The last trip I took while abroad in Madrid was to the Canary Islands. It wasn’t for leisure, rather a trip for my astronomy course. In order to pass, we had to spend four days in the Canary Islands and complete lab observations. To say this was my favorite school trip ever would be an understatement. Science was never my strongest subject in my academic career, but I fell in love with astronomy during this trip. The Canary Islands has near-perfect weather conditions, making it great for star gazing.
Below, I’m sharing some of the things I remember seeing/doing in the Canary Islands (specifically La Palma and Tenerife):
Where to stay:
- H10 Taburiente Playa: I highly recommend this hotel if you’re visiting La Palma. It’s close to the Los Cancajos beach (see below) and has a lot to offer! From swimming pools (yes plural), ocean views from your terrace, large rooms, beautiful decor and a wide range of cuisine; there’s something for everyone.
What to see/do
- Playa De Los Cancajos: Located on La Palma island, Playa De Los Cancajos provides a beautiful black sand beach. The crystal clear water washing up on the black sand was memorizing. South of the capital, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Playa De Los Cancajos offers many bars, cafes and restaurants. I’ve never seen a beach so clean and untouched! At low tide you can spot crabs hanging out on the rocks.
- El Caletón de Garachico: Go for a swim in this natural pool! Garachico was once a thriving port but mother nature had other plans. Centuries ago, Garachico dealt with floods, fires, plagues and the Montaña Negra volcano erupting. The lava from this eruption allowed many natural pools to form, like El Caletón. El Caletón is probably the most famous natural pool in Garachico. There’s shallow and deep parts to the natural pool, so you can relax or plunge from a rock!
- Teide Observatory: Located in Tenerife on Mount Teide, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Teide Observatory is an astronomical observatory. You can visit the observatory for the day and look at the clouds below you. I was fortunate enough to spend several days in this observatory, which was a life-changing experience. Watching the sunrise and sunset above the clouds is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Be aware that it’s very windy when you’re that high up; it can also be very cold during the evening, so pack appropriately.
- Roque de los Muchachos Observatory: This observatory, located in La Palma, is home to the largest optical telescope. It’s also the second best location for astronomers in the northern hemisphere. Like the Teide Observatory, Roque de los Muchachos offers stunning views above the clouds.
What to eat/drink:
- Sabor Isleño: After beachin’ it at Playa De Los Cancajos, head over to Sabor Isleño for some drinks! The staff was friendly when I went, even giving my group and I free shots.
The Canary Island provided a lot of firsts for me. First time experiencing a black sand beach, natural pool, being above the clouds and sleeping in an observatory. I would highly recommend everyone experience the Canary Islands at some point in their life!
Have any of you been to any of the Canary Islands? What was your favorite island? Let me know in the comments!