The best novels set in the Canary Islands

novels set in canary islands
The Canary Islands have served as inspiration for some of the most famous creatives the world has ever seen. Orson Welles used the islands as inspiration for his later film locations, Agatha Christie used the islands to inspire the closing chapters of her novel, The Mystery of the Blue Train, and Jules Verne has famously said of the Canaries, ‘…indeed it’s hard to imagine a more attractive sight’. The natural beauty and temperate climate make it the ideal setting for a good novel, be it romance, horror or action. We’ve scoured the bookshelves for stories set in the Canary Islands, and these are the best 5 we found!

More Ketchup than Salsa, by Joe Cawley

Desperate to escape the rain-soaked fish markets of Lancashire, Joe and his girlfriend Joy plan an escape to the beautiful island of Tenerife. Sadly, it’s not quite how they had imagined, and they arrive on the island during a period of drab weather; just like home. This is a laugh out loud travel memoir from Tenerife; along the way, our protagonists try and involve themselves in expat culture and we’re introduced to some of the wild and peculiar inhabitants, from pub landlords to beach salesmen. A classic tale that tells us, the grass is not always greener.

Notes From The Canary Islands, by Camille Lenning

The entertaining travel journals of Camille Lenning are a wonderful insight into the eccentric world of The Canaries and other islands on the west coast of Africa. Expect humorous accounts of language barriers, misunderstandings, conflicting lifestyles, and the wonderful kindness of people. Very funny.

Deep Black: Death Wave, by Stephen Coonts

A thriller and a page-turner; Islamic Terrorist and rogue Chinese cells are in alliance. They plan to aggravate the fault lines running beneath the Canary Islands in order to cause a tsunami that will raise over 1000 feet high and destroy the east coast of America. Lia and her Deep Black team are tasked with infiltrating the Chinese organisation. It’s down to them alone to stop this act of history-changing geological terrorism.

Tenerife: Tall Tales, by Tony Thorne

This book is one of three short story collections based on the island of Tenerife. It contains 17 fantastical tales of speculative realism, taking the reader all over, and even under, The Island of Eternal Spring. The theme throughout these stories is, that couldn’t really happen; or could it? The more you read, the more you’ll wonder what in this world is real and what isn’t.

The Ravine (El Barranco), by Nivaria Tejera

Written in 1958, but only recently translated from French to English, this is the beautiful and critically revered story of a young girl’s upbringing at the start of The Spanish Civil War. Set in the Canary Islands, this often harrowing yet always beautiful story is filled with observations of hope. The unnamed, seven-year-old girl loses her father to a concentration camp, where he is sentenced to hard labour for supporting the Republic. His family visit him regularly, constantly worried that he will one day be executed and buried in the ravines, the same fate as thousands of other prisoners…