As the frosts start to kick in in Northern Europe, holiday goers get a taste for the winter sunshine, stunning beaches, volcanoes and sand dunes of the Canary Islands – a Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa. Celebrated destinations like Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote are best known for their amazing beaches (including the unique black sand Bollullo on Tenerife) but off the beaten track there are charming colonial churches, other-worldly volcanic landscapes and lively towns with cutting edge architecture. We pulled together some of our favourite pictures from the picture archive.
Timanfaya National Park, camel excursion to visit the volcano, Lanzarote (Tuul/Robert Harding):
Sandy dunes and ‘Isla de los Lobos’ in the background, Corralejos, Fuerteventura (Marco Simoni/Robert Harding).
Young short finned pilot whale (Christopher Swann/Robert Harding):
Dunes of Maspalomas and beach, Playa del Inglés resort, Gran Canaria:
People wearing traditional dress and singing during Corpus Christi celebration, La Orotava, Tenerife (Marco Simoni/Robert Harding):
Opera House Santa Cruz de Tenerife Tenerife (age fotostock/Robert Harding):
Interior of cathedral, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria (age fotostock/Robert Harding):
Old windmill, Tefia, Fuerteventura (Marco Simoni/Robert Harding):
House detail, Playa de las Americas, Tenerife (age fotostock/Robert Harding):
Central Mountains, View of West Gran Canaria from Roque Nublo (age fotostock/Robert Harding):
Vineyards of La Geria on volcanic ash of 1730s eruptions, Lanzarote (Tony Waltham/Robert Harding):
See more photos from the Canary Islands here