The beautiful Canary Islands are home to four of Spains ten national parks.
Timanfaya National Park – Lanzarote
UNESCO named the whole of the island of Lanzarote a World Biosphere Reserve in 1993. The island is home to the Timanfaya National Park which is located in the southwest of the island. The park covers an area of about 20 square miles and is made up of volcanic soil with wonderful flora and fauna.
The park was created when over 100 volcanoes erupted in the space of six years during the 1700′s, completley destroying part of the island. In 1968 this area of devastation was declared a national park, Timanfaya National Park.
The land here is like a lunar landscape, with the temperature just a few yards below the surface reaching 400-600C.
You can explore the park on your own or take a coach trip, camel ride or guided walk around the park.
The El Diablo Restaurant is situated in the park and offers meals prepared using the geothermal heat from the earth and also wonderful panoramic views across the park.
Teide National Park – Tenerife
The Teide National Park was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007. The park comprises of Mount Teide and its surrounding area which covers about 73 square miles. Mount Teide is an active volcano and is Spains highest mountain.
The park includes a huge volcanic crater which has a circumference of 30 miles.
This vast wilderness is home to fascinating rock formations, pine forests and many species of birds, animals, insects, flowers and trees.
The park offers guided walks or you can make your own way around the park using one of the many hiking trails.
If you wish to hike to the peak of Mount Teide you will need to obtain a special permit from the National Park office, bearing in mind that there are only a couple of hundred permits granted each day.
La Caldera de Taburiente – La Palma
Designated a national park in 1954, it was originally thought that the Caldera de Taburiente, which is located in the park, was a giant crater but it is now known that it is a mountain arch with a strange crater shape. Here in the park you will find a large forest made up of the Canary Island Pine and also the Canary Islands Juniper which is an endangered species of flora.
There are lots of walking routes in the Caldera, if you prefer to walk on your own rather than with one of the organised walks you will need to obtain permission from the Caldera Information offce.
There are 25 recorded bird species here making the park very popular with bird watchers. You will also find fascinating geological formations, waterfalls and lovely flora throughout the park.
Garajonay National Park – La Gomera
Declared a national park in 1981, Garajonay was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. The park was named after the rocky formation Garajonay which stands just under a mile high.
The park has lots of footpaths through the laurel forests which cover nearly three quarters of the park. There are lots of springs and streams that run through the park which ensure the vegetation is always green and radiant.
There are lots of travel deals available to the Canary Islands which are ideal for the whole family.
Watch out for those last minute holidays that are on offer to these beautiful islands which offer so much more than just sun, sea and sand!