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  • Island Hopping in the Western Canaries

    Mount Teide National Park, Tenerife

    Parador de El Hierro

    Valverde, El Hierro

    Parador de La Gomera

    Hermigua, La Gomera

    Parador de La Palma

    Fuencaliente, La Palma

    Island Hopping in the Western Canaries

    Fly-drive Tour – 12 nights and 13 days
    Enjoy a short tour of the western Canaries, and an introduction to the volcanic landscapes and hidden pools of Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro. Travel between the four islands by ferry, stay in luxury Parador hotels, and spend time basking in the reliable, year-round sunshine and discovering the spectacular natural scenery of each island.

    This touring holiday begins in Tenerife at the Parador de La Canadas del Teide. High on the slopes of Mount Teide, this traditional lodge allows its guests to experience first hand the wonders of such a dynamic island. Hike through the National Park, explore the archaeological sites, or simply relax on one of the golden or black sandy beaches. On your third day, catch a ferry across to the second island, La Gomera. For the next three nights, you will stay at the Parador de La Gomera, a typically Canarian property with astounding views across the sea from its hillside position. Relax on the pool terrace, explore the squares and promenade of the old town of San Sebastián, or wander along the mysterious pathways of the misty Garajonay National Park. From La Gomera, catch another ferry across to La Palma, known as ‘the Pretty Island’. The dramatic landscape of this volcanic island is best appreciated in the Fuencaliente region, on the very southern tip of the island. Hop from crater to crater through the National Parks, or follow the trail of natural saltwater pools around the coast, before retiring on each of your three nights to the Parador de La Palma. Your final island is El Hierro, which can only be accessed via a connecting ferry back on Tenerife. This longer journey takes you past all of the islands on this tour, so you can see their rising peaks from a new perspective. This self-sustainable island is riddled with ancient forests and quirky inland landmarks, but it is by the sea that the real charm of El Hierro comes into its own. Dive with one of the local businesses in the La Restinga Marine Reserve to see the colourful tropical marine life and the formidable lava formations. Spend three nights at the Parador de El Hierro, which is secluded in a tranquil, uninterrupted location between the volcanic mountains and the azure sea. Return to Tenerife and round off the holiday with one night by the beach on the Costa Adeje before your return flight to the UK.
    Click here to download a pdf with details about this touring holiday.

    Whilst on the islands we recommend that you travel between the port and hotels by taxi, or we can suggest a local car hire company for your use.

    Prices start at £1,960 per person.
    Based on two people sharing a double or twin room.

    What’s included:
    • Scheduled flights with British Airways from London Gatwick to Tenerife South, return (flights from other UK airports can be arranged)
    • Ferries between the islands for two passengers and a car
    • Group C car hire for the duration of your trip
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a standard double room at the Parador de Las Cañadas de Teide in Tenerife
    • 3 nights bed and breakfast in a standard double room at the Parador de La Gomera
    • 3 nights bed and breakfast in a standard double room at the Parador de La Palma
    • 3 nights bed and breakfast in a standard double room at the Parador de El Hierro  
    • 1 night in a Superior room with side sea view at La Plantacion del Sur 

    This touring holiday can be arranged throughout the year; however, we would recommend that you begin this tour on a Saturday due to ferry timetables
    For more details and information, please contact one of our Spanish travel specialists.

    Click the tabs above to view our suggested day-by-day touring itinerary and to find out more about the hotels featured.
    Click here to find out more about how our touring holidays work.

    Island Hopping in the Western Canaries

    Day-by-Day Itinerary

    DAY ONE: Saturday: Arrive in Tenerife

    Begin your touring holiday by flying into Tenerife South Airport, where we suggest you collect a hire car before driving one hour northwards into the Teide National Park. The Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide is your hotel for your first three nights. The main attractions of this simple mountain lodge are the spectacular views of the volcano, Mount Teide, at the centre of the island.

    DAY TWO: Sunday: Tenerife and Teide National Park
    Visitors can take in the dramatic surroundings, hike in the Teide National Park which makes up your remarkable surrounding scenery, visit nearby archaeological sites, wander through charming old towns, take a boat trip, or enjoy the attractions of the busy coastal resorts. A number of historical sites of interest sit just over an hour from the idyllic, secluded hotel. The Pyramids of Güímar are on the eastern side of the island, stand 4 metres high, and have mysterious, elusive origins. The on-site museum aims to shed a little light on their beginnings, via its connections with the maritime explorer, Thor Heyerdahl. It also houses the boats of the ancient civilisations believed to have built the structures. The intriguing nearby Poison Garden holds 70 kinds of toxic plant. Go from manmade phenomena to the wonders of the natural world by heading northeast of your hotel to the Cueva del Viento, one of the largest volcanic tubes in the world, which is connected to a vast network of underground tunnels on three levels that come together in the cave in Icod de los Vinos. You may also wish to visit the 800 year old Millennial Dragon Tree, which grows beside the ancient burial zones of Tenerife’s aborigines in the Parque del Drago. The Tenerife History Museum at La Laguna is housed in the Casa Lercaro palace with a wooden overhanging façade. Inside, it holds Canarian art, fascinating artefacts such as restored 18th and 19th century carriages, and archaeological exhibits such as the wells that once fed the houses of Tenerife’s villages. For a taste of the more touristy side to Tenerife, head down to the Playa de las Américas on the shore of Los Cristianos; or, for a more secluded beach with dark sand, drive and then hike to the Roque Bermejo on the very northern tip of the island. La Caleta, just north of Los Cristianos, is another beautiful beach, but this time with typically Spanish golden sand. Once you have had your fill of the many diverse attractions of Tenerife, have dinner on the open terrace back at the Parador de las Cañadas del Teide, with the green countryside and rugged mountains as your backdrop.

    DAYS THREE: Monday: Take a ferry to La Gomera

    After exploring each corner of Tenerife, drive your hire car to Los Cristianos port in the south-west corner of the island to catch a lunch-time ferry to the island of La Gomera. You will spend your next three nights at the Parador de La Gomera hotel in San Sebastián, a typically Canarian-style property located just above the island’s port. 

    DAYS FOUR AND FIVE: Tuesday and Wednesday: La Gomera
    Explore the charming and interesting old town of San Sebastián on foot, or stroll along the harbour lined with colourful boats. From here, walk along the promenade that takes you through to Plaza de Las Américas. Have lunch or dinner in one of the bars, with the wooden balconies and rustic clock tower of the Town Hall behind you. Wednesday in San Sebastián is market day, so and early arrival will allow you to witness the local ‘Gomeras’ fill the streets with lively noise and colour. Use this opportunity to pick up some Palm Honey, lace, jewellery, and maybe one of the local spicy sauces. Spend Tuesday on one of San Sebastián’s beaches, either the Playa de San Sebastián or the Playa de la Cueva. Alternatively, you can pick up a hire-car and drive into the mountainous interior of the island, where you can walk through fertile valleys and evergreen forests. Be sure to take the time to explore the atmospheric groves and pathways of the Garajonay National park. Its gnarled and twisted moss-covered trees and its gushing waterways give the place an ethereal feel. To the north sits the beautiful small town of Agulo, with its white-washed buildings and stepped agricultural coastline. Something of a hidden paradise on La Gomera, this makes an excellent afternoon trip, and has some good restaurants. On the western side of the island the Valle Gran Rey marks the parting of two vast hills, which opens up onto a delightful beach. A somewhat surreal sight, this area really demonstrates the beauty of this particular Canary Island. In the evening, return to the hotel to relax in the lush gardens, or beside the pool, with views back across the water to Tenerife and Mount Teide. Your traditional room is visibly influenced by the hotel’s maritime position, as well as by Castilian, Isabelline, and Canarian styles.

    DAY SIX: Thursday: Take the ferry to La Palma
    You have the majority of today at leisure in San Sebastian before taking an evening ferry, this time bound for the quiet island of La Palma. The Parador de La Palma, your hotel for two nights, is just south of the Santa Cruz de la Palma’s port in Beña Baja, set within vast gardens filled with bright tropical plants and views over the Atlantic Ocean.

    DAYS SEVEN AND EIGHT: Friday and Saturday: La Palma
    Known as ‘the Pretty Island’ and officially a Biosphere Reserve, La Palma’s natural environment is fantastically diverse. Visitors can fill their days by following the walking trails through the volcanic Caldere de Taburiente National Park, built around an 8 kilometre-wide crater. With the benefit of a car, the whole island becomes easily accessible. Fuencaliente is La Palma’s southern-most region. This region, though sparse and fairly undeveloped, is the perfect place to get to grips with the island’s natural environment. Examine the marine life in rock pools, explore the dramatic volcanic landscape on foot or by car, stop off at the Teneguia and San Antonio volcanoes, walk along the black sandy beaches and coves, dine in a restaurant in the charming main town, and investigate the small picturesque villages such as Las Indias and Los Canarios. On the Punta Fuencaliente, the southern point, are two lighthouses and a museum, with spectacular coastal views. To uncover the remarkable underwater world of La Palma, with its cliffs, ridges, canyons, caves, and volcanic formations, either inquire at the La Palma Diving Centre in Beña Baja, drive 15 minutes south to Los Cancajos, or drive west to Puerto Naos, also home to the longest black sand beach on the island. The villages of San Andrés and Los Sauces are traditional and small, but their coastlines offer pretty, natural saltwater pools. For something a little different, drive across the island to Puerto Tazacorte to see its technicolour beach promenade and dine in one of the seafood restaurants. With such a rich array of activities, this small island is perhaps the most satisfying on this tour, and the views from your hotel really seem to sum up La Palma’s beauty.

    DAY NINE: Sunday: Take a ferry via Tenerife to El Hierro
    Enjoy lunch on your last day in La Palma and then board a ferry back to Los Cristianos in southern Tenerife. Here you change boats and then continue onwards to the island of El Hierro, where you will arrive around 10pm. Drive from the port to the Parador de El Hierro, a peaceful and secluded hotel tightly nestled between volcanic slopes and a black-sand beach. Stay here for three nights.

    DAYS TEN AND ELEVEN: Monday and Tuesday: El Hierro
    Spend time relaxing in the hotel’s gardens, by the pool or on your private balcony – all of which overlook the magnificently blue Atlantic Ocean. As another UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the natural landforms on El Hierro are as spectacular as can be expected. Thanks to the new hydroelectric plant, El Hierro is now 100% self-sustainable, a fact that is carried on the atmosphere conveyed by the enthusiastic and welcoming local residents, and the exclusive effect of its dramatic horizon. Drive out to the Punta de Orchilla cape, which marked the Zero Meridian line until 1885, and which still gives El Hierro its nickname of ‘the Meridian Isle’. The 2011 underwater volcanic eruption has reformed the submarine landscape, adding caves, lava arches, and cliffs; combined with the fully-recovered plethora of beautiful tropical marine life, this new landscape makes for excellent diving. The La Restinga Marine Reserve in particular has an abundance of vibrant tropical fish. Inland, explore on foot the ancient forests, and seek out the Garoé Tree, which once supplied the local residents with water from its leaves. At La Peña viewpoint, you can look out across what are reputedly the best views of the ocean and the El Golfo valley. While here, sample some of the delicious Canarian food in a local seafront restaurant. The Frontera Rural Park is also worth a short visit. One of only three places in the world where this particular type of forest can grow, the park is laced with twisted junipers whose treetops rise only eight metres off the ground. On the north side of the island is the serene Charco Azul. This warm seawater pool is heated by its volcanic bed, and is encased in a seafront cave. A wonderfully tranquil spot at which to spend a few hours one morning or afternoon, this is perhaps El Hierro’s most enchanting feature. 

    DAY TWELVE: Wednesday: Take a ferry back to Tenerife
    After your last day in El Hierro, take an evening ferry back to Tenerife South, where you will spend one night at the luxurious Vincci Seleccion la Plantacion del Sur.
    DAY THIRTEEN: Thursday: Return to the UK
    Your last hotel is situated near the airport, where you will drop your hire- car off and fly back to the U.K.

    Travel times for this touring holiday:
    Tenerife South to Parador de la Cañadas del Teide: 1 hour 5 minutes
    Parador de la Cañadas del Teide to Parador de la Gomera: 2 hours 15 minutes
    Parador de la Gomera to Parador de la Palma: 3 hours 15 minutes
    Parador de la Palma to Parador de El Hierro: 9 hours 25 minutes
    Parador de El Hierro to La Plantacion del Sur: 3 hours 20 minutes
    La Plantacion del Sur to Tenerife South: 15 minutes

    Click the 'Hotel Information' tab to find out more about the hotels featured in this touring itinerary.

    Island Hopping of the Western Canaries 27th Jan 16

    Hotel Information

    These are the luxury Parador hotels that are featured in this island touring holiday. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations – please contact us for full details.

    Parador de las Cañadas del Teide

    Las Cañadas del Teide is a simple mountain lodge with spectacular panoramic views of the volcanic cone of Mount Teide and the surrounding scenery. Far from urban lights, this Parador offers clear skies for amazing stargazing sessions. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and terrace area, and inside the style is comfortable and elegant.

    Parador de la Gomera
    San Sebastián
    La Gomera’s Parador has been designed in typical Canarian style – a keepsake of the age of Columbus with all the modern amenities expected of a four-star property. The Parador offers spectacular ocean views across to Tenerife and Mount Teide, and guests can relax by the hotel’s swimming pool, in the subtropical gardens, or head to the beach, just a short walk away.

    Parador de la Palma
    Near Santa Cruz de la Palma
    The Parador de la Palma is located in the area known as El Zumacal, just to the south of the island’s port. La Palma Island hides many virtually untouched natural areas, full of deep ravines, dense woods, volcanoes and strange lava formations. This charming hotel is surrounded by its own vast garden, filled with fruit trees and native species, which invite guests to stroll and relax with the incredible views of the wide Atlantic Ocean.

    Parador de El Hierro

    Near Valverde
    El Hierro’s Parador is built right on the edge of the deep blue sea, with the steep volcanic mountains rising behind it. The transparent waters of El Hierro make it ideal for diving and swimming in the sea, and it is the most untouched of all the Canary Islands. El Hierro is home to a wealth of exotic species and green subtropical vegetation can be found here all year round. Enjoy the gentle murmur of the waves from your bedroom, as you relax in this perfectly idyllic spot.

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