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a VirtualTourist member

Canary Islands

quiet relaxing island?

Hello all,

I'd like to book a warm weather holiday for October/November time and the Canary Islands look like a good choice weather wise.

However, I know nothing about them other than the rather unflattering reputation of beer drinking British holidaymakers sardine like on busy beaches and I'm certain there is more to them that that! After all Ibiza has a reputation for all night clubbing and craziness but there are parts of that island untouched by mass tourism so I really hope there might be something similar in the Canaries...

So, can anyone give me some advice on which island or area on an island that might offer the sort of break I'm after.

Which is...

Clean beaches that are not black volcanic sand - I have two young children who like the white/yellow variety for their sandcastles. If possible with sunloungers to rent and a shower for when sand gets where it shouldn't and of course a nice local restaurant. Sadly the requirement of facilities often goes hand in hand with three thousand holidaymakers crammed on to one stretch of beach with a burger cafe but I'm hoping there is an alternative.

Any suggestions as to which would be the best island and where on that island I should look would be gratefully received.

Thank you.

10 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Huddersfield

Good luck with that :o)

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Zaragoza

I must say: Lanzarote. We have been threre 4 times and we never get tired of it.

It is a small relaxing island but you have places to visit and nice beaches with sand. I would say the "Puerto del Carmen" area is what you are looking for, better thant he southern area "Playa del Carmen".
There are other even smaller islands, but maybe too quiet...I have been there in November, December and January and weather has always been great. There is an interesting day trip to the closest island "Fuerteventura". We saw dolphins and sometimes wales are that may sound nice for the kids...
Have fun.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Dublin

I have only visited Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, and of the two I prefer Lanzarote. If you want to avoid the crowds (The Canaries are a year-round destination) you should probably book your holiday independently rather than with a tour operator who will only take you to a major resort. Strange as it may seem, my advice to avoid the crowds would be to head for Arrecife, the capital city of Lanzarote. It’s a compact city with a lovely promenade along the harbour front, there are beautiful empty sandy beaches at one end with nobody on them (at least when I was there in January). You can also walk the five miles to Puerto del Carmen all along a beach route. Have a look at the Hotel Lancelot which is on the seafront, or one of the adjacent hotels.
On the other hand it may be that an island like Fuerteventura would better suit your needs, friends of mine who surf recommend it. It has plenty of white sandy beaches and a relaxed, laid back attitude, although on the downside it seems to be very windy most of the time.
If you type ‘Canary Islands’ into the destination search box, (upper right of the page) you will get tons of tips from VT members that will help you to decide.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Huddersfield

We too went to Lanzarooti and had a couple of weeks there.
We hired a car so we could get round so we were not stuck in our resort (Costa DeGuise)
On reflection, I should have gone to Gran Canaria as it is not as busy with the beer drinking brits as the other islands, it does have nice beaches.
The weather will be good and besides that, there are places on each of the islands that are nice but keep away from the big resorts.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

The quieter the better, where are you thinking of that is even quieter?

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Dublin

Forgot to mention I have some info and pix about my visit to Lanzarote and the smallest Canary Island, Isla Graciosa, on my travel pages. AM

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Huddersfield

Given the fact your children like sand and you want it to a little more quiet, Fuerteventura would probably be your best option.
They have massive sand dunes and the island overall is not as popular with the beer swillers as there is not a lot to suit their needs there.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Zaragoza

I agree. Fuerteventura is the most desertic one. I just spent one day, and I may be wrong, but I got the idea of being "too quiet" and "empty", so...maybe it is what you are looking for.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Solihull

I only know Tenerife and Lanzarote - We went some years ago to Los Gigantes in Tenerife which at that time was a small, quiet resort but with black sand.

Lanzarote - We went twice in th esame year to Puerto Del carmen which is the busiest resort on the island. Although we enjoyed the main resort area the first time (as a couple) the second visit included our young grandson and we chose a hotel in Matagorda, which is to the North of the main resort and MUCH much quieter.
The beach is "proper" sand, the transfer from the airport is 10 minutes, and the shops and bars are very low-key affairs.
We stayed in the Sol Lanzarote hotel which was superb - straight across from the beach with a tiny little road with hardly any traffic to the front of the hotel making it a very safe place to stay.
The entertainment was good but not intrusive if you didn't want it. The beach was enormous so there were no huge crowds, and there are rock pools at the one end for kids to play-in.
The North Island trip and South Island trips are brilliant -
on the South tour you get to go on a camel-ride and EVERYONE loved that!
Matagorda, for me, is one of the best resorts for kids and thos who want a quieter time without being stuck in the middle of nowhere.
It is right next to the airport and you see planes landing all the time. However, because of the direction of the runways, wind etc, you don't HEAR them very often at all but they do make for an interesting sight.
You can walk along the promenade and stand right underneath if you want! In fact, you can walk further along the path to the capital, Aracife if you like (about 5 miles I think).

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Amsterdam

You probably will find your nice spot on every island. I've been to Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, La Palma (not mentioned yet but one of the most quiet islands!) and Tenerife and always avoided the big crowds and did my own thing.

Most of the islands have their sunny and their rainy side due to the ridge of mountains in the middle that blocks the clouds...Make sure you pick the right side (easily seen on Google Earth...the green part is the rainy side :-)


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