Travel to the Canary Islands – Episode 680

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Best of the Canary Islands, a one week itinerary (Podcast)

Hear about travel to the Canary Islands as the Amateur Traveler talks to Alice Ford from about the best of the Canary Islands.

Alice says, “I am excited to talk to all of your listeners about the Canary Islands because it’s an absolutely beautiful place. I have been to the Canaries a few times. I actually shot an ad campaign for them last year and we visited all seven islands. We did an in-depth tour of every single island, doing all the hiking destinations and points of interest on every single island. I have spent a lot of time exploring every single island.”

“The Canary Islands are this unique destination Each island is incredibly different from the last. There are white sand beaches, black sand beaches. There are volcanos, stunning scenery, views like the Grand Canyon on some of the islands. There are pine forests and you can get everything. It’s for both adventure tourists that love to hike and explore and people who want to sit back and enjoy a piña colada. You aren’t going to see scenery like this anywhere else on the planet.”

The Canary Islands is part of Spain but is off the coast of Morocco with African roots.  

Alices lays out an itinerary to the Canary Islands including the islands of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, and Tenerife. She recommends a trip from one to two weeks. If you have only one week you should focus on either the eastern islands or the western islands.

Alice recommends starting in Gran Canaria, which is the largest island,  and spending 2-3 days there. It has pine forests. It has some great hikes. Las Canteras is a great beach town to stay in. Alice loved the Tamadaba Natural Park which has pine forests. A great hike is to the “Magic Window”. History buffs may enjoy visiting the Castle of San Cristóbal.

Fuerteventura has a lot of white sand beaches. It is nicknamed the “island of the strong winds”. There are some beautiful sea caves and restaurants on the beaches. One of Alice’s favorite beaches is Puertido de Los Molinos.

Lanzarote has Timanfaya National Park, an area with the nickname the “land of a thousand volcanoes”. There are a lot of volcanoes you can hike to. There is a place there called La Geria where they grow wine grapes in the ancient lava.

On Tenerife, you can visit some caves that were once inhabited by the Guanches, the original inhabitants of the island.

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This episode is also sponsored by Skylight Frame, which is an easy-to-use smart frame. Get it for mom for mother’s day, and the whole family can keep it updated with new photos just by sending email. Get $10 by going to and using the code traveler.

right click here to download (mp3)
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Show Notes
Canary Islands
Travel to Spain’s Canary Islands – Episode 294
Gran Canaria
Timanfaya National Park
Las Canteras
Tamadaba Natural Park
Best Photography Spots in the Canary Islands
Castle of San Cristóbal
Puerto del Rosario
Puertido de Los Molinos
las Penitas
Best Photography Spots in the Canary Islands
The Protected Landscape of La Geria
Costa Adeje
Puerto de la Cruz
Teide National Park
Whale Watching in Tenerife
Dragon Tree
Roque de los Muchachos Observatory
Spain Travel on Alice’s Website


Mark (Dr Mark) wrote about Travel to Kenya – Episode 673

Hi Chris.

I very much enjoyed your interview with Shane, who I thought gave good advice and ideas, and I have a few comments and thoughts.

I’ve stayed in 10 safari lodges and camps in South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, and Kenya over the past 8 years, and I’ve just returned from 10 days in Kenya.

This was mainly to spend a week on a specialist photographic safari on the Great Migration, based in a semi-permanent camp on the banks of the Mara River (with Wild-Eye – a strongly recommended company BTW), but I spent 3 initial nights at the lovely Ololo Safari Lodge in Nairobi National Park.

So, first, I thought Shane was too dismissive of Nairobi NP: it’s immediately adjacent to the city, but actually has a fantastic range of animals including one of the highest concentrations of Black Rhino in Africa, plus wonderful birdlife. This gives the unique and poignant opportunity of photographing wild animals with the skyscrapers of the modern human world in the background (see my attached image of 2 white rhinos at sundown).

Nairobi National Park - rhinos

Nairobi NP is extremely handy for both airports, the Sheldrake and Giraffe centres, and the Blixen house, and 4WDs can drive through the park to get between all of these and avoid almost all of the city’s awful traffic. Ololo Safari Lodge has excellent guides and their own safari vehicles. So I’d say it makes a wonderful way to spend a day or two getting over your international flights, much better than staying in the city itself.

Secondly, I’d say converted Land Rover/Land Cruiser safari vehicles are absolutely fine for game drives, and in fact, they have some advantages over the large lorry-type vehicles Shane recommended. After all, most specialist photo safari operators use them: they are more maneuverable on rough terrain and you can get lower so you aren’t always photographing animals from above, where they look diminished.

I’d say a much more important point for people to establish is how many guests are carried per vehicle – one person per row of seats is the ideal, regardless of the type of vehicle. Otherwise, you’re always fighting with other people for the best view. However, I entirely agree with Shane that cheap-jack minibusses are hopeless and a waste of money!

Finally, I agree with you that proper malaria prevention is key for travelers – the position is different for people like Shane who spend long periods exposed, but the side effect risks of modern antimalarial drugs for a few weeks is very good, so always take the advice of an experienced physician. [I’m a retired doctor who specialized in Infectious Diseases, BTW.] There were 10,000 deaths from malaria in Kenya in 2016 and, although the risks for travelers are statistically very low, the risk of getting malaria if you don’t take prophylaxis is actually much higher than getting caught up in a terrorist incident (which for some reason people seem to worry about far more!).

Anyway, it’s a great country and I strongly encourage people to go. If you’re interested, here are  links to the first 2 illustrated blog posts on my trip:

With best regards,


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Best of the Canary Islands, a one week itinerary | Things to Do in the Canary Islands (Podcast) #travel #trip #vacation #canary-islands #spain #africa #itinerary #podcast #what-to-do-in #things-to-do-in #things-to-do #gran-canaria #tenerife #lanzarote #fuerteventura

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

2 Responses to “Travel to the Canary Islands – Episode 680”

Justin Barnes


I really enjoyed hearing about the Canaries again. We visited a few months ago on a cruise, and jammed as much as possible into a day on each island. I echo the sentiment that the Canaries resemble nowhere else on the planet, with the possible exception of Hawaii. I have to say I really enjoyed all the variety of landscapes and flora in such a small space. I wanted to note a couple of items that didn’t make the podcast, such as all of the Cesar Manrique-designed locations around the islands (including quite a few on Lanzarote), Mirador del Rio on Lanzarote, Maspalomas sand dunes on Gran Canaria, Cueva del Viento (giant lava tube) on Tenerife, and the Puerto de la Cruz botanic garden (items from around the world from Explorer times, now several hundred years old). If interested, we kept a trip log of such items that show pictures and video of these and may help people planning a trip to the Canaries:

Chris Christensen


Thanks Justin, I love lava tubes and sand dunes 🙂

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