Many of the top ten beaches on the Canary Islands you'll find on Fuerteventura, but some of Lanzarote' beaches are close on their heels. Canaries best beaches are very much dependent on taste, some will be looking for deserted and quiet endless sandy beaches, others will prefer sheltered family beaches with calm waters, and watersports fanatics will be looking for waves, wind and endless flat sands. You'll find all of these on the Canaries, but for pure aesthetic value Canaries top ten beaches are: 1. Sotavento on Fuerteventura - endless golden sands, perfect windsurfing and kitesurfing conditions. You'll think you're in the Caribbean here. 2. Playa de Jandia at Morro Jable/Fuerteventura - endless golden sands, ample watersports and stunning backdrop of Jandia mountains. 3. Famara beach, Lanzarote - surfing hotspot, beautiful golden sands, family friendly although a lively swell so watch young children.
4. Puerto Naos, La Palma - a well kept secret this one. Sublime natural black sandy beach lined with palm trees and a pretty promenade. Whoosing waves making for an adventurous swimming experience. 5. Playa de las Teresitas near San Andres, North Tenerife. The beach of choice for Santa Cruz residents, Teresitas is one of the most beautiful manmade beaches on the planet! 6. Joint six are the beaches at top Lanzarote resort hotspots Costa Teguise and Puerto del Carmen. Both have numerous beaches, many of which are blue flag. Top family amenities too. 7. The best urban beach on the Canaries is to be found alongside Gran Canaria's capital Las Palmas - it's Playa de las Canteras. 8. Back to Fuerteventura, and to the north the stunning beaches of Corralejo to the north are flanked by a sand dune national park. 9. El Medano, Tenerife - pretty cove beaches and excellent kite surfing and windsurfing conditions. 10. Costa Adeje, Tenerife - top of the charts for sheltered family beaches, lively too with plenty of watersports and resort amenities close to hand.
Lanzarote beaches and choice of watersports available won't disappoint beach loving fans. All the main resorts - Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise offer a choice of immaculate sandy beaches, with ample sunbeds and facilities including restaurants, shops and bars lining beach promenades. As well as excellent beaches at these main resorts, move around the island and discover more stunning beaches including Famara, a top surfing paradise beach on the north coast, or Papagayo to the south. Discover surprises too, like the pretty black sandy beach at Arrieta north of Costa Teguise.
Watersports fanatics will be in heaven on the beaches of Lanzarote. Windsurfers head to Costa Teguise and Papagayo. Kite surfers and surfers check out the waves at Famara. For an excellent choice of diving excursions head to Puerto del Carmen and Puerto Calero. Nudist Lanzarote beaches have emerged at a few locations including Papagayo beach, Janubio beach, some at Famara, also at Guacimeta beach near Lanzarote Airport and at Charco del Palo (Mala) - Topless sunbathing is common in the resorts. Other favourite beaches on Lanzarote include Quemada, the beaches on La Graciosa Island, those around La Santa and Playa de la Canteria.
The main of Gran Canaria's best beaches are to the south of the island, but Las Palmas the capital lays claim to the superb beach Las Canteras - you can catch a few waves here surfers! The resorts are quite concentrated to the south and south west on Gran Canaria - more so than Tenerife which has Puerto de la Cruz to the north as well as its well known southern resorts. Gran Canaria's beaches are mostly golden brown sands (thanks to largely imported sand from the Sahara), with clear clean waters combined with warm sea water temperatures of between 18 to 22 degrees centigrade in winter and summer respectively.
Gran Canaria's beaches are less impressive than those on Fuerteventura, but where its beaches lack that edge, its friendly party resorts make up for it, and the holiday attraction choice on the island, with everything from watersports, golf, waterparks, camel rides, shopping galore, markets, catamarans, jeep safaris, fishing trips and excursions tours around the mountainous interior - Gran Canaria is an island to get active on!
Top family beaches on Gran Canaria include those around top family resort Puerto Rico to the south west, and for the best urban beach on the Canaries head to Playa de las Canteras in the capital Las Palmas! The sand dunes at Maspalomas in the south also give the beaches at Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas an edge! Get ready for the crowds though! Plenty of Gay beach space here too.
Fuerteventura beaches are most certainly the best of the crop on the Canary Islands. Top choices include the beaches south of Corralejo backed on by sand dunes, the windy white sand stretches of El Cortillo to the north west, the sublime endless sands of Sotavento (popular with kite surfers and windsurfers and home to an international winsurfing competition annually), and finally the equally beautiful endless white sandy beaches of Morro Jable and further south near Cofete on Jandia.
Around Ajuy and along the east coast at Gran Tarajal, Las Playitas and elsewhere there are some pretty cove like black sand beaches with their own charm. The very Spanish Ajuy is particularly attractive, with its nearby Guanche Cave walk - a must visit whilst on the island.
Fuerteventura's beaches have been described as some of the best in the Atlantic. It's not an exaggeration, and there are plenty of them too, with blue flag status, covering about 125 miles of the coast. The main resorts, all good for family holiday bases, include Costa Calma just north of the Jandia region and Morro Jable, is a mini version of the main resort on Fuerteventura - Caleta de Fuste. Costa Calma's beach is a real gem, perfect for both watersports, especially windsurfing and the resort offers an excellent choice of good quality accommodation and ample typical resort amenities. The blue flag beach here is cleaned daily and leads nicely into one of the best beaches on Fuerteventura - Sotavento with its white gleaming sands stretching for miles and flat offering perfect conditions for windsurfing - the Windsurf World Cup is held here on Sotavento during late July into August annually.
Tenerife has the edge over Gran Canaria on best beaches. Like its diverse landscape, Tenerife's beaches are diverse - some are exotic black sand beaches (mostly to be found in the north of the island, especially around Puerto de la Cruz) and others are golden sands, some of which like Playa de Las Americas had a little manmade assistance (with imported Sahara sand) but are none the worse for that. For popular nudist beaches on Tenerife head for the quiet beaches of Playa de la Tejita (El Medano), Playa de los Patos (La Orotava) and Playa de las Gaviotas (Santa Cruz).
Starting with Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos - the big two in the south of Tenerife. Sheltered superb family beaches with safe and calm bathing are on the menu here. These two longstanding resorts are joined together by a marvellously accessible promenade lined with restaurants offering everything from Chinese to fast food, bars, holidays shops and cafes. Beaches are protected by breakwaters, and Playa de Las Vistas between the two resorts offers easy access for disabled visitors. The promenade too is fully accessible to visitors in wheelchairs.
One of the best beaches on Tenerife is Playa de las Teresitas to the north of Santa Cruz. Teresitas is probably one of the prettiest manmade beaches around, with its Sahara imported sand. Other pretty beaches on the island include the delightful black sandy beach at Playa de la Arena on the west coast and El Medano to the south east which also offers excellent kite surfing and windsurfing conditions.
La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro are popular holiday destinations for their green interiors and national parks - walker's paradises are all three. However there are some pleasant beaches and rock pools around the islands, particularly at Puerto Naos and Los Cancajos on La Palma and in the Valle Gran Rey area on the west coast of La Gomera.
The naturally formed black sandy beach at Puerto Naos on the west coast of La Palma is one of the prettiest on the Canaries, surprise surprise! It's lined with palm trees offering natural shade and waves are lively but not overbearing, offering fun swimming. This resort on La Palma is probably set to expand in the near future. Los Cancajos on the east coast of La Palma near the airport also offers pretty black sand beach space and it's a blue flag beach.
La Gomera's Valle Gran Rey on the west side offers the best of the beaches on the island. San Sebastian and Playa Santiago beaches are also perfectly pleasant and adequate.
It's the naturally formed volcanic rockpools at Tamaduste just west of the capital Valverde in El Hierro that take the top spot for swimming on El Hierro. Quiet, sheltered and calm, Tamaduste rockpools are the perfect spot for swimming and snorkelling on El Hierro if you're looking for a change from walking for a day!