Discovering the Beautiful Eastern Atlantic

The Canary Islands: One of a Kind

exotic birds in the Canary islandsAs blissful as these islands surely are to all who grace their shores, the Canaries also can boast another unique feature: They’re ideally situated for a visit to exotic Morocco — just a few hundred kilometres away — or the much celebrated Cape Verde islands close by. Furthermore, the Portuguese island of Madeira, with its heavenly landscape replete with vast rainforests and parks, waterfalls and gardens, and rolling fields as far as the eye can see, is just a stone’s throw away. It’s hard to imagine that one part of the world can pack so much punch, and even harder to imagine that the world at large hasn’t discovered its delights just yet. But maybe those who have come here would prefer to keep the secret. In a way, it’s pretty hard to blame them.

The Depths of Life Offshore

The Atlantic is best known for its Caribbean features, famous as they are for all the visitors who have jumped between the beautiful islands closer to the Americas. Few stop to consider that many of the same joys, and many different ones in addition, can be found on the eastern end of that very same ocean. But one trip snorkelling or scuba diving — or, if we’re being honest, even one trip to a Canary Island beach — can turn your view of the eastern Atlantic Ocean completely upside down. We’re talking about a paradise not only for the diving crowd, but also for those who love great atmosphere, magnificently serene rock cliffs, and also great varieties of birds to seek out and watch through binoculars.

The Best of Both Worlds

When you touch down on the Canaries, or Tenerife in particular, the overwhelming impression is one of duality. The Canaries boast all the exoticism of the third world, and far-flung destinations such as Thailand and Indonesia, or even the Philippines, while retaining the same sense, reliability, culture and efficiency we’ve all come to expect from the southern European nations. The Spanish are proud indeed of these islands, and so would we be, too, if they were in our own backyard. Imagine Thailand with tapas and you’ll start to get a sense of the measure of things down on the Canary Islands. Tenerife in particular can offer a wide variety of nights out and perfectly refreshing cafés and restaurants, you’ll wonder how the islands can possibly be as sparse as they are. You may just want to extend your stay out there … indefinitely.