15 Best things to do and places to visit in the Canary Islands

Siam park surf competition
What are the must-see places in the Canary Islands?

The Canary Islands are one of the most visited destinations in Spain and they are comprised of 7 main islands: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro.

What to do in the Canary Islands - Best Points of interest

Each island has its charm and it deserves a separate holiday, so if you're not decided where to go, we have made a list of what you can see in the Canary Islands to help you decide.

1. Enjoy the most beautiful beaches in the Canary Islands

playa las teresitas tenerife
Playa Las Teresitas in Tenerife

The islands all have amazing beaches, from Cofete in Fuerteventura, to Papagayo beaches in Lanzarote or Playa Las Teresitas in Tenerife.

If you want to know more, read all about the best beaches in Tenerife, best beaches in Lanzarote, or the ones in Fuerteventura.

2. Siam Park, the best waterpark in the Canaries

wave palace siam park
Wave Palace at Siam Park

If you're into water parks, then Siam Park (located in Tenerife) is the only one that matters.

It was voted as the best waterpark in the world 2 years in a row by Tripadvisor users and in our opinion, it is the best water park in Spain.

It is definitely worth a visit for the thrilling rides and amazing gardens. During the summer months and school holidays, it can get very crowded and the queues are long, so it's better to buy a fast pass. Siam Park is truly a great experience and day out while in Tenerife and you should absolutely go there for a fun day.

  • Full-day entrance ticket to Siam Park
  • Experience the biggest man-made wave in the world
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before the activity starts

3. Maspalomas dunes in Gran Canaria

maspalomas  sand dunes gran canaria canary islands
The fantastic Maspalomas Dunes in the south of Gran Canaria

One of the places in the Canary Islands that you should not miss is located in Gran Canaria and it's a magical place with sand dunes that will charm you right away.

You can spend an entire day exploring the dunes and walking along Maspalomas beach or watching the sunset from Maspalomas Lighthouse. 

The mirador besides Santa Monica Suites is also a popular place to watch the sunset, as the dunes are a popular spot to watch the sunset in Gran Canaria.

The sunbeds are also back on Maspalomas beach but beware that you can only pay by card, so if you want to spend the day soaking in the sun there make sure you have a card with you. 

4. Garajonay National Park - La Gomera

garajonay natural park la gomera

The park is the symbol of La Gomera, which is the closest island to Tenerife (see more info in our article about the location of the Canary Islands). Walking in these forests is very easy and be prepared for some enchanting spots, almost too picture-perfect. Although there are lots of hikes and treks that you can do while in La Gomera, nothing beats Garajonay National Park as the best place to visit in La Gomera.

If you are on holiday in Tenerife you can visit La Gomera on a day trip, to see the islands' highlights. 

  • Pickup from the south of Tenerife
  • Transfers & ferry (with live tour guide)
  • Lunch at Mirador Abrante
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

5. Visit the world-famous Loro Park - Tenerife

loro parque tenerife

Located in the city of Puerto de la Cruz, in the north of Tenerife, Loro Parque needs no introduction, as it's probably the island's most popular attraction and also the no 1 zoo in the world according to Tripadvisor (in 2017 and 2018).

We visited Loro Park twice and it's a nice day out for both kids and adults, with lots of things to learn about the animal species inside the park. There are also several shows included in the ticket price, which you can attend while you're there.

  •  Tenerife’s world-famous animal adventure park
  • One of the top attractions in the Canary Islands
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund

6. Explore Teide National Park - Tenerife's symbol

Teide roques de garcia tenerife
View of Mount Teide, Tenerife

Mount Teide is the symbol of Tenerife and our top recommendation for things to do in Tenerife. Even if you're not a hiker and you don't want to go up to the summit, you should still do a day tour through the park to learn more about the island's volcanic history. Mount Teide is one of the most important attractions in the Canary Islands and the highest peak in Spain.

The park is also Spain's most visited National Park and it is (still) free to visit, so you shouldn't miss the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful places in the Canary Islands.

  • Includes transport from the North and South of the island
  • Official guide
  • Includes Teide cable car ticket
  • Discover the most visited National Park in Spain

7. Jameos del Agua - Lanzarote

lanzarote jameos del agua
Jameos del Agua, a must see in the Canary Islands, on the island of Lanzarote

Jameos del Agua is a unique place in Lanzarote, where you get to see an underground lake with white crabs and an auditorium built inside a volcanic cave. Sounds interesting and intriguing, right?

You can even go to Jameos del Agua in the evening for a special dinner and a concert if you really want to enjoy a unique experience.

Very close to Jameos del Agua you can also visit Cueva de Los Verdes, another interesting spot in Lanzarote and the two places can be visited in the same day as part of a day trip.

  • Duration 9 - 10 hours
  • Includes entrance to Timanfaya National Park & Jameos del Agua
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

8. Corralejo Dunes and Corralejo Grandes Playas - Fuerteventura

corralejo natural park
Corralejo Grandes Playas

Corralejo Dunes are situated in the north of Fuerteventura and they are one of the main attractions on the island. With fine and almost white sand, the dunes are visited by people all over the island and the beach provides a beautiful view towards the small island of Los Lobos. Don't miss out on at least a day of explore the beautiful beaches, especially Flag beach.

9. Short hike to Roque Nuble - Gran Canaria

roque nublo gran canaria
A must-see place in the Canary Islands - Roque Nublo, one of the symbols of Gran Canaria

Roque Nuble is an emblematic spot in Gran Canaria, a large volcanic rock, representing the third-highest spot on the island.

The hike to reach Roque Nublo is relatively short and easy, while finding parking might prove to be the most difficult step.

On clear days you get fantastic views which include Roque Bentaiga, the surrounding valleys and mountains of Gran Canaria, as well as even Mount Teide in Tenerife, which looks especially majestic during the winter months when its peak is covered in snow.

10. Visit Masca, one of the most charming villages in the Canary Islands

masca tenerife
One of our top places to visit in the Canary Islands is hidden in the mountains of Tenerife: the tiny village of Masca

Masca is a small village almost hidden inland in Tenerife. Despite its location, the village is now pretty popular and it does get busy and crowded especially during school holidays. The drive is also a bit challenging, so if you think it's not for you, look for a tour or take the bus, but don't miss the chance to see this place. 

11. Relax for a day at Playa de Amadores - Gran Canaria

Amadores beach gran canaria
Amadores Beach

If you're in Gran Canaria for a family holiday, then this is the best beach for you. Or at least this is what we personally think about this place, that it's perfect for families with children. That's why this beach with crystal clear waters is also included on our list of what to do in Gran Canaria for a great holiday.

12. Visit Timanfaya National Park, one of the main attractions in Lanzarote

lanzarote timanfaya park
Timanfaya National Park is one of the top places to visit in the Canary Islands

Timanfaya is one of the most important points of interest in the Canary Islands and a visit to Lanzarote would not be complete without taking the bus tour through the volcanic park. The tour lasts for around 45 - 60 minutes and afterward you can enjoy a meal in the restaurant located inside the park where they cook the chicken using the heat coming from inside the volcano.

The archipelago is full of fascinating landscapes and views and we will soon add more places to see in the Canary Islands and more things to do. Meanwhile you can browse our list of recommendations for the best beaches in the Canary Islands.

13. Discover the amazing beaches in Jandia, Fuerteventura

sotavento beach fuerteventura
Some of the best beaches in the Canary Islands are located in Fuerteventura

The southern part of Fuerteventura is famous for its amazing beaches, with endless miles of fine sand and views that are to die for.

No matter where you are staying in Fuerteventura, don't miss a trip to see Playa de Cofete. It's best to hire a car and explore on your own, so this way you will be able to make your own program and spend however much time at each beach. Playa Barca (part of Sotavento beach) is A MUST, but go there when the tide is low in order to see the massive tidal lagoon that forms on the beach.

14. Caldera de Taburiente National Park - La Palma

If you're going to La Palma, don't miss a trip to Caldera de Taburiente National Park. Watch the sea of clouds and get fascinated by the amazing view from the top. There are many hiking trails also in La Palma, so it's a great place to visit if you are after an active holiday.

15. El Hierro, a tiny remote island in the Atlantic

If you are looking for a different kind of holiday, away from the world while still in a safe location, then you must visit El Hierro. This tiny island is connected to Tenerife by a ferry that runs once a day (except Saturdays).

There is no way to compare El Hierro to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, or the other popular places in the Canary Islands.

Visiting El Hierro is probably one of the most unique things to do in the Canary Islands, as the island only receives around 20,000 visitors per year. This means that here you won't find crowded places or busy clubs like on Veronica's Strip. So if you want to recharge your batteries while exploring a small and volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, look no further than El Hierro.

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