I’ve been to Spain three times in total, once with mates on a lads booze up, once on a spot of backpacking and the other time was with my family. While I’ve visited the Spanish mainland of course and travelled all over Spanish speaking South America, I thought I’d share with you my top 5 exotic Spanish Islands. Spain is of course famous for beach resorts and islands!
You might find this an unusual choice as Menorca is far quieter than the other main Balearic Islands, but I loved it. I loved the beaches, the lack of tourists in some parts, the quiet lifestyle and the trendy bars that cater for the more relaxed traveller. A big shout out has to go to Menorquina Ice Cream as well – Menorca’s ice cream is amongst the best in the world. I loved it.
There’s some old school Spanish colonial settlements too and a range of outdoor sports too. I really recommend it ahead of Ibiza!
Lanzarote is the pick of the Canaries. It’s also one of the hottest places to relax while remaining on Spanish owned land, as it’s off the coast of Africa! It suits families as well as couples and party animals and flights to Lanzarote are also reasonable, especially when you compare them to the fact that the place is further away than mainland Spain and of course the no visa for EU citizens give it priority over a few of the north African and Middle East resorts.
So ignore all the hype about Tenerife – Lanzarote is where it’s at, Canary Islands wise!
3. Gran Canaria
This would be my pick for people who like adventure holidays, hiking and cave exploring. It’s densely populated with tourists and hotels, a little crowded during the high summer seasons and especially during Carnivale! They’ve got the beaches and excellent diving, surfing and snorkelling spots but I would rather do this all on Menorca for sure.
Gran Canaria does have pretty good adventure trails for biking, hiking and climbing amongst the cave villages near the centre of the island. The markets are pretty cool too.
4. La Palma
And now for something completely different! A volcanic island (okay all islands are created by volcanic disturbances) but this island makes it a tourist attraction. La Palma is close to Morocco, so like Lanzarote, it’s hot as hell. Remember your water when you take a walking tour of the emerald countrysides and largest crater on the planet.
Remember La Palma is the most volcanically active of all the Canary Islands…just sayin’ – Pompeii flashback!
I’ve left Ibiza off this list as my party days in Spain were done on Majorca, specifically Magaluf holiday resort. What more can I say? Beaches, bars, restaurants, clubs…it does cater mainly for the 18-30s age bracket but that’s when I went and I had the time of my life there. Happy hour cocktails, hangover breakfasts by the beach and clubs that don’t know when to shut!
I totally recommend Majorca and especially if you’re young!
I’m planning a return to Spain and explore more of the Spanish Islands at some point in the next year as I may well have to pass through it before I hit South America for a whole other Spanish experience.