Enjoying The Great Outdoors; Unique Nature in the Canaries
The Canary Islands have long had a reputation for being one of the most dazzlingly beautiful spots in Spain when it comes to catching a glimpse of nature. Its proximity to Africa (less than eighty miles away from the continent’s north-west coast) means that it has a distinct and unique cultural and ecological make-up to the Iberian Peninsula and mainland Spain.
Although thought of as practically an afterthought to mainland Spain until only decades ago, the Canaries are now considered an integral part of Spain’s national identity, thanks in no small part to the allure of the island as a destination for holidays.
Yet integral and central as the islands are to the 21st century ‘concept’ of Spain, there’s no doubting that they retain an aesthetic, cultural, and natural individuality that sets them apart from most holiday destinations on the mainland.
The fact that agriculture is still booming with prosperity is evidence of the emphasis on the ‘natural’ on the islands; the often-photographed and beautiful natural landscapes of the Canary Islands owe a large debt to the modern farming miniboom that has come about in recent years, with the roughly 500 square miles of farm and crop land blossoming like never before to create particularly spectacular vistas of sweeping plains replete with traditional crops and veggies, as well as new tropical fruits, avocados, and grapes.
For natural beauty, Tenerife takes the number one spot amongst its Canaries neighbours, principally thanks to the Pico del Teide, Spain’s tallest peak at 3718 metres. Surrounded by an intense moonscape of dramatic rock formations and volcanic colours, Teide offers one of Spain’s best walking and hiking territories, and is a good challenge for anyone who enjoys a spot of outdoor activity on their cheap holidays. The Parque Nacional del Teide, in which the mountain is set, is the largest national park in Spain. It attracts over four million visitors per year, and offers 21 challenging and scenic walking tracks through the arresting and beautiful volcanic terrain. There’s also a cable-car to the top, for those who want to enjoy the nature and views without working up a sweat.
The unique natural beauty of the Canaries Islands is enhanced by its pleasant year-round springtime climate. The average temperatures range from around 18 degrees in the winter to around 24 degrees in the summer, providing an ever-so-slightly cooler and more benign alternative to the often-scorching temperatures you get in Mediterranean resorts. The advantage of this is that the islands boast these temperatures all-year round, meaning you can pick your month for Canaries holidays and still enjoy the naturally gorgeous climate.