The Canary Islands are quite unlike anywhere else, an archipelago of seven islands formed from the tips of volcanoes that erupted from the seabed 14 million years ago. Today things have cooled a little; you will find a variety of stunning landscapes to explore, including the highest mountains in Europe, seas that are warmed by volcanic lava and 65-million-year-old forests shrouded in mist.
Closer to the west coast of Africa that Spain, the Canaries include the perennially popular Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. The location means you will enjoy sunshine all year round and a consistent climate that averages at 17 ºC in the winter and 24 ºC in summer thanks to a cool offshore breeze. You’ll be living in the land of eternal spring!
Although ruled by Spain, the Canaries have their own distinct character. With a population that is as European as it is Spanish, you will be moving to a diverse, multicultural society, with friendly faces to be found from former residents of England, Germany, Scandinavia and beyond.
While the tourist resorts swell in the summer months, there are plenty of out of the way locations for you to explore that have retained their individuality. The architecture and culture of the islands draws on the colonial era of the 15th century, while the influence of years of trade and immigration from Latin America can be found in the food, language and atmosphere.
These are islands of great contrasts, with party resorts like Playa de las Americas on one side, and cultural centres like Santa Cruz in Tenerife and Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria on the other. You can spend your days lazing on a sun lounger on the famous black volcanic sands or learn to windsurf in Jandía, Fuerteventura. The canaries truly have something for everyone.