Top 25+ Canary Islands Beaches

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The Canary Islands are technically part of Spain, although geographically they are much closer to North Africa. Made up of seven islands, the Canaries benefit from great weather all year round and are a particularly popular winter destination for Northern Europeans.

Whilst all the Canary Islands are volcanic in origin they are each surprisingly different and together contain a massive variety of environments. From the arid "lunar landscapes" of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote to the lush, verdant hillsides of Tenerife there are four national parks across the islands. So unique and exceptional are these reserves that tow are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a World Biosphere Reserves.

A little known fact about the archipelago is it is home to Spain's highest mountain, Mount Teide (Tenerife), which is snow capped year round. Something of a contrast to the banana plantations a few miles away! It is the mountainous terrain of the more westerly islands that allows rain to form and create lush landscapes. This is not the case on Fuertaventura and Lanzarote which, with the exception of a few isolated patches of green, are virtually barren.

Much of this will come as a surprise to those who thought of the Canaries as just a cheap package holiday destination. The resorts are still as popular and the nightlife as vibrant as ever, but tourism on the islands has expanded to suit a much wider range of traveller. However, there is one common theme that draws visitors to the Canary Islands and that is the fantastic beaches. These too are as varied as the landscapes throughout the islands and there really is a beach to suit everyone.

  • 1. Las Teresitas Beach // Tenerife

    Las Teresitas Beach
    © Victor Pelaez Torres

    Sitting at the foot of the Anaga mountains in the north west of Tenerife is Las Teresitas beach. Despite the mile long sweeping curve of golden sand Las Teresitas manages to just slip under the tourist radar - strange when it has probably featured on more postcards than any other beach on the island! 

    That isn't to say it doesn't get busy; it is popular with locals and plenty of visitors… read more »

  • 2. El Papagayo Beach // Lanzarote

    El Papagayo Beach
    © Tono Balaguer / 123RF

    Set in Los Ajaches Nature Reserve near the southern tip of Lanzarote is El Papagayo beach. Actually there are four beaches collectively termed the Coasta de Papagayo but it is Playa de la Cera that is the best known. Frequently described as the most beautiful beach on Lanzarote Papagayo comprises a small crescent of white sand protected by cliffs to either side. Unlike many of the islands beaches Playa de… read more »

  • 3. El Bollullo Beach // Tenerife

    El Bollullo Beach
    © Tono Balaguer / 123RF

    El Bollullo beach is located on Tenerife's north coast, a world away from the package-tours and resorts the island is often associated with. This small cove has a wild, natural feel right down to the black volcanic sand - there's no sprinkling golden sand imported from the Sahara here like on some of Tenerife's beaches.

    Set in the island's picturesque La Orotava Valley, the journey to El Bollullo involves navigating… read more »

  • 4. Maspalomas Beach // Gran Canaria

    Maspalomas Beach
    © Tono Balaguer

    Set on the southern tip of the island of Gran Canaria is a little slice of the Sahara Desert. Over the centuries the fine golden sand here has been sculpted into an extensive network of dunes extending several hundred metres back from the beach. With a landscape like this you won't be surprised to know it hardly ever rains and the temperature rarely dips below a balmy 20°C (68°F). And… read more »

  • 5. Playa de Las Conchas // Lanzarote

    Playa de Las Conchas
    Gonzalo Serrano Espada

    Playa de las Conchas lies on the northwest coast of the little island of La Graciosa, five kilometres along a gravel road from the ferry departure point back to Lanzarote. Its almost white sand stretches for 600 metres beside shallows the colour of turquoise. Reaching a maximum width of around 100 metres, Playa de las Conchas is surrounded by the red-tinted foothills of the volcano Montana Bermeja.

    Meaning "mussel beach" because… read more »

  • 6. El Cofete Beach // Fuerteventura

    El Cofete Beach
    © eyewave

    Cofete Beach is located just around the headland from the southern tip of Fuertaventura. The bright lights and resorts to the north of the island will do nothing to prepare you for the awe-inspiring scale and wildness of this beach. The beach is a wide expanse of golden sand that continues for as far as the eye can see. Directly behind the beach the dramatic mountains of Jandia rise hundreds… read more »

  • 7. Sotavento // Fuerteventura

    © Dirk Vorderstraße / CC BY

    Situated on the "Calma Costa" which runs along the south east coast of Fuerteventura is Sotavento beach. A vast tract of golden, windswept beach this stretch of coast is about one of the most remote areas on the island.

    Sotavento is a collection of beaches which together create a virtually unbroken stretch of sand from Playa Barca right down to Morro Jable on the southern tip. That's 25 km… read more »

  • 8. Playa de Esquinzo // Fuerteventura

    Playa de Esquinzo
    Iván Hernández Cazorla

    Not to be confused with the beach of a similar name in Fuerteventura's south, Playa de Esquinzo is a relatively remote stretch of soft golden sand on the northwest coast, six kilometres from El Cotillo. It lies within a small horseshoe shaped bay at the end of a gravel road and beyond a footpath leading from the car park down the dark cliffs to the waves.

    Roughly 300 metres long by… read more »

  • 9. Playa Del Matorral // Fuerteventura

    Playa Del Matorral
    Dirk Vorderstraße

    Curving around the southernmost point of the island, the three-kilometre-long Playa del Matorral can be roughly split into two equal parts. Its rich golden sands have been awarded Blue Flag status for cleanliness time and time again over the years, while the waves that come ashore are also normally calm.

    The section closest to the city of Morro Jable is where you'll find the majority of hotels, as well as most… read more »

  • 10. Playa del Águila // Fuerteventura

    Playa del Águila
    Sebastian Köttinger

    A wild and relatively wind-swept section of Fuerteventura's northwest coast, Playa del Águila also goes by the name of Playa de la Escalera, or Stairs Beach. A beach for a romantic sunset stroll rather than family day out, its orange-gold sands are backed by high sheer cliffs and lack any kind of facilities.

    To reach it, visitors must travel a short distance along an unsurfaced road before tackling a set of… read more »

  • 11. Playa del Castillo // Fuerteventura

    Playa del Castillo
    Bengt Nyman

    Playa del Castillo is one of Fuerteventura's most popular beaches when it comes to visitor numbers and names. Also known as Caleta de Fuste and Piedra Playa, it is considered a good beach for families even though strong surf means younger paddlers shouldn't be left alone in the water.

    Close to a wide range of hotel complexes and places to eat and drink, it lies on the western side of the… read more »

  • 12. Playa Esmeralda // Fuerteventura

    Playa Esmeralda
    © nito

    Playa Esmeralda sits on the broad neck of the Jandia peninsula in the far south of Fuerteventura, and faces east. Best reached with a private vehicle, the final section of the journey requires a short drive along a dirt road from the FV-2 highway. Beyond the car park, low cliffs slip down onto the beige sand.

    Playa Esmeralda stretches for roughly 400 metres in length, and at its maximum extent is… read more »

  • 13. Playa Famara // Lanzarote

    Playa Famara
    Victor R. Ruiz

    Playa Famara faces out into the waters of Bahia de Penedo on Lanzarote's northwest coast. Part of the Chinijo Archipelago Nature Park, it offers excellent views of La Graciosa island, which sits off Lanzarote's northern tip.

    Stretching for an incredible five kilometres, Playa Famara's yellow sands never get crowded, though in places they are mixed with ancient volcanic pebbles from the massif of rock that overlooks the shore.

    Sometimes called the Hawaii… read more »

  • 14. Playa de los Clicos // Lanzarote

    Playa de los Clicos
    Victor R. Ruiz

    Surely one of Europe's most unusual natural spectacles, Playa de los Clicos consists of black volcanic sands backed by a lagoon of vivid green. This is in turn edged to one side by the caldera of a volcano now partially lost to the sea.

    Thankfully the green of the lagoon isn't the result of some terrible nuclear accident, but the natural algae that found the mineral-rich waters so agreeable. Part of… read more »

  • 15. Güi-Güi // Gran Canaria


    All but hidden by the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean at high tide, at low tide Güi Güi Beach reveals a narrow stretch of dramatic sand. A rich brown-black in colour and backed by towering mountain slopes dotted with tall cacti, it lies in a remote area of the Reserva Especial Natural de Güi-Güi.

    Pronounced ‘wee wee', Güi Güi Beach can be subdivided into two sections. The first reached is… read more »