Popular Tourist Attractions in the Canary Islands

When it comes to beach getaways in Europe, the beautiful Canary Islands of Spain are, indeed, the “numero uno” of European winter destinations. Nowhere else in southern Europe (see. Things to do in Southern Europe) you’ll find a vacation spot that’s blessed with glorious hot weather 365 days of the year!

Tenerife is probably the most popular of the Canary Islands because of the black sand beaches, variety of activities and holiday resorts, and tourist-friendly public transportation system. Saying this, even if you stay in less touristy places such as La Gomera or El Hierro you still won’t have much of an issue or expense getting to Tenerife thanks to inter-island flight connections and ferry services...inland hopping in the Canary Islands is really plain sailing!

The following list has been compiled to give first time visitors an idea of popular tourist attractions in the Canary Islands that are worth seeing. Hope you find it useful!

Parque Nacional del Teide, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

If one thing the Canary Islands are known for is stunning “ parque nacionales” (national parks). Teide national park is by far the most popular of the national parks in the Canary Islands and with good reason. Teide national park is surrounded by moon-like landscape and it’s also home to Mount Teide - the third largest volcano in the world and the largest one in Europe.

Mount Teide (a.k.a Volcan El Teide) is also the highest point in the Canary Islands (12,200ft above sea level) and the climb to the top offers the most surreal climbing experience ever! As you ride the cable car (teleferico) up to the viewing areas (miradores), you go above clouds and get magnificent views over the entire island of Tenerife.

Once at the top of the cable car station, if you feel adventurous enough you can also walk right up to the top actual summit, though you need to first get a "Pico del Teide permit" (it’s free) to access the summit. You can get the permit in person from the main office of Teide national park in Santa Cruz the Tenerife, or by emailing them at teide@oapn.mma.es.

Siam Park, Adeje

Siam Park is without question, one of the best places to go in the Canary Islands for a fun day away from the resort and the beach. The water park is located in Costa Adeje (Tenerife) and it’s one of the most spectacular water parks you’ll visit in either Spain or Europe.

Siam Park has Thai-theme throughout, a great wave pool, lazy river, beach area and dozens of thrill seeking water rides such as the amazing Kinnaree, Dragon Ride and Tower of Power toboggans.

Loro Park, Puerto de la Cruz

Just like Teide, Loro Park is another of the popular tourist attractions in the Canary Islands that won't disappoint you. Loro Park is located in the island of Tenerife and it’s essentially an all-in-one natural museum/zoo/ theme park that offers something for all ages (including activities for little ones).

The most popular attraction at Loro Park is the animal shows, which include orca whale, parrot, dolphins and sea lion shows. There's also a penguinarium where you can see cute penguins!

Timanfaya National Park, Tinajo

Timanfaya is located on the island of Lanzarote and it’s most certainly the second best national park to visit on the Canary Islands after Teide.

Timanfaya national park offers an excellent opportunity to experience more of the Canary Islands’ famous volcanic landscape and see the active volcano “Fire Mountain”. Apart from that, Timanfaya national park offers the chance to see geysers and experience camel back riding for the first time.

Marina Rubicon, Playa Blanca

Marina Rubicon is one of the top tourist hubs in Lanzarote and it’s another must worth adding to your Canary Islands itinerary.

Marina Rubicon boasts a beautiful sea front and it’s a great place to enjoy a meal, dinner and an evening at the bar with the beautiful sea front right before your eyes. If you do plan to visit Marina Rubicon, be sure you visit on Saturday or Wednesday so you can catch the crafts market.

Maspalomas, Island of Gran Canaria

Maspalomas is one of the main tourist towns in the Canary Islands and it’s home to several must see attractions that you simply can't miss. One of them is the town’s beautiful beach - La Playa de Maspalomas.

The other two attractions in Maspalomas are El Faro and Palmitos Park, which is the next best place (after Loro Park) in the Canary Islands to see a nice range of exotic animals (i.e. flamingos, monkeys, crocs and orangutans), as well as reptiles, birds of prey and butterflies. Palmitos Park also offer cool animal exhibitions where you’ll get to see dolphins and parrots performing cool tricks and bald eagles flying freely throughout the arena.

El Faro (The Lighthouse) is located along the gorgeous Maspalomas promenade and visiting it offers a nice photo opportunity and wonderful views of the ocean (especially at sunset!).

Acantilados de Los Gigantes, Santiago del Teide

Acantilados de Los Gigantes literary translates to “Cliffs of the Giants” and this natural attraction truly lives up to its name! You’ll find these huge towering cliffs along the west coast of Tenerife and they’re no doubt, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Canary Islands.

“Los Gigantes” is really unique and you won’t find stunning cliffs like these ones anywhere on the islands, let alone Europe. If you have the opportunity to visit “Los Gigantes” don’t hesitate because it’ll be totally worth it!

By the way, the best way to see Los Gigantes cliffs is on a whale and dolphin watching boat excursion or by hiring a boat yourself. You can book or hire boats inexpensively from the small marina at the resort town of Los Gigantes.

Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente, El Paso

Caldera de Taburiente national park is the third national park worth visiting in the Canary Islands aside from Timanfaya and Teide national parks. Taburiente volcano is roughly half the size of El Teide volcano, though the views from the summit are also fantastic.

Unlike Teide, you can drive up all the way to Taburiente’s viewing point (takes around 2 hours) so, it's a good idea to rent a car for the day. Otherwise, you can walk or get a taxi from Taburiente visitor’s center to reach the summit. Having said this, the walk to the top is the most exciting way since you'll get to walk around and inside the crater of the volcano.

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