Gran Canaria

The Canary Islands are something of a favourite holiday destination for us Brits, thanks to their ever-appealing mix of gorgeous beaches and year-round good weather. Of course, those credentials mean pretty much all the islands are brilliant for relaxing breaks, but in my opinion there are some that really stand out.

Gran Canaria

So, here are my top three relaxing Canary Island destinations – hopefully they’ll give you a little inspiration for your next holiday.

Tenerife

Best for: relaxation while still having lots to do

Tenerife is a real holiday hotspot, so I thought it would make sense to look at this island first. Of course, the very fact it’s so popular means that it’s often quite busy, so I think that if you are planning Tenerife holidays 2013, you need to choose your destination quite carefully.

That said, the fact it’s got so much going on is also a good thing. For a start, it means you’ll always have the option of mixing your holiday up by doing something livelier than lazing on the sand. Secondly, if your idea of relaxing means trying out lots of different water sports or heading to the casino (Playa de las Americas is particularly great for this) this is the perfect place.

If you fancy quiet relaxation that involves lying by the pool or strolling through lush landscapes and traditional villages, I’d recommend heading to the north of the island. Generally speaking, this is where you’ll find fishing villages and great walking routes.

La Palma

Best for: experiencing an authentic slice of Spain

La Palma’s the next destination on my list. What appeals to me about this island is that it’s far less commercial than places like Tenerife; in fact, while many of the Canary Islands rely heavily on tourism, La Palma generates most of its income from things like farming.

Ok, I appreciate you’re probably not looking for a rundown of the local economy (which is good, because I don’t think I’m exactly qualified to give you one!), but the above should just give you an idea of how tranquil and unspoilt it is. It’s this atmosphere that makes me think it’s absolutely ideal for relaxing.

Known as the greenest of the Canary Islands, La Palma is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, so if you’re keen on exploring pretty landscapes, this is a great place to come. One of the things that most interests me about La Palma is its pretty bays, which are secluded and surrounded by dramatic cliffs. In terms of beaches, Los Cancajos in Brena Baja is one of the most spectacular, so don’t miss it.

Lanzarote

Best for: seeing amazing landscapes

Lastly, I recommend heading to Lanzarote. Like Tenerife, this is an island that’s already pretty well established as a top holiday destination – particularly thanks to its gorgeous beaches in the south. Cucharas Beach is one of the best to spend a day on if you fancy giving something like scuba diving or windsurfing a go, but those who want a really secluded place to relax will no doubt welcome the news that there are plenty of hidden coves too.

There are two main things about the island that really caught my attention, though. Firstly, I’d love to see its volcanic scenery, which is said to resemble a lunar landscape (yes, really). Secondly, I think a nice stroll around some of the pretty villages sounds like the perfect way to unwind. In fact, the village of Yaiza is often said to be the most beautiful in the whole of Spain, so if you do come to Lanzarote, make sure it’s on your must-see list.