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The best beaches in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are known as “las afortunadas”, meaning “the lucky ones” in Spanish, and it’s easy to see why. Boasting thousands of kilometres of coastline and year-round good weather, the archipelago is home to hundreds of incredible beaches that attract tourists from all corners of the world. Corralejo Fuerventura Playa de El Golfo, Lanzarote Located on the south-west coast of Lanzarote, Playa de El Golfo is known for its intense green lagoon, Lago Verde, starkly contrasting the beach’s black lava pebbles. The cliffs behind the lagoon are equally dramatic, having been wind eroded into fantastic shapes over the centuries. This unique natural feature of Lanzarote is a photographer’s delight and belongs to a protected area. Playa de El Golfo Lanzarote Playas en las Dunas de Corralejo, Fuerteventura Visiting Fuerteventura? Enjoy the nine kilometres of divine beaches bordered by the Corralejo Dunes, the largest dunes in the Canary Islands. Here, the turquoise waters meet fine white sands to form the most perfect beaches in the Canary Islands, boasting incredible views of the islands of Los Lobos and Lanzarote. Dunas de Corralejo Fuerteventura Playa del Inglés, Valle del Gran Rey, La Gomera Since the 1970’s, Playa del Inglés in La Gomera has been a legendary ‘hippy’ and alternative destination. Unlike other more remote and naturist beaches in the archipelago, Playa del Inglés is close to restaurants, bars, entertainment and is just a short walk to the volcanic sand beach, the perfect place to relax and take in the views of the mountains and the endless ocean. Playa del Inglés La Gomera Cala de Tacorón, El Hierro El Hierro is a quiet paradise that captivates visitors with its exquisite landscapes, pristine waters of its marine reserve and the calm lifestyle of its almost 11,000 inhabitants. Despite its small size, the cove of Tacorón in the south of the island is a real gem and welcomes visitors year-round to enjoy the most peaceful Atlantic waters in the entire region. This unspoilt destination with soft, multi-coloured sands that is perfect for a relaxing swim. Cala de Tacorón El Hierro Playa de Nogales, La Palma Nogales Beach is one of the best beaches in La Palma and illustrates perfectly what this beautiful island has to offer: mountains, trails, lava, ocean and lush green landscapes. Located in the northern town of Puntallana, the black volcanic sand, with shades of blue and grey, its spectacular cliffs and the mighty Atlantic have put Nogales Beach on the map, not only for surfers and naturists but also for lovers of privacy, beautiful views and nature trails. Playa de Papagayo, Lanzarote Papagayo, located in the south of Lanzarote, is one of the most popular beaches on the island. This small cove of white sand is famous for its crystal clear, emerald green water which remains still all day long just like in a swimming pool. Papagayo is the perfect location to enjoy snorkelling, swimming or to simply take in the natural beauty of the area. Papagayo Lanzarote Playa de el Médano, Tenerife The south of Tenerife is home to one of the local residents’ favourite beaches: El Médano. This beach of golden sand, shallow waters and moderate waves and all the necessary services an urban beach requires. Over time the centre of El Médano has become an important second home base for many islanders and is a hugely popular spot for wind and kitesurfing due to constant winds, giving the town a great buzz in the evening after a day spent on the beach. Playa de las Conchas, La Graciosa La Graciosa, next to Lanzarote, is the least populated of the Canary Islands, waiting to be discovered! Located on the north west of La Graciosa lies a real treasure, Las Conchas. This pale sandy beach is home to an ever-changing blue ocean – you won’t be disappointed. Playa de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria Maspalomas Beach, South Gran Canaria, is bordered by the Maspalomas Dunes Nature Reserve and Maspalomas resort. With calm seas and three kilometres of golden sand, a wide range of hotels and apartments available nearby, Maspalomas is an ideal family holiday destination and the perfect place to spend days in the sunshine. For a romantic experience head to the dunes in the evening and watch the sun set behind Maspalomas lighthouse. Playa de Benijo, Tenerife The solitude and serenity of Benijo Beach and its location in an area of great beauty makes it the perfect alternative beach experience in Tenerife. Located in Anaga Rural Park in the north-east of the island, Benijo is found at the end of a road that winds through a laurisilva forest and boasts spectacular views over the Atlantic, like gold at the end of a rainbow. Playa de Benijo Tenerife

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Telegraph.

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  1. Is there anywhere else in the world that has such an amazing range of different landscapes? I remember that Gran Canaria had so much variety that it claims it’s almost a continent in its own right.

  2. Life’s a beach used to be on my tee shirt. Now I can’t remember when I was last on a beach. These look great.

  3. On my last visit to Fuerteventura I thought that I was in the Caribbean with the great beaches and all the blues of the sea.

    1. Hi Demi – which of the islands were you looking at and what kinds of things are you looking to do? If you were to take the largest island of Tenerife, I’d say the north and south of the island are very different…

    2. Hi,I’m thinking somewhere with sandy beach to relax snorkeling,swimming etc. And for 4 to 5 days sightseeing, hiking. Wanted to know if Playas en las Dunas de Corralejo, Fuerteventura worth spending time here. Which is actually better north or south of the canary islands.

  4. You’ll find a little bit about Corralejo in this post – the beaches there are meant to be great.

    You’ll find lots to see and plenty of hikes on all of the Canary Islands. I’d recommend looking at Gran Canaria as there’s lots of variety there. Have a look at my post here to see what a varied experience you can have.

    Also see this one to get an overview of some of the variety in the landscapes of each of the islands.

    I don’t think you can really say which is better out of the north and south of the islands. Each island has its own character, and each has its own differences.

  5. Thanks you. Informative blog. Where would you suggest I should stay Playa de el Médano, Tenerife or Playa de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria.

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