So you have already to embark towards your next holidays in Spain. Since however it still is a foreign country you need to be prepared about certain things so it’s logical that you have to ask questions. In order to clarify some of the most common queries that people face, here’s a quick guide to help with some of the most commonly asked questions about holidays in Spain.
The wonderful, volcanic Canary Islands off the coasts of Africa have long been a Spanish colony and now an official part of Spain. Since the 60’s flocks of tourists have visited the islands in order to enjoy the yearlong sunshine, exquisite sandy beaches and of course partying and relaxing respectively. However, one of the things that gives those islands their distinct charm, are their small picturesque villages. Often situated inland, with colourful or whitewashed houses along with old churches adorning them, villages in the Canaries are a spectacle in themselves. If you plan on heading on a holiday to the Canary Islands, here are 5 picturesque villages to explore and escape from the tourist hustle and bustle.
Get more bite from your autumn holidays in Cyprus, where temperatures still top 30 degrees thanks to its southerly location. Coral Bay, a huge horseshoe-shaped beach is your best bet. The water will be nicely warmed from the summer sunshine and limestone cliffs ensure it offers a dramatic swim. Fly to Paphos from Gatwick, Luton, Bristol or Manchester.
The Canary Islands is more than simply glorious beaches, great hotels and buckets of sunshine. The group of Islands just a stone’s throw from the coast of Africa offers some amazing natural surroundings too and one of our favourites is its VOLCANOES!
Each Island has its own “volcanic personality” with a hugely diverse population of flowers and plants, Dr Who-like scenery, stunning views of majestic mountains bathed in clouds and spa treatments made from the amazing naturally forming landscape. You can walk on lava fields, along cliff edges or discover strange life (possibly!) in the underground galleries. Volcano holidays offer something truly incredible for all ages.
Add that to great cheap hotels, wonderful beaches and basically, it’s got everything you need for an amazing holiday in 2013. Remember you can call us any time for a great cheap holiday in the Canary Islands – or anywhere else on 0207 993 9228 or visit our website: PurpleTravel.co.uk. But first, find out more about Volcano holidays in our guide:
Image via @ Freakyman
There have been many eruptions among the islands since the 15th century, with the last one on La Palma in 1971. Today the islands are considered to be one of the most important volcanic sites; it is home to the third biggest volcano in the world, and Spain’s highest peak Mount Teide and the islands are regularly studied for their natural plant life and seismic activity.
So, if you’re taking the kids for a cheap family holiday to Tenerife, you want a cheap couples getaway in Gran Canaria or you simply want to enjoy a little more of this varied landscape, then here are a few of our top picks for groundbreaking volcano holidays!
You Should Read: Off the Beaten Track… Waterfall Restaurant
Fuerteventura A windsurfer’s paradise, Fuerteventura is also the oldest in the archipelago. Visit the volcanic scenes at the Peninsula de Janida, Malpais de la Arena and Isla de Lobos. Apart from the rich flora and fauna you can find there, the long plains and volcanic mountains in the middle of the island will impress even the most hardened tourist. Plus, Fuerteventura has 152 beaches along its coastline, so you can catch the best of both worlds. Reason to go: This is the oldest of the islands, dating back a whopping 20 million years!
Tenerife One of the busiest and most popular islands in the Canaries, Tenerife’s Teide Volcano is actually visible from most parts of the island. Today you can climb to the top, (the highest point in Spain) and it’s the third highest volcano in the world and is still registered as active. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the National Park is one of the most visited in the world. Reason to go: The unbelievably spectacular view, just be prepared for a climb!
You Should Read… The Best Costa Blanca Beaches
Lanzarote The scene of some of the most recent volcanic activity (in the 70s) but don’t you dare let that put you off! The strange alien-like landscape is enough to take your breath away. The Timanfaya National Park is the centre of volcanic locations in the islands, and from the moment you arrive you’ll get a feel for how hot it is. Temperatures just a few metres towards the centre of the earth can hit 400°C! You can also check out La Geria or Los Hervideros for other lava exploring. Reason to go: For the Doctor Who style pics you can take when you get there.
Gran Canaria Visit the huge rolling craters on Gran Canaria to really get a taste of an historic land formed by hot lava straight from the earth’s core. Alongside its pure sandy beaches, lush greenery and buckets of sunshine, a day trip from Maspalomas or Playa del Ingles is made all the more impressive with the site of El Dodo de Dios (or God’s Finger) a rocky spire that juts out to the sea. Reason to go: The beach is the ultimate reward after a day’s exploring a Martian landscape!
For more information visit the excellent Canary Islands Tourism site here.
Sun soaked, dazzling seas, year round warmth, lively clubs or relaxed lounging, it’s no wonder Tenerife Spain is a perennial favourite for tourists from all the UK. Straight out of Doctor Who, the lunar landscape is inspiring; it has its own volcano, year round good weather, the black beaches are something to marvel at and it would be tricky to find a livelier year round holiday hot spot.
Image under Creative Commons via @ Pasotraspaso
Where to stay
Ideal for groups Playa de las Americas the busiest and one of the biggest resorts in Tenerife, Playa de las Americas isn’t just for groups, but for anyone looking for fun in the sun. There are endless sandy beaches, water sports by the bucket load and all night long clubbing.
Great for families Los Cristianos On the southern coast of Tenerife you’ll find great deals and lots of fun for youngsters. The soft, sandy beaches and shallow waters make it a great place to break out the bucket and spade while family friendly days out, fishing or sightseeing make it an excellent all round choice.
Perfect for couples Play Paraiso is exactly as its name suggest – paradise like. It’s a relaxed and peaceful resort that’s perfect for spending long, lazy days soaking up the sunshine on the beach. If it’s something livelier you’re after than the nearby Costa Adeje or Playa de las Americas offers unbeatable nights out.
Things to do
Image used under Creative Commons via @ Caza_no_7
Hit the beach OBVIOUSLY! There’s a big variety of beaches on the island. Some are made of dramatic, black volcanic sand, some are sandy, other’s shingle and others rocky. Most have beach bars, with excellent facilities and if you’re looking to strip off you’ll find naturist beaches on Playa de la Tejita in El Medano, or Playa de las Gaviotas in Santa Cruz.
Splash out at a water park Two major water slide parks are available in Costa Adeje the Thai themed Siam Park filled with slides and fun for all the family and Aqualand which has its own dolphin show, sure to impress kids of all ages.
Feast! Tenerife Spain has some delicious gastronomic treats on offer. The fact that it’s an island means it offers some delicious fresh fish simply boiled or baked in salt. Rabbit is a popular choice, while goat and beef are also good for the carnivores amongst you. You can’t leave Tenerife without sampling some of the wrinkly potatoes, papas arrugadas, or some of the fresh locally produced cheese.
Carnival Every February, Tenerife’s capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife holds the second biggest carnival in the world, just after Brazil’s famous Rio street party. A riot of colour, there is music, singing, dancing, parades, fancy dress and the party goes on for days.
Visit the House of Honey Learn how honey is collected at the Casa de la Miel, built to support Tenerife’s bee keeping sector. Find out how apiculture works and get to taste some of the local favourites.
Let your hair down Head for the banging resort of Playa de las Americas, the home of nightlife on the island. The whole place is just building up every day to happy hour and there you’ll find the best clubs and bars filled with pumping music, great deals on drinks and dancing on tables. Just remember, what happens in Tenerife, stays in Tenerife.
Shop ‘til you drop Take advantage of the lower taxes in Tenerife Spain and head for the capital Santa Cruz. Bargains are everywhere with plenty of department stores to splash your cash, or small boutiques filled with bargains. Take home some local turron (a type of nougat) ceramics, leather goods or a pair of espadrilles.
Try to catch the green flash At sunset and sunrise an optical illusion sometimes occurs, where a green spot is visible on the horizon, usually for only a second or two. It’s been known to happen in Tenerife and with great views out to the ocean, if you’re lucky you might just catch it.
Things to see
Image under Creative Commons via @ Edans
Auditorio de Tenerife The imposing structure of the Auditorio de Tenerife is found in the island’s capital. Designed by Santiago Calatrava the dramatic building hosts musical performances, operas and conferences, but the building itself is a sight to see too.
Teide Volcano If you’re planning on hiking, or want to cheat your way by cable car, a trip up the spectacular Teide, the highest point in Spain is a must, just be sure to apply for a permit to the get to the top. The views are well worth it and you’ll thank us when you get home!
TEA Tenerife This arts space in Santa Cruz is the Tenerife equivalent of the Tate Modern. Culture vultures can lap up contemporary and surrealist art in its permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Go rural Check out a cave house built into the mountains, go whale watching, or hiking or tickle your taste buds with some delicious local products. Teno Rural is a fun day out for all the family to discover the nature and history of the island.
Top hotels in Tenerife
Costa Adeje Gran Hotel A fantastic all inclusive option, the 5* Costa Adeje Gran Hotel is in a great location close to the shops to pick up a couple of bargains, the transfer times from the airport are about 50 minutes and the nearby beach and water park are perfect family fun.
Adonis Isla Bonita Hotel Just minutes from the beach, this 4* offers a warm and friendly holiday experience. The spacious, brightly coloured rooms are ideal for relaxing after busy days on Playa Fanabe Beach or the nearby Siam Water Park.
Columbus Aparthotel This 3* in the busy and vibrant Playa de las Americas resort is great for young people who want to be close to the bustling nightlife, water sports facilities and great beaches.
Sandos San Blas with a focus on environmental well being and sustainable tourism, the Sandos San Blas Nature Resort and Golf is a little slice of paradise. Play 18 holes, or head for the loungers to soak up the sunshine.
Laguna Park The infamous Laguna Park I and II accommodations are in a great party of Tenerife, just off the Las Americas Beach. Close to the bustling centre, with great facilities, it’s an excellent all round option for couples, families or groups.
Beaches! You love them, we love them, who doesn’t love a day by the seaside? It’s particularly nice when the weather is actually decent enough to take off our coats and scarves. With that in mind we’ve done a four part series on the beaches on the glorious Canary Islands, so you can plan your perfect sun, sea and sand holiday.
The last part of our 4-part series on the best beaches of the Canary Islands brings you to beautiful Fuerteventura, home to hundreds of the most stunning beaches in all the Canaries.
Because there are so many amazing beaches here, choosing only a few is a very difficult task. Since we absolutely must narrow it down and you have another must-see spot not listed, please let our readers know about it! Enjoy our guide to the best beaches Fuerteventura.
Jable Beach via @ Lostajy
Morro Jable / Jandia
This is a stunning white sand beach with turquoise water that stretches for miles – or 13 miles to be exact. Running from Morro Jamble to Costa Calma, this beach is separated into sections with something for everyone along its coast. However, the length of the beach takes about 6 hours to walk, so you may want to choose a spot that’s right for you from the start. Because you can easily spread out and get away from the crowds, naturists enjoy this spot as well!
The blue-flag beach of Costa Calma is a large, fine sandy beach, approximately half a mile long. If you’re looking for beachfront hotels, the hotels and apartments along the beach in Costa Calma have direct access and are not separated by a promenade or road. This beach is an ideal place for families with children, as the waters are usually very calm. All along the beach you will find sun beds for hire, a beach bar, water sports and other facilities to make your stay comfortable.
Corralejo Town & Beach
Corralejo beach is just south of the town and is an incredible fine white-sand beach stretching for six whole miles. This beach is part of the National Park and offers fantastic views of nearby Lanzarote and Los Lobos. It can get a bit windy, so it’s best to shelter behind the stone castles. The beach here has some waves as well, so it’s perfect for water sports, especially kite surfing. Families will love the stretches of gorgeous sand and activities available, particularly in the parts of the beach which are slightly less wavy.
Corralejo has several small coves right in the main town as well, which are very accessible and home to beautiful fine sand. Many facilities are also available depending on which beach you choose. The great location, close to the town ensures you never run out of shopping and restaurant options when taking a break from the sun and sea.
The beach in Costa Caleta is man-made and well maintained. The beach is fine sand with some pebbles leading into the water. Mostly for tourists, it has all the facilities needed for an excellent family day on the beach, especially since there are hardly any waves in the water. The beach itself is about 600 meters long and very wide, offering some room for movement even on busy days.
The beach comprised of many small coves separated by lava rocks. It is very new to tourism and usually is quiet compared to the other beaches on the island, making it an ideal spot for tranquility and relaxation. Families generally love it here because of the calm, shallow water and fine sand. There is a beach bar along the coast but no other facilities – bring your towel and a book!
More a tourist attraction than a beach for bathing, this beach offers a stunning contrast of pitch-black pebbly sand and blue water. Not suitable for bathing or children due to the high waves against the rocks, this beach is nevertheless very beautiful. A short stroll will take you to a cliff with a stunning view to the beach. A little restaurant in the area gives the perfect relaxation point for your day trip.
Read more… Best beaches Gran Canaria
The second entry in our 4-part series on the best beaches of the Canary Islands focuses on the beautiful island of Lanzarote and its beaches.
Papagayo beach via @ SparksEmma
The Papagayo Beaches are easily some of the most beautiful natural Lanzarote beaches in the archipelago. Composed of a series of six beaches, of which Playa Mujeres is the largest and the busiest (about 90 meters long). The other coves in the area are Playa de las Coloradas, Playa de las Ahogaderas and Playa de la Cera, located west of Punta del Papagayo, and Playa Caleta de Congrio and Playa de Puerto Muelas, located on the east side.
The Papagayo beaches are very popular with surfers and snorkellers, as well as families with children. The beaches are also favoured by naturists, with some areas being reserved for them, in order not to disrupt the families sharing the area. Although these beaches are stunningly beautiful and relatively easy to reach, they do not provide very many facilities, so make sure you come prepared.
Puerto Del Carmen is Lanzarote’s largest holiday resort on the south coast of the island. The five mile (or so) promenade connects the resort’s three main beaches with a huge variety of restaurants, shops, and bars. The most famous are the yellow sand beaches of Playa Grande (also known as Playa Blanca like the southern tourist resort, just to confuse you) and Playa de los Pocillos, both are around half a mile long. Further along is Playa de Matagorda, a smaller beach with fewer attractions, as the noise from the nearby airport keeps the crowds away.
Puerto del Carmen’s beaches are man-made, and are therefore easily accessible and family-friendly. They offer a wide range of water sports, leisure facilities, and amenities needed for a fantastic and carefree day on the beach!
El Jablillo & Las Chucharas
Located in the resort of Costa Teguise, these beaches are extremely family-friendly. The El Jablillo beach is connected to the resort’s promenade and has white sand and plenty of facilities to keep you comfortable and entertained. The larger of the two beaches is the Las Chucharas beach, stretching 600 meters in length. Both beaches are easily accessible from the resort’s boardwalk and offer calm, clear waters and lots of facilities.
Playa Blanca & Dorada
The Playa Dorada Beach is located in the eastern resort of Playa Blanca. The Dorada Beach is an artificial beach stretching 300 meters with white sands and clear water. The beach is home to many facilities as well, with shops and restaurants available within walking distance. The Playa Blanca Beach is a narrow, but natural, beach with white sands and plenty of facilities for the entire family, and especially for those looking to dive these famous waters. Both beaches have a boardwalk and are great settings for a relaxing beach day.
Read more… Best beaches Fuerteventura
Fancy a last minute get away, or planning your holiday for ages? Beaches, beaches and more beaches are the first things that cross our mind when we’re thinking of heading away. With that in mind here’s a handy guide to the beaches of one of our most popular holiday hot spots: the Canary Islands. This is the first in our four part guide, and we thought we’d start with the most visited island, Tenerife. Perfect in summer, but equally as good in winter thanks to its great weather, Tenerife has some of the best beaches ever, you literally won’t be able to tear yourself away. Find out more in the Purple Travel guide to the Best Tenerife Beaches.
Tenerife beaches via @ Chop1n
Playa De Las Teresitas
This gorgeous beach was redeveloped with sand taken from the Spanish Sahara! The golden sand and clear waters stretch for about a mile along the coast. Plenty of facilities are available here (parking, sun beds, showers, toilets, etc), while the large crowds dwindle in the winter months. This beach is near the village of San Andres, about north of Santa Cruz.
Come on, don’t tell us you’ve never heard about Playa de las Americas? It’s the busiest resort in Tenerife is also home to some of the most fantastic organized beaches on the island.
There are actually plenty beaches in this area, all just steps away from one another. Thy’re all idyllic miles of golden sands and gem coloured waters. The jewel in this group is the Playa De Las Vistas beach, which was re developed with sand from the sea bed and is one of the best beaches on the island. All the beaches in this area have sun beds for hire and water sports available, along with a huge selection of shops, bars, and restaurants nearby. If it’s R&R you’re after, you’ve been warned, you won’t be too far from the crowd here.
Nearby to Playa De Las Americas, Los Cristianos has its own beach that’s a bit smaller than the Playa De Las Vistas beach. It’s very organised with sun beds and water sports, with Los Cristianos town as the backdrop. If you want to shake it up a bit while you’re there, Playa De Las Americas is only a stone’s throw away.
One of the more unspoilt beaches on the islands, near to Puerto De La Cruz, El Bollullo, also known as La Orotava is a sunbathers dream. The stunning black sand (yes, you read that right!) and turquoise waters are much less crowded than their southern counterparts.
The beach has a limited amount of amenities but has plenty of waves to make for some amazing water sports. A perfect rest from all the, er… resting is a stroll through the nearby Banana Plantation.
Playa De La Troya
Located on the south coast of Tenerife, in Costa Adeje, is the marvelous Playa De La Troya. Its central location, fantastic facilities and off-the-beaten-track feeling mean it’s a great alternative to the very busy Playa de las Americas beaches. Bring the whole family and a bucket and spade for maximum fun in the sun.
If you enjoyed our guide to the best Tenerife Beaches, you should read… Best beaches Fuerteventura
The third entry in our 4-part series on the best beaches of the Canary Islands highlights the splendor of Gran Canaria beaches, the largest of the group.
Playa de Las Canteras
Considered one of the best beaches in Spain, Playa de Las Canteras boasts 3000 meters of golden sand and calm waters. The beach has a very good range of facilities for the entire family with restaurants, bars, and shopping in the direct vicinity. For the snorkeling and diving enthusiasts, the coral reef protecting the beach is about 2km for the shore. Something for everyone means windsurfers and body boarders will love it as well. Located in Las Palmas, this is the best and busiest beach on the island.
Sand. Miles of sand. This is Playa de Maspalomas, home of the famous sand dunes of Gran Canaria. Stretching for 12km is a nature reserve of soft golden sands that leads down to the sea. This is a very busy beach as well, with different areas for families and nudists. Watersports enthusiasts will enjoy the winds in the as well. Hint: don’t bring anything to this beach you don’t want getting sand on.
If you continue down the coast of Maspalomas, you will arrive at the highly organized and very busy Playa Del Ingles beach. This beach has plenty of facilities for everyone and quite a bit less sand than Maspalomas, which makes it more accessible to the surrounding restaurants, bars, and shops.
Puerto Rico beach is man-made and filled with white sand. Shaped to resist the winds, the waters are turquoise and calm as a result. This beach is very well organized and has all the amenities to make your stay both relaxing and entertaining. Ideal for families.
On the other side of the Maspalomas beach is the beach of Meloneras, home to the outstanding H10 Playa Meloneras Palace. This is also a busy beach with golden sands, calm waters, and characteristically windy for this side of the island.