books based in the canary islands poster

Books based in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands is known for its beautiful weather, 365 days a year. The pristine beaches, the delicious food, the warm people, and the breathtaking landscapes are the ultimate spot for a writer. Let’s go through some of the books, whose stories have been based in the Canary Islands.

1.‘More Ketchup than Salsa’ by Joe Cawley

More Ketchup Than Salsa
Area of the Canary Islands
: Tenerife

Story Synopsis: Some people dream of trading in the cold, wet British weather for the sunnier and warmer climes of the Canaries.

Joe is one such dreamer. He and his girlfriend Joy pack up and leave Lancashire to run a bar in Tenerife. Their dreams and reality couldn’t be further apart.

Between incidents with some strange locals, dealing with loud Brits on holiday and starting a bar, Joe and Joy’s idyllic hope of life under the sun turns out to be much different than they could ever have imagined!

A fun fact about Tenerife
: Mount Teide, located on Spain’s most populated island, is the world’s third largest volcano.

2. ‘Lanzarote’ by Michel Houellebecq


Area of the Canary Islands
: Lanzarote

Story Synopsis: To avoid the potentially disastrous New Year, our main character makes his way into a Travel Agent to book a getaway.

He is persuaded into travelling to Lanzarote, sold to him as ‘an island full of 21st century hedonism’.


There he runs into all sorts of bizarre and fascinating characters, from Pam and Barbara, the lesbians on a mission to seduce a police inspector from Luxembourg to the members of a millennial alien cult.

A fun fact about Lanzarote
: The emblem of Lanzarote is a demon because early settlers interpreted their first experience of a volcanic eruption as the work of the devil.

3. The Hermit by Thomas Rydhal

Featured Island: Fuenteventura

A car is found crashed on a beach in the Canary Island resort of Fuerteventura. In the trunk is a cardboard box containing the body of a small boy — no one knows his name, and there is no trace of a driver.

The last thing Fuerteventura needs is a murder. The island’s already got half-empty bars and windswept beaches, and the local police are under pressure to cut the investigation short.

But long-time islander Erhard, who sees more than most people, won’t let the investigation drop — and he has nothing to lose. He has severed ties with his wife and child in Denmark and has cut himself off from the modern world.

The question is: can an old man who knows nothing about mobile phones, the internet or social media possibly solve a murder in the modern world, especially one that stretches far beyond the sandy beaches of Fuerteventura?

4. ‘Canary Island Song’ by Robin Jones Gunn

Canary Island Song

Area of the Canary Islands
: General vicinity

Story Synopsis: Carolyn, a widow, has been left alone following tragedy in San Francisco. After a little encouragement from her daughter, she decides to make for the Canary Islands, where her mother lives, in a bid to escape.

Arriving there for her mother’s 70th birthday, Carolyn runs into Bryan Spencer, an old high school love. In the beauty of the islands, she rediscovers herself and the fullness of life.

A fun fact about Chinijo Archipelago: Chinijo Archipelago actually consists of several tiny islands only inhabited by 658 people.

5. ‘Following the Rainbow’ by Ben M. Baglio

Following The Rainbow

Area of the Canary Islands
: Various

Story Synopsis: A children’s illustrated book in which the young Jody McGrath travels with her family to the Canary Islands to research dolphins – her favourite animal.

Unfortunately, she discovers that many dolphins are being injured by ferries and boats that travel between the islands. Jody sets out on a mission – to protect the animals.

A fun fact about Fuerteventura: The American Ocean Liner SS American Star beached itself on the island in January 1994.

6. ‘Deep Black: Death Wave’ by Stephen Coonts

Deep Black Death Wave

Area of the Canary Islands
: Various

Story Synopsis: When a ship carrying twelve nuclear war heads disappears in Central Asia, Deep Black, a secretive unit of the NSA is sent out to find them.

Their leader Dean and his hand-picked unit follow the trail to the Canaries.


They uncover a sinister alliance of international terrorists who plan to use the bombs to trigger an enormous tsunami that will wipe out the east coast of the US. Time is running out.

A fun fact about El Hierro
: El Hierro was once believed to be the most western part of the world.

7. She the Island – A novel about Fuerteventura by Irina Papancheva

The paths of two couples – Marina and Gerard and the younger surfers, Carla and Gerd – cross on Fuerteventura. They meet a writer who is working on a novel about the exile of the real life philosopher Miguel de Unamuno in 1924. The writer soon finds herself lost in the labyrinth of their complex relations. She escapes by returning to her book and by travelling the island, absorbing its landscapes, history and culture.On the bare island we were all naked. And each ostensibly voluntary next step of ours would lead to the inevitable denouement. We were all characters in a novel. The novel being written by the island.‘She, the island’, Irina Papancheva ‘She, the island’ is a wonderful evocation. Beautifully drawn depictions of real people and events from the history of the Fuerteventura are interwoven with fictional characters who are in love with surfing, writing and love itself. 

Phil Madden, poet I haven’t read for a long time such an exquisite, contemplative work, both very human and wise. With an intriguing love plot spread through Fuerteventura’s history. Emil Andreev, writerAn intellectual and emotional feast, ‘She, the island’ could satisfy any taste. It has it all: an engaging plot with many story lines, memorable characters, dramatic turns, and authentic philosophical and psychological interpretations coming from Miguel de Unamuno himself. All of this captured in the mystical landscape of Fuerteventura.Luis Quimper, writer