Villas in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are an archipelago of otherworldly landscapes. Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife are the most sought-after islands, and cater best to tourists.

Because these islands offer something for every type of traveller, whether they’re an outdoor adventurer or a laidback sunbather, our collection of villas in the Canary Islands reflect that.

They can be an ideal base for exploring or a secluded escape for chilling by the heated pool. Ultimately, they enable you to spend quality time with your loved ones.


Which island?

  • Tenerife: The island for you if you want to party and laze on a blissed-out beach all day. You’ve got a fabulous combination of man-made fun and natural wonders.
  • Gran Canaria: More chilled out and laid-back than its neighbour, the sweeping sandy beaches make it the perfect destination for a family holiday.
  • Lanzarote: Party central, home to super-clubs and spectacular volcanic landscapes.

To steer you in the right direction, take our quiz to find out your perfect island match.

Read the Canary Islands Travel Guide

Why stay with us?

Style and character are everything at Oliver’s Travels, and our collection of handpicked villas in the Canary Islands have this in spades. We have destination experts who know the ins and outs of all our regions, picking villas that aren’t only unique, but also in the best locations. What's more, our villas are 100% family-friendly, and have the ‘wow’ factor.

Our helpful concierge team are on-hand to make your stay extra special. Whether you want a fully-stocked fridge, a local in-house chef to cook your meals, housekeeping or any other extra service – consider them your holiday genie, who will happily grant your wishes.

Why visit?

  • With temperatures still reaching the low 20s in December, it’s the perfect destination for a winter getaway.
  • The Islands offer so much diversity, from natural volcanic wonders to lush subtropical greenery and alluring beaches.
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Luxury Villas in the Canary Islands: Our Top Picks

Overview

This cluster of Spanish islands in the Atlantic is a dream holiday destination for couples, groups of friends, and families. From sweeping sandy beaches to volcanic landscapes, lively clubs, top-quality water-sports, or golf the Canaries have it all. It’s the ideal spot for a winter getaway too, offering sunny days and chilled-out nights even when the January skies are grey back home.

Getting to the islands is easy – with a flight time of just over four hours from London and dozens of daily flights from most major and regional airports.

There are two airports serving the Canaries, on Tenerife and Gran Canaria, and small hopper planes serve the other islands.

Some of the other islands

Apart from Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, there are other nice islands in the Canary Islands that you might want to visit. 

For example, La Palma is the grumbling beast of the Canaries, with plenty of volcanic activity (even though the Cumbre Vieja volcano is currently classified as 'active but dormant').

The quietest and most overlooked of all the islands is El Hierro, known as ‘the edge of the world’, which has been designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Get some more information in the Lanzarote Travel Guide in our blog.

What Oliver loves

With a mild climate year-round, holidays here are on offer both during the peak season and during the quieter shoulder seasons.

Best time to go

The Canary Islands have good weather year-round, this is why the destination is perfect for winter sun, from November until the end of April.

  • In November temperatures hit the low to mid-20s.
  • In March, during the spring break, you’re unlikely to see any rain at all.
  • The peak summer months are when the crowds arrive.
  • Spring in Tenerife is almost magical, with carpets of wild flowers and deserts that suddenly burst into bloom.

Where to go

 

Finding the right island for a perfect holiday in the Canary Island might not be easy, as each of them have so much to offer. To guide you a bit, why don't you take this quiz to find out your perfect island match? Or check out all our collection of villas in each island:

Gran Canaria

This is a chilled out and laid-back island, but you won't lack things to do. Whether you want to lay in the beautiful beaches, discovering Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, or enjoying with your family in a theme park, Gran Canaria offers endless options!

Tenerife

The sun-drenched Spanish island of Tenerife is renowned for some of the world’s most beautiful coastlines. That is why the destination is perfect for you if you want to party and laze on a blissed-out beach all day.

Lanzarote

Kaleidoscopic beaches and a mix of adrenaline-fuelled activities, Lanzarote is the island for those interested in adventure. It's the place to enjoy super-clubs and spectacular volcanic landscapes.

Family friendly

The Canary Islands are very family-friendly, particularly Lanzarote and Tenerife. If you really want some quality time together then booking one of our self-catered villas in the Canary Islands gives you the freedom to set your own itinerary.

What's on offer?

Water parks, beaches, volcanoes - you name it, the Canaries have it.

  • If you're staying in Gran Canaria, Maspalomas has some of the best beaches on the whole island, including dramatic sand dunes. And you also have the fabulously quirky Sioux City, with its Wild West theme.
  • Staying in Tenerife? Lucky you - there's the biggest water park in the region, Siam Park, right on your doorstep.

The Canary Islands are full of incredible sandy strips, and even a few black sand beaches, and the top family ones are on the main islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, but you'll also find exceptional beaches on every island.

Mujeres Beach in Lanzarote

Mujeres Beach in Lanzarote

Why it’s perfect for families

  • For babies: Our villas in Lanzarote and Tenerife have everything you need if you’re travelling with tots, including high-chairs and cribs. Check out our main villas for families with babies.
  • For kids: With theme parks galore and so much to do, kids are in absolute heaven on the Canaries. Do your research before you go so you pick the right island if there’s a particular theme park you want to see. See our villas for families with kids.
  • For teens: The theme parks also have some white-knuckle rides that they’ll love. Discover the villas ideal for teens.

Top tip

  • Look out for family discounts to theme parks. Kids under five generally get in free to most attractions.

Best beaches in the Canary Islands

Where do we begin? There are so many beaches to choose from in the Canary Islands. With a year-round temperature that sits right in the beach sweet spot of the low to mid-20s, you can be sunbathing on a beach in January, or creating sand sculptures with the kids in July. And as we have villas close to the beach, a walking distance from them, or even some beachfront, we've got you covered!

There are some beaches where you need to be a little careful of the strong currents, but generally, they’re safe for kids as well as grown-ups.

Water-sports

From the classic banana boat and donut rides to world-class windsurfing conditions, crystal-clear diving off the coast of Gran Canaria to surfing in Lanzarote, whatever ‘floats your boat’ is on offer here (including boats, kayaks, and cruises).

Black-sand beaches

The Canary Islands are famous for their black-sand beaches, created by the volcanic activity that has shaped the islands over millions of years. They’re stunning, and boy, do they get hot in the summer, so don’t try walking across them in bare feet in August!

Oliver's Hidden Gem


Las Canteras (Gran Canaria): This is an urban beach where the cityscape meets the sand. A long golden arc that stretches over 2km, and lapped by calm waters, it’s a great spot for the whole family.


Las Canteras (Gran Canaria)

Las Cucharas beach (Lanzarote)

Located in Lanzarote, this is the perfect family beach. It’s one of the longest on the island, and the perfect daily destination if you want a great day out by the sea with the kids.

El Bollullo beach (Tenerife)

A black-sand beach with some amazing rock formations. This is a proper chill-out beach: check out the amazing seafood on offer at the chiringuito (beach bar), and watch the sunset with a cold beer in your hand.

San Agustin beach (Gran Canaria)

This is popular with the locals so you know it’s a good beach. It’s peaceful, quiet, and relatively crowd-free. There are water-sports on offer during the summer, but outside peak season this is the perfect beach for a sunset stroll.

El Duque beach (Tenerife)

This is one of the island’s ‘up and coming’ beaches, so it’s not yet fully commercialised. It still has enough on offer to keep everyone happy, including water-sports, restaurants and bars, and some seriously good scuba diving conditions for ocean lovers.

Famara beach (Lanzarote)

This huge, unspoilt beach is sheltered by mountains and is hugely popular with windsurfers and paragliders, thanks to the almost-perfect conditions all year round. This is a real beach-lover’s beach, but without the commercialism you’ll find elsewhere.

El Puerto (Gran Canaria)

A 20-minute hike from La Aldea’s harbour. Expect volcanic black sand, great sunsets and (potential) nudity. Totally untouched, be aware that this bay isn’t manned by lifeguards.

Things to do

If you are coming to the Canary Islands, you’ll need things to do that’ll keep everyone happy. Fortunately, this cluster of islands has more than enough to keep you busy, from water parks and family-friendly attractions to real-life volcanoes, eco-parks and water-sports.

Water parks

No matter where you are staying, you’ll never be too far from a water park or two. The big one is Siam Water park, but look out for other smaller options such as the quirky Sioux City Gran Canaria, Aqualand Maspalomas, and for older kids who love their shoot-em-up games, Hangar 37 Airsoft theme park on Gran Canaria.

Aqualand Maspalomas

Aqualand Maspalomas

Boat trips

If you want to go ocean-hopping then you’ve got so many different ways to get around, from hiring a yacht to organised boat trips that include stop-offs for a spot of snorkelling along the way. Some operators offer whale and dolphin watching trips, but make sure you pick ethical tours that don’t get too close to the animals in their natural environment.

Eco-tourism

The Canaries have some unique landscapes that are unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else. Book yourself on a tour of the volcanic lava fields.

Local sports

There’s plenty of sports available on the islands, but keep a look out for more local events, such as Lucha Canaria, a variation on wrestling that can get quite brutal at times; alternatively Salto del Pastor or ‘Shepherd’s Leap’ where practitioners demonstrate their agility by leaping across rocky terrain and crevices.

Golf

Tenerife and Gran Canaria in particular have some superb courses if you’re a fan of the nine-iron. Look out for the magnificent Real Las Palmas, which is also Spain’s oldest golf club, or discover our golf villas.

Food

Spain is well know for the amazing food, and the Canary Islands are not an exception. If you want to go out and discover their gastronomy, check out our villas close to restaurants so you don't have to move around much.

Oliver's Hidden Gem

Canyoning in Barranco de Los Arcos, Tenerife: Discover some of the natural beauty with a guided tour of this hidden canyon. It’s good for beginners and is a perfect chance to get up close and personal with Tenerife’s wilder side.

Towns and villages

The Canary Islands have a mixture of large cities along the coast and tiny, sleepy villages inland that have been completely untouched by the modern world. It would take you years to explore everything on offer, especially as each island has its own unique personality.

The largest cities are Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Getting anywhere here is easy, as the road system is excellent, and the signs are clearly marked in both Spanish and English.

For shopping aficionados, the major towns and cities are packed full of designer stores, quirky boutiques and hippy markets, where you can pick up something that’s a little different from the usual tourist trinkets.

You’ll find plenty of local markets where you can pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as delicious local seafood. Try the sardines – they’re a million miles away from those sad canned things drowning in tomato sauce that you buy in the supermarket back home.

So if visiting towns is your thing, check out our villas close to villages.

Oliver’s Hidden Gem

Galdar, Gran Canaria: This rural idyll sits at the foot of a bare volcano and is the old Aboriginal capital of the island. It’s a wonderful place to discover the traditions of the islands, and the nearby Painted Caves are a secret gem that’s well worth visiting.

Galdar Canary Islands

Adeje, Tenerife

From whale-watching tours to championship golf courses and kid-friendly attractions, Adeje is one of Tenerife’s top tourist spots. If you want to escape the crowds for a day, you’re not far from Teide National park, where you can take the cable car up to the top of Mount Teide. You’re also just a short hop from Siam park.

San Cristobal de la Laguna (Tenerife)

San Cristobal is the former capital of Tenerife. It’s been awarded World Heritage status and is full of architectural wonders including the Cathedral and houses dating back to the 1600s. It’s close to the coast too.

Puerto del Carmen (Lanzarote)

This is the very epicentre of tourism on Lanzarote, and is lined with fabulous sandy beaches. The nightlife here carries on til dawn, so if you’re here with the kids, pick villas in Lanzarote a little out of town.

Getting there and around

Flying

Flights to the Canary islands depart from most airports across the UK, both major and regional. The flight time is a little over four hours from London, so it’s close enough to make travelling with younger children relatively stress-free.

You’ll arrive at either one of the two airports on Tenerife (Tenerife North or Tenerife South) or Gran Canaria Airport. There are other airports on Fuerteventura, La Gomera, and La Palma, but flights to these smaller airports tend to be less frequent and more expensive.

You can get between the islands via ferries, or take small ‘hopper’ planes that fly between the islands, although seats on these are limited and in high demand during the summer season.


Roads and car hire

If you’re staying on one of the larger islands such as Tenerife or Gran Canaria then hiring a car is a good way of getting around. If you’re planning on exploring the wilderness (and especially if you plan to head up into the mountains) then choose a 4x4 option or a more robust jeep-type vehicle.

Roads in the major cities and towns are good, but there are very few main roads linking key locations so ensure your hire car has an onboard navigation system as the smaller roads are very poorly signposted.


Ferries

Ferries run frequently throughout the peak season, but bear in mind that some of the more remote locations only have connections running to them once or twice a week.

There are three main operators, Trasmediterránea, Fred Olsen, and Naviera Armas.

As a rough guide, it takes around 8 hours to sail from Arrecife on Lanzarote to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.


Scooters

A great way of zipping around, but watch out for the island’s notorious potholes, and the occasional random donkey.

Top tips

  • Book your car hire and accommodation well in advance as the Canary Islands are incredibly popular year-round.
  • If you want to island hop, fly rather than take the ferries, as it’s quick and relatively cheap.
  • Don’t forget to pack plug adapters.
  • Healthcare is good but remember to have insurance and your E111 health card or you will be charged.

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