The Canary Islands are often thought of as a place full of beach resorts and youth, but there is so much more hiding in the Canary Islands. Whether you prefer a relaxing vacation, an outdoor adventure, or a little of both, you will definitely find what you are looking for on the Canary Islands. Here are some of the most unique and off the beaten path tips on where to stay, what to eat, and what to do.
Where to Stay
Sleep with Volcanoes
Most think of fancy packed beach resorts when they think about staying in the Canary Islands. However, if you are more of the adventurous type, then the Altavista del Teide high mountain refuge may be more your style. Many individuals stay here before embarking on the trek to the crater of Teide volcano. You will be able to see incredibly beautiful stars and sunsets without any light pollution, making it a truly unforgettable experience.
Stay in a Mansion
For the historian, or anyone who wants to stay somewhere that is not quite the norm, there are several old mansions converted into hotels on the Canary Islands. They range from 1 to 4 centuries old. Hotel San Roque is an 18th century mansion located in the small and pretty village of Garachico. Your stay in a mansion may not come with certain amenities a large resort would, but this all adds to the unique charm and history of a mansion stay.
If you are a little indecisive, and want the best of both worlds, then glamping may be your way to go. At Lanzarote you can find glamping retreats. Instead of waking up in a small tent, you will be staying in Mongolian yurts. You will be able to feel like you are camping with nature, while having access to a comfy bed, private garden, swimming pools, and a full kitchen. In fact, glamping may be nicer than a hotel.
What to Eat
Tasca Tierras del Sur
This hidden restaurant is perfect for those who want to get away from the touristy spots, without having to travel too far. Don’t be fooled by this restaurants outside appearance. Once you walk in you will be immediately by charmed by the restaurants cute ambience, and attentive staff. The wonderful food is filled with unique flavors from the Canaries. You surely will not be disappointed.
Oliver’s With a Twist
Once again, don’t be fooled by the outside appearance of Oliver’s With a Twist. This unique British restaurant may be a little way from the town’s center, but the amazing British food, and cute ambience pack this restaurant every night. The owners, Cathy and Chris, met years ago in the Canary Islands on holiday. They provide an amazing welcoming experience that makes visitors come back again and again. But, be sure to book a reservation well in advance. Restaurant reservations can book up very quickly.
As you may know, the Canary Islands are of volcanic origin. There are no active volcanoes presently, but in the 1700’s the Canaries were full of volcanic activity. Although no eruptions have occurred in over a century, there is still plenty of volcanic heat right below the earth’s surface. At El Diablo Restaurant they have actually built a 9mm hole to harness the heat, and use it as a grill. Not too many people in the world can boast that they’ve eaten volcanic cooked food.
If you can’t get enough volcanic activity, try downloading a volcanic activity tracking app such as Europe Alert or Quake Zones. You may need to access a VPN to gain access to certain apps while traveling out of your home country, but once you do, you will be opened up to a world of volcanic activity going on below the earth’s surface.
What to Do
Go Camel Riding Across Sand Dunes
When most people think of the Canaries they think of lounging on white sandy beaches, but the Canaries are full of surprises. The Canaries are also home to a national park of sand dunes. The Maspalomas Sand Dunes have more than 400 hectares of sand that create a breathtaking landscape. What better way to cross sand dunes then a camel. You can find many expeditions that will take you across the sand dunes on camels for an unforgettable experience
Enjoy the Spa Life
Many travelers come to the Canary Islands to relax, so of course you can find many spas throughout the islands. However, I’m not just talking about your typical spas. On the Canary Islands you can find a spa to fancy almost anyone’s interest. At the Gran Canaria Spa there is a room that is meant to model “the womb.” The idea is that the womb is a relaxing space for unborn babies, so it must be relaxing for adults as well. But, don’t worry if this does not sound appealing. There are plenty of other beautiful and charming spas to choose from.
Practice Your Whistling Skills
La Gomera Island is home to a whistling language. It was originally developed to communicate across long distances and valleys. As cell phones and walkie-talkies began to be used, this unique language started to die out. To help keep the historical way of communicating around, the government decided to teach the language to the local children in school. Thanks to this action taken, you can still here the whistling language of La Gomera today.