Tuesday, 30 June 2015 10:43

Are Gran Canaria & The Canary Islands A Safe Travel Destination At The Moment?

Gran Canaria island  is a safe holiday destination Gran Canaria island is a safe holiday destination

We've been asked whether it's safe to travel to Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands by several people concerned about the dangers of travel after recent events in Tunisia. Our answer is that  the Canary Islands have a low crime rate and that the threat of terrorist activity is remote.

Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands are one of the safest holiday destinations on Earth at any time. If you are concerned about terrorism, then bear in mind that the islands are protected by the ocean and almost completely free of firearms, troubled neighbours and domestic instability.

The risk of terrorist violence in Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands is extremely low for the following reasons:

  • The islands are largely gun-free. There are almost no weapons, legal or illegal, in circulation and only the Spanish military can own automatic weapons. 
  • Tight airport and port security make it difficult to bring in any illegal materials.  
  • There are no known radical religious or ideological groups operating in the Canary Islands.
  • The recent influx of boats carrying immigrants from North Africa also made the Canary Islands safer as we now have Spanish navy patrols off the African coast designed to stop boats from reaching the islands.
  • The islands are also monitored by radar stations designed to detect unknown boats coming close to shore; it's now almost impossible for boats to arrive here undetected. 

Safety Warnings & Threat Levels

While it's true that the British Foreign Office is warning that Spain is at high risk of terrorist events, a terrorist event in the Canaries is highly unlikely due to the reasons listed above. There has been no specific threat made against the Canary Islands and no specific reason to think that the islands are at risk. In fact, most countries in Europe are currently on high alert so Spain and the Canaries are no more dangerous than anywhere else. 

The high alert level in Spain does mean that security has been tightened and that the police are being extra vigilant in tourist areas. 

On balance, we can say that the worst thing you have to worry about in Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands is sunburn. 

See our Top Ten lists for Gran Canaria travel inspiration.

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