Visit Canary Islands - The Eastern Isles
The Canary Islands are one of the main tourist destinations in the world and most visitors head for the Eastern Isles with their long sandy beaches and large resorts. There is a magnificent range of scenery from Sahara-like desert to thick forest and the old colonial towns are full of charm.
The Eastern Canary Islands Tourist Sites and Places to Visit
Whilst belonging to Spain the Canary Islands are located close to the northwest coast of Africa giving them their warm and sunny climate. The Canary Islands are made up of seven islands. Each one is the tip of hundreds of volcanoes which errupted from the sea millions of years ago and created the dramatic scenery that these islands are famous for.
The Eastern Isles are Gran Canaria, the biggest of the Eastern Islands, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
(For information about the Western Isles of Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro visit The Canary Islands - The Western Isles.)
Below are attractions and highlights of each of the eastern islands to help you get the most from your visit to the Canary Islands.
With mountains, forests, volcanic craters and sand dunes this island is a real gem. It is the most popular of all the Canary Islands and is very beautiful with a rather exotic feel due to its great diversity. The north is cooler and lusher but most tourists head for the large resorts in the south.
At the north of the island, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the largest town and its old town is a UNESCO listed historic site and not to be missed. Explore the lovely suburbs of Tafira Baja and Tafira Alta as well and visit the Gran Canaria Botanic Gardens.
Nearby Arucas is a charming town with a backdrop of mountains.
Agaete on the north west of the island is a small, quiet resort perfect for those who like the weather a little cooler.
At the southern tip is Maspalomas, a wonderful area of sand dunes and camels! Nearby Playa del Ingles is one of the largest resorts on the islands. If you are looking for something a little more sedate try the charming Puerto de Mogan a bit further round the coast.
Puerto Rico is another resort on the south of the island and has a great beach and water sport facilities.
Be sure to hire a car or take the bus and visit the dramatic mountainous interior of the island. Tejeda is a mountain village with fabulous views of the Roque Bentaiga mountains.
The island has around three hundred volcanoes and the contrast of the volcanic landscape and the sea makes this island the most unusual and perhaps the most attractive. It is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reservation for its protection and conservation. Lanzarote's dramatic volcanic scenery along with some great beaches ensure that the island attracts lots of visitors each year.
Another lovely village, this time in the north of the island, is Haria.
An island with very good beaches but the overall scenery is less spectacular and less attractive than the other islands.
The main resorts are at Corralejo and on the Peninsula de Jandia. Both of these are also areas of Natural Parks of Fuerteventura. Puerto del Rosario is the main town on the island and the best place for shopping.
If you are looking for a bit more adventure visit Betancula on the centre of the island. It is a pretty village on the edge of a volcano and worth the drive for the moon scape surroundings. Alternatively head to Oasis Park near Tarajalejo for a botanic garden, animal park and camel safari!
Places to visit: Towns and Villages
Sightseeing on the Island of Gran Canaria
Agaete - to the wetter, cooler north, Agaete is a small resort on a rocky bay nestled amongst the banana plantations.
Arucas - a lovely town with a sub-tropical park
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria - this is the largest town of the Eastern Canaries and its historic city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was the first city to have a main square with the main religios and administrative buildings of the town built around the square. A model which was later widely used in Latin America.
Maspalomas - a wonderful area of sand dunes with nearby beaches and resorts but also with a proteced area which can only be crossed on foot or by camel!
Playa del Ingles - the largest resort on the island, situated near the Maspalomas dunes.
Puerto de Mogan - An attractive resort based around a small fishing village. More tastefully developed than the much larger Playa del Ingles.
Puerto Rico - A resort which is becoming ever more popular due to its lare cresent-shaped golden sandy beach. A great place to practise your watersports as well.
Tafira Baja and Tafira Alta are suburbs of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and many of the more wealthy residents of the city live in beautiful villas in these suburbs. The very exotic botanical gardens of Jardin Canario are also here and are dedicated to the plants of the Canary Islands and the other islands in the vicinity.
Tejeda - a lovely mountain village with great views.
Teror - interesting village and pilgrim site.
Sightseeing on the Island of Lanzarote
Costa Teguise - a purpose built resort near the island's old capital, Teguise.
Haria - valley of 1,000 palms! a lovely village with great views of Monte Corona nearby.
A rural community, cut off from much of Lanzarote, the town is starting to recover it’s golden past.
Parque Nacional de Timanfaya - the Mountanas de Fuego or Fire Mountains are eerily beautiful. At the entrance you can take a camel ride up a volcanic slope.
Playa Blanca - a small fishing village which has been expanded into a family based resort.
Puerto del Carmen - the most popular of Lanzarote's resorts.
Teguise - the island's capital until 1852, visit the town on Suday, market day.
Yaiza - voted prettiest village in Spain several times though lucky to still be here as it is very close to the volcanoes at Timanfaya.
Sightseeing on the Island of Fuerteventura
Betancuia - this pretty village is built on the edge of a small volcano in the centre of the island, surrounded by a dry arid landscape of plains and extinct volcanoes.
Corralejo - a tourist resort built around a fishing village and with a long stretch of sand dunes.
Peninsula de Jandia - Great beaches and lots of modern tourist complexes on this peninsula.
Puerto del Rosario - the main town of Fuerteventura.
Eastern Canary Islands Tourism and Sightseeing
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria old town
Lanzarote - World Biosphere Reservation
National Parks of the Eastern Canaries
Tamadaba Natural Park - western Gran Canaria
Pilancones Natural Park - southern Gran Canaria
National Park of Timanfaya - western Lanzarote
Natural Park of Los Volcanes - central Lanzarote
Tamabada Natural Park - Gran Canaria
Timanfaya National Park - Lanzarote
Corralejo Natural Park - Fuerteventura
Jandia Natural Park - Fuerteventura
Gardens of the Eastern Canaries
Palmitos Park Botanic Garden - Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
Jardin Canario Botanic Garden - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
The Cactus Garden - Guatiza, Lanzarote
Oasis Park - Tarajalejo, Fuerteventura
Paradors of the Eastern Canary Islands
Parador Cruz de Tejeda - Tejeda, Gran Canaria