Top things to do in the Canaries for action lovers

Get ready for surfing, diving and hiking!

To most, the Canary Islands are known for their paradisiacal beaches, year-round sunshine and volcanic landscapes. However, the Spanish archipelago is not limited to dreamy views and relaxation. From climbing in Tenerife to snorkeling in Lanzarote, the Canaries are an ideal destination for action lovers seeking exciting outdoor activities. 

Keep on reading to find info about the available ferry schedules to the archipelago and discover the best things to do in the Canary Islands:

Yellow mountains and crystalline waters at Papagayo Beach in Lanzarote

Papagayo beaches, a great spot for snorkeling in Lanzarote

Tenerife adventure activities for thrill-seekers

Wondering where to go in the Canary Islands? Start with Tenerife, the largest and most populated island of the Canaries, offering an extensive range of outdoor activities for everyone. Whether you prefer to spend time in the mountains or make memories at the beach, Tenerife has everything you need.

Climbing the mighty hills of Tenerife

Climbing and hiking in Tenerife are two of the island’s most popular activities, as there are numerous trails for both beginners and experts. 

A key example is Mount Teide, a huge volcano in Tenerife and the most visited natural wonder in Spain. As it is a part of the biggest volcanic complex of the Canaries, there are many popular hiking trails for you to explore. 

You can access certain starting points by car so that you get around the mountain and its many routes easily. And if you are interested in something more challenging, you can climb to the peak of Mount Teide!

Other popular areas for climbing and hiking in Tenerife are:

  • Arico: there are more than 260 trails for you to choose from, all while enjoying idyllic views.
  • El Río: this area is close to Arico and offers about 90 routes. They are typically more demanding with constant sun exposure, so make sure to come prepared!
  • Guaría: this is a large canyon also known as Guía de Isora that includes more than 100 routes.
  • Barranco del Infierno: it’s an ideal location for those interested in a more straightforward trail. It takes about 3 hours to get there and gives you some unique sights that combine rocky cliffs, beaches and even a waterfall at the end.

Tip: make sure to check if a permit and/or a reservation is required for the path you wish to follow.

Peak of Mount Teide seen through volcanic rocks in Tenerife, Canary Islands

The rocky landscapes of Mount Teide, Tenerife

First-class water sports in Tenerife

You can try out water sports in Tenerife and enjoy the island’s beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and year-round sunshine. Even in the colder months of the year, the winter sun of the Canaries is there to warm your sea adventures!

Here are some key recommendations:

  • Surfing in El Médano: an ideal activity for action lovers at Tenerife’s hidden gem.
  • Diving: Tenerife is full of wonderful dive sites for you to explore. You can rent equipment from local diving centers. And if you are well-trained, try out freediving!
  • Snorkeling: are you looking for the middle ground between scuba diving and casual swimming? Try out snorkeling at Tenerife’s beaches, the perfect way to explore the waters of the island.
  • Sailing and kayaking: these two water sports are easy to practice throughout the year, thanks to Tenerife’s climate and geographical location. It’s also a great way to witness the island’s marine wildlife.
  • Jet ski tours: there are organized jet ski excursions through which you can explore different parts of the island and access hidden beaches. This activity is perfect for families and groups of friends.

Aerial view of the mountain and beach of Las Teresitas in Tenerife, Canary Islands

Picturesque sandy beach in Tenerife

Paragliding over Tenerife

As you explore the mountains and waters of the island, you are rewarded with beautiful views. What if there was a way to admire the beauty of Tenerife panoramically?

Consider adding paragliding to your list of Canary Islands activities. This beginner-friendly option is the perfect way to enjoy all viewpoints of Tenerife and get your adrenaline pumping. Make use of verified safety equipment and professional assistance and jump into your next Tenerife adventure!

Adventurous activities in Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura is the second-largest island of the Canary Islands, known for its white, sandy beaches, windy weather and roaring waves. There are endless outdoor activities in Fuerteventura to try as an action lover. Key highlights include windsurfing and discovering the island’s diverse wildlife.

Taming the winds of Fuerteventura with windsurfing

The windswept island of Fuerteventura is one of the most popular destinations for windsurfing in the world. Its large natural wonders and frequent breezes make windsurfing practice more interesting and thrilling than ever.

Here, you can find Fuerteventura resorts that are perfect for windsurfing. They are located close to beautiful beaches and have convenient places to stay. Some of the best places are:

  • Corrajelo: it is a major tourist resort in northern Fuerteventura. There, you can find Rocky Point, a perfect spot for windsurfing, especially in the winter months.
  • Costa Calma: this is a quieter option with various windsurfing centers to introduce you to the world of water sports in the Canary Islands.
  • Puerto del Rosario: at this similarly quieter location, you can visit nearby beaches such as Puerto Lajas and Playa Chica, perfect for windsurfing in Fuerteventura.
  • El Castillo or Caleta de Fuste: a charming location preferred by many locals for its wide beaches such as La Concha.

Surf in Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura is also worldwide known for being a great surfing destination. The island has more than 40 surf peaks along its coast. So whether you're a beginner or you've been catching waves for years, there's a spot for you.

These are some of the best waves on the island:

  • Punta Elena: this spot in the town of Corralejo has 2 different waves so you can choose the one that best suits your level.
  • El Bubble: this right hand wave in the town of Majanicho is short but powerful, perfect for advanced surfers.
  • Cotillo: a wave in the north of Fuerteventura that is ideal for beginners as it is located on a sandy bottom.
  • Isla de Lobos: although the conditions for this wave are rare, this 500 m right hand is one of the longest in the Canary Islands.

Discovering the wildlife of Fuerteventura

In every corner of the island, there are wild animals of all kinds and species waiting for you. Whether you observe them in their natural habitats or at sanctuaries, this experience is guaranteed to bring you closer to nature.

In Fuerteventura, you may find two surviving groups of the Canarian Egyptian vulture. This is not the only bird species that can be encountered in Fuerteventura, as there are many other migratory and nesting birds.

Additionally, you can see turtles and dolphins swimming close to the beaches of the island, a wonderful and unique sight for all.

Important: do not interrupt the routine of wild animals by getting too close to them.

And if you are up for an educational activity, you can visit the Oasis Wildlife of Fuerteventura which is open to travelers all year. There are about 1 million square meters for you to explore, with more than 3,000 animals and 8,000 plants.

This establishment offers many educational programs about protecting the environment and its endangered species.

Sea turtle underwater in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands

Sea turtle swimming in Fuerteventura

Unusual outdoor activities for adventurers in Lanzarote

There are many reasons why Lanzarote is a tourist attraction favored by many: subtropical climate, volcanoes, caves, unique flora and beaches lined up with palm trees. While it offers a plethora of thrilling things to do, the most favored activities in Lanzarote are snorkeling, cave-exploring and hiking.

Snorkeling in Lanzarote

In need of a refreshing activity before exploring the volcanic landscapes of the island? Try out snorkeling, one of the most popular water sports in Lanzarote.

The sheltered beaches located in the eastern and southern parts of the island are perfect for snorkeling. Popular spots include Playa Flamingo and the five Papagayo beaches

In most cases, there is professional guidance to assist you through snorkeling in Lanzarote and help you enjoy its marine beauty up-close.

If you wish to up your game, visit the Underwater Museum in Lanzarote, one of the most interesting and adventurous activities in the Canary Islands. There are many diving programs and ways to visit it, depending on your experience.

Tip: the whole territory of the island of La Graciosa is within a marine reserve, so a snorkeling excursion in the waters of the island is a must if you like this sport.

Panoramic view of the mountain, sand and water of Playa del Papagayo in Lanzarote in the Canaries

A beautiful beach for snorkeling in Lanzarote

Cave-exploring in Lanzarote

Are you looking for unusual things to do in the Canary Islands? Try out cave-exploring (also known as caving or spelunking) in Lanzarote. The island is home to unique subterranean locations that attract many adventurers. Two caves, however, have stolen the spotlight!

The first place that you should visit is Cueva de los Verdes, an impressive lava tube that looks like a mythological location. You can only access a quarter of its expanse, which is enough to immerse you into its otherworldly beauty.

The second location is Jameos del Agua, a volcanic tunnel that was transformed into a touristic attraction by the Spanish artist César Manrique. Thanks to his vision, you can explore this wonderful cave and visit its restaurant, bar and pond. And for the eagle-eyed adventurers, look out of the famous white crabs of Lanzarote that are usually wandering around the cave.

Illuminated volcanic tube inside the Cueva de los Verdes cave in Lanzarote in the Canaries

The majestic Cueva de los Verdes in Lanzarote

Hiking in Lanzarote

Outdoor activities in Lanzarote include hiking across volcanic landscapes. The island’s hiking trails are ideal for nature lovers who wish to explore the rocky landmarks of Lanzarote. 

Find two locations that are ideal for hiking below:

  • Los Volcanes Natural Park: its landscape came to be after volcanic eruptions and lava solidification. Here, you can easily access the volcano of El Cuervo and its crater, which is a great beginner-friendly activity.
  • Los Ajaches: this is a beautiful place for hiking in Lanzarote which challenges its visitors. Hiking through the rather steep trail of Los Ajaches introduces you to one of the island’s oldest and largest volcanic formations.

Tip: if you wish to try mountain biking in Lanzarote, you can combine it with hiking at Los Ajaches, as the location has routes for both outdoor activities.

True-explorer activities in Gran Canaria

What are some unusual things to do in Gran Canaria? This island perfectly encapsulates the countless activities in the Canaries. Due to its numerous beaches, you can easily get a taste of different Gran Canaria water sports. If you are not interested in getting your feet wet, there are plenty of safari excursions to join.

The top water sports to try in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is a paradise for water sports of all kinds. There are about 80 beaches on the island, known for their picturesque colors and warm waters. Here, you can find the best spots for diving and snorkeling, two of the most popular water sports in Gran Canaria.

Diving in Gran Canaria

Dive spots in Gran Canaria offer a wide range of options for both beginners and experts as well as plenty of marine beauty. Read below our list of recommended spots for scuba diving in Gran Canaria:

  • Amadores: it is a beautiful beach that combines relaxation and diving for beginners.
  • Tufia: this diving spot was created by a volcanic eruption, making its entrance slightly challenging. There are 2 different routes.
  • Risco Verde: known for its beautiful fauna, this spot is great for night diving in Gran Canaria.
  • La Catedral: you can access this spot by boat and explore its beautiful underwater structures of caverns. It is considered a more challenging diving location.

Tip: if you are a fan of scuba diving, you can't miss a dive in La Restinga in El Hierro, a world famous underwater destination.

Aerial view of the buildings and the beach of Amadores in Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands

The popular Amadores beach in Gran Canaria

Snorkeling in Gran Canaria

Looking for a more accessible undersea adventure filled with beautiful views and creatures? Snorkeling in Gran Canaria is the perfect activity for you. The island’s diverse marine ecosystem is filled with unique fauna and flora. Certain diving spots are even accessible at night where you have the chance to discover nocturnal sea creatures!

Snorkeling spots are scattered throughout Gran Canaria. Some of the most popular recommendations are Playa de las Canteras, Puerto de Mogán, Risco Verde and El Puertillo.

Tip: certain spots for snorkeling, such as Risco Verde, usually have centers for other water sports.

Safari tours around Gran Canaria

Consider joining a jeep safari tour if you want to explore the mountains, parks and sandy landscapes of the island. Hop on sturdy motor vehicles and let your Gran Canaria adventure begin!

You can find a wide range of organized safari tours around the island. Make sure to research thoroughly which package best suits your wishes and preferences. 

Key things to look into are the languages available for the tour, sightseeing and any additional activities. Depending on the safari tour and the routes available, you can also choose between different vehicles. Apart from jeeps, there are usually Cabrio cars and minivans.

How to get to the Canaries

There are many ways to get to the Canary Islands depending on your starting point. Our personal favorite is traveling by ferry. See some of the most popular ferry routes in the Canary archipelago below:

  • From Gran Canaria to Fuerteventura: the route from Gran Canaria to Fuerteventura is available with at least 3 daily ferry trips. The shortest trips only take 2 hours!
  • From Tenerife to Gran Canaria: there are usually around 14 daily ferries from Tenerife to Gran Canaria during high season. Tickets start at €49.92 and fast ferries take less than 1.5 hours to connect the two islands.
  • From Lanzarote to Fuerteventura: there are around 20 daily ferry crossings from Lanzarote to Fuerteventura, with increased frequency in the summer. The trip takes about 25 minutes and tickets start at €17.50.
  • From Tenerife to Fuerteventura: there are daily indirect crossings from Tenerife to Fuerteventura. The duration of the fastest ferries is 4 hours and 15 minutes including the stopover in Gran Canaria and tickets start at 90.40€.

Ferry traveling from Fuerteventura to Lanzarote in the golden hour

A golden hour ferry trip from Fuerteventura to Lanzarote

Where can I book ferry tickets online?

On Ferryhopper, you can find all timetables and book ferry tickets to the Canaries. All routes mentioned above as well as additional ones are available on our Map of ferries that helps plan your trip easily.

Tip: interested in combining some of the above routes for an ideal island-hopping getaway? Read the Ferryhopper guide about island hopping in the Canary Islands and explore all available options for both short and long-term holidays.