The Canary Islands are associated mostly with beach, sun and colorful cocktails, so a typical all-inclusive holiday destination.
And indeed, until not so long ago, the transport was possible only by charters from travel agencies.
Fortunately, it has changed a bit and to the Islands it is as easy to go as to every other individual trip, even by lowcost airlines.
Thanks to this, you can set your travel completely according to your preferred dates and use other than hotel accommodation.
Contrary to initial thoughts, Canary Islands is a very diversified region. Every island has its characters and a lot to offer and visit. We can calmly construct few trips, for every island separately, alternatively by connecting two closest islands.
In this post, I will concentrate mostly on the logistics part of such a trip. As for what to see, I will describe soon.
Why do I encourage for an individual trip?
Because it’s a very safe place. And fully open for tourists. But they don’t lose their authenticity and atmosphere. Just that everywhere, where it’s possible, bigger and smaller simplifications are provided: good roads, clear signs, free parking places next to attractions and roads, so that you can calmly stop and take pictures and nice airports. Big and small shops and a lot of restaurants with regional cuisine (you will not walk hungry).
Locals seem truly relaxed (well, looking at the weather, climate and views nothing to be surprised of), but you can also get the impression, that everything is done, streets clean, transport on time.
You can easily communicate in English (seems that even more than in continental Spain), but even if not, people are so open that you can communicate anyway.
And possibility to be fully spontaneous (look at point below).
How to travel on islands
On every island, public transport is well-organized. You can easily get to the airport or move between towns in good conditions. Of course, buses are limited. You can also use taxis or companies offering transfers.
Absolutely the best solution
is to rent the car. It goes exceptionally flawlessly (no deposit, no car checks
before and after rent), and there is a big number of car hire companies. Actually,
everything is organized for the purpose of renting cars), there arerental offices
at airports and harbors, there are separate entrances to huge parking
places exclusively for rented
It looks also good from a cost perspective (also of fuel, which is cheaper), depending on the car type but for less than 100 euro you can hire it for few days.
It is worth to check if a particular company allows taking the car to another island – it may happen that not. If not, then it’s best to leave the car in the harbor and rent a new one in the next harbor. It is also worth to check if they allow that you take the car to non-paved roads.
Renting acar really guarantees freedom. It’s comfortable to drive, roads are exactly signed, so it’s easy to find the way, even with a big number of roundabouts.
And views during such driving… Fairy taleJ You go, go up and suddenly you see the ocean in front of you. Often the road just goes next to the coast. Or through the national park.
Not only that you commute quicker and more comfortable, but you can also stop spontaneously in so many places, parking spaces and coves are prepared. Many of these places actually call to stop by, even if it wasn’t included in the plan. You go, get delighted, stop, admire 🙂
How to commute between islands
Too big distances to build bridges, underwater tunnels not available either. The standard way, meaning ferries, stay. There are a few operators, so you can find the best timing and prices. Some of the cruises are only for passengers, for some, you can take a car.
Standard durations of cruises between islands:
Lanzarote- Fuerteventura 30 minutes
Fuerteventura- Gran Canaria 2 hours
Gran Canaria- Lanzarote 3 hours 45 minutes
Gran Canaria- Tenerife 1 hour 20 minutes
Tenerife- La Gomera 50 minutes
La Gomera- La Palma 2 hours
The other option is of course plane, flights are offered by two companies (Binter Canarias and CanaryFly). Prices for tourists are not the lowest tough (residents of the Islands have big discounts for air and water transport).
Where to sleep
There is never one good answer for such a question, because it just depends on individual preferences. Accommodation options are developed and everyone can find something for themselves.
Although in this region, private apartments for rent are worth special attention. There is a big number of them available. Sometimes individual, but most often they are places in complexes which resemble a bit hotels: with swimming pool, playgrounds, plants around. However, the flats are independent, privately rented, without reception and room service.
Such offers have better prices than hotels, but they still make you feel in a very holiday mood.
How to get to the Canary Islands
If time is not an issue, you can get by sea route. Ferries start from two Spanish cities: Huelva and Cadiz, and the trip last from 31 to 36 hours.
Most people will choose an air route. As I mentioned the possibilities of flights have increased.
1) From London and Berlin and many other European cities
From both cities, Ryanair, Wizzair and Easyjet fly directly for almost all islands (apart of El Hierro and La Gomera, as islands have airports, but currently only domestic flights between islands are available)
2) From Spain
The Canary Islands are, after all, Spanish region. That’s why a number of islands are bigger. Few companies (Ryanair, Vueling, Norwegian) fly from many cities, to which it is easy and cheap to get from many cities in Poland and the whole Europe, e.g. Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga. It’s also a good idea for a bit of a circuit trip, during which you can visit a city and then rest on one of the islands.
3) From Poland
Few advice if you want to fly from Poland.
There are of course charters from few cities. In case of available seats you can buy them, without the necessity to order the whole organized trip. In case of such flights, we are limited by time, because most often they take place only once per week.
There are also few low-cost connections:
Kraków- Gran Canaria and Tenerife-Kraków, Warszawa Modlin and Wrocław
Katowice – Fuerteventura and Tenerife
It’s really worth to go to the Canary Islands. They surprised me, that they can impress so much (because they impressed). I’m really glad that now it’s so easy to go there for individual travel.