The Canary Islands are a popular Spanish island group in the Atlantic Ocean. Because the archipelago is located at the height of Morocco, the temperature is pleasant all year round and you can also enjoy the sun here in winter. You can enjoy the sun, sea and beach on these islands, but also beautiful nature and culture. Due to the diversity of the landscape, the Canary Islands havehave something to offer for everyone.
Yet there are also major differences between the seven different Canary Islands. They all have their own unique characteristics, which can make it difficult to choose an island for your sun holiday. In this article we have compared the different islands in several areas.
Tenerife is the largest island of this archipelago and therefore the most popular among tourists. In the south of this Canary Island you will find the most touristic seaside resorts such as Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje. These seaside resorts have beautiful beaches and lots of entertainment, restaurants and hotels. Besides the beaches, Tenerife is also known for the Pico del Teide volcano; the highest mountain in Spain. The jet-black volcanic landscape around the volcano is ideal for walks and true nature lovers. With a cable car you can visit the top of the volcano, which gives a beautiful view of the entire island. Capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a bustling city in the north of the island.
2. Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria has a lot to offer. Besides sun, sea and beach, this Canary Island is characterized by its diverse nature and culture. On the south side of this island you will find Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles; the famous seaside resorts full of tourists, restaurants and hotels. The ideal destination for the tourist looking for relaxation and entertainment. When you go further to the center and north of the island, there are many authentic villages and beautiful nature. Gran Canaria is known for its many different landscapes. It has impressive dunes, a large crater, rugged mountains and relaxing forests. Capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has a beautiful historic district called La Vegueta.
Read more about the best sights in Gran Canaria here.
Lanzarote is one of the oldest and most easterly of the Canary Islands. This has created a unique volcanic cone landscape. The soil of this island is less fertile, making it less green than the other islands. This makes it a surprising island that occasionally resembles a moon landscape. Lanzarote has much less high-rise buildings than Tenerife or Gran Canaria. This ensures that the landscape stands out even better and is much more pristine than on the aforementioned islands. The island is mainly ideal for active activities such as cycling, hiking, diving or windsurfing. Because Lanzarote has fewer local inhabitants, the authentic villages and sights that Tenerife and Gran Canaria know are missing.
This Canary Island is located just below Lanzarote and is the oldest island in the archipelago. Good to know is that this island experiences an almost constant wind, making it ideal for windsurfing and kiting, but this can also be an irritation if you want to relax on the beach. Fuerteventura is mainly known for its beautiful golden sandy beaches and turquoise sea. Just like Lanzarote, this island has few local inhabitants, which means that there is less culture and traditional restaurants than in Gran Canaria and Tenerife. The most famous seaside resort on Fuerteventura is Corralejo, located in the north of the island at the protected nature park and dune area El Jable.
5. La Palma
La Palma is also known as La Isla Bonita; the most beautiful island. This is partly because it is the greenest Canary Island of the archipelago. The whole island has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The island is much less touristy than the islands mentioned above, and therefore offers a peaceful holiday with a green rainforest in the north of the island and a desert landscape in the south. La Palma does not have large vibrant cities such as Tenerife. This island mainly has cozy and colorful cities. The capital Santa Cruz de La Palma has a historical importance; it used to be an important port for shipbuilding. It is also a very charming city; well worth a visit.
6. La Gomera
La Gomera is a lesser known Canary Island, but no less interesting. Are you looking for fewer tourists, but a sunny holiday, then La Gomera is ideal. The island does not have the standard sun, sea and beach that the other better-known islands do have. This island has a lot of untamed nature, many hiking trails, cliffs and ravines, and green valleys. The capital San Sebastian is quiet and has only one historical point of interest; Columbus visited the island. This island is also easy to visit from Tenerife for one day.
7. El Hierro
This is the smallest and most mysterious island in the archipelago. It is quite remote from the other islands and that is exactly what attracts the adventurous tourists to this Canary Island. The coast of El Hierro has many lava rocks, where the inland is characterized by agricultural land and flower fields. You will hardly find beaches and tourists here, making it the ideal destination if you like peace and quiet. In addition, this island is also perfect if you love diving and the underwater world. The island has a lot of underwater caves and shipwrecks.