The Deal Mommy

Why Haven’t You Been to the Canary Islands?

canary islands I’m just back from my 2nd trip to the Canary Islands and I’ll cut right to the chase: Why haven’t you been yet? I could do a listicle of all the reasons you need to go but will make this simple for you. 

You need to go to the Canary Islands, and soon

.

If you’re European I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir. With almost twelve million visitors in 2015 the Canaries are hardly a secret. However, my informal polling shows more Americans haven’t considered visiting the Canary Islands than have. That’s a real shame.

Officially part of Spain and only a 3 hour flight from Madrid, the Canary Islands feel worlds away. The subtropical climate is often sited as the best in the world with near constant sunshine and little rain.  Each one of the seven islands has its own distinct profile and after visiting Gran Canaria and Tenerife I can’t wait to explore the rest.

Best of all for travel hackers? They’re cheap!

 Award flights from Spain, England, and Germany are plentiful. If you can’t find space (which would surprise me) many discount airlines fly to the Canaries from all over Europe, often for under $100.

I’ve had no trouble finding low level seats on both American miles (flying Iberia) and Air France/Air Europa (using Delta miles). An option I haven’t tried but would also work is Royal Air Maroc- Morocco is really close to the Canaries. Worse to worse, get over the pond and use Avios- it’s 7,500 to 10,000 each way from Europe. There are over 10 airports- the most common are Tenerife South (TFS) Tenerife North (TFN) and Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (NOT Las Palmas Island, which is different) LPA.

A few points properties exist (the Ritz Calrton Tenerife is a steal on FHR) but you’ll do better with independent properties.  Weekly rentals abound and you can often find amazing deals.  Spring Break we paid $88/night for a two bedroom oceanfront condo at BlueBay Beach Club that featured a jacuzzi tub…on our balcony. In Tenerife I paid $35/night for a one bedroom oceanview unit at Apartmentos Casablanca in Puerto de la Cruz.

Canary Islands

View from the balcony jacuzzi, BlueBay Beach Club, Gran Canaria

“Cheaper Hawaii with Spanish culture”

That’s how I’d sum up the Canaries in five words but they’re truly so much more. The Canaries are also ground zero for sealife encounters. We checked out the Aldea Village to Gui Gui Beach plus Dolphin Watching Tour from Viator and it was stunning. The Deal Kids and I played (and I mean that- we played) with a pod of at least 15 dolphins that wove in and out of our sight. The Kids even got splashed by a dolphin jump! Seeing dolphins in the wild blows away the experience of visiting an Aquarium. 

This is not a zoom lens shot- the dolphin was that close!

Readers: Can anyone else vouch for the Canaries? Which islands have you visited? I need help deciding which island to visit next!

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17 thoughts on “Why Haven’t You Been to the Canary Islands?

  1. Mordy

    Dang! I wish I had thought of that for my Thanksgiving trip. I had to cancel 2 – 3 Caribbean trips from now until November because of Zika.

    The other warmer places along the Mediterranean aren’t always warm and get a bit rainy especially in the winter months.

    Oh, well next time.

    Can you talk a little about finding award availability?

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Mordy, I’ve had no trouble finding low level seats on both American miles (flying Iberia) and Air France/Air Europa (using Delta miles). An option I haven’t tried but would also work is Royal Air Maroc- Morocco is really close to the Canaries. Worse to worse, get over the pond and use Avios- it’s 7,500 to 10,000 each way from Europe. There are over 10 airports- the most common are Tenerife South (TFS) Tenerife North (TFN) and Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (NOT Las Palmas Island, which is different) LPA.

  2. Corridor!

    When were you actually there? You mentioned spring break and the weather looked cold this past February/ March. By cold I mean, non bathing suit weather. High of upper 60’s. We wanted to go for Carnaval but are concerned with the weather. We are now thinking September.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Corridor,
      We were in San Augestin (Gran Canaria) during the last week of March. It wasn’t hot, but the kids definitely got in the pool afternoons and we spent an entire day at a waterpark. Sunbathers were definitely out in force. Highs were consistently 72. One thing to know is that most European pools aren’t heated- so dips can be a bit crisp until you get used to it. Even in July highs in Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife) didn’t go much higher than 80.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      It’s about 8 hours to Madrid, then another 3 from there. From the East Coast it’s about the same- we did Hawaii last August and it was 5 and 5.

  3. Laura

    I definitely can vouch for the beauty of las Islas Canarias. The secret is out! I spent a year in Tenerife while in middle school and go back to visit family every decade or so. I love Tenerife. Next I’m dying to visit tiny El Hierro given it’s seismic importance due to the active volcano. It’s not a beach destination, but my relatives have told me that the hiking is amazing, there are very few tourists, and its isolation contributes to its unique natural beauty.

  4. rob t

    it is lovely but I’d rather go to beach destinations in mexico as it’s an easy 3 hour flight on alaska air. By the time you add the cost of flights (or miles), the cheap accomodations aren’t that cheap anymore.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Rob, I think they’re apples and oranges. If I only want beach, I’m inclined to agree with you. We just found so much more in one tight spot than you find in Mexico. Sure, there’s history and culture, but not generally near the beaches.

  5. MickiSue

    The Canaries, huh?

    Sounds like the perfect spot for a future meet up and share a condo with Daughter, SIL and Grandson, who live in Italy!

    BEAUTIFUL, Dia!

  6. JohnnieD

    Visited Tenerife mid March. Stayed in Puertito de Güímar 4nts in Airbnb for $189. Very beautiful especially the top of Tiede. The weather was a bit disappointing, cool/rain, but that was expected. Got there on Nikki/Iberia using aa miles from Cyprus. I liked Cyprus a bit more. LCA-VIE-MAD-TFN for 9k aa miles(1k less with cc). Same trip now is 12.5k.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Thanks for sharing. I especially liked the drive from Puerto de la Cruz to Tiede- I was weaving in and out of cloud cover and at times it seemed I was on top of nothing but a cloud. Very cool.

  7. smittytabb

    Been to Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. They are both totally different from each other. Cannot wait to see more of the islands. I loved Lanzarote’s amazing volcanic landscapes. Be sure to go there next!

  8. John

    I’m planning a trip to LPA next summer the second week of July. I already have accommodations, just need to workout the flights from the SF Bay area. It’s looking fairly pricey even with points, I tried AA and am seeing rates of around 60k per ticket round trip. Any travel hacking suggestions?

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Get over the pond. You can grab a cheap flight from almost anywhere. Check Wikipedia for the non stops and work backwards. Good luck!

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