The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are politically and administratively Spanish and yet
culturally and geographically they have very much their own personality. The Canaries
consist of seven islands, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, La
Palma and El Hierro. Within the archipelago there is a variety of scenery so extreme that
it is often referred to as a mini-continent. Whilst exploring the Canaries you move from
sub-tropical vegetation to volcanic semi-deserts, from cliffs and gorges to miles of
golden sand dunes by the sea, particularly in Fuerteventura which is one of the
worlds best windsurfing destinations.
The Canary Islands are a shopping paradise. Not even the tax-free shops
at the airports can compete with prices in the Canaries. Alcohol, tobacco goods, cameras,
electronic goods, watches, almost everything is cheaper than in their countries of origin.
English is spoken in the vast majority of retail and food outlets, particularly in the
south of Tenerife, the most popular destination for British tourists.
All the islands are easily accessible by numerous sea and air links.
The shortest distance between the islands and Africa is 115 Km (72 miles). From the main
islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife to the port of Cadiz on the Spanish mainland is only
two days at sea. Madrid takes a little over two hours by air and daily flights to London,
only 4 hours away, afford excellent travel connections to anywhere in the world.
The Canary Islands have a climate of their own. The temperature,
humidity and wind speed combine to give the islands the best possible conditions for
eternal spring. Throughout the year, temperatures rarely vary more than a few degrees
above of below 22ºC/72ºF.
The larget of the islands, Tenerife, is dominated by
Mount Teide, Spains highest mountain (approx 3700m/12000ft) which is set in a
National Park. In winter, the magnificent snow-covered peak can be seen from the beaches
while you are sunbathing. The south of the island is warmer and drier than the north coast
where the vegetation is noticably more lush.
The majority of the islands golf courses are dotted along the
south coast within easy reach of the south airport and the popular tourist areas, while
the oldest course, Real Club de Golf, is close to the islands other airport in the
north, near the capital, Santa Cruz.
Over the years, many European Tour events have been held on the island,
most recently the Canaries Open 2003, which was hosted by Golf Costa Adeje. All of the
courses in Tenerife are excellent quality and a visit to the island will guarantee you a
great golfing holiday. For more information on each of the courses you can visit their
websites which are listed below.
Due to the shortage of other locations in Europe where
you are virtually guaranteed fine weather in the winter months there is great demand for
tee times in the high season (October to April). Consequently, green fees are, on average,
25% lower in the summer months (May to September).
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Next week we continue our feature on the Canary Islands with
Gran Canaria, home of Spains oldest golf course.