Ibiza’s reputation as a world-class clubbing destination needs no introduction. And its not all trance and techno – there are club nights of every genre here on this hedonistic Mediterranean island. You don’t have to be up to the wee hours every night either, as there are plenty of glamorous beach clubs, like Ushuaia, which let you dip your toes in the action and see some top DJs as the sun goes down.
Ibiza also has a burgeoning food scene, which encompasses everything from great-value traditional tapas bars to the most expensive restaurant in the world, Sublimotion. Many restaurants, such as Blue Marlin, serve lunch and dinner to some slick background beats, meaning that you can start dancing straight after dessert.
Meanwhile, Ibiza Town has plenty to keep you occupied during the daytime. There's its camera-ready Old Town, and its colourful hippy market, which dates back to the 70s when Ibiza gained its reputation as an artistic haven. This reputation lives on today, so take the chance to visit Ibiza’s countless galleries – dotted around the island – for an insight into this eclectic art scene.
You don’t have to be a flora-and-fauna fanatic to appreciate Gran Canaria’s natural beauty. With over 500 beaches, peaks that reach almost 2000metres and Sahara-style dunes, Gran Canaria is often referred to as a ‘miniature continent’ thanks to its diverse dramatic scenery. You can explore it via the island’s multitude of bike trails or by hiking through the countryside. Don’t miss the chance to trek up to the Roque Nublo, or Cloudy Rock. Named after its tendency to disappear among the clouds, this huge freestanding boulder sits within a lunar landscape that really does make you feel like you’re on another planet.
Relax after your exploration back in vibrant Las Palmas, the ideal base for looking around the island. Here, the cobbled streets run between Spanish colonial-style houses and shaded squares. And yet, just 20 minutes away, you’ll find awe-inspiring natural wonders like the Caldera de Bandama, a 200-year-old volcanic crater. For days spent in the city, head to the older Vegueta Quarter for the most picturesque historic buildings, including the 16th-century cathedral, and the best boutique shopping Gran Canaria has to offer.
Beautiful Menorca is all about the beaches. From hidden coves to endless stretches of golden sand, the scenery here is as unspoilt as it is idyllic. So, the best way to while away the time here is lazing around admiring it. Even compared to the other Balearic islands, life on Menorca seems to unfold slowly. Days here are spent splashing around in the crystal-clear waters of Menorca’s many white-sand beaches or pottering around the island’s abundance of prehistoric sites dating back to the Bronze Age.
Concerned that this all sounds a bit strenuous? Don’t be. Thanks to the island being predominantly flat, it’s great for walking and but cycling regardless of your fitness level. So you can spend some time in the saddle without even breaking a sweat. If you do need to cool off however, order a pomade – one of the island’s traditional drinks made with Menorcan gin, lemonade and lots of ice.
Check out our Menorca holidays .
Family-friendly Tenerife is a popular holiday destination for a reason. Aside from the guaranteed sunshine, what this place – which is the largest Canary Island –promises, is variety. Tenerife offers everything you could possibly need for a beach holiday – buzzing resorts, historic cities, sandy beaches, pretty countryside, quaint villages, a thriving restaurant scene and the largest mountain in Spain, Mount Teide. Unbeatable walks through Teide National Park allow you to explore this dormant volcano, and there's a convenient cable car which takes you straight up to a point that's just below the summit. On the eastern coast, take a walk around the puzzling Pyramids of Güímar. This group of six pyramids are shrouded in mystery – they've baffled archaeologists for centuries.
Tenerife also offers something which none of the other Canary Islands do: Carnival. Tenerife’s version is the second-biggest carnival in the world, after the one held in Rio de Janeiro, with a quarter of a million partygoers descending on the island’s capital of Santa Cruz every year. Since the 80s, every carnival has been themed, with each year starting with the selection of the Carnival Queen on the Wednesday, and finishing with the ‘entierro de la sardina’ the burial of the sardine. Keep an eye out for the special carnival events for kids, designed so that little ones can also come along and enjoy the party.
Check out our Tenerife holidays .
Majorca lines up beautiful beaches, picture-perfect scenery and enough buzz to keep you entertained. So, it's perfect for couples looking for scenic spots offering a little seclusion, without being completely cut off from the island’s nightlife. Majorca’s romantically rugged north coastline encompasses secret coves and dramatic cliffs alike. Hotspots like Port de Pollença are on hand for a bout of beachside bar action, while a seven-mile walk around the bay will take you to the Formentor peninsula, where you’ll find deserted beaches and rolling countryside. If you’re after an adventure, try a trek in the Tramuntana Mountains. This range has earned UNESCO World Heritage Site status – it’s definitely worth a visit.
Meanwhile, back in the south, the sophisticated capital of Palma has everything you’d need for a stylish city-break. Climb the charming, cobbled streets of the Old Town and you’ll encounter La Seu, Palma’s must-see gothic cathedral dating back to the 13th century. From here, escape back to the beach on a vintage wooden train, which trundles its way through mountains and fragrant orange groves to the picturesque seaside town of Sóller.
Check out our Majorca holidays .
Often described as the most unspoilt of the Canary Islands, thanks to the campaigning of architect and environmentalist César Manrique, the island retains much of its traditional white-washed charm. You can visit Manrique’s former house, which was built within a lava bubble to capitalise on Lanzarote’s volcanic landscape.
This untouched landscape makes Lanzarote perfect for sporting escapes. Windsurfers, kiteboarders and surfers of all abilities flock to the island every year, drawn by its breezy beaches with ideal conditions for riding the rolling Atlantic waves. Below the surface, Lanzarote’s clear-as-glass waters are renowned for their excellent visibility, drawing in divers from around the world. There are over 350 different varieties of fish have been spotted in the surrounding coral reefs.
Back on dry land, Lanzarote’s quiet roads and gorgeous scenery make it ideal for cyclists. Those who don’t want to be confined to the roads can tackle the island's network of over 200kilometres of cycle routes, including dirt trails and challenging off-track courses. Plus, walks through Timanfaya National Park come with some seriously beautiful scenery. But if all this activity sounds like too much exertion, there’s plenty to keep you entertained on lazier days, such as the biggest outdoor market in the Canaries, Teguise Market – the perfect place for some serious shopping.
Check out our Lanzarote holidays
Picked your ideal island?
Take a look at all our holidays to the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands. Then, get some beachy inspiration from our round-up of the best beaches in Majorca, and check out our favourite hotels in the Canary Islands.
Pssst. Head to the Discover homepage for our latest articles.
Author: Georgie Lane-Godfrey
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