Canary Islands - Facts

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  • The Canary Islands are an integral part of Spain, and as such are part of the E.U. although they have a special economic status.
  • The Canary Islands archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean, close to the northwest coast of Africa.
  • The seven main islands of the Canary Islands are well spaced out so that it is only a day’s sail between most of them. The logical route for most yachts arriving from the north is to visit Lanzarote and Fuerteventura first before sailing to Gran Canaria, then Tenerife, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma.
  • The population of the Canary Islands exceeded 2.2 million inhabitants at the end of 2023. Spanish is the official language, however, English, German, and other languages are widely spoken in the main tourist areas.
  • The currency used in the Canary Islands is the euro (EUR).
  • Canary Islands is only one hour behind the rest of Spain and nations like France, Germany, or Poland (UTC+1) and shares the same time zone (UTC) with nations like the United Kingdom and Ireland.
  • Visitors can enjoy year-round sunshine and a subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. See Weather for more details.
  • The Canaries remain the logical jumping-off point for yachts crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean, ever since Columbus started the fashion over 500 years ago, and from November to January, the islands are full of yachts preparing for their Atlantic crossing. The most popular ports for this being Las Palmas, Puerto Rico and Puerto Mogan – Gran Canaria, Marina Rubicon and Puerto Calero – Lanzarote and Marina Santa Cruz – Tenerife.
  • Facilities for yachts have improved considerably in recent years and more cruising yachts are now spending longer in the islands and some are permanently based there. Also on the increase is the number of yachts sailing down from Europe to spend the winter months in the Canaries’ pleasant climate.
  • Government-run ports (Puerto Canarios)Fifteen ports throughout the islands are run by the government. There is now a new app for pre-booking berths in these ports, however, the system to deal with bookings via the app and online system is limited and often results in little assurance that a berth is actually available. See this report for more details and Yachting Essentials for guidelines on booking berths and facilities for yachts in the Canaries.
  • There are restrictions on anchoring in the Canaries and in many places authorization is required. For rules on anchoring see Restrictions.
  • LPG/Gas: If in doubt arrive with propane bottles filled, your gas bottle may not be approved for filling here. For more details see Yachting Essentials section.

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  1. October 25, 2022 at 7:10 AM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Feedback from a yacht that recently arrived in La Graciosa.

    “We came to the island around noon, directly from Lisbon (4 days) and tried to get a place in the harbour. Well inside, we aimed for one of the many vacant spots, but soon became aware of a couple of guys in coveralls shouting at us. They immediately told us that there were no vacancy, but we asked them for permission to do some shopping. That was not possible, but when we told them it was for food, we felt that they understood and gave us the option of rafting up on one of the two boats. We were waved away when we approached the first one and when approaching the second, they started using whistles, shouted at us and basically chased us out of the harbor (they had likely been in contact with a superior in the meantime). It was unpleasant and may be even a bit rude. There were numerous vacant berth’s and at least 50 meters of unoccupied quays that could have been used for putting a person onshore and do the corresponding pick up.”

    Editor’s Note: La Graciosa is one of the 15 government-run ports throughout the islands (Puerto Canarios). Berths in these harbors must be pre-booked using the website or App – go to https://solicitudes.puertoscanarios.es/ and click on “Particulares. Formulario de datos.” This takes you to the online booking form. Alternatively, you can download the App to book via your phone. Whichever way you pre-book, it is always recommended to call the port prior to arrival to double-check your booking has been succesful. More on booking berths in the Canaries at https://www.noonsite.com/place/canary-islands/general-info/#yachting-essentials-section

  2. July 2, 2022 at 11:53 AM
    blur says:

    I docked in Santa Cruise Marina Tenerife coming from Madeira.
    Helpful dock staff took our lines and spoke good English
    Likewise office staff very helpful with good English
    Very easy to get passport stamped at the Police office by the Fred Olson terminal.
    A very short walk into town with many bars restaurants etc.
    The chandlery shops only open 0900 to 1430 or 1500.
    Good laundry, showers etc
    Beware the black rubber on the finger pontoons badly marks fenders and
    transfers on to the hull.
    Cost for 2 nights for 14m yacht 66 euros

  3. October 20, 2021 at 9:38 AM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Email received from fossilfreearoundtheworld.org

    We are in the Canary Islands at the moment.
    It is really, really busy! This season, besides the triple ARC and the Viking Explorers there are Catamaran-races on Tenerife so Tenerife is full and Lanzarote is moaning under all visiting boats, but Fuertaventura, La Gomera and El Hierro seem to be ok for finding berths. The app of Navily gives nice updates on anchoring possibilities, too.

    We were happy to find the information by Heinrich Solanas on noonsite https://www.noonsite.com/news/canary-islands-how-to-book-a-berth-in-government-harbors/

    An update:

    Puertoscanarios: troublesome indeed.

    We sent a request on Saturday and they replied Monday before 13:00, with detailed questions on the information provided. So we replied and the answer came on Tuesday, 10:00. Our request had been ‘archived’ because I had filled in the form, not Peter. So please make sure that no one other than the owner fills in the request because otherwise they reject the entire form, which was a lot of work.

    We decided to skip Tenerife so we don’t know if it would have been worth going through all the paperwork otherwise.

    The e-mail address mentioned for Fuertaventura is not correct. It should be: [email protected]

    But with this address, they replied promptly: they do not take reservations. But they did say that for a boat of our dimensions there is usually not a problem and they sent us the prices for a 10 x 4 boat: 17 Euros per night excluding taxes.

    Kindest regards,
    Inge

  4. March 27, 2020 at 8:47 PM
    ukelily says:

    This is the latest news for sailors in the canary islands during the state of emergency related to the corona crisis.
    The Spanish government doing the best they can during this crisis, but the police, guardia civil and officials are totally picking on sailors that are now confined on there boats. Example: one boater was going to the restrooms and the guardia was way on the other side of the port. They saw him walking back to his boat and they races over to to the other side of the port, stoped him and said that he was walking on a construction side. They were about to give him a fine but could not because they knew that it was not true. Next, they stopped me and my wife going to the showers saying that we have to keep 1.5 m distance of each other. I told the guardia we were living in the same boat and in the same bed. They said” okay bit next time we will fine you. They approached us from.a short distance. Really did not like that! Allowed is for us sailors is to go for just the basic food stuff in the nearest shop in our case Tazacorte and on the way back we boaties will get stopped by the police or guardia with hate in there eyes and asking questions like “where are you going and where have you been?”, like it is not obvious with some food in the rucksack. As for us, we speak fluently spanish and are always polite to them and not argue back. Same as the boat people here in the port, the are polite and mannered.
    We feel now discriminated because the locals and work people are keep on working together totally not paying attention to the recomended distance, no masks gloves and get not any attention from police or guardia civil. Non of the boaties are having symptones and everybody is okay we all clean the toilets after us. The authorities are looking for additional cash and where can they get it? Right from us. The local people here are looking to us as we are the worst people on earth. Now we feel how all changes when it comes to it. But we bring in tax, buy things, pay the port, buy diesel. This all is totally ignored. They really bite the hand that feeds them. Speaking for my wife and I, we feel suddenly hated and we come to the canaries for like 10 years!
    To bad, but we will go and will never return. Never ever. Least to say that if the virus could go but come back in september, there are a lot, a lot of people without income here. We will be walking ATM,s . This is our guess.

    1. March 28, 2021 at 9:33 AM
      wavepirates says:

      On March 27, we had lockdown, nobody was walking around as you described. The Guardia Civil may stopped you but, well they are not so clever. It was a new situation that 3 months just a week after lockdown. Nobody handled the covid right, no country.

  5. July 22, 2019 at 11:07 PM
    Shaunskie says:

    Hi, i have just arrived in Teneriffe and need to be here for a couple of weeks, are there any amchorages round the south end of the island that cruising pepes tend to like ? I am hoping to meet some like minded people and share a beer and a chat. Thanks for any info regards Shaunskie

  6. May 11, 2018 at 10:53 AM
    Ivar Smits says:

    Sailors for Sustainability
    May 11, 2018 10:53 AM

    Raymarine on Tenerife: There is one person for Raymarine repair/maintenance on Tenerife. His name is Pepe (José Juan García López), phone number +34 607 680 422. He worked his magic on our windmeter and autopilot and sailed out with us to test it all. Great service!

  7. February 18, 2018 at 11:42 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Reported by SV Snowflake:
    Anchorage – Papagayo Lanzarote:

    Apparently, this is a very popular nudist beach, which we were totally unaware of until after we anchored.

    We anchored for two nights here in September 2017 before fueling up at Rubicon and sailing to Tenerife. We had no problems anchoring here – there were only a couple of other boats anchored here and it was a calm, peaceful anchorage. The water was beautiful and we were told that there was an underwater sculpture park somewhere in the area but we didn’t search for it.

    We did not attempt to take the dinghy ashore – looked like it may have been tricky with the rocks.

    Holding was great and we could see straight down from the deck of the boat and view the buried anchor.

  8. January 16, 2017 at 5:00 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    A warning to all of those still planning a transit from the Canaries (this is Jan 2017): there is an unlit, uncharted, poorly visible series of semi-submerged, 25-meter diameter, hard plastic rings (fish farms) just to the southeast of Gran Canaria at 27 46.796 N, 15 25.734 W.

    Please steer clear! These are about 2 nm away from the marine farms charted on Navionics and Garmin charts at this time. We just ran our catamaran right into them at night and it tore up our rudders and engines.

  9. August 31, 2016 at 10:14 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    The above comment re 6kg colour is absolutely correct (or was at 30/8/16). We paid Euro 20.33 for 2 x 6kg refills. (They did look at the test disc around the top of the cylinder.) NB, they only accept cash!

  10. October 26, 2015 at 2:37 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    This comment was posted elsewhere on the site – 26 October 2015:
    I can confirm that the DISA plant in Gran Canaria does refill propane bottles/tanks. We have a 6 kg Calor bottle/tank from the UK. They filled it with no adaptor needed. Take the highway from the Muelle Deportivo towards the airport, about 17 km.

    Take the Salinetas exit. There is an IKEA Almacen, which is the second IKEA on the way to the airport. Go past that and take a right on the second roundabout, in front of the Mercadora supermarket. The entrance to the DISA plant is on your left. They also filled smaller propane bottles from Croatia with no adaptor required.

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