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Canary Islands - Holidays in Tenerife, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote
The seven Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the north coast of Africa. They have been formed as a result of volcanic activity, which happened thousands of years ago to produce the islands we see today. The canaries are geographically split into two provinces. The western most province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and includes Tenerife, La Palma, Hierro and La Gomera, while the eastern province of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria includes the islands Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.
All of the islands belong to Spain and as a result are part of the European Union. The Canaries enjoy duty free prices, and typically hot weather all year round due to their geographical location, some 4 degrees from the Tropic of Cancer. The islands’ climate is semi-tropical and as a result, temperatures vary only some 6°C, resulting in monthly averages from 18° to 24°C.
Water temperatures vary between 22°C in summer to 19°C in the winter offering some ideal bathing conditions. One might expect the islands to be arid with little vegetation; so you may be surprised to see the northern reach of Lanzarote being very green and lush. This is not due to any extra rainfall, but is a result of the North Atlantic trade winds sweeping across the island.
Tenerife is the largest island of the Canaries, and offers something for everyone. Large cities with plenty to do, wonderful beaches and a mountain range with Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain at its heart. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a busy picturesque port and the capital of the island. It doesn't have the tourist attractions of some of the more popular holiday resorts, but is a working city with many nice parks. Puerto de la Cruz is the most popular holiday resort and despite not having a beach itself, the seafront is a wonderful mix of sunbathing terraces, tropical lagoons and fountains.
Fuerteventura boasts the longest beaches of all the Canary Islands with miles and miles of fine golden sand originating from the Sahara Desert. With over 150 beaches to choose from, there is no shortage of fine white sandy beaches with crystal clear water. The wind from the Sahara is warm and a favourite with wind surfers, so if you are keen on water-sports or diving, there is plenty to keep you occupied while on holiday. Puerto del Rosario is the capital of Fuerteventura and a delightful small fishing village with a harbour at its heart. Around the harbour can be found small winding streets lined with authentic Spanish bars and restaurants.
Lanzarote is an amazing place having been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO with a landscape that has been scarred by over 300 volcanoes. The terrain is like a tide of molten lava and ashes frozen in time and makes you feel like you're on another planet altogether. Arrecife has grown from the port of Teguise to being the island's capital and a busy city. There are two great fortresses San Gabriel and San José to see, and the Castillo de San Juan, which contains the Museum of Contemporary Art. Costa Teguise just to the north of Arrecife is one of the upmarket resorts on the island having appeared over the last 30 years for the many holidaymakers who visit. There is a wide promenade along the stretch of the beach overlooking a golden sandy beach and a good selection of shops to peruse.
All of the Canary Islands are different and so it is well worth checking out the attractions of each island before you book your holiday. Some are better suited to walking holidays and outdoor pursuits, while others offer some of the best beaches in Europe. One thing they all have in common though is they all provide a welcome retreat for those wishing some winter holiday sun.
About the Author: Steve Greenwood has lived in Spain for 3 years and visited Lanzarote, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. You are invited to visit http://www.idealrentals4u.com for Canary Islands Holiday Homes and holiday attractions in Tenerife, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. Ideal Rentals For You (http://www.idealrentals4u.com) offers holiday information on all the regions of Spain including the Canaries and Balearics.