Across all seven Canary Islands, there are four one-of-a-kind national parks that hold volcanic activity, archaeological sites and breathtaking waterfalls. You can jump on the cable car and take a trip up to the peak of Mount Teide in Tenerife, or ride a camel into the rocky landscape of Lanzarote.
Here we have recommended four different national parks in the Canary Islands that you shouldn’t miss.
Caldera de Taburiente National Park, La Palma
This national park is home to some amazing hiking trails with stunning views of the surrounding islands. Situated in the northern part is the Caldera de Taburiente itself, a large depression in the land that’s enclosed within 2,000-metre-high rock walls. This 6-kilometre-wide caldron can be seen from the natural balcony at the Cumbrecita viewpoint. Here you will have the best seat in the house as you’re situated at the edge of the caldera. Although, if you’re afraid of heights, don’t get too close to the edge.
Other natural beauties you should visit are the many mesmerising waterfalls near the observation centre. As you watch the water cascading down, you may also notice the low clouds gracefully flowing down the cliff edges. Additionally, you can have an extraordinary experience of bathing in the bottom of one of these waterfalls.
Finally, if you fancy a more active holiday when in La Palma and wish to hike around this park, you can via the many signposted trails that start near the viewpoint and spread all around the grounds. If you’d prefer an evening stroll to witness the beautiful sunset, you can take part in a night sky excursion and walk through the heart of the glorious island.
Garajonay National Park, La Gomera
The Garajonay National Park is situated in the heart of La Gomera and is a dense, laurel forest that stretches over 40 square metres. This humid, subtropical region provides 18 signposted hiking trails on which you can witness archaeological sites and rock formations that you won’t get to see anywhere else. A prominent feature of this popular tourist site and commonly used symbol of the island is Roque Agando, a well-known natural landmark within the park.
When walking through this beautiful landscape, you will come across plenty of low clouds and a humid, misty atmosphere. If you’re lucky, you might be able to witness the horizontal rain that encourages the growth of the lush, leafy vegetation. Keep an eye out for the variety of bird, reptile and amphibian species, including pigeons, lizards and frogs. At the high point of your hike, you may come across an amazing view of Mount Teide, a 3,718-metre tall volcano on neighbouring Tenerife.
Teide National Park, Tenerife
The Teide National Park is in Tenerife and is the largest in the Canary Islands. You have the option to ride the cable car up to the peak of Mount Teide, where you can witness the stunning views of both the stratovolcano itself and the nearby islands of El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera. This gondola takes you on an eight-minute journey up 1,200 metres, where you can visit the bar, restaurant and vantage points at the top. Here you can take in the magnificent views and watch the low clouds roll past.
If you’d prefer to walk around this national park then you’re in luck as there’s a multitude of hiking trails that’ll take you all around the stunning island. When walking around the volcano, you may notice the contrast between the black lava tongues running down the side and with the white, snowy peak. If you visit during the spring, you will be surprised by the many red buglosses scattered nearby. This plant sprouts bright red flowers and can grow up to 9.8 feet tall, so you can’t miss them. Also, make sure you keep an eye out for the various different species of gecko and lizard that may be patrolling the area.
Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote
This park is located in the south-west of Lanzarote and stretches across 51 square kilometres of volcanic soil. The one active volcano that can still be seen to this day is Timanfaya and it provides the name for the park. Tourists flood here to experience the hot surface temperature and geysers that demonstrate just how hot the inner core is.
While visiting this landscape, you should see the El Diablo sign which is a tourist favourite and a symbol of the land. It was created by the Spanish artist César Manrique and consists of the fire devil holding a pitchfork, with the words ‘Parque National Timanfaya’ carved into the wood. This was originally an image representing the restaurant located within the grounds but has grown to be an emblem of the island.
If you fancy trying something new then you should take a camel ride along one of the trails that leads into the park. However, if you’d rather explore by foot, there are paths which will take you up and around the vast landscape.
If you would like to book a holiday with us to one of the Canary Islands mentioned above, contact us via our website or call us on 0800 021 3237.