Is a Canary Islands Honeymoon Your Perfect Match?
When you think of a European honeymoon, you may not immediately picture fun in the sun and sand. However, that's exactly what a Canary Islands honeymoon offers newlywed couples.
These seven Spanish islands offer beautiful beaches, outdoor adventures and party vibes aplenty, all just about 50 miles off the coast of Morocco. Sunny and mild, this Atlantic paradise is also more affordable than other island destinations on this side of the planet. Plus, the islands are easy to reach once you get to Europe (you can get to the islands in less than a day's travel time from the East Coast of the United States).
Ready to see what the Canary Islands could offer you and your sweetie? Here's everything you need to know about planning a Canary Islands honeymoon.
Are the Canary Islands Good for a Honeymoon?
Pros of a Canary Islands Honeymoon
As mentioned, the Canary Islands are relatively affordable, easy to reach from the East Coast and filled with outdoor fun. Whether you like hiking, beach bumming or water sports, you can find it in this archipelago that's a source of endless good weather.
Those looking for a honeymoon experience they can't find anywhere else will love the islands' many endemic species, as well as the unique culture formed over centuries of serving as a trade crossroads.
Cons of a Canary Islands Honeymoon
While getting to the Canary Islands from the East Coast is relatively easy (or at least as easy as traveling to Europe), getting to the islands from the West Coast is a little more time-consuming. Flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) require at least one layover and at least 15 hours of travel time (compared to the 10 hours you'll need from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)).
Additionally, if you're a couple who prefers the great indoors to sand and surf, you might find honeymoon destinations better suited to your tastes a little farther north in Europe.
The Best Times of Year to Go on a Canary Islands Honeymoon for Good Weather
Canary Islands weather is pretty consistent, with average temperatures remaining in or near the 70s all year long. Precipitation is scarce, with even the rainiest month of December only getting an inch of rainfall.
Instead of worrying about weather when choosing the best time of year to visit the Canary Islands, you'd do better to worry about crowds. Winter and summer months can get very crowded throughout the islands, as tourists from Europe and beyond flock to the beaches. Your best bet for fewer crowds and more affordable travel rates is to plan a spring or fall trip, between either March and May or September and November.
Find your kind of venue
Places to Visit in the Canary Islands for a Honeymoon
The Canary Islands are made up of seven islands, and each island offers its own experiences. Which you choose to stay on will be determined by the type of honeymoon you're hoping to have. (Wherever you choose to stay, accessing the other islands is relatively easy via service from inter-island ferries.)
Gran Canaria makes a romantic getaway for nature-loving couples. The island is a UNESCO biosphere reserve, perfect for exploring with the help of your trusty hiking boots. The island is also known for its nightlife fun. Lanzarote, the least developed of all the Canary Islands, is also a biosphere reserve, but beyond the beaches and lava formations, you'll find wineries and small fishing villages. Tenerife offers a blend of history, romance and nature, making it a top pick for couples who want to easily access a range of activities, as well as a wide selection of beach resorts.
For couples who simply want to kick back by the water, Fuerteventura, with its endless surfing opportunities and white-sand beaches, is a good option. For a more authentic, less-touristy experience, try La Palma (nicknamed "the pretty island," and you'll quickly see why), rugged La Gomera or El Hierro, which was, at one time, the very edge of the mapped world.
Things to Do During a Canary Islands Honeymoon
Strap on Your Hiking Boots
The Canary Islands are filled with excellent opportunities to see some truly picturesque views, so grab your honey and your hiking boots and step away from the beach for a day to see these natural wonders for yourself.
Parque Nacional del Teide on Tenerife covers 75 square miles and is home to Mount Teide, Spain's tallest peak and the third-largest volcano in the world. Roque Nublo on Gran Canaria is a 250-foot rock formation that's accessible via a short hike. Caldera de Taburiente National Park on La Palma is a lush hideaway filled with craggy peaks and pine groves, while Timanfaya National Park on Lanzarote looks more akin to something you might see in Iceland, with its lunar-like landscape that's only accessible via tour.
Spend a Day Beach Bumming
While the Canary Islands are rife with hiking opportunities, the real star here is, of course, the sandy beaches. Hop between the beaches of Gran Canaria for golden sands, gentle waters and a lively beach scene. On Tenerife, you'll find a mix of developed beaches and smaller dark-sand beaches, plus wind that makes for excellent surfing. For the smallest crowds, go to Fuerteventura, where the golden sand dunes are pristine and the waters are aquamarine.
Get a Dose of Culture
For a rich taste of Canary Islands culture and history, go to San Cristobal de la Laguna on Tenerife. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was previously the islands' capital and now features a wealth of historic architecture dating back to the 15th through 18th centuries. Some of this architecture is best seen at the local churches, as well as at the History and Anthropology Museum.
Best Hotels and Resorts in the Canary Islands for a Honeymoon
This adults-only property on Gran Canaria is absolutely beautiful inside and out, partially thanks to its location within a building that dates back to the 1700s. For all its history, this property doesn't leave you wanting for your modern creature comforts. You'll likely spend most of your time at the rooftop bar and pool, where you'll enjoy unbeatable views of the sea and Las Palmas.
The Ritz-Carlton, Abama
Located on Tenerife, The Ritz-Carlton, Abama, provides the five-star experience you've likely come to expect from this Marriott brand. The oceanfront property boasts its own golf course, and is only a short drive away from Parque Nacional del Teide. Don't miss a visit to the lovely spa, and definitely take advantage of the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant.
This property is a good pick if you want to enjoy all of the convenience and amenities of Gran Canaria, but you also want a little peace, quiet and serenity. The property, which has views of the volcanic mountains, feels somewhat remote and isolated. You'll enjoy this little honeymoon resort, complete with its spa, private beach club and golf course.
What to Pack for a Canary Islands Honeymoon
In addition to your honeymoon basics, pack all of your typical beach gear (including a warm coverup to protect you from the islands' Atlantic winds), as well as some hiking shoes and outfits. A blend of casual and dressier clothing is recommended so you can be comfortable during the day but still take advantage of the islands' vibrant nightlife if the mood strikes.