The Canary Islands – for sunshine blessings
Whatever time of year you celebrate your big day in the Canary islands, you can be sure of sunshine and beautiful scenery – and its just a short flight away from British shores
If you are planning a winter wedding, you don’t need to fly long haul. Couples looking for romantic winter-sunshine destinations to say “I do” need look no further than the Spanish Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of north Africa, where the climate is lovely throughout the year.
Volcanic in origin, the Canary Islands are on the same latitude as Florida and Mexico and enjoy a similar year-round sunshine climate, with temperatures ranging from 21°C in January to 29°C in August with total annual rainfall at just 5.5 inches.
Each of the Canary Islands offers something unique with a delightful choice of wedding venues in interesting and varied locations. Choose from the most popular four islands – Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote for the wedding of your dreams.
Gorgeous Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands, and is perfect for those looking for relaxation, fun, fantastic weather and a truly stunning wedding destination! From the golden sandy beaches in the south to the dramatic lunar landscape of Mount Teide National Park and everything in between. Tenerife has something for everyone – from water sports, golf, clubbing and chilling out on the beach to exploring the island’s Capital Santa Cruz or typical Canarian villages and visiting the highest peak on Mount Teide or the deep ravines of picturesque Masca. Stay at the sophisticated resort of Costa Adeje, the ultra chic Playa del Duque or the seaside town of San Eugenio with its picturesque marina, Puerto Colón. Or in the north the scenic resort of Puerto de la Cruz is home to the lovely beach of Playa Jardín. For fun and nightlife head south to the lively resort of Playa de las Americas.
Gran Canaria is an island of diversity with a variety of landscapes and landmarks – ranging from lush forests, exotic flora and fauna, Sahara-like dunes, mountains, volcanic craters, the odd flurry of snow on the highest peaks and the dynamic capital of Las Palmas to incredibly beautiful coastlines and spectacular beaches, offering you an enormous choice when planning your wedding venue, and ensuring that there will never be a dull moment. The south has stunning, fun-packed resorts including: Meloneras where you can walk along the promenade and shop in high-end designer stores; Playa del Inglés – top up your tan on the beach by day then enjoy pulsating nightlife; Maspalomas – the sand dunes here are a sight to behold, stretching along the coast like giant waves of sand; Puerto de Mogán – a picturesque fishing resort known as Little Venice, with canals and quaint bridges; And of course the vibrant capital of Las Palmas.
Situated just 79 miles off the coast of Africa, Lanzarote is the most easterly of the Canary Islands and the fourth largest at 37 miles long and 12 miles wide. Due to the recent volcanic eruptions during the 18th and 19th Centuries, many parts of Lanzarote have Volcanic Landscapes and the island is described as ‘Lunar’ or ‘Martian’. Amongst its stunning volcanic features is the longest Volcanic Tunnel in the world – the Atlantida Tunnel, which is over 7 km long and includes the La Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua. Volcanoes dominate it not all though – Lanzarote has several beautiful white beaches including Playa Blanca, Papagayo and Caleton Blanco. For more active couples, the island offers great surf at Famara, windsurfing at Costa Teguise and world-class sports training facilities at La Santa Sport.
Fuerteventura is the closest Canary Island to Lanzarote and is the second largest (after Tenerife) of all the islands. It boasts some of the most impressive beaches in Europe, with miles of broad sandy beaches and enormous golden sand dunes making ideal for holidays as well as destination weddings. Fuerteventura is generally regarded as the oldest of all the Canaries and its strange contours come from various volcanic episodes. The last eruption occurred about 7,000 years ago so you’re pretty safe! Should you wish to see some of the most recent volcanic activity hop on the ferry and take a trip to the neighboring island of Lanzarote, it’s well worth the effort. You can also take a short boat trip over to the small island of Los Lobos and really get away from it all. Water sports are very popular in Fuerteventura, including surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing and diving.
Marry in the Canary Islands
If you marry in the Canary Islands you can have a beautiful, symbolic wedding ceremony without the stresses of having to produce documents, have them translated and apply for a marriage license. Marriage of foreigners in the Canary Islands is not currently legal, so your ceremony will be a blessing only. If you and your partner are British citizens, then to have a legal marriage, you will both need to apply and marry in the UK – i.e. a civil wedding at a registry office – before your ceremony in the Canary Islands. Before you leave the UK you will both first need to give notice of marriage at your local registry office. There is a 15-day wait during the publication of the banns, after which you will be free to marry in the UK. You can then travel to The Canary Islands and enjoy a truly romantic symbolic wedding ceremony at the venue of your choice – with your friends and family as guests if you choose.
6 THINGS TO DO
- Hop on a ferry and travel between the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura for a honeymoon that’s twice as nice!
- Take the cable car to the top of Mount Teide in Tenerife for spectacular views.
- Get in touch with your inner Martian and visit the lunar landscapes of Lanzarote – especially the Atlantida Tunnel, the longest Volcanic Tunnel in the world.
- Take a day trip to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria to visit museums and galleries before hitting the shops!
- Relax on the beach at Maspalomas in Gran Canaria and marvel at the magnificent sand dunes as you catch a few rays.
- Go Kite Surfing on the beach in Fuerteventura for the ultimate adrenaline rush.