A popular tourist destination since the late 1960s, Canary Islands adventure travel lovers have raved about these shores for some time. And it's not just for their beaches. Strong winds blast across the Atlantic, predictable temperature and rugged interiors support outdoor activities in the Canary Islands year round. The Canary Islands were born from volcanic eruptions 23 million yea... +A popular tourist destination since the late 1960s, Canary Islands adventure travel lovers have raved about these shores for some time. And it's not just for their beaches. Strong winds blast across the Atlantic, predictable temperature and rugged interiors support outdoor activities in the Canary Islands year round.
The Canary Islands were born from volcanic eruptions 23 million years ago. On Tenerife, one of the seven Spanish owned islands, get close enough and you can still smell the sulphurous emissions from its volcano, Mt.Teide. This reminds you that these islands are very much alive. Ignore the heavily-touristed areas and there are miles of rocky, craggy shores to discover, and bays and beaches aplenty.
The seven islands, from west to east are: Hierro, La Palma, Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote.
Lanzarote is nearest to the mainland, which surprisingly is African, not Spanish. At just 115km west of Morocco you'll discover Canarian beaches created from sands blown from the Sahara.
Looking for outdoor activities in the Canary Islands fuelled by wind then Fuerteventura is a great choice. It's the longest island, while the two smallest, Hierro and Gomera have remained relatively untouched by tourism and neither yet accepts international flights.
Year-round temperature remains stable at an average 22C - ideal for a wide range of Canary Islands adventure travel. The islands in this archipelago are different in geographical formation, but all enjoy 3,000 hours of sunlight each year.
The islands' mountains tell the story of violent eruptions where ravines, formerly filled with magma, cut troughs to the sea. However, there's always a beach nearby. But you'll find most are black sand, which takes a little getting used to.
With such barren rugged land, born of volcanic larva, it's a surprise to discover most of the islands feature a great diversity of natural life, including forests and luscious valleys fertility comes thanks to the nutrient rich larva and the great climate.
Given the choice - and to get the broadest choice of outdoor activities in the Canary Islands - we'd do a little island hoping, starting at Tenerife. After a few days wind down on one of its less commercial beaches, it would be time to get into the Teide National Park and peer into the island's live volcano.
From Tenerife it's a short ferry ride to Fuerteventura. Travelling overland on a mixture of 4x4s and quad bikes we'd aim for its eastern coast, turning north half way across and set our compass to the north coast for Corralejo and the island's best surf. To finish our Canary Islands adventure travel journey, it would be another island hop, over to Lanzarote and into the water for some quality scuba diving on its east coast.
Other outdoor activities in the Canary Islands
Thanks to the great waves that crash onto its beaches, surfing is another popular beach sport you'll spot in the Canaries. With expanses of flat sands it's just as easy to try kiteboarding as it is to have a go at kitesurfing. For added peace of mind, there are also yoga and pilates packages, which also feature surfing sessions. And dedicated surfers can opt for surf tours, where all their gear gets taken along as they go off road in the search of the elusive perfect wave. -