ALUN RHYS GRIFFITHS

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THE CANARY ISLANDS :
A PERSONAL VIEW OF PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO

INTRODUCTION

The Canary Islands will need no introduction to more than 13 million people - mostly citizens of Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany and other countries of Western Europe. Because that is the number of people who visit this small archipelago of islands in the Atlantic Ocean every year. And that's not bad - considering the local population is no more than 2 million!

Why do so many visit, including increasing numbers from Eastern Europe? It's because the Canaries have pretty much everything going for them. Beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, a laid back culture and a safe, stable and relaxed administration (the islands are Spanish territory) are major reasons. But most of all these subtropical islands, located as they are just 100 km off the coast of Morocco and on the same latitude as Florida and Mexico, are quite simply the closest destinations on the planet where Europeans can enjoy guaranteed warmth and year round sunshine. The daytime temperature in winter rarely drops below 15°C and is usually more like 20°C, whilst in summer the influence of Atlantic winds and currents means that it equally rarely gets so hot as to be unbearable. 25°C is typical.

Maspalomas Dunes on Gran Canaria

There are just seven main islands in the group, and all are well worth a visit, whilst each also has their own distinctive character. To date, the author of this website has holidayed in four of the seven, and fully intends to return and take in more of the sights and experiences which this wonderful destination has to offer. The website of which this is the home page, is a collection of experiences so far enjoyed, liberally sprinkled with the author's own photographs, as well as details of the islands' histories, their landscapes, and their culture, and ideas for things to do on a short vacation.

Photographs

Photos on this website are copyright, but feel free to use them for non-commercial use. All I ask is an active link back to this site. Cheers.

ABOUT THIS WEBSITE

This is, I emphasise, a personal website, largely reflecting my personal interests. I hope that the articles contain information which may be of value to some who are thinking of vacationing in the Canary Islands, but please be aware of the limitations. I will not be covering in depth any subjects of which I have no experience. That unfortunately includes much on the nightlife (usually I'm on my own so nightlife isn't much fun!) as well as facilities for special needs such as childcare or disability access. Also specialist holidays such as cycling holidays, scuba diving and windsurfing, which require a particular knowledge, are beyond my scope, though some information on these will be presented where relevant.

What you will find are general impressions of the islands visited, and information on tourist resorts and beaches, scenic attractions, flora and fauna, history and culture. I hope one key reason for writing these web pages comes across - I genuinely believe that most who visit islands such as these probably do not get the full benefit out of their visit. So many will spend all their days lying on the beach or beside the swimming pool, drinking alcohol and reading books. Some of those activities may well be fun, but some - certainly drinking and reading - could just as easily be done at home, and none will provide memories to last a lifetime. So these web pages are about getting the most out of a vacation in the Canary Islands, getting a full flavour of the islands, taking in the sights, sounds and culture, and all the uniquely individual attractions which each island has to offer.

MY VISITS TO THE CANARY ISLANDS

I have spent six days on Tenerife and Lanzarote, and five days on each of Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura. I say this for two reasons. Firstly to make clear that this is very much a work in progress. Opportunity permitting I would like to return to these islands, and to also one day visit and record my experiences of the other three main islands, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. If so, further articles will follow.

But secondly, and to continue the theme of the previous section, I want to emphasise what can be seen and done in less than one week of vacation, if you just make the effort. I am no professional travel writer; I am a tourist. I do the things other tourists do. On my previous visits I spent time on the beach, I shopped for souvenirs, I got up too late in the mornings. But I did also spend half of my days travelling around the islands - a very easy thing to do in the Canaries - and I did take my camera with me where ever I went. These articles are the result. I hope you enjoy them and find something which will be of value when you choose to spend time on one of these islands in the sun.

Carnival on Tenerife

Current articles can be found under each island heading at the top

I'd Love to Hear Your Comments. Thanks, Alun