Canary Islands, Spain

Includes the Islands of Tenerife, La Palma, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote

The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean 100 km west of Morocco. The islands are a major tourist destination, known for their gorgeous beaches, rugged mountain interior, and distinct microclimates. Our guide to running in the Canary Islands is focused on the most popular islands for visitors: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote.

We note that the roads tend to lack shoulders or sidewalks, so generally the best places to run in the Canary Islands are along the wonderful seafront promenades and beaches. The interior of the islands is generally mountainous and rugged — terrific for trail running, but challenging! A couple of unique running experiences on the Canary Islands: on La Palma, run the biggest volcanic crater in the world; and the Maspalomas Dunes on Gran Canaria. Lanzarote is heaven for trail runners.

Runners should note that weather on the Canary Islands can be very hot and dry in the summer, though there are microclimates. Many of the roads lack shoulders or sidewalks. And the interior of the islands can be very rugged and exposed.

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The climate of the Canary Islands is subtropical (tropical at the coastline), though there are a number of microclimates and the classifications range mainly from semi-arid to desert. Summers can be hot though temps are moderated by the sea and the trade winds. Winters are mild and great for running.