Why the Canary Islands, when there are other island groups
that you could go to - and stay? There is so much to see and
do in the Canary Islands and we have a page dedicated to
each island. More
information on Environments and visiting the Canary
The Canary Islands have now firmly set themselves out to be
a sailing haven. An archipelago of islands set in the
Atlantic off the coast of Africa. The Canary Islands
(7 in total) was where Christopher Columbus famously stopped
over, en route to sailing off the map of the known world in
search of the New World (perhaps he should just have stayed
put!). The islands boast of many world class marinas
and some fantastic anchorages - provisioning is relatively
cheap, the local beer is great, and to cap it all you will
always find someone who speaks your language - WHY GO
The weather in the Canary Islands is second to none, only
dipping slightly in the winter, and with summers cooled by
the Atlantic Ocean. CLICK HERE
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WEATHER IN THE CANARY ISLANDS
The youngest of the seven main islands, Lanzarote is possibly the most aesthetically pleasing – thanks to one man - César Manrique, some say he was a visionary architect. Lanzarote-born, he spent most of his life on the island and created a legacy that visitors can learn more about at his old studio home, which now houses the César Manrique Foundation. Volcanic activity has also led to a unique viticulture that sees delicious Malvasia grown in the island’s volcanic craters. CLICK HERE FOR MORE VISITOR INFORMATION FOR LANZAROTE
What does it offer for the passing (or staying put) sailor. To start it has many world class marinas. First on your list should be Marina Lanazarote, new, stylish and welcoming, a member of the Calero Marina Group. Another Calero marina is Puerto Calero, having been established for over 30 years this marina is stunningly beautiful and well placed. Further south at the tip of the island is Marina Rubicon, another paradise for sailors. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GUIDES AND SERVICES FOR YACHTS IN LANZAROTE
The second largest of the Canary Islands and only 60 miles
from the African coast is one of the least developed.
The island seems to be barren at first sight, and it is
possible to get lost in the sand dunes. Life is more
laid back here, with little tapas bars, and proper
beaches right all along its eastern side.
What does it offer for the passing (or staying put sailor)? There are a few marinas, however they are government owned and not as well run as the private marinas. When the ARC is preparing to leave Las Palmas many sailors prefer to wait out a few weeks in Morro Jable or Gran Tarajal than run further south in Gran Canaria. It has been noted that there is sometimes a security issue in the marinas in Fuerteventura, as always lock you boat and don't leave valuables in sight. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GUIDES AND SERVICES FOR YACHTS IN FUERTEVENTURA
The “Continent in Miniature” is how the tourist office
describes this neatly round island. Gran Canaria offers more
scenic diversity than any of the other islands. There are
the sands of Maspalomas in the south, the subtropical
forests in the interior andrugged mountains. Las
Palmas, of course home to the ARC is also where you will
find every conceivable boat chandler.
What does it offer the passing (or staying put
sailor)? Marina Las Palmas is huge, however it is also
dirty and overcrowded, this is offset by having a plethora
of chandlers and engineers.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GUIDES AND SERVICES FOR
YACHTS IN GRAN CANARIA
The largest of the Canaries is also the most popular with
tourists. In Santa Cruz you’ll find a lively
carnival that takes over the capital for three weeks in
February, a lot of sailors head there to soak up the
carnival atmosphere. Travel inland and pine forests soon
give way to the Teide National Park, home to Mount
Teide, Spain’s highest peak at a whopping 3718m.
What does it offer the passing (or staying put sailor)? Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a great place for chandlers and shopping. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GUIDES AND SERVICES FOR YACHTS TENERIFE
This northwesterly island is known as the “Beautiful Island”.
The entire island has been declared a UNESCO biosphere
reserve. The scenic highlight is the Caldera de Taburiente
National Park where the finest views of the archipelago can be
seen from Roque de los Muchachos at 2396m. Santa Cruz de
la Palma, is an attractive historic bolt-hole on the ocean that
is well worth a day or two of exploration.
What does it off the passing (or staying put sailor)? La Palma will re-charge you, but you might want to think about provisioning in one of the larger islands. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GUIDES AND SERVICES FOR YACHTS LA PALMA
Among all that boat gear you might want to stow a pair of good
walking boots, mountainous La Gomera is less of a beach escape
and more suited to those with an energetic adventurous streak.
The island’s routes really are spectacular, with a well-marked
trail network snaking out across the whole of La Gomera. The
local wine is a must to try, as is the Almagrote, a spicy cheese
What does it off the passing (or staying put sailor)? La
Palma will re-charge you, but you might want to think about
provisioning in one of the larger islands. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON
GUIDES AND SERVICES FOR YACHTS LA GOMERA
This is where Columbus said goodbye to Europe and it still
feels a deeply dramatic place, all sheer cliffs, rugged hills
and twisting roads. Tourism is fairly low key here as it's
not too easy to get to unless you have your own boat! This is
where you escape modern life.
What does it off the passing (or staying put sailor)? La Palma will re-charge you, but you might want to think about provisioning in one of the larger islands. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GUIDES AND SERVICES FOR YACHTS EL HIERRO
Spain also the Canary Islands are considered relatively safe,
however as with anywhere in the world, lock your boat/car, place
valuables out of sight. On the whole you will find the
locals more than happy to welcome you to their islands, having
said that be aware that pickpockets and low grade thieves
operate everywhere in the world even here. The British
Government has this
The Canary Islands also has its own security " Canary Islands Security Unit (USCAN)", along with a detailed English language website, they take security seriously - helping to ensure that we are all safe, click here for more information.
Spanish hospitals are good, and there is a wide choice of both private and state run. If you are a European Citizen then you will receive free health care in the state run hospitals, ensure that you are carrying your European Health Insurance Card, also your passport. Prescriptions are not too expensive, and there will be always at least one Pharmacy open within walking distance.
What are marina prices like in the Canary Islands? On the whole they are very reasonable compared to the Mediterranean. The private marinas tend to offer free wifi, not so much the government run ones. For other aspects of your stay, car hire is available almost everywhere, but maybe think about using local bus services, they are clean, efficient and cheap. In Arrecife, Lanzarote there is a FREE bus that runs the whole length of the city, and has a stop on the road outside the marina more information here.
Although inter-island travel isn’t as
popular in the Canaries as it is elsewhere, there is still
plenty of potential to travel between the islands.
Fuerteventura is well-served by ferries and Lanzarote in
particular is very easy to get to. The ferry journey between
Corralejo, in the North of Fuerteventura, and Playa Blanca in
Lanzarote takes just 25 minutes and is served by a number of
Fuerteventura is, perhaps, a little less-well served by flight connections and the only direct routes in operation are to Gran Canaria and Tenerife North. Binter Canarias is the dominant inter-island airline, and while direct flight options might be limited, they do offer transfer tickets to all of the other islands. For the moment, a 20kg checked-in bag is still included in the price of a ticket (subject to change, check when booking!), and you won’t need to re-check your bag if you have booked a connecting flight with them. A new competitor, CanaryFly now also operates on the Fuerteventura to Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura to Tenerife North routes.One reason why island-hopping isn’t that popular in the Canaries, is the very large subsidy that is only applied to residents of the Canary Islands. This has had a huge impact on the elasticity of the market and means that while subsidised fares are low for residents, fares for non-residents are very expensive. It is sometimes cheaper to fly to the UK from Fuerteventura and then back to Tenerife, than to travel directly between the islands!
While Lanzarote may be the easiest island to get to from Corralejo, if you are staying in the South of Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria is closer and the two-hour ferry from Morro Jable brings you right into the city centre of Las Palmas.Besides the ferries from Morro Jable and Corralejo, Naviera Armas also operate ferries from Puerto del Rosario to both Las Palmas (>5 hours) and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (9 hours). Combination tickets to go from Morro Jable to Santa Cruz de Tenerife via Las Palmas are also available from both Naviera Armas and Fred Olsen (particularly useful when taking a car).The small island of Isla de Lobos, off the North coast of Fuerteventura can also be visited on a day trip from Corralejo port (there are several operators).
If you do plan to take a rental car to another island, you must pre-arrange this with the car hire company – even if you plan to return the car to the same location as you picked it up. The ferry may even refuse to allow you to take the car on board unless you can show them express permission from the car hire firm.
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