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The Canary Islands are known as the Happy Islands and enjoy a fantastic climate and constant temperature throughout the year. The Canaries are located southwest of Spain and northwest of Africa, off the coast of Morocco. The variety of resorts and Islands ensure the Canaries really do offer something for all ages and all tastes.
The Canary Islands consist of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma and Gomera. With so much variety, relaxation, enjoyable nightlife, great beaches and non-stop sunshine there is little doubt why the canaries are a top destination for a holiday close to home.
The Canary Islands offer something for all ages and all tastes. Couples young and old enjoy the sunshine both summer and winter where families enjoy the many children's attractions and great value restaurants.
The weather in the Canary Islands attracts millions of tourists each year for both summer and winter holidays. The average temperatures range from 14-21°C in January, and reach 21-29°C in July. The months between May to September are the driest, receiving plenty of warm dry days with average daily hours of sunshine ranging from 6 in the winter months to 11 in the height of summer. The sea remains ideal for swimming in, all year round with water temperatures ranging from 19-22°C.
There are many water parks to choose from all over the Canary Islands and everything from zoos, marine shows, botanical gardens, bird and butterfly sanctuaries to specialised amusement and entertainment parks. The Canary Islands are an established base for wind-surfing and kite-surfing. Sailing and scuba diving are widely available also deep-sea fishing. One of the best ways to explore the islands is on horse-back with its diverse landscapes and long sandy beaches or take a walk with an extensive amount of hiking trails and volcanic mountains.
For top cultural hotspots on the island, offering a mix of traditional Canarian architecture, some excellent museums (one of the best which explores the pre-hispanic history of the Guanches on the Canary Islands is the Man & Nature Museum in Santa Cruz), some choice art galleries with a focus on Canarian Art and museums focusing on rural and agricultural history head to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, San Cristobal de la Laguna, La Orotava and Puerto de la Cruz. The caves at Ajuy on the west coast of Fuerteventura are a particular highlight in your Guanche sites exploration across the Canaries. Access is now superb, and you can walk right into the caves. Currently you wouldn't know this site featured on the Guanche map unless you'd visited the Museo Canario in Las Palmas/Gran Canaria where there is ample information on it. Fuerteventura does ecotourism and agricultural history well. Move inland to discover Eco Museums, reconstructed Guanche villages, Guanche artefacts and a wild and hauntingly captivating barren volcanic landscape.
Nightlife in the Canary Islands is very varied! In some of the islands resorts it can be extremely lively and you can party the night away and other islands and resorts are quiet perfect for a lovely meal and walk or just sitting in a bar watching the world go by! So whichever kind of nightlife you fancy there will be something to suit you in the Canary Islands. If its partying you want then there's no where better then Playa de las Americas in Tenerife, the resort comes to life at night, especially down the famous Veronica's Strip the hottest nightlife location in Tenerife. The two main resort hotspots in Gran Canaria are Playa del Ingles and Puerto Rico, there are gay bars and clubs, cocktail bars, Irish bars, sports bars, café bars with live music and almost every other kind of bar imaginable. In Lanzarote the main area is 'Avenida de las Playas' in Puerto del Carmen and the 'Centro Atlantico' in particular, however there are bars and discos in all of the main resorts. Ferteventura if you are looking to paint the town red then the best places to go are either Corralejo or Caleta de Fuste. La Palma and Gomera have very low key nightlife, eating out and an after dinner drinks at a music bar is as good as it gets.
Gran Canaria has a new shopping mall located in Vecendario which is only 15 minutes from Maspalomas, Lanzarote also has quite a large shopping mall in Puerto del Carmen. The Canary Island's, are partly tax free so the prices for tobacco, spirits and perfumes are cheaper than on average in other EU countries. Travellers returning from the Canary Islands are treated at the customs like travellers from outside the European Union.
Eating out in the Canaries is always a pleasurable experience whether it is a lunch time snack or a full evening meal the canaries offers great value restaurants. Restaurants and Tapas bars abound, serving Canarian food, as well as embracing the cuisines of most of the Mediterranean countries. If seafood is your favourite, the canaries are also well known for there superb fish restaurants.
Before the arrival of the Spanish in the 1400s, the Canary Islands were populated by a light-haired people called Guanches, who were mainly farmers and shepherds. The conquest was slow, it took nearly 100 years before the Guanches were totally defeated, and by the 1600s these Islands were totally colonized and Christian. Like Spain, the Canaries belong to the Catholic Church, in the countryside many small temples and shrines dedicated to local saints are open for tourists to visit.
The best time to get a cheap holiday in the Canaries is to visit in winter, providing you avoid major holidays like Christmas and New Year. If you're lucky you may also find a good deal on a cheap Canaries holiday in May too.
The Canaries have plenty of sights to see no matter which time of the year you visit, so if you can manage to get an out of season deal on your cheap holiday, you won’t be missing out on too much of the peak entertainment. There are museums all over the island displaying huge parts of the area’s history. There is a Christopher Columbus museum, art galleries and even a science and technology museum for those looking for low cost, but entertaining holiday options.
The Canaries are host to various festivals celebrating the Canaries' unique culture throughout the year. To save money and make your cheap holiday even cheaper check out one of the many free or very cheap festivals celebrating the Canaries' religion, folklore and food.
Famous festivals include the International Film Festival of Las Palmas, the Festival de Musica de Canaries, the Festival de Opera and the Festival de Teatro y Danza de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria – the theatre and dance festival of Gran Canaria, all of which give insight into the culture and international influences of the islands of the Canaries.
If you keep your eyes open, your best chance of getting a cheap holiday to the Canaries may just be to find a last minute deal.
No matter what your budget, The Canaries is a fantastic place to visit and one of the most popular holiday islands in the world.
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