There are two island groups that belong to Spain: the Canary Islands with their predominantly African influence in the Atlantic Ocean off the North coast of Africa and the Balearic islands off the coast of mainland Spain in the Mediterranean, which are typically Spanish.
The Balearic Islands
If it’s the sunshine you seek then on the islands of Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza, Cabrera and Formentera you are guaranteed the sunshine almost all year round. Apart from the beautiful weather the islands have the most beautiful and varied scenery, as well as a wealth of historical attractions.
The island of Majorca:
This, the largest of the Balearic Islands, has a well-developed tourist infrastructure. There are excellent beach resorts in the Alcudia area on the south of the island, where the mountains offer great opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing. Excellent golf courses can be found along the island’s east coast.
The island of Ibiza:
This is the island of parties where music can be heard throughout the night in Ibiza Town and San Antonio. There is a market for fresh food and handicrafts. But, Ibiza is not just a party-island it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with many historical landmarks. You reach Formentera by boat from Ibiza.
Definitely for those who want a little quiet time. Here you can settle down on your own secluded beach or take in a few of the historical sites which date as far back as 1300BC.
Is part of a small archipelago of islands and is the largest. There are no human inhabitants as the whole area is now a nature reserve and home to many species of birds and plants. The only part of the island open to visitors is around Puerto de Cabrera. Diving is only permitted at Cala Galiota and Es Dimoni.
Just south of Ibiza is the island of Formentera, well loved by those who enjoy nude sunbathing. July and August are popular tourist months but outside these months the island is not so busy and peace and quiet reigns. To get to the island you can either take a boat from Ibiza or the regular passenger service from the mainland.
The Canary Islands
These seven volcanic islands in the Atlantic are popular among those seeking warmth and sunshine during Europe’s winter months. These are islands of great contrast from the High mountain peaks to the lava black-sand beaches on the larger islands to tiny islands that are hardly there at all.
Las Palmas is the main city on the northeast coast. With its many holiday resorts and every changing landscape the island offers the tourist every type of holiday activity imaginable. There are all-night parties for the party animal and for the active holiday maker there is mountain biking, diving, golf, and surfing. Hiking into the centre of the island to visit the cave villages is a popular undertaking.
This island is not only the largest in the archipelago but also the island with the most holiday resorts. It enjoys an excellent tourist infrastructure and offers the holiday tourist every kind of watersport as well as scenic drives along the mountain cliffs. Its highest peak provides a cable car ride up to the most amazing view site out over the Atlantic towards Africa.
This stark volcanic island is just the place to explore. There are the caverns of Cueva de Los Verdes formed by the lava flows of the now submerged volcano. At Puerto del Carmen on the glorious beaches are first class dive centres.
La Palma is the closest island to Morocco. A great destination for walking tours and hiking. In the centre of the island is the largest volcano crater in the world. It is an island of stupendous volcanic scenery alternating with lush forested areas.
La Gomera is one of the smaller islands of The Canary Islands , it is a lush tropical paradise. Here you can enjoy scenic hiking trails through banana plantations and green lush hills. There are some excellent golf courses and the world heritage site, Garajonay National Park.
This is a divers’ paradise with its crystal clear waters and amazing marine life. You can explore the island on horseback, or by mountain bike or take in a little whale watching. The local specialities of handmade cheese and fresh fish dishes are really worth sampling.
Only parts of the island have been developed for tourism so there are still isolated spots for those who want to get away from it all. The island is renowned for its strong winds which makes its surrounding seas ideal for kite-surfing and wind-surfing. The best beaches on the island can be found at Corralejo on the northern point of the island.