Canary Islands - Getting there & away, getting around
Canary Islands - Getting there & away
All the islands except La Gomera have airports, and one is under constructions there too. Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote accept the bulk of the international flights and those from mainland Spain. You can fly to the Canaries from most European cities, with or without stopovers in Spain. If you are flying from North America, flights usually go to Madrid, where you pick up a connecting flight. Your best bet may be to fly to London, or even Munich, and pick up a cheap flight from a bucket shop there. There are no direct flights from Australasia, so the best option is to fly to Madrid or another European capital and fly from there to the Canaries.
There is a weekly ferry from the southern Spanish port of Cádiz. Departure tax from the Canaries is on a sliding scale from about US$6.50 to US$32.50, depending on how far you are flying.
Getting around Canary Islands
Flying is not cheap, but is infinitely faster than the alternatives of bus and ferry. The islands are connected by roll-on roll-off ferries, hydrofoils and jetfoils. Binter is the local airline, and can take you to six of the seven islands, until the airport at La Gomera is finished. Buses are known as guaguas, which will bring a smile of recognition to anyone who has travelled in Latin America. Each island has its own service, which will get you to most of the main destinations, but the number of runs is disappointing, especially on the smaller, less heavily populated islands where most people have their own wheels. All the big rental companies are represented in the Canaries, and there are also local operators. It may be worth booking a car in advance if you intend to stay for a reasonable length of time, but if you decide to rent a car after you arrive, shop around to avoid the sharks. You can also take taxis wherever you go, but that is definitely the pricier alternative.