Canary Islands

Sun worshippers, grannies, British lager louts and family groups - come to the Canary Islands before next season when ten million European fun seekers drop by. The Canaries are a seething mass of oiled and usually badly dimpled flesh jiggling in the lap of the waves and to the beat of discos, bars nightclubs. They offer the worst of mass tourism: concreted shorelines, tacky apartment block after tacky apartment block, and bars where you can pretend you've never left home; but they also offer some of the best beaches within easy escape from a snowy European winter.

It's not all mass tourism, though. Beyond the mega resorts you can still find tiny fishing villages, whitewashed hamlets perched on hilltops and even a few wild places within the dull roar of a volcano or with mist dripping through primeval forests. You certainly won't be treading where none have trodden before, but the Canaries pack enough into seven islands to satisfy most tastes.


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