Off the coast of Morocco and Western Sahara are the Canary Islands, a true paradise for outdoor sports and adventure activities, with incredible, diverse landscapes and a lot of sunshine!
Each island has its own personality, and offers adventurers a number of great spots for trying new adventure activities. Check out our selection of fantastic outdoor activities to try and the best places to enjoy them in the Canary Islands.
One of the best places in Europe for surfing, when the temperatures elsewhere at that same time of year would mean you’d be rather cold in the water, is the Canary Islands. These islands have a perfect mixture of tropical and desert climates – said to be one of the finest in the world!
Whether you’re a beginner or a self-proclaimed pro, you’ll find a spot adapted to your level with different breaks – with large empty beaches full of spots for all levels.
Beginners surfing in the Canary Islands
If you’re a beginner, the island of Fuerteventura, especially towards Corralejo, is an ideal spot. Regardless of the island you choose to head to, there’s a spot to match your level. Beginners, try the beaches of Maspalomas in Gran Canaria – long beach breaks are perfect for learning to surf on waves that run for several meters.
More advanced surfing in the Canary Islands
More seasoned surfing pros should head to the island of Lanzarote. In this destination, make sure to watch out for reefs and sharp rock (not counting the many sea urchins) which will sometimes require you to wear slippers to protect your feet.
For fans of this exhilarating aerial activity, we recommend the island of Tenerife – a real gem for paragliding enthusiasts. This one of the Canary Islands allows you to try paragliding from a number of incredible different spots all along its coasts.
No matter where you choose to take off, you are in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean and will get to enjoy breathtaking views of the long white sandy beaches.
Paragliding near Mount Teide and Teide National Park
Depending on the orientation of your flight, you may be able to see the surrounding islands. Depending on the conditions, you’ll be able to take off on your tandem paragliding flight from the Teide Peak, in the heart of the superb Teide National Park which extends over the entire center of the island of Tenerife.
Teide’s summit is reached by cable car, which eliminates the need to carry paragliding equipment too far. The landscapes are desert and often the sand of the Sahara comes to cover the vegetation, giving it a superb ochre color which you’ll get to appreciate the full beauty of, from the air during your tandem paragliding flight.
Scuba diving & snorkeling
With water at 20°C most of the year, the Canary Islands are ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. With 7 main islands and 6 secondary islands, plus a few small islets, there is plenty to explore!
The seabed is as varied as the landscapes of the islands, with volcanic rock and lava formations present everywhere. In addition to a rich and diverse fauna, the most adventurous and curious divers can discover the many submerged wrecks of Gran Canaria, which offer a lot of secrets about the island’s history.
Diving Schools in the Canary Islands for beginners
Fuerteventura, El Hierro, Lanzarote and above all Tenerife offer many schools for first time divers, to help them discover the wonders buried in the ocean. Tenerife is famous for its diverse marine life, best seen when scuba diving or snorkeling, if you’re lucky enough, you may even come across a manta ray!
The Canary Islands archipelago has many fantastic spots for canyoning – a perfect mixture of a number of outdoor sports, including caving, hiking, climbing and mountaineering, as well as whitewater activities such as cliff jumping, whitewater swimming and tobogganing.
The canyons of Barranco de Guia and Barranco de Los Arcos on the island of Tenerife, are the most famous and promise you some great and memorable canyoning adventures. With gorges and cliffs of more than 600 meters sometimes, there are plenty of spots to discover and explore the natural richness of this fantastic region.
Downhill mountain bike
Mountain biking is a great outdoor activity that can be practiced on each of the Canary Islands, with its volcanoes and paths perfectly suited to the sport.
MTB at the Caldera de Taburiente National Park
La Palma is the best of these beautiful islands for MTB, with its rocky and wooded landscapes and more specifically the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, which includes a vast and fascinating crater formation. Ideal for an extreme descent on a mountain bike that will take you to Fuencaliente, a city created following volcanic eruptions. Hop on your bike and explore the beaten track at the southernmost tip of Europe.
Explore the crystal clear waters of the Canary Islands aboard a kayak for a great sea excursion. A relaxing and incredibly fun activity and a way to reach and explore usually inaccessible places.
Seek out sea kayaking adventures off the coasts of La Palma, beginning from, and leaving behind, the beaches of El Remo, following the coast of Fuencaliente to discover beautiful sea caves.
You may also see some dolphins during a getaway to Los Cristianos, on the southwest coast of Tenerife, on your sea kayak. From Gran Tarajal to Fuerteventura via Maspalomas, this region has no shortage of stunning spots for beautiful sea kayaking trips.
Other outdoor activities in the Canary Islands and mainland Spain
There are a whole host of fantastic outdoor adventure activities to try on the Canary Islands. From trekking to bungee jumping, from climbing to jet skiing, the Canaries are a thrill seekers paradise. Heading to Spain and not specifically these stunning Spanish Islands? Check out our top 10 best outdoor activities to try in Spain.