These sun-drenched islands belonging to Spain lie just north of the African coastline and the Tropic of Cancer, and were known by the Greeks as the remnants of the lost Kingdom of Atlantis. The earliest settlers were the Gaunches, sturdy people with blue eyes and fair hair, who were eventually displaced by Spanish invaders before finally settling in South America. Called the “Garden of Europe” due to a wonderful climate, it’s a place where flowers and vegetables can be grown in the middle of the European winter.
On this tour we travel from the desert-like landscape of Fuerteventura to the moist forested slopes of Tenerife, a volcanic island with huge tracts of solidified lava. The isolation of these islands has favoured the evolution of endemic forms of species including Laurel and Bolle’s Pigeons, Canary Islands Stonechat, Goldcrest (Canary Island Kinglet), Canary Island Chiffchaff and Blue Chaffinch. There are also important breeding seabird colonies holding Cory’s Shearwater, as well as Bulwer’s Petrel, Little Shearwater and White-faced and Madeiran Storm Petrels, which breed in smaller numbers.
This promises to be a pleasant week with comfortable hotels, excellent cuisine, stunning scenery and a selection of Island endemics.
Laurel & Bolle’s Pigeon, Canary Islands Stonechat, Goldcrest (Canary Island Kinglet), Canary Island Chiffchaff, Blue Chaffinch, Berthelot’s Pipit, Houbara Bustard (of the endemic race, Chlamydotis undulata fuertaventurae), Cream-colored Courser, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Cory’s Shearwater, Bulwer’s Petrel, Little Shearwater, White-faced & Madeiran Storm Petrel
Short-finned Pilot Whale, Bottlenose Dolphin, Barbary Ground Squirrel
open ocean, coastline, pine & laurel forest, woodland, reservoirs, gravel plains, lava fields
moderate to hot
mostly relaxed with some longer walks
spectacular volcanic scenery, rarely visited islands, excellent cuisine