Helpful Tips for Planning a Trip to the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands is a vibrant mix of European, African and South American cultures–and very friendly people. Each day on the archipelago can provide a new adventure–climb a snow-capped volcano, marvel at humongous tropical lizards or unwind at an idyllic beach. Of course, at the end of the day, a vacation can only be as good as how you plan it. Below are tips that can help you:
If you want to save money on your vacation, stay put. Inter-island plane and ferry costs will definitely add up. Rather than island-hopping, you can save some cash by focusing on all of the charms of a single island instead of skimming them all on the surface. Also, come in the spring or fall when hotel prices are lower and there are less tourists. And when booking, do it early and target the big cities, such as Sta. Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas, where budget hotels are mostly found.
The Canaries use the euro (EUR1 EUR) as Spain. Because the euro-U.S. dollar exchange rate fluctuates frequently, make sure to check current exchange rate before you leave. Most restaurants and shops accept major credit cards.
You’ll find each cuisine conceivable in Gran Canaria and Tenerife. However, if you only want try one of the islands’ gastronomic specialties, order sea bream or parrot fish, which are often poached and eaten with fresh vegetables and hot sauce. Also worth trying is the side dish, sea salted potatoes served with spicy pepper sauce. In Fuerteventura, many restaurants offer majorero, or local goat cheese. And if you visit Lanzarote, do sample some of their excellent wines, which are made of grapes grown in volcanic ash.
Sunburn is the biggest risk you’ll encounter when you travel to the Canaries. At the beach or in the park, drink a lot of water and slather on sunscreen. Also be alert when in jam-packed touristy areas. All valuables must be left at the hotel, or at least, never leave them unattended if you must bring them with you.
By plane and by car are the two smartest ways to get around the Canary Islands. There are bus systems all over the islands, they don’t run frequently enough, so they’re not that useful to tourists. And with the islands’ attractions being far too spread out, you can’t see them completely on foot.
If you plan to go around by boat, there are lots of companies offering inter-island ferry. There are airports on all the islands, but the busiest ones are the Tenerife South Airport (TFS) and Tenerife North Airport (TFN), and Gran Canaria Airport (LPA).
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