Strolling through Santa Catalina Square past old men playing chess in the sunshine, it is easy to see why so many of history's movers and shakers have paid a visit to this island capital. Here you can immerse yourself in maritime history at Columbus House, named after the great explorer who stopped off here en route to the Caribbean. You can sip General Franco’s favourite cocktail in the bar of the Hotel Madrid. Or climb the steps of Santa Ana Cathedral’s bell tower, and look out over a bright ocean of bobbing ships.
The Canary Islands derive their name from their brightly coloured native birds.
After dark, there’s a party going on all year round. Eat tapas on the beach or dance to African rhythms in the beautiful historic Veguta District, full of sun-dappled old buildings and romantic balconies.