The Canary Islands is a classic laidback beach and vacation destination, which is characterized by a very easy-to-go climate. This tourist-friendly place exudes a really warm and cheerful vibe with an ambient climate where the average temperature is always about 20 degrees celsius. With a total of four national parks and three World Heritage Sites situated in the islands, the Canary Islands is a real paradise with magnificent nature and rich history.
Although the official language on the islands is Spanish, you can still use English for conversing most of the time. Since majority of the visitors are from Europe, you may find very few opportunities to experience Asian languages. In Hawaii, you can find more Japanese language spoken everywhere. However, Canary Islands is totally different – you will find yourself immersed in English language all the time. Nonetheless this will be very exciting for the non-English speaking visitors who wish to brush up their English speaking skills.
“Hawaii in Europe”
There are many similarities between the Canary Islands and Hawaii. The Canary Islands is an archipelago of Spain formed by seven major volcanic islands on the Atlantic Ocean. Since it is quite far from the continent of Europe, you will find many kinds of unique endemic (local) species. Several native species like the Canary Islands dragon tree (Dracaena Draco) are protected in the natural ecosystem. The weather has always remained calm in Canary Islands. The climate here is relatively mild with an annual rainfall as low as 200mm. About 10 million visitors come to visit this place from European countries such as the Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. The main reasons for such a large number of visitors are due to the cheaper prices here compared to mainland Spain and the good security on the islands.
The Canaries are not huge islands, with “Tenerife Island” being the largest with a land area similar to Tokyo. The largest volcano in Spain, Mount Teide can be found here. Served by two airports in the north and the south of the island, you will also find this island to be very vibrant.
While there are many hotels and resorts in the city, it is also possible to stay with the locals. Though there will be interaction among hotel guests, the chances of having in-depth exchanges are low. Conversely the smaller the guesthouse, the higher the chance to communicate with other travellers. Various kinds of information such as where to find excellent restaurants and cheap supermarkets can be exchanged. Similarly, if your accommodation is a homestay, you can talk with the owners and get valuable information about the place.
The local apartments are well liked by many European travellers and are equipped with everything you need to ensure a comfortable stay. There is much fun staying in such apartments since you can purchase your own grocery from the local supermarket and cook your own meals. This experience is certainly something quite enjoyable with using local produces and creating new culinary on a foreign land. Otherwise, just visit the restaurants around the area to enjoy delicious local delicacies.
Fix up your own breakfast in the morning, as coffee and cereals are a great way to begin your day. Have the option of buying freshly baked bread at the nearby bakery, the way you decide to have your meals is completely up to you with endless options.
Since the Tenerife Island is small, travelling to different places by bus is rather convenient. The numerous activities in the downtown area can keep you busy and interested all day. There are also many cosy cafes and restaurants in the harbour, which remain quite busy, even during the nights. If you go to the mountain there is a park of beautiful tropical birds. In the bird show held there, all kinds of birds, from big birds to small birds, flapping in the sky from our overheads, showcase brilliant performances. There are even zoos and botanical gardens that you must visit. Here, you will be able to see all the unique floral and fauna species of Canary Islands that cannot be seen or found elsewhere.
Large shopping malls are everywhere in the Canary Islands where everything is available.
The Canary archipelago with its high mountains and clear sky is another great place for star gazing. There are astronomical observatories on the island of “La Palma” that will make you fall in love with the brilliancy of countless stars. If your schedule is tight, the stars can also be seen from the hotel room during clear skies without visiting the observatories. It is surely relaxing to reflect on the journey while looking at the cosmos and beyond.
Do not be frightened to converse in English!
One of the activities you can do in the beautiful Canary Islands is to practice your English language. Although the official language here is Spanish, tourists still have many chances of using English. English is not the native language of the local people here and most of the European tourists here do not have English as their mother tongue. According to the Canary Autonomous Region government data of 2014, the number of tourists here comprised of about 4.1 million Britons, 2.91 million Germans, followed by 550,000 Swedish, 510,000 Norwegians and 430,000 Dutch. There are many British tourists, but it is okay to tell them that you do not speak fluent English.
What is required at the Canaries is only “conversational English” and not perfect English. Only the necessary phrases are required that can get you through your journey and help you during difficult situations. If you do not know or forget the English word for something, you can also try and describe it with hand gestures. Usually, the locals will understand what you are trying to convey.
Unlike in Hawaii, there are very few people in the Canary Islands who can speak Japanese, so there is not much choice but to speak in English here even if you may not be understood. Simply employ gestures and pointing to communicate and to save some of your embarrassment.
Even if you have problems speaking in English and fear that you will not be able to communicate in the foreign languages, do still consider visiting the Canary Islands for a sun, sand and sea holiday!