When vacationing in the Canary Islands, it’s important to be aware of certain tourist mistakes that can spoil your tropical getaway. Like many tourist destinations, this Spanish archipelago has its fair share of drawbacks, including petty crime and scams. It’s always wise to be prepared for common inconveniences. You don’t think you’ll be spared by unpredictable weather, limited transportation options, and unfamiliar local laws. Additionally, selecting accommodation can be challenging due to the wide range of options across 8 main islands and several smaller islets. This guide is particularly useful for first-time visitors to the Canary Islands.
#1 You didn’t pay attention to the beach flag
The beaches of the Canary Islands boast exceptional safety measures, with over 60 sandy stretches that have been bestowed with the esteemed Blue Flag award. Lifeguards diligently patrol these shores, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a secure ocean experience.
Keeping an eye on beach flag colors along the coastline is always advisable. The red flag signals powerful currents unsuitable for swimming, while the yellow flag indicates moderate surf or currents. Green flags indicate tranquil conditions but remain cautious while swimming. Purple flags are raised to alert swimmers of jellyfish, stingray, and shark sightings in the water.
#2 Do you smoke or drink in public places?
Drinking, smoking, or vaping in public spaces, whether it’s on the streets or the beach, is strictly prohibited throughout the Canary Islands. If caught, you could be subjected to a considerable fine. Instead, seek out bars, restaurants, or cafes that offer tranquil outdoor seating areas with designated smoking sections. Only in these establishments can you fully enjoy the pleasant climate of Spain while enjoying a drink and a smoke.
#3 You do not understand the peculiarities of the islands
The Canary Islands consist of 8 main islands, each offering its collection of idyllic beaches, picturesque landmarks, and excellent hotels. While island-hopping provides an excellent opportunity to explore the archipelago, selecting the perfect island as your base can sometimes be a tricky task. You might want to watch the HBO Max documentary on the Canary Islands to find out more. If it’s not available in your country, VeePN is here for you. Your final choice should be based on the type of holiday experience you desire.
For those who crave golden beaches and exhilarating water sports, Fuerteventura is the ideal destination. Tenerife, on the other hand, is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, world-class golf courses, and luxurious resorts. If hiking is your passion, El Hierro, Lanzarote, and La Gomera provide a multitude of trails that wind through lush rainforests and volcanic mountains.
#4 You carry valuable possessions with you
Petty crime is a common occurrence in tourist-populated areas worldwide, including the Canary Islands. This holds, particularly for Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote, the archipelago’s primary islands. Prevent pickpocketing by securing valuables in your hotel’s safety deposit box. Keep your passport and wallet close when venturing outside.
#5 You are not ready for the whims of nature
The Canary Islands boast a reputation for their year-round sunny weather, including the winter months (December-February). While the archipelago maintains an average daytime temperature of 24°C, some areas can be gusty and cooler.
To be prepared for unexpected weather conditions, it’s advisable to bring along a light jacket, closed-toe shoes, and scarves. Although these may not be necessary for beach activities, they are essential for those planning to hike the mountains and national parks of the Canaries.
#6 You didn’t take care of the transport
Exploring the Canaries’ main islands without a motorized vehicle can be challenging due to their size. While local buses are available, navigating them can be difficult, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area.
For optimal safety and flexibility, we recommend renting a car or motorcycle to get around the Canary Islands. By doing so, you can save time waiting and freely explore the islands at your own pace.
#7 You underestimate the diversity of nature
The Canary Islands, with its volcanic origin, boast unique jet-black sand beaches. The islands are home to several volcanoes, such as Mount Teide in Tenerife and Cumbre Vieja in La Palma.
But that’s not all—this Spanish archipelago is a treasure trove of natural wonders, including pristine beaches with fine, golden sand. Fuerteventura alone is home to 10 Blue Flag beaches, including the famous La Concha and Corralejo Viejo. Additionally, Gran Canaria showcases a Sahara-like dune known as the Maspalomas Dunes.
Don’t be like inexperienced tourists. The fewer cones you fill yourself, the more pleasant memories will remain in your memory. If you avoid at least these 7 common mistakes, you will be better than 90% of other tourists.