Travel, Teach, Live in Europe and Middle East
The Canary Islands archipelago, located at the west coast of Africa, offers a unique mix of European, African and South American culture. The archipelago consists of 7 islands of volcanic origin, the largest of them being Tenerife. The beauty of the islands was well known even in ancient times. The Ancient Greeks and Romans called them the Happy Islands, and some even claim that they're the site of the famous myth of Atlantis. Nowadays they are known as the islands of eternal spring, due to the weather being warm and beautiful year-round. When you get there it is all too easy to just enjoy yourself on the numerous beaches and not explore the islands at all, but they have some amazing things to offer.
Tenerife, the largest island, is full of contrasts between the volcanic landscape and the beautiful beaches and lush vegetation found throughout the island. Spain's most popular national park, the Teide National Park is located in the center of the island. The park is centered around the tallest peak on Spanish soil, a staggering 3718 meter high mountain called Mount Teide. If you’re ever in the Canary Islands this park is a must visit!
The second largest island, Fuerteventura, is located nearest to the coast of Africa. Fuerteventura is renowned for its golden dunes and beaches, and being a mere 100 kilometers off the coast of Morocco makes it perfect for a little visit to Africa. Fuerteventura is widely known as the oldest island in the archipelago, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is an old island for old people. The island’s capital, Puerto del Rosario, has a rich night life and will entertain both young and old.
The center island, Gran Canaria, is a perfect place to bring your family for a vacation due to its laid back atmosphere and fantastic beaches. The island’s capital, Las Palmas, is the biggest town in the Canary archipelago and offers a variety of tourist attractions and some especially fine local cuisine.
The most unspoilt of all the islands, La Palma, will seem like paradise for people who like having an active, rural vacation. Tourism has been strictly controlled on this island so the lush nature of the Canary Islands really comes to show on La Palma. If you like exploring, hiking and just spending time in nature, La Palma is perfect for you.
Home to the UNESCO protected La Garanjonay National park; La Gomera is a small island with a lot of dense forests, deep chasms and an ancient landscape. The island hosts a number of rare, almost extinct plant species, and has one of the rare examples of a fully preserved laurel forest. What’s interesting about this island is that the local inhabitants learn to communicate over great distances by whistling. An experience you’ll remember for years to come!
If you’re into diving, El Hierro is perfect for you. This island is a paradise for the more ecologically aware, as it is one of the most preserved islands in the archipelago. El Hierro is perfect for those of you who want to take a break from the buzz of huge cities and everyday life. Volcanoes, lava fields, lush vegetation and very little tourism make this island a safe haven, and numerous diving sites are perfect for finding even more peace and relaxation underwater.
Last but not least, Lazanote is one of the smallest islands of the archipelago. An interesting fact about this island is that parts of the movie Planet of the apes were shot here due to its volcanic, almost Lunar like environment. Lazanote is protected by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve, and for good reason. If you want something a bit otherworldly, Lazanote is the place to be.