Helpful Tips for Planning a Trip to the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands shines with a mix of African, South American and European cultures–and fantastically warm people. Every day on the archipelago can be a new experience–relax on a beach Caribbean-style, climb a snow-capped volcano or be amazed by gigantic lizards in a tropical field. Of course, at the end of the day, a vacation can only be as good as how you plan it. The following are helpful tips you can consider:
If you want to save money during a holiday, stay put. The costs of inter-island ferries and planes will surely add up. If you concentrate on the charms of a specific island instead of scratching the surface of all of them, and you will certainly save some cash. As well, fly in during spring or fall when hotels are cheaper and tourists are fewer. And when booking, do it early and target the big cities, such as Sta. Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas, where budget hotels are mostly found.
Just like in Spain, the euro (EUR1 EUR) is used in the Canaries. Because the euro-U.S. dollar exchange rate fluctuates frequently, make sure to check current exchange rate before you leave. Most restaurants and shops accept major credit cards.
You’ll find each cuisine conceivable in Gran Canaria and Tenerife. If you want try the islands’ specialties though, you’ve got to order poached parrot fish or sea bream, which are eaten with hot sauce and fresh vegetables. Also worth trying is the side dish, sea salted potatoes served with spicy pepper sauce. In Fuerteventura, many restaurants offer majorero, or local goat cheese. And if you visit Lanzarote, do sample some of their excellent wines, which are made of grapes grown in volcanic ash.
Sunburn is the biggest risk you’ll encounter when you travel to the Canaries. Whether in the park or at the beach, smooth on sunscreen and hydrate your body with water. Also be on guard against petty theft, especially in crowded touristy areas. All valuables must be left at the hotel, or at least, never leave them unattended if you must bring them with you.
The two wisest ways to get around the Canaries are by plane and by private vehicle. While there are bus systems everywhere, most aren’t very useful to tourists because they don’t run frequently enough. And since the islands’ attractions are well spread out, you can’t possibly see them solely on foot.
If you plan to go around by boat, there are lots of companies offering inter-island ferry. All seven islands have their own airports, but three of the busiest are Tenerife North Airport (TFN), Tenerife South Airport (TFS) and Gran Canaria Airport (LPA).
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