Unlike Greece there is no great tradition of inter island tourism in the Canaries. This is primarily due to geography, as the seven islands span some 500km and Lanzarote is the most easterly link in the chain.
Air versus Sea Travel
Whilst all of the Canary Islands are accessible from Lanzarote by sea, journey times and prices often make air travel the most cost effective option.
For example, Arrecife to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria by ferry takes seven and quarter hours. The journey time to Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a mind and bum numbing thirteen hours.
Comparable air travel times are two to two and half hours and are operated from the new second terminal for inter island flights by sole carrier Binter Canarias.
Even so it is still possible to use Lanzarote as a launching pad to visit three other islands by sea — all within half an hours journey time.
What´s It Like?
La Graciosa is the smallest inhabited island in the Canaries. Until the 19th century it was largely deserted — not least because marauding pirates in the 1700 and 1800’s often used it as a base.
These swashbuckling exploits are thought to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic book Treasure Island and rumours of buried booty still abound.
The real hidden treasure here though is the islands all-pervading sense of total peace and isolation and its amazing beaches. Only 27 km sq, La Graciosa is home to just 600 residents, most of whom live in the capital and harbour of Caleta del Sebo.
Fishing is the main island industry and the harbour houses the local fleet, as well as a regular ferry service running to and from Orzola in the north of Lanzarote.
Things To Do
Most people visit La Graciosa to enjoy the complete tranquillity and the island's beautiful, unspoilt beaches.
The jewel in the crown is Playa de las Conchas, hidden behind sand dunes in the north west of the island. Swimming here can be dangerous due to strong currents, but the view across to the neighbouring uninhabited island of Montana Clara is well worth the one-hour trek.
Alternatively, simply loll on the beach by the harbour and stroll into town for some of the freshest seafood around.
The island is also great for bird watching, hiking, mountain biking, surfing and kite surfing.
Ferries run daily and are operated by Lineas Maritimas Romero — +34 928 842 070.
Orzola – Graciosa 10.00 12.00 17.00 18.30 * Graciosa – Orzola 08.00 11.00 16.00 18.00 * *=summer only
Journey Time : 15 minutes. Return Price : €15
It’s worth noting that the crossing can be lively, so try to choose a day when wind and sea conditions are favourable.
You can also visit our Guided Tours page to book an excursion to La Graciosa.
There are no tarmac roads on the island. 4X4 vehicles can be hired like taxis to ferry you around. Bike hire is also available in Caleta del Sebo.
What´s It Like?
As the second largest island in the whole Canarian archipelago, but with a population around half the size of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura is, as you would expect, predominantly unspoiled.
Like Lanzarote, the countryside is still arid and volcanic, but the scenery is altogether gentler, with none of the dramatic lavascapes of Timanfaya. This is because the eruptions on Lanzarote occurred far more recently, whilst here the passage of time has eroded the volcanic peaks.
Mother nature still runs the show though, with the vast majority of the island remaining as she intended.
Despite the fact that Fuerteventura is the oldest Canary Island, with her first outcrops dating back some 17 million years, tourism developed much later here than elsewhere in Spain.
As a result you won’t find the usual water parks, themed attractions and zoo’s prevalent elsewhere. Instead, this island’s attractions are all natural, with pristine scenery and virgin vistas making it the natural choice for those who want to experience the perfect peace and serene solitude that is Fuerteventura’s hallmark.
Fuerteventura boasts three National Parks, one Rural Park, six Natural Monuments, two Protected Landscapes and one area of Scientific Interest.
Tourism is concentrated around Corralejo in the north and Jandia in the south. As a result of the island's size the ambit of any day trip is likely to be restricted to Corralejo and the surrounding areas, such as the Dunas National Park and pretty little inland villages such as La Oliva
Things To Do
The main attraction for most day-trippers is the incredible 10km strip known as Flag Beach bordering on the Dunes National Park.
Probably the most famous of all of Fuerteventura’s natural attractions, the Dunes are just outside Corralejo and are like stepping into the Sahara.
The National Park essentially comprises 2,400 hectares of continually shifting sands, as the dunes themselves move and change on a daily basis due to the influence of the almost constant strong winds coming in from the North and North East.
Surprisingly perhaps this area is home to a surprising assortment of well-adapted flora and fauna such as lichens and plants like tree tobacco (nicotina glauca) and over a hundred different species of invertebrates such as lizards and geckos.
Take some water and sun protection and lose yourself in the desert or hook up with a camel train for that real Lawrence of Arabia experience.
Visit our Ferry Timetables page for information on sailings from Playa Blanca to Corralejo.
Most holiday companies also organise tours to the island as do a number of excursion operators on Lanzarote.
You can also visit our Guided Tours page to book an excursion to the island.
Most ferry passengers tend to take vehicles, although if you’re hiring a car, you will need to check that you are allowed to take it to the other islands.
If you’re on foot then you will need to take a taxi to the Dunes National Park. The lack of landmarks here can make arranging the return pick-up interesting.
What´s It Like?
OK — so it’s more of an islet than an island and it’s totally uninhabited but that’s all to the good if you want to a real castaway experience.
Los Lobos is the small spit of rock, visible from Playa Blanca, which sits in front of Corralejo.
The islands name means wolves in Spanish but the origin relates to sea rather than land mammals. Up until the 19th century monk seals, also colloquially known as sea wolves, colonised the island.
Los Lobos is a protected Nature Reserve and as one of Europe’s last truly pristine spots it is an absolute must see for all nature lovers, containing an abundance of rare flora and fauna.
Visitors can explore the entire island on foot, marvel at the views across to both Lanzarote and Fuerteventura or just relax on one of the small, beautiful beaches.
Things To Do
Er…not a lot really. But then that’s the whole point.
The easiest way to see Los Lobos is as part of an organised tour, usually incorporating Fuerteventura.
Alternatively, trips can be arranged from Fuerteventura’s Corralejo harbour