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Villa Rentals in the Canaries - The Canary Islands (made up of Gran Canaria, Tenerife, LanzaroteFuerteventura, La Gomera and several smaller islands) offer some of the very best value for money holidays, with regular inexpensive charter and no-frills flights, plenty of villa accommodation, good roads and cheap car hire.
It’s no wonder the Canary Islands used to be known as Las Islas Fortunas – the lucky isles. In the coldest month – January – the temperature is around 21 degrees. The islands have the lowest number of rainy days in Europe and winters are among Europe’s sunniest. Located as far south as the Sahara Desert and about 60 miles off the African coast, the Canaries enjoy the clear, unpolluted waters of the Atlantic. Summers are hot but not sweltering.
The character of the islands varies considerably. The most developed and greenest – in the sense of vegetation – are Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Both are big and mountainous enough to have noticeably different weather around the islands (generally, drier and hotter in the south).
Gran Canaria, which is nick-named the ‘Island Continent’ because of the variety of the landscape, has excellent beaches, including the massive Saharan dunes of Maspalomas. Big brash Playa del Ingles has a huge beach which is popular with the young and has excellent family and medical facilities. The rest of the island is a place of richly diverse vegetation, culture and climate. Deserts and arid vistas give way to lush mountains with tropical vegetation. Several quieter resorts such as San Agustin and Puerto Rico suit families.
New, tastefully-developed seaside settlements such as Tauro have begun to offer a wider range of exclusive sea and golf villas. Along with the popular and picturesque Puerto de Mogan, they provide independent alternatives to accommodation in hotels and the older apartment blocks which were previously available only on a package holiday basis.
Tenerife doesn’t have as many beaches, but it does have the beauty of usually snow-capped Mount Teide in Las Canadas national park. It’s the liveliest of the Canaries for night life, and has plenty of choice in villas, from Los Gigantes in the west with its massive cliffs to the larger resorts of Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos.
It’s on the drier, less populated island of Lanzarote (and to a lesser extent Fuerteventura) that privately-owned villas have really taken off. You’ll find only isolated patches of greenery on these volcanic islands, but there’s a stark beauty to the conical mountains, stony plains, sand dunes and old lava fields.
Lanzarote doesn’t allow high rise buildings and tourist development is strictly controlled. The result is high quality, tasteful villa development with good facilities. The biggest resort is Puerto del Carmen, with a long sweep of golden beach and, round the corner, a fishing harbour with several excellent restaurants. It’s quite a busy resort with plenty of life at night, but most villas are in quiet areas away from traffic, often with sea views.
The smaller resort of Playa Blanca in the south is quieter and has the amazing beaches of the Papagayo peninsula on its doorstep, while Costa Teguise, a few miles north of the capital Arrecife, also has good beaches and a wide variety of villa developments. Most people will want to hire a car, as there’s plenty to see – from the Timanfaya national park with its ‘fire mountain’ natural barbecue to the Jameos del Agua caves.
Most villas in Fuerteventura are in and around the northern resort of Corralejo – a pleasant spot for an evening stroll followed by a meal outdoors. Stretching to the south are massive sand dunes fringed by one long beach. Other possibilities are Parque Holandes, a few miles north of the capital Puerto del Rosario, and little El Cotillo on the west coast, which is sometimes windswept but has some wonderful beaches of fine, pale sand sheltered by natural breakwaters of volcanic rock. We hope you found our villa rentals canaries guide useful in helping you decide on what to do and where to go next!