This week, we welcome Martin Studencan, CEO from NextRetreat. They’ve given us the lowdown on why the Canary Islands are a top choice for your next team retreat, all-hands offsite or getaway with your coworkers.
With a population that’s largely working remotely due to COVID-19, and businesses like Twitter announcing a permanent move to a work-from-home set-up, face-to-face connections are going to be more important than ever moving forward. And team retreats are a great way to strengthen bonds, aide collaboration and get those creative juices flowing again. In this post, we’ve explored all the reasons why the Canary Islands are just the right backdrop for your next retreat or a group trip.
1. You can visit the Canary Islands whenever you like
The Canary Islands are blessed with a subtropical climate, which means beautiful weather all year round. You can usually expect plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures – even in the winter months. Teams that fancy a suntan should visit the isles in July and August, when temperatures soar into the 30s and the sea water feels bath-like. Even the coolest month, February, averages a comfy 20 degrees.
2. There is always something going on
If you want to time your team retreat for the same time as an interesting event or a local celebration, there are festivals all year round, such as La Palma’s flower-cloaked Corpus Christi, and Tenerife’s dazzling Carnival. There is an international tourism and technology congress called FTV 4.0 in Fuerteventura, or TLP Tenerife – well known gaming and e-sports tech conference that features probably the biggest ‘LAN party’ in the world.
Semana Santa in Las Palmas is celebrated every year during Easter and Corpus Christi, in June, there is another tradition, when the streets around the cathedral are covered with beautiful carpets made of flowers. Speaking of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, let’s not forget a popular Jazz festival in Santa Catalina Park and the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium held in July, and last but not least my favourite event of the year – Nomad City Conference in November when digital nomads and remote working professionals from around the globe head to ‘La Isla Bonita’ to get together, enjoy keynotes, workshops and have some fun. Tickets usually go fast, so save your spot for this year in advance here.
3. There’s an island for absolutely everyone
They may all have sandy shores and balmy temperatures in common, but each of the Canary Islands has a personality all of its own – think regional cuisine and their own distinct landscapes. What’s more, you’re guaranteed to find the right island for you, regardless of what kind of trip you’ve got in mind. Looking for an electric nightlife scene? Check out the lively resorts of south Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Fancy exploring a tropical forest? Consider La Palma or La Gomera. Tiny El Hierro, meanwhile, caters for those who like to discover time-forgotten villages away from the tourist trails. And for uninterrupted R&R, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura come up trumps.
4. All budgets are welcome
The variety doesn’t stop when it comes to places to stay. From luxury hotels with state-of-the-art spas, to rustic farmhouses in miles-from-anywhere locations, the property spectrum is vast on the Canary Islands, so it doesn’t matter what your budget looks like. The same goes for dining. If you’re splashing out, there are gourmet restaurants with fine wine lists all over the isles, particularly in upmarket resorts like Costa Adeje (Tenerife). Cutesy fishing villages are in plentiful supply, too, which means delicious local produce in authentic settings and, usually, great value for money. Arrieta, in Lanzarote, and Gran Canaria’s Puerto Mogan are a couple of our favourites. Or do you something really unique? A ‘Guachinche’ is a typical Canarian establishment, spread predominantly on Tenerife and in Gran Canaria, where a homemade traditional food is served accompanied by a locally produced wine.
“Depending on where you are on the island, rent is quite affordable. Coffee is never more than 1.50 EUR for a cup, and groceries are generally very reasonable. The only thing to look out for is the stuff that needs to be imported from the mainland. Stuff like tomatoes and bananas and other locally grown produce is super cheap. Find a Mercado agricultural close to where you’re staying for super fresh produce straight from the farmers. The Mercado in Santa Cruz has spices from Africa and is worth a visit just because of the architecture and the colourful hustle and bustle inside.”
6. There’s plenty to do as a team
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to team-bonding activities here. The Atlantic Ocean swells promise brilliant conditions for watersports like windsurfing (the Windsurfing World Championship is hosted annually on Fuerteventura), while Tenerife’s Mount Teide and Lanzarote’s Timanfaya National Park both provide the perfect backdrops for hiking and walking tours. Golfing enthusiasts will be pleased to know there are some award-winning greens to tee off on across the isles, too. And most come with a spectacular sea view. As for those who like to explore underwater, there’s plenty to see beneath the waves via scuba diving and snorkelling sessions.
7. Coworking and Coliving spaces
Coworking spaces are popular and popping up left, right, and centre. As an individual, you can choose one wherever you want to be. Fancy a shared office in a town that will also offer you a place to sleep? Check out Coworking in the Sun in Puerto de la Cruz. Would you prefer staying in a traditional Canarian house with a coworking space, overlooking the coast? Have a look at Nine Coliving in La Orotava. In the capital of Santa Cruz there are few coworking spaces to choose from, I enjoyed the vibe and community around Ingenio. Fuerteventura is popular with adrenaline junkies and water sports fans, if you want to combine your kitesurfing trip with some coworking, try Hub Fuerteventura.
‘Meetups happen in several places around the islands. Whenever there’s anything interesting going on around the island it’s posted in the Facebook groups, so you never have to miss a thing.’
In Las Palmas there is an even wider range of options, my favourite include Coworking C on Calle Montevideo which is not far from the restaurants, famous beach of Las Canteras and splendid coliving spaces like TheRoof or TheVilla.
Teams can choose from a variety of options, based on their needs and requirements, from small boutique hotels to vacation rentals overlooking the ocean and other unique venues on all 7 islands. Choose your pick, Canary Islands really offer something for absolutely everyone.
Bring your team together on Canarias
Feeling inspired? Start planning your Canary Islands team retreat or offsite with NextRetreat – a specialist in team travel. They’ve hosted hundreds of team members in various destinations, but Canary Islands stay on top of the list of the most popular destinations for teams.
They are building a travel booking site, designed especially for teams and retreats. It allows you to use the handy Destination Search Tool to shortlist inspiring locations just right for your team – it keeps factors like direct flights, travel time, different time zones and busy schedules in mind. It helps you find the perfect venue that meets your teams’ requirements and each team also gets a dedicated Retreat Specialist to help plan out the perfect itinerary, and take care of everything from catering to meeting equipment.