Things not to do on the Canary Islands
Don’t ignore the heat factor. Walking and cycling on the islands will take you into another world, but the near Saharan temperatures and arid landscapes can lead to heat exhaustion very quickly, especially in July and August. So, if you want to trek, go early in the morning, or in the evening. Just as the locals do. And drink plenty of water.
Don’t always cool down with beer. Canarian wine is wonderfully refreshing, and given that they are volcanic vintners, they need a huge pat on the back for creating ambrosia out of the ashes. In fact, the Canaries have the highest vineyards in Europe, on the slopes of Tenerife’s El Teide. Lanzarote has 18 vineyards, where the vines are planted into small, aesthetically beautiful cocoons in the black, volcanic soil, then covered by a lava stone called Picon to protect them. Toast that with a glass of chilled Malvasia or Moscatel.
Please learn some Spanish. Local people must get really sick of English speaking visitors walking into a café and saying ‘Two coffees and one tea please’. A few words make all the difference, even if they are simply, ‘Lo siento, no hablo español’ (sorry, I don’t speak Spanish). But really, we can all muster ‘un café por favor’ or simply ‘gracias’. That would, indeed, be gracious.