When we think of the Canary Islands it tends to be of the quirky beaches of Tenerife, the varied and beautiful lunar landscape of Gran Canaria and having your dinner cooked on a volcano in Lanzarote.
While the big three take much of the plaudits, there are a couple of secret Canary Islands that are waiting to be explored. There is a smattering of islands around the region which are a picture of tranquility and where you can be at one with nature. If you’re looking something a little different then meet the forgotten Canary Islands.
Set sail from Costa Adeje on Tenerife’s southern coast and the next place you will find is the tiny island of El Hierro. Once considered to be the end of the world until Christopher Columbus sailed past it and survived, it is a peaceful scene of rolling hills, pine forests and, of course, a volcanic landscape.
A favourite among hikers, you can take the winding paths through Pinar pine forest and emerge on one of the many unspoilt beaches. There are a handful of tiny villages including Pozo de las Calcosas where you can see statues dedicated to the God of the Sea, Nepture, and bathe in the natural pools.
While some of its larger neighbours were bitten by the tourism bug, La Palma has remained untouched allowing it natural beauty flourish. The whole island is recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve thanks its vibrant forests and the cratered geological formations moulded by former volcanoes.
When you’re not admiring the vivid scenery and gazing up at the stars, you can visit the historic city of Santa Cruz de La Palma. This charming old town features traditional Canarian architecture and the quaint restaurants will serve you some delicious local dishes.
La Palma oozes a sense of calm and where people can escape to be at one with nature.
As you walk through the tranquil forests of Parque Nacional de Garajonay on La Gomera stop and take a moment’s rest. Look around at your surroundings of colourful rainforest and volcanic mountains and you’ll notice something – the only sound you can hear is the breeze gliding through the trees. This is serenity.
La Gomera is the yin to Tenerife’s yang. You won’t find bustling resorts with high-rise hotels and nightclubs open until the early hours. La Gomera is all about deserted beaches, unspoilt coral reefs and family-run restaurants. You can even trace the footsteps of Columbus, himself, who lived here in the 15th century.
If you’re looking for a destination where you can feel totally cut off from society then make the hop from Lanzarote to La Graciosa. The island is inhabited by just 600 people and, at times, it can feel like you have the entire place to yourself.
Accessible only by sea, it doesn’t have any roads so the best way to explore it is by foot or bike. See the deserted beaches that provided the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, explore flora and fauna of the Chinijo Archipelago and see the volcanic landscape described by UNESCO as “an authentic outdoor museum”.
Take your experience one step further by pitching a tent and camping under the stars of this beautifully remote hideaway.
While it may not be able to offer the same level of seclusion the more remote islands can Fuerteventura is perfect for holidaymakers wanting to enjoy the Canary Islands at a much slower pace. It has all the hallmarks of its smaller siblings with miles of pristine beaches, mountainous scenery and quaint towns.
If you want to be in the heart of the action then visit Corralejo where you can catch the surf in this popular water sports spot. There is also an abundance of hotels, bars and restaurants to make you feel right at home. However, if you crave the quiet life then head out to El Cotillo and unwind on La Concha beach, a little slice of the Caribbean in the Canaries.
Find your perfect Canary Islands retreat with a holiday from Sunmaster. We have a huge range of packages available from All Inclusive family retreats in Tenerife to long weekends in Las Palmas. Find out more and take advantage of our super low deposits at www.sunmaster.co.uk.