There are many things the Canary Islands are famous for, but two points of view seem to dominate: perceiving The Canaries as a natural paradise and an extremely touristy destination. The first one is true, the second – partially. The islands are indeed popular amongst tourists. There are plentiful resorts on the Canarian beaches, as well as hotels, touristy restaurants, souvenir stores, discos and other typical attractions.
Nevertheless, there is much more to The Canaries than that. All you need to do is to get off the beaten path, and you will get a reward with a series of beautiful surprises. Remote beaches, enchanting towns, fascinating culture, endless fiestas and locals who are incredibly loud and incredibly charming – Canaries are full of wonders. With their weather, atmosphere and wild nature, the islands are a perfect destination for backpackers. Still in doubt? Here’s precisely why, as a backpacker, you should include the Canary Islands on your bucket list:
A fascinating paradise outside of fancy resorts
In some parts of the Canary Islands, it’s not easy to find authenticity; that’s the truth. Once you leave the resort areas, though, you can see amazing things. There are empty beaches, banana fields, small villages with cozy bars, striking mountains, and awe-inspiring cliffs. You can find such spots on the northern coast of Tenerife, the island of Fuerteventura, in the forests of La Gomera. The main point is to get outside of the full parts of the coast. While it can be fun to sunbath a few days away, we assume most backpackers look for rather different experiences and, even if they do want to sunbathe, they would rather not do it on the noisy beaches.
Unfortunately, it is not always simple to reach the most remote marvels. You need either a vehicle or local friends willing to show you around. If you’re backpacking with a group of friends, renting a car is a good option. After all, it often turns out to be cheaper than traveling by bus. If you have neither a car of your own nor friends who have got one, you can always focus on the places that you can reach by public transport. Look for small towns, choose random villages, take a bus and get off at any location that seems interesting – it will be a beautiful adventure.
The weather that never disappoints
Canarian weather is not always perfect. It rains at times; it gets chilly too. However, you’d have to have extremely high expectations to get disappointed with that. This little bit of diversity only makes Canarian nature even more fascinating. Microclimates are characteristics to the Canary Islands. It is usually warm and sunny nearly everywhere in the Canaries, but sometimes you can get surprised with how the climate changes, even if you only move a few kilometers to a different direction. Nevertheless, the islands have great weather all year round. Whatever month you pick for a visit, you will always find some warm places to stay.
A melting pot of countless cultures, subcultures, styles, and views
Locals themselves are quite diverse. The Canary Islands have many residents whose roots reach to Africa, South America, and Europe. As if that wasn’t enough, there are also countless visitors and newcomers. Because of their beauty, Canaries have become a new home or a favorite holiday destination for numerous travelers. Because of their location, they are also a point through which people pass to reach some other places. European sailors and backpackers often stop there before they head to Latin America. The Canaries are the place where people meet, mix and find inspiration from each other. If you’re looking for fascinating connections and a variety of views, the Canary Islands won’t disappoint you.
Not as expensive as they say
It’s not the cheapest spot on the map; that’s for sure. It’s not hugely expensive either, though. You can travel the Canaries on a budget. Most of all, you need to avoid all the tourist attractions. Don’t eat in fancy restaurants. The islands are full of delicious, cheap foods. You can buy fresh ingredients on street markets and prepare your meals. On a lazy day, fast foods (not international chains – look for typical Canarian fast foods serving such dishes as tortilla or sandwiches) and simple taverns can come in handy. Search for typical Canarian dishes – they are amazing and not necessarily expensive. As for accommodations, there are many backpacker hostels with prices starting from 15 Euros for a night in a dorm. Camping is a good option as well, especially that the weather allows it.
A natural phenomenon
The Canary Islands are rich in natural wonders. There is the dramatic coast with sandy, rocky and volcanic beaches. There are rainforests, volcanoes, and mountains. You can find four national parks on the islands, including La Caldera de Taburiente (La Palma), Garajonay (La Gomera), Timanfaya National Park (Lanzarote) and the most famous one – Teide (Tenerife). In addition to that, three marine reserves, seven biosphere reserves, and 60 natural swimming pools are scattered around.
You can backpack the Canary Islands for months and constantly get amazed. The jewels of nature are not only countless but also varied. Each one of the islands is different from another. Each area of every island is different than its other parts. Because of their nature, the Canary Islands are known as a place with a unique energy. People say that their volcanic origins have a continuous influence not only on the islands’ looks but also their characters.
A variety of attractions and activities available
Knowing how varied nature is, you won’t be surprised to hear how many events and The Canaries have to offer. You can climb the awe-inspiring Teide, Tenerife’s world-famous volcano, or try night-time scuba diving on the southwest of Gran Canaria. Or learn how to surf in El Medano, a charming town located in the south of Tenerife, favorite amongst surfers. You can visit the astronomic observation point on San Bartolo Mountain (La Palma) and stargaze all night long. You can swim, sunbathe, eat fresh fruit, dance at the fiestas (there are many of them!), hike, cycle, wander around the cities, discover historic sites, party, talk with locals and make friends. Whether you’re into sports, arts, culture or nature, the Canary Islands will have something to offer.
Did we convince you? Let us know! Also, don’t forget to share this article with your friends and let them know that The Canaries are ideal for backpackers!
Thanks for the review, very useful! 🙂