visitor flies into the Canaries; the only alternative is to take a ferry from mainland Spain.

Trasmediterránea Runs a weekly ferry service between Cádiz on the Spanish mainland and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (49 hours), with stops at Arrecife in Lanzarote (31 hours), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (40 hours) and Santa Cruz de La Palma (64 hours).

Naviera Armas Runs a weekly service from Huelva on the Spanish mainland stopping at Arrecife (27 hours) on Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (32 hours) and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (36 hours).