This tour of Spain's Canary Islands allows you to discover the entirety of this famous archipelago, exploring Tenerife, La Palma, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Gomera, and La Graciosa with hikes, mountain biking, and snorkeling, as well as road trips through the core of the islands and along rocky coastline. You'll discover traditional alpine villages, sand dunes, national parks, and idyllic beaches, as well as forests, waterfalls, and arid deserts. Highlights include exploring the volcanic activity on Lanzarote, hiking the Caldera de Taburiente, and visiting the highest villages of Gran Canaria.

Highlights

  • Hike through the natural parks of Teide, Garajonay, and Caldera de Taburiente
  • Conquer La Gomera's highest peak, Pico de Garajonay
  • Visit the highest villages on Gran Canaria and hike through its forests
  • Discover the volcanic history in Timanfaya National Park
  • Cycle and snorkel on La Graciosa, learning about traditional fishing techniques

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santa Cruz de la Palma - Explore the city Santa Cruz de La Palma
Day 2 Hike in the Forest of Los Tilos and the Cubo de la Galga valley Santa Cruz de La Palma
Day 3 Visit the Caldera de Taburiente and enjoy a 10-mile hike Santa Cruz de La Palma
Day 4 Take the ferry to La Gomera - Conquer the island's tallest peak San Sebastian
Day 5 Trek Hermigua Valley to Vallehermoso San Sebastian
Day 6 Transfer to Tenerife - Walk the canyons of Teno Alto Garachico
Day 7 Explore El Teide National Park Garachico
Day 8 Bike through the forests of Anaga Country Park Garachico
Day 9 Ferry to Gran Canaria - Visit a coffee plantation Agaete
Day 10 Discover the canyons of Los Cernicalos and visit the village of Teror Agaete
Day 11 Visit the tallest villages on Gran Canaria - Transfer to Las Palmas Las Palmas
Day 12 Explore the wild coast of Fuerteventura at Cofete Beach Betancuria
Day 13 Hike the Crest Trail from Cardón to Pajara Betancuria
Day 14 Visit the dunes of Corralejo - Take the ferry to Lanzarote Arrecife
Day 15 Discover the volcanoes of Timanfaya National Park Arrecife
Day 16 Discover the works of César Manrique - Ferry to La Graciosa La Graciosa
Day 17 Mountain bike and snorkel through the island of La Graciosa La Graciosa
Day 18 Depart La Graciosa  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santa Cruz de la Palma - Explore the city

The Canary Islands, Spain
The Canary Islands, Spain

Welcome to the Canary Islands!

Upon arriving at the airport in La Palma, a private driver will transfer you to your accommodation in the island's capital city, Santa Cruz de La Palma. After settling into your room, take some time to explore the city. Looking out across the Atlantic Ocean, you'll enjoy beautiful flowered balconies along Avenida Maritima, as well as colorful, colonial houses and an array of renaissance architecture with palaces, convents, and churches. 

Start with a walk around the Old Town, discovering the city's interesting past. Founded in 1493, Santa Cruz de La Palma became an important port on the route between Europe and the colonies in the Americas. To learn more, you can visit the Naval Museum, situated inside a boat, or the Island Museum. Stroll through some of the main squares and plazas, then grab street food at one of the markets or tapas in the cafes lining the beach.

In the evening, you'll enjoy a hosted dinner, preparing you with delicious food and information about your trip.

Day 2: Hike in the Forest of Los Tilos and the Cubo de la Galga valley

Hiking Trails and Viewpoints in Las Nieves Nature Park
Hiking Trails and Viewpoints in Las Nieves Nature Park

In the morning, you'll transfer to the northern part of La Palma, to the Bosque de Los Tilos (Forest of Los Tilos), an ecosystem filled with mountains, waterfalls, hiking trails, and enormous laurel trees. This protected green space is set within the much larger Las Nieves Nature Park. As you drive and walk, your guide will share the area's traditions and religion, as well as the importance of its forests.

After spending some time walking in the mountains, you'll drive toward the coast and stop at the natural pools in Charco Azul, as well as the banana plantations that surround the town of San Andrés. Your drive will finish in San Bartolo, where you'll enjoy lunch among baby dragon trees and admire one of the best viewpoints on this side of the island.

In the afternoon, you'll return to the park and hike through the forests of Cubo de la Galga. This route will take you up a slight incline, running along a shaded area for an excellent late-afternoon hike. You'll enjoy views of leafy hillsides, dry riverbeds, and, on a clear day, the ocean. In about two hours, you'll return to the trailhead and start your return to Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Day 3: Visit the Caldera de Taburiente and enjoy a 10-mile hike

Views of the Caldera de Taburiente
Views of the Caldera de Taburiente

You'll start the day with an early breakfast at your hotel, followed by a 1.5-hour drive to the viewpoint of Los Brecitos. You'll continue into the Caldera de Taburiente, one of the largest erosion craters in the world. The Caldera has a diameter of nearly six miles (9 km) and a perimeter of about 17 miles (27 km). Its unique structure gives the crater a sunny, windless climate throughout the year, offering excellent hiking opportunities.

After enjoying the views and learning a bit about the regional environment, you'll start a 10-mile (16-km) hike through the park. Today's route descends nearly 3,300 feet (1,000 m) along the Barranco de las Angustias River, one of the most popular areas of the island due to its dense, jungle-like forests.

For lunch, you'll enjoy a picnic amongst the trees. After about five hours of hiking, you'll start your drive back to Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Day 4: Take the ferry to La Gomera - Conquer the island's tallest peak

Hiking in Garajonay National Park
Hiking in Garajonay National Park

An early ferry takes you from La Palma to the island of La Gomera. Known as a destination for nature lovers, the island's wild, mountainous landscape is full of contrasts. Within a few miles, you’ll go from palm-covered valleys to vast canyons, arid coastal areas, and dense, ancient forests. 

Upon arrival, you'll make your way to Garajonay National Park. Today's hike ends at the highest mountain on the island, Pico de Garajonay which sits at nearly 5,000 feet (1,487 m) high. In total, the route will take about 1.5 hours, passing through 1.3 miles (2.2 km) of forested, mountain scenery.

In the afternoon, you'll settle into your accommodation in the coastal city of San Sebastian de La Gomera. Although it's small, San Sebastian is an interesting and colorful city with a long history. The town’s main attractions are related to the voyages of Columbus in the years surrounding his exploration of the Americas. The center includes a large park, an archeology museum, and a public beach. Grab dinner near the port, or along the streets of the historic Old Town.

Day 5: Trek Hermigua Valley to Vallehermoso

The Rainforests of La Gomera
The Rainforests of La Gomera

The central peaks of La Gomera—often enveloped in misty fog—are home to dense rain forests. Its permanent greenery contrasts sharply with the aridity of the coast and lower zones of the island. Today you'll explore this area in the northern part of the island in Garajonay National Park.

As you drive out of San Sebastian, you'll stop at a couple of viewpoints along the way. The trailhead starts near Valle de Hermigua, which is near the visitor's center of the park. Your 3.5-hour hike twists through forests of towering trees to the massive rock, Roque Cano. As a symbol of the Vallehermoso Valley, the rock overlooks the town of the same name, which was once the main economic center of La Gomera. You'll climb about 650 feet (200 m) and descend around 2,300 feet (700 m), enjoying lunch along the way.

In the afternoon, you'll stop at one of the beaches along the north coast, such as Playa de La Caleta. Here you can relax and swim after a long day of hiking. In the evening, you'll return to San Sebastian.

Day 6: Transfer to Tenerife - Walk the canyons of Teno Alto

The village of Masca
The village of Masca

Awake early to catch a short ferry to the most popular of the Canary Islands, Tenerife. Today's hike starts straight away at Teno Country Park, located on the northwest side of the island. As one of Tenerife's most beautiful natural areas, the park has maintained much of its ecological, scenic, and cultural wealth.

Your destination for today will be Teno Alto, a remote village known for its history and tradition. The circular hike begins in El Palmar, leading to Teno Alto where you'll taste the region's famous local cheese and enjoy lunch. On the way back to El Palmar, you'll pass through the crests of Barracan, paths above the canyons of Teno with lots of panoramic views of the village of Masca and the entire region of Teno. The 3.5-hour hike requires an elevation gain of about 1,800 feet (550 m).

In the afternoon, you'll drive to your accommodation in the coastal town of Garachico. Here you can walk along the rocky cliffs to find hidden beaches. In the evening, enjoy a sunset dinner at one of the cafes or restaurants lining the waterfront.

Day 7: Explore El Teide National Park

The Landscapes of El Teide National Park
The Landscapes of El Teide National Park

After breakfast, you'll explore the island's most popular attraction, El Teide National Park. Aside from being celebrated on Tenerife, this is also the most visited national park in Europe.

As you near El Teide, you can admire the landscapes of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which range from shrub-filled deserts with quirky rock formations to snow-capped mountains. You'll start in the area of Las Cañadas del Teide, a huge dry caldera with colored rocks and dark lava flows. After walking around the grounds, you can visit the park's museum in Los Portillos and enjoy a picnic lunch of regional specialties.

Other activities to enjoy in the park include walking through the red rocks of Los Roques de Garcia or taking the cable car to La Rambleta at over 11,000 feet (3550m) for views of Pico Viejo. In the late afternoon, you'll return to your accommodation in Garachico.

Day 8: Bike through the forests of Anaga Country Park

The Lush Forests of Anaga Country Park
The Lush Forests of Anaga Country Park

Today begins with an early breakfast with your guide, followed by a short drive to Anaga Country Park, which is located on the northeast side of Tenerife. Declared a Biosphere Reserve, the park has preserved its natural assets by protecting wildlife habitat, ecosystems, and rural villages. Due to these protections, the area is home to a wealth of fauna and flora, including many endemic species.

One of the best ways to enjoy the park is on a mountain bike, which allows you to go deeper and higher into the Laurisilva Rainforest. After a 1.5-hour ride, you'll enjoy lunch in a guachinche, a typical bodega and family-run restaurant. You'll return to Garachico in the late afternoon. Tomorrow you will visit another island, so enjoy your final night along the coast of Tenerife.

Day 9: Ferry to Gran Canaria - Visit a coffee plantation

Farmland in the Valley of Agaete
Farmland in the Valley of Agaete

You'll catch the early-morning ferry from Tenerife to the island of Gran Canaria. Upon arriving, your driver will take you through the fertile soils of the Valley of Agaete, a picturesque micro-climate known for its farming. You'll pass by coffee plantations, vineyards, and fields of fruit trees.

Along the way, you'll stop at a coffee farm, learning about the coffee-making process and tasting the different varieties. You'll also visit an organic orange farm and enjoy lunch in a typical tapas bar.

In the afternoon, you'll make stops in the towns of Arucas and Galdar, exploring their historical centers and Galdar's cave, “La Cueva". Near the town of Santa Maria de Guia, you'll taste the famous cheese queso de flor (cheeseflower), which is uniquely made with thistle.

In the evening, you'll settle into your accommodation in the coastal town of Agaete. If you have time, you can visit the town's botanical gardens or walk out to one of its rural beaches. 

Day 10: Discover the canyons of Los Cernicalos and visit the village of Teror

The Architecture of Teror Village
The Architecture of Teror Village

Enjoy a hearty breakfast to prepare you for your 2.5-hour hike in the canyons of Los Cernicalos, also known as the Gorge of the Kestrel. This canyon is one of the most interesting areas of Gran Canaria, with narrow gorges, rare flora, and unexpected landscapes. Your 4-mile hike follows a stream through olive trees, oaks, willows, and bamboo canes, ascending and descending about 800 feet in elevation.

After the hike, you'll explore the city of Teror, a picturesque village filled with pedestrian streets lined with houses and wooden balconies. You can admire the different architectural characteristics and visit some of the religious sights, such as the 18th-century Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pino, the Monasterio Cisterciense, and the other churches in the town. Enjoy lunch in Teror before heading back to Agaete for the evening.

Day 11: Visit the tallest villages on Gran Canaria - Transfer to Las Palmas

Views of Roque Nublo from Tejeda
Views of Roque Nublo from Tejeda

Today you'll discover the highest part of Gran Canaria Island by visiting the two highest villages, Tejeda and Artenara. Both are great examples of the archaeological wealth of the island, featuring typical white plaster and brown tiles.

First, you'll enjoy a short hike in the nearby natural park that encompasses the Tamadaba Forest. You can choose between two routes, the first following a picturesque irrigation system channel while the other takes you to Roque Nublo, the emblematic rock on the top of the Island. Either option takes about one hour and involves a scenic picnic lunch.

In the afternoon, you'll transfer to the capital of the island, the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. After settling into your accommodation, explore the city's beaches or the neighborhood of Isleta, which features a large nature preserve.

Day 12: Explore the wild coast of Fuerteventura at Cofete Beach

The Wild Coast at Cofete Beach
The Wild Coast at Cofete Beach

It's time to say goodbye to Gran Canaria and transfer to the island of Fuerteventura via a 3.5-hour ferry. You'll arrive in time to enjoy lunch before exploring the wildest part of the island on its western coastline. You'll visit the lighthouse of Jandia and Cofete Beach, braving rugged dirt roads along the way. The west coast of Fuerteventura is known to be wild, with large waves, strong currents, sandy beaches, and the Jandia Mountains providing a dramatic backdrop.

After visiting the west coast, you'll continue down the road to Pajara, where you'll enjoy views of rust-colored mountains. Your final destination for the day is Betancuria, the first capital of the island and where you'll find tonight's accommodation. This is a small town set within the Rural Park Betancuria

Day 13: Hike the Crest Trail from Cardón to Pajara

The Landscape Between Betancuria and Pajara
The Landscape Between Betancuria and Pajara

Today's mountain hike takes you along the Crest Trail. Starting in Cardón, you'll make your way through a small valley until El Cuchillo de Los Pasos. The route enjoys panoramic views of the island, passing through Filo de Tejeda before going down to the small agricultural village of Pajara by the canyons of Las Cañadas. Here you'll enjoy a picnic lunch featuring local products from Fuerteventura. 

In total, the hike is about eight miles (13 km), requiring a 1,000-foot (300-m) ascent. It should take around four hours, so you'll return to Betancuria in the late afternoon. Tonight you'll enjoy a hosted dinner in the small village.

Day 14: Visit the dunes of Corralejo - Take the ferry to Lanzarote

Betancuria, Fuerteventura Island
Betancuria, Fuerteventura Island

Today begins with an hour-long walk through Barranco de La Peña, an interesting geological area of the Canary Islands filled with arid hills, creekside forests, and a rocky coastline.

Afterward, you'll return to explore the city of Betancuria—the old capital of the island—which takes its name from one of the conquerors, Jean de Betancourt. Betancuria is a tiny village but it's filled with history and one of the most beautiful valleys of the island. Here you'll enjoy lunch while admiring its streets and views.

In the afternoon, you'll make your way to the natural park, Parque Natural de Corralejo. The terrain is a unique and sandy desert with coastal dunes that seem to fall into the ocean.

At the end of the day, you'll enjoy a 30-minute ferry crossing to the island of Lanzarote. Upon arriving, you'll transfer to the city of Arrecife. Settle into your accommodation, then explore its streets, walking out to its castle, Castillo de San Gabriel, set on a small islet. You can also relax on the public beach Playa Reducto, then find dinner at a seaside restaurant as the sun begins to set.

Day 15: Discover the volcanoes of Timanfaya National Park

Volcanic Landscape of Lanzarote
Volcanic Landscape of Lanzarote

Lanzarote is the perfect island to explore the geologic history of the archipelago, where you can discover the most recent volcanism with the eruptions in Timanfaya National Park (which occurred from 1730-1736 and in 1824). You'll traverse the protected zones of this special area, which continue to preserve the island's volcanoes.

Due to exceptional climate conditions, the state of conservation of the volcanic landscape is still intact. You'll visit craters, volcanic tubes and channels, and seas of lava. The hike ends with the ascent of Guardilama Mountain in the center of the vineyards of La Geria. You'll be in the heart of Lanzarote's agriculture area to learn its atypical techniques. The hike is about 5.5 miles (9 km), requiring 3.5 hours and 650 feet (200 m) of elevation gain.

To finish the day, you'll enjoy a visit to the geothermal areas of the park, plus a bus ride around the fire mountains. Before returning to Arrecife, you'll top to enjoy a wine tasting at one of the area's vineyards.

Day 16: Discover the works of César Manrique - Ferry to La Graciosa

Interior of César Manrique's Mirador del Rio
Interior of César Manrique's Mirador del Rio

The first stop of the day is the César Manrique Foundation to visit one of his old houses that was half-built on a lava flow. César Manrique was a local artist, sculptor, architect, and activist, known well to the community of Lanzarote. His home, along with his collection of paintings, plans, and sketches, will give you a good idea of his lifetime work. Enjoy part of Manrique's collection with pieces by Picasso and Miro.

Next, you'll visit the Jameos del Agua, one of Manrique's masterpieces that includes a section of a volcanic tube decorated by the artist. Then you'll explore the famous Mirador del Rio, one of the most beautiful points of view on the island. From here, you'll have the perfect glimpse of the Famara Cliffs and the small islands of La Graciosa, Montaña Clara, and Alegranza.

In the afternoon, you'll head to Lanzarote's northernmost village, Orzola, to catch the ferry to La Graciosa. This picturesque island is almost completely covered by the natural park, Parque Natural Archipiélago Chinijo. Settle into your accommodation and enjoy a sunset dinner in a seaside restaurant.

Day 17: Mountain bike and snorkel through the island of La Graciosa

Volcanic Terrain of La Graciosa
Volcanic Terrain of La Graciosa

Although La Graciosa belongs to Lanzarote, the island's inhabitants consider it the eighth island of the Canaries. La Graciosa is a very curious place where time seems to stop and people live to the rhythm of the tides. It's the perfect place to enjoy your final day of the trip, surrounded by the beauty of the islands and the relaxed culture of its people.

Today's adventure will take you on a 13.5-mile (22-km) cycling route around the entire northern region of La Graciosa. The track varies between sandy areas, coastal paths, and idyllic beaches. You'll discover a little bit of everything and enjoy breaks with views of the ocean and the island's sandy, arid environment, randomly dotted with white-washed settlements.

At one of the beaches, you'll stop for an optional snorkeling experience with a local guide. As you hover along the water's surface, you'll discover the numerous marine species that call these warm waters home. Afterward, you'll learn about traditional fishing and sun-drying methods used on the island, followed by a seafood lunch.

In the evening, you'll return to your accommodation where you can relax by the ocean for your final night in the Canary Islands.

Day 18: Depart La Graciosa

La Graciosa Island, Spain
La Graciosa Island, Spain
Enjoy your final morning in the Canary Islands. When you're ready, you'll transfer to the airport in Lanzarote in time to catch your flight.