Top 10 Small Resorts in the Canary Islands

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From beaches on the unspoilt islands of La Palma and La Gomera to tucked away gems in Tenerife, these are our favourite small resorts in the Canary Islands.

El Cotillo, Fuerteventura


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Despite being known to have some of the best beaches in the Canaries, Fuerteventura is one of the archipelago’s quieter islands. To really get away from the crowds, you just need to cross to the island’s north-west coast. Here, you can stay in the fishing village of El Cotillo, which enjoys access to miles of white-sand beaches and turquoise lagoons and boasts brilliant windsurfing conditions. With its intriguing jumble of open-air sculptures, bohemian market stalls and local tapas joints, this part of Fuerteventura really offers an authentic and artistic experience of the island.

Garachico, Tenerife


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The pretty coastal pocket of Garachico is one of the most popular day trip destinations in Tenerife, but instead of a flying visit, why not stay and explore the cobbled streets at your leisure? Despite rather a dramatic history that includes plagues, volcanic eruptions and floods, its charm really is undeniable. The area is known for its spectacular natural pools that were formed in 1706 by the lava of a volcanic eruption as it flowed into the ocean. These creations now provide calm, crystal-clear swimming spots where you can unwind in unfathomably scenic surrounds. We also recommend wandering through the whitewashed town with its historic central plaza, and keeping an eye out for the monument to the 17th-century wine rebellion…

Playa Santiago, La Gomera

La Gomera is one of the smallest Canary Islands and also one of the least visited. Its lack of an international airport keeps visitor numbers down, though it can be reached by a pretty simple boat journey or flight over from Tenerife. Playa Santiago on the south coast is a delightful fishing village, which happens to also be one of the sunniest spots on the island. Head here for a very laid-back holiday filled with rejuvenating stops in local cafe-bars and swims in the calm waters which are protected by a jetty.

Puerto de Mogán, Gran Canaria


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Puerto de Mogán’s local nickname is Little Venice. There’s only one canal, but there’s no denying that it’s a pretty resort, built from low-rise apartments and adorned with bougainvillea and swaying palm trees. The town sits behind a sheltered bay of golden sand and an upmarket marina. Snorkelling around the breakwater is a popular activity, as is simply strolling around the traffic-free town centre, discovering hidden boutiques and crossing the canal’s Italian-style footbridges.

La Caleta, Tenerife

This small fishing village in Tenerife offers a real hideaway, with just a handful of bars and fish restaurants. Small, pebbly coves and ladders bolted into rocks allow you to swim and snorkel in the glassy sea, and rough trails along the coast lead you to a hippy bay. Yet this is all just a 10-minute walk from the edge of Playa de las Americas, one of Tenerife’s largest resorts. Locals worry that their larger neighbour will gradually absorb La Caleta, but right now it’s a great destination if you want to enjoy a holiday in sleepy surroundings with lively parties within strolling distance.

Las Playitas, Fuerteventura


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This petite cluster of white-and-blue-striped houses sits adjacent to a long stretch of volcanic black sand. It’s a quiet holiday setting, where you can watch fishermen set off from the beach each morning, however you can still find bars and restaurants in town and the beach has facilities for kayaking and surfing. You’ll also be close to some stunning natural vistas, such as the mountainous area of Cuchillos de Vigán next door, and you can even visit the active Moorish La Entallada lighthouse.

Los Cancajos, La Palma


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It’s easy to find small holiday resorts on peaceful La Palma, but if you’re hoping to stay near one of the island’s best beaches, head to Los Cancajos. There’s a trio of black-sand bays here, so you can choose your level of seclusion. Closer to town, the beach offers umbrellas and sun loungers, but walk just 10 minutes along the boardwalk and you’ll find yourself alone with the sand and the sea. The resort itself has more than enough tavernas and fish restaurants, but you’ll also be just a short drive from the island’s capital of Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Playa del Cura, Gran Canaria

If you’re looking for the sort of beach resort that has all the essential holiday facilities but not the crowds, then you’ll find it at Playa del Cura on Gran Canaria’s south coast. There are two volcanic beach coves, both of which are backed by sheltering cliffs, and the best bit is that you can almost always grab a spare lounger on them!

Playa Blanca, Lanzarote


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OK, so we can’t claim that Playa Blanca is a small resort, however its isolation on the southern tip of Lanzarote and low density of development means that it feels more secluded than most of the island. There are three beaches to explore, including the Blue Flag-awarded Playa Blanca, as well as the the spectacular silky white sands of the Papagayo beaches nearby… Sip cocktails in sophisticate surrounds at the marina, or head to the seafront promenade for exquisitely fresh seafood accompanied by a warm ocean breeze.

Las Caletillas, Tenerife

There are plenty of remote swathes of land to be discovered in the north of Tenerife, including the sleepy town of Las Caletillas on the north-east coast. The beaches consist of black sand and dark pebbles. with some decking areas for sunbathing. Meanwhile, the promenade is lined with low-key cafes, and you can expect some taste some flavourful local specialities in the welcoming restaurants and bars that line the main street.