Pleasant winter climate, beautiful beaches and dramatic landscapes have made the Canary Islands an attractive destination. The seven large islands plus several smaller ones making up the archipelago are all volcanic, creating some stunning scenery. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Parque Nacional del Teide in Tenerife, centres on the starkly volcanic slopes of Mount Teide, whilst subtropical rainforest cloaks the Garajonay National Park on La Gomera. The towns and villages highlight colonial architecture as well as more modern installations such as the Mirador del Rio located at the edge of the Lanzarote’s Famara cliffs. Closest to Africa are Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, the driest islands in the Canaries. La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma, lying to the west, are the wettest, with subtropical vegetation from the influence of the moist Gulf Stream.
Whilst not world-famous for its regional cuisine, the Canaries offer an exotic take on classic Spanish dishes and a few culinary highlights. The emblematic dish of the Canaries is papas arrugadas (literally, wrinkled potatoes), new potatoes cooked in lots of salt and served with a spicy mojo sauce. The main staple of the original inhabitants, the Guanches, was gofio, or stoneground cereal grains, which is still served today and is especially good in desserts. And there’s nothing to beat a dish of grilled fresh fish served on the beach, washed down with some Canarian wine.