Canary Islands

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There's more to the Canary Islands than the sun, sand and fun of the big beach resort towns. And not just the sailing, surfing, snorkelling, diving and volcano walks, there's a rich tapestry of local life going on. As well as working for the tourists, these islanders are also working for themselves, farming all sorts of fruits, vegetables and flowers, and contributing to the beauty of the varied landscape. The majority of our recommendations for the best places to stay in the Canary Islands will not be found in the big resorts, instead we concentrate on properties that can give you a real feel for life on these isles.

Yes, the beaches are gorgeous and sun-drenched, but some of the main sights of the Canary Islands are their national parks, with their dramatic, moonlike volcanic landscapes.

Best places to stay in the Canary Islands

Lanzarote

The good news here is that the burger and beer brigade voluntarily incarcerate themselves inside three ghastly resorts; and never leave. Which means the rest of this exquisite island – with its 300 volcanoes, lunar lava landscapes, vineyards, fish restaurants, world-class surfing, whitewashed villages and obligatory old men with donkeys – is completely unspoiled. And plenty of the best places to stay in Lanzarote are too.

With England’s independent travellers still stuck with nightmarish visions of "Lanza-grotty", the canny Spanish and Germans can’t believe their luck.

  • If you want to get as far as you can from the package holiday crowds, Eco Finca de Arrieta is one of the best places to stay on the Canary Islands. Its 12 rooms are spread between an 'eco-tower', an 'eco-villa' or marble-floored yurts. All of this is surrounded by mango, lime and banana groves and powered by the sun and the wind. There's plenty of activities, including collecting your own eggs for breakfast and playing with the finca's donkey, and you're about five minutes walk from the beach and the local village.
  • With rooms starting at just £57 per night, Caserío de Mozaga, a family friendly finca, is one of the best places to stay in the Canary Islands for families with smaller budgets. The eight rooms are pleasant and whitewashed, decorated with antiques, and the restaurant is lively and fun. There's no pool, which is why it's probably so reasonably priced, but the location is excellent.
  • Casa de Hilario will suit if you're looking for a home-from-home feel. This was once the home of one of Lanzarote's first settlers, but these days the whitewashed walls contain seven beautiful, and individually painted and decorated rooms. All arranged around a central courtyard with a small pool. Comfortable and bright, this is a great place to come with your family or with a group.
  • For the ultimate in five star luxury, the Gran Meliá Salinas - with its VIP section that's so secluded you need a swipe card to enter - is one of the best places to stay on the Canary Islands. This was Lanzarote's first five star hotel, built in the 70s in the same brutalist style as London's Barbican Centre. If you don't fancy the sound of that opt for one of the refurbished rooms, or go all out and upgrade to one of the nine Garden Villas in the VIP area...

Tenerife

Around ten million people visit Tenerife's reliably sunshine-drenched shores each year. And while this island was once dominated by beach-perfect package holiday resorts, visitors are now beginning to take an interest in the dramatic volcanic landscape of the interior and the more traditional Canarian experience found away from the tourist resorts.

If you're here for the beaches and you want to avoid the crowds, some of the best places to stay on the Canary Islands are El Medáno, on the south-east coast of Tenerife, and Los Gigantes on the western coast.

  • Take a look at the Hotel San Roque if you want something relaxing and out of the way. The hotel started life in the 18th Century as a palace, so you're not short on home comforts or luxury. And the fishing village of Garachico, where it's located, offers both the seaside pleasures of water sports and sunbathing, and the pleasures of the mountains and nature reserves. So this is definitely one of the best places to stay on the Canary Islands for those planning an activity packed holiday.

Gran Canaria

Largest of the Canaries, Gran Canaria is often referred to as a 'continent in miniature'. The terrain varies from the verdant north, via the dramatic mountain peaks of the interior, to the dry south. And of course the alternating white, sandy coves and dark cliffs of the coastline. It's not just the terrain that's varied, Gran Canaria has something to offer travellers searching for their own fresh experiences, as well as package holidaymakers.

Las Palmas is the capital, and one of the best places to stay on the Canary Islands if you thrive in a hive of activity. This is Spain's seventh largest city - so also a great destination if you fancy a sunny city break - but because of its island position it's got a North African flavour to it. The older part of town, Vegueta, is a good bet if you're looking for somewhere with atmosphere.

Just south of Las Palmas, Teror is a picturesque base - a bit quieter than Las Palmas, but you still close enough to the city's major sights. And if you're looking for traditional character try Arucas.

  • For a rustic and traditional 'escape to the hills', one of the best places to stay on the Canary Islands is the Hotel Rural Las Calas. With plenty of local mountain trails to explore - on foot, on two wheels, or on horseback - this is a great place for a sun-drenched outdoorsy break. The Hotel Rural Las Calas is also well positioned for local produce markets in San Mateao.

Best Places to stay on the Smaller Canary Islands

Pensión Girasol is on La Graciosa, the smallest inhabited Canary Island. Lots of visitors just come for the day, catching the ferry from Orzola, then cycling to some of the best beaches in the Canaries. If you're travelling with your family this is one of the best places to stay on the Canary Islands, because you'll really feel like you have the island to yourselves.

Still not sure which island to choose? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay on the Canary Islands, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. Alternatively check out our recommendations for Lanzarote, Tenerife or Gran Canaria.

 
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The best hotels in Canary Islands

See all » 12 hotels in Lanzarote

  • Pensión Girasol

    Las Palmas, Lanzarote

    Budget boarding for those who want to spend the day outside and be able to come back to a fresh, clean, and comfortable room. And, on the doorstep are all the cafes, bars, restaurants, and sites. Fantastic views from the rooms with balconies.

    12 rooms from $34
    Beach nearby
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
  • Caserío de Mozaga

    Mozaga, Lanzarote

    Quiet 18th-century family friendly finca. Lively restaurant and attractive rooms with white washed walls, high-beamed ceilings, and lots of antiques. A relaxed rural spot from which to explore Lanzarote.

    8 rooms from $93
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Birdwatching  -  Good birding near the hotel.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

See all » 9 hotels in Tenerife

  • Hotel el Patio

    Garachico, Tenerife

    A sedate manor house set with lush grounds, close to the beach, and surrounded by nature reserves. Traditional elegant bedrooms have pastel painted walls and attractive furnishings. Swimming pool, terraces and gardens. A family spot at a great price.

    26 rooms from $88
    Value chic
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays
  • Hotel Alhambra

    La Orotava, Tenerife

    A gorgeous townhouse in the city centre. A beautiful white building with a balustraded courtyard and chequered marble floor. Huge light filled rooms with balconies and stunning views. Surrounded by beaches and natural parks. A great choice for a beach holiday, excellent value.

    5 rooms from $98
    Value chic
    Sights nearby  -  Situated in La Orotava's Old Town
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.

See all » 9 hotels in Gran Canaria

  • La Casa de Vegueta

    Las Palmas de Gran Canárias, Gran Canaria

    A gorgeous little guesthouse in Vegueta close to the beach. Romantic rustic rooms have white washed walls and boutique decoration. Lovely inner courtyard, walking distance to the restaurants, and excellent value. A romantic spot for a beach holiday.

    3 rooms from $88
    Value chic
    Designer  -  Most of the furniture is designed by a renowned local architect
    Sights nearby  -  Located in the heart of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's Old Town
    Local markets  -  5 mins walk from the Vegueta food market
  • Hotel Rural Las Calas

    San Mateo, Gran Canaria

    This small and charming rustic hotel has an essence of the classical and the timeless, with ethnic brushstrokes of far-away cultures. It nestles in the heart of the mountains of Gran Canaria. The perfect spot for taking in breathtaking views and outdoor activities.

    6 rooms from $105
    Local exploring
    Country Escape
    Contemporary
    Active Holiday
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
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