The Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago of volcanic islands 130 miles off the west coast of Africa, are the southern most point of Europe. As such, they have beautiful weather year round, but much more to offer than perpetual spring temperatures. Witness El Teide, an active volcano which is the highest point in Spain. Scuba dive in Europe’s clearest waters. And explore the dozens of beaches pristine beaches. It’s a land full of fiery mountains and golden sands. One which caters for outdoorsy types of all varieties. A playground for the cyclists, hikers, rock climbers and surfers among us. And we haven’t even started on the food! We’ll be living on the 2nd largest island, Gran Canaria.
Many of the Canary islands are regarded as a hikers paradise, and our home base of Gran Canaria is no exception. There are mild temperatures making hiking from dawn till dusk a possibility, and extremely diverse landscapes and accompanying micro-climates. You can find rainforests on La Gomera, sand dunes on Gran Canaria, and lunar landscapes on Lanzarote.
As well as hiking, the islands are popular among cyclists (both off-road and on) due to their mountainous
interiors. And if you’d rather be in the water, surfing (particularly the wind variety) are popular pastimes too.
On the neighbouring island of Tenerife, you’ll find the highest point in Spain, Mount Teide, and it’s namesake national park. The active volcano and its surrounding area resembles a lunar landscape, which is further accentuated by sticking around late into a crystal clear evening.
For the athletes among us, the hike to the top takes 5 hours. Conveniently for the rest of us, there’s a cable
car which takes 8 minutes!
It's Gran Canaria’s beaches that really make it stand out above the rest of the Canaries. We're talking fine sands and turquoise waters, bustling promenades, and some seriously spectacular views to be had.
The dunes of Maspalomas offer 3 miles of dunes to bathe in, some stretches of which are popular among naturists. Gui Gui is about as remote as a beach can get so head here for some quiet seclusion. Or if you’re looking for something more conveniently located near the city, Las Canteras is in the heart of the city, and doubles as an ideal place to learn how to surf!
A short hop over to mainland Africa and you'll find Morocco, a unique culture perched on the edge of the Western Sahara. It's a country torn between European, Arabian, and African influences.
For us Marrakech is accessible on a 2 hour flight, and is well worth the visit to soak in an environment you may never come across again. Stepping into the medina is like taking a walk back in time, though these districts are still very much a part of everyday life in Morocco.
The second biggest Carnival celebration in the world is found in the Canary Islands, and is an explosion of fun, music and colour, All over the archipelago parades, dance troupes and outdoor parties fill the air with the joyous atmosphere of a carnival with a long history. It's celebrated for the whole month of February each year so you'll be witness to it if you join our Early Spring program to Gran Canaria.
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