With one of the most favourable climates in the world, and winter daytime temperatures comparable with the summer daytime temperatures of many locations in Western Europe, the Canary Islands are the perfect retreat.
The islands contain two vibrant capitals: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and have four stunning national parks and numerous pristine sandy beaches. The four most visited islands include:
The largest island of the archipelago, Tenerife is famous for its bustling carnival, and has been ranked as the most visited Canary Island. See the charismatic city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, which is acclaimed for its well-preserved historic centre and Neo-Gothic/Neo-Classical cathedral, and has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site Status.
If you're up for a little adventure, take a day trip to the magnificent Teide National Park, which is overlooked by the highest peak in Spain, the 3,718m Mount Teide. Alternatively, head to some of the island's wonderful beaches, such as the sandy Playa de Las Vistas or the watersports-themed El Medano. Highly-rated hotels include the deluxe H10 Conquistador and the value-for-money Sunset Bay Club, while reputed restaurants include the Spanish and French-inspired Tasca el Granero in Adeje and the British-styled Oliver's With A Twist in Los Cristianos.
Visit some of Fuerteventura's spectacular sandy beaches such as Playa de Cofete, the Parque Natural de Corralejo or the El Cotillo Beach & Lagoons, or let your hair down and have a dance at the much-loved Legends 60s Live Music & Sports Bar. If you're a fan of flavoursome tapas and Italian food, you might want to try the Land of Freedom Restaurant in Corralejo, or visit 5th Avenue in Corralejo for some fantastic fusion dishes. For well-presented, budget-friendly accommodation, consider Best Age Fuerteventura, or book a stay at the Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real for a truly romantic holiday experience.
See the fascinating volcanic landscapes of the Timanfaya National Park, visit the breathtaking Chinijo Archipelago, or take some time to explore the formidable Cueva de Los Verdes cave system. For deluxe accommodation, you could book a stay at the Dream Gran Castillo Resort, or choose the more affordable but equally stylish Luz y Mar Apartments. You can also treat yourself to some delicious international dishes at My Kitchen Julius, or dine at Picassos for some very tasty British cuisine.
Walk along the towering sand dunes of Maspalomas before relaxing on the famous Playa del Ingles beach, which is overlooked by many buzzing cosmopolitan bars and clubs. One of the finest Canary Islands Hotels is the Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia, surrounded by beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, while the Cala Blanca hotel offers very good value for money. The Wapa Tapa restaurant provides tantalising tapas dishes, while La Cucina is the place to be if you're a big fan of delectable Italian recipes.