After a nice 4 months in south-east Asia where I had the chance to visit four countries while settling in their capitals to get some work done, it was time to hit the road again and like almost every year, I am back to Europe on time for Spring and the Summer Holiday! I’m pretty excited about many pans I have for the next months and since it’s still a little cold on the continent, I am starting my adventures in the Canary Islands off the coast of western Africa, more specifically on two of them: Tenerife and La Palma.
I’ve visited many islands through my travels, actually I visited all of the islands countries of the world. Among them, many of the most popular islands still “under control” by European nations. I must say that contrary to what many people think, staying on an island is not always “paradise”. They look great on pictures, the palm trees, the golden beaches and the blue waters are fabulous! Travel agencies do a great work to sell those fancy destinations and get as many tourists as possible on the Mass-Tourism trail and stack them on top of each other in those all-inclusive hotels. But the reality of “living” on one of those islands is quite different. Staying more than 2 to 3 week can get quite boring, as there is a definite lack of activities to do… the small East-Caribbean nations such as St-Kitts, Dominica or Granada for example, are small, run down, having only small towns and can get quite hard to mix with local populations. One gets quickly tired of being in a “Disney World”.
Puerto de la Cruz, Amazing Town on Tenerife
Other islands around the world considered paradises such as Seychelles, Samoa, and Tonga are more oriented towards staying for a short stay, and although they pack an interesting culture, they weren’t that different between each other and not that impressive to me. Exception to be made with Tuvalu and Bora-Bora which are two of the most scenic islands I’ve seen in the world.
With Friends Around Playa de las Americas, Southern Tenerife
The Canary Islands are something totally different. These islands are truly blessed with a totally different landscape between their beaches and inland. With the help of very active volcanoes, they even have the highest peaks in Spain, El Teide, at an altitude of 3700 meters, all of this on a small island packed with beautiful beaches and especially, Spanish culture! They are so different and have so much to offer compared to the usual boring islands around the world. There is literally an infinite possibility of hikes around the seven main islands with several layers of flora along the different altitudes. With the more than 500 years of Spanish occupation, Spain has had time to leave a beautiful footprint in its cities, full of Spanish flavor with colonial style buildings and churches. On top of this, the weather is truly amazing, not too hot, not too cold, all year round.
Streets of La Laguna, UNESCO Colonial Town of Tenerife
Each island has something different to offer, and are all worth visiting. I have been to 4 of them yet, and know I will be back to visit the rest of them! Overall, I guess I sold my point that the Canary Islands are a Must visit for anybody wanting a great holiday around Europe, on truly different islands!