The Canary archipelago is an increasingly popular tourist destination consisting of 8 main islands. Now, you’re probably wondering which one suits you best, right? Don't worry! This guide’s sole purpose in life is to help you find the chosen one, the island that will instantly steal your heart. So, are you ready for it? Explore the best of the Canary Islands below and book cheap ferry tickets with Ferryhopper.
Maspalomas golden dunes in Gran Canaria
Why choose the Canary Islands for vacation?
I know what you're thinking: “Lower the sails, sailor! I have not decided to travel yet and you are already weighing anchor”.
Perhaps Cupid has missed the shot and you don't feel that crush at first sight, so I better give you some convincing reasons to visit the Canary Islands:
- Great weather all year round: It is not a matter of witchcraft or the pigeon drop. The average temperature in the Canaries is 19ºC in winter and 27ºC in summer. Wish you had this weather in your hometown, don’t you?
- Diverse landscape: As soon as you reach a beach, you find yourself surrounded by gleaming dunes or a landscape blanketed with lush forest. In the Canary Islands, the possibilities are endless.
- The Canarian ambiance: The Canarian people are known for their warmth and hospitality, but not only for that: they love to celebrate life! The archipelago’s carnival parades rival those of Rio de Janeiro.
- Finger-licking food: Tired of eating instant soups every day? Travel to the Canaries! There you can try dishes of all styles and flavors, from mojo picón (pepper and garlic sauce) to the traditional watercress stew.
- Accommodation: Are you a fan of "all-inclusive"? Or do you prefer the charms of nature? There is accommodation for everyone in the Canary Islands: grand resorts, country houses, vacation rentals, and even camping!
If you have already convinced yourself that the Canary Islands are the ideal destination for your holidays, read on to find out which of them best suits your needs.
A road making its way into the laurel forest in La Gomera
Tenerife is the largest island in the Canary archipelago. The Atlantic’s jewel has a fascinating history and a special magnetism.
So, it is not surprising that artists like Agatha Christie or The Beatles fell under its spell. Tenerife is so much more than an island. Tenerife is a source of inspiration!
Is Tenerife your ideal island?
Do you want to explore wild routes? Go out partying? Or get up early in the morning to plant your umbrella on the beach? Whatever type of traveler you are, Tenerife adapts to you.
This island is the best starting point for beginners in the Canary Islands, as it brings together the best qualities of the archipelago: endless beaches, remote villages, natural parks and a great cultural offer. You could say that it is a multipurpose island!
What to see and do in Tenerife?
Tenerife is full of places to visit and activities to do. Hiking up to the top of Mount Teide, strolling along the trails of the Anaga Rural Park or enjoying the colorful Santa Cruz Carnival are just a sample of everything that awaits you on the island. If you are craving for more, visit our Tenerife travel guide...and the party goes on!
Amazing sea view from Anaga Park in Tenerife
Gran Canaria is the second most populated island in the Canary archipelago and it is known for its large number of routes in natural landscapes. Almost half of the island has been declared as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
Among its main attractions we find its capital, Las Palmas. Here, you can enjoy great cultural events, surrounded by warm and friendly people who love a good party.
Is Gran Canaria your ideal island?
If you spend loads of office hours at work or you’re hiding a crazy explorer under your suit, there is nothing better than a trip to Gran Canaria to stretch your legs and breathe fresh air.
And if you wish, you can explore its long and twisty roads in a van, taking care not to get lost in one of its incredible picturesque postcards.
On the other hand, if you and your partner want to share unforgettable moments, the island offers all the fun you may need. From concerts and carnivals to celebrations, Gran Canaria is the most partying and dancing island in the entire archipelago!
What to see and do in Gran Canaria?
It is not known as the "miniature continent" by chance. In Gran Canaria, you can go trekking through the Tamadaba Natural Park, visit the Roque Nublo, fall in love with the streets of Teror and so much more.
You can learn everything in our vacation guide for Gran Canaria!
Picturesque walkthrough of Teror in Gran Canaria
There is no other island that keeps the geological history of the Canaries more alive than Lanzarote. Fire mountains, green lakes, large cactus fields and much more to discover.
Million years of alterations have left an indelible mark on the island. A walk through Lanzarote is like hopping on a time machine and going back to ancient times. A unique island to explore that requires your full attention.
Is Lanzarote your ideal island?
The charms of Lanzarote are more discreet but just as exciting. The island is destined for those travelers with enough patience to unravel its secrets. An archeological tourism’s gem worthy of Indiana Jones!
Its volcanic nature makes it perfect for geologists and tourists who want to break the monotony. If you want to be surrounded by an awe-inspiring lunar landscape at every turn or thoroughly examine a rock with more history than many countries, then Lanzarote is for you.
What to see and do in Lanzarote?
Discover Lanzarote's most beautiful places in the world, among which are the Laguna de los Clicos (no, I am not speaking in Klingon), the Cuervo Volcano or the Mirador del Río.
The exotic lagoon of Los Clicos located in Lanzarote
Raise your hand if you like beaches. Raise the other if you are passionate about the Canaries. Now get up from your chair and head to Fuerteventura, because this is the island you need.
According to experts, Fuerteventura is the first-born child of the Canarian family, which makes it the most mature and wise of the eight islands. In addition, it recently turned 20.5 million years old, still in good shape by the way, and I am sure that nothing would make it more happy than to welcome visitors.
Is Fuerteventura your ideal island?
The main elements of the island are its coves and the strong wind that blows throughout the year. If we combine them, we have a paradise for surfers, but also for the most energetic families.
Fuerteventura has hardly any nightlife and is not lavish on its hiking trails. So, if your legs ask you for a truce and you are tired of the loud music that your children play, this is your island.
What to see and do in Fuerteventura?
Have I already told you that Fuerteventura is famous for its endless coves? Well, there has to be more, right?
Of course! Apart from visiting places as remarkable as Popcorn Beach (I promise I am done talking about beaches), it is also worth taking the path that leads to the top of the Calderón Hondo Volcano and walking through the Port of Morro Jable.
If you have not yet quenched your thirst for the island, perhaps our Fuerteventura travel guide will do the trick.
Gigantic fine sand beach in Morro Jable, Fuerteventura
What do you know about La Gomera? Probably very little. And it is that this tiny island, located to the west of the Canary archipelago, often goes unnoticed.
Said like this, it seems that we are trying to convince you not to go, but nothing could be further from the truth. That aura of mystery that surrounds it makes it a very seductive destination. Do you want to know more? Keep reading!
Is La Gomera your ideal island?
Have I piqued your curiosity? Now, let's grab your attention! La Gomera can be seen in 1 or 2 days, which makes it perfect for a fleeting getaway.
La Gomera is not a conventional destination, so forget about taking your beach cooler and umbrella with you. On the other hand, if you want to go hiking, you have chosen the right place. Do you feel that? It's the call to adventure!
What to see and do in La Gomera?
You probably won't spend a lot of time on the island, so it is essential that you make the most of it.
The highlight of the island is the exuberant Garajonay Park, a gift of nature. Another of the main attractions of La Gomera are its majestic places, such as Vallehermoso and the Valle de Gran Rey, from where you can enjoy a sunset as you have never seen before.
But the island has much more to offer and in this La Gomera travel guide, we reveal it all to you.
Fog taking over the coast in La Gomera
A little further south of La Gomera, we find the island of El Hierro, also known as the "Meridian Island", since it was considered the end of the world for centuries.
It is true that it is an otherworldly place but you won’t need a spacesuit or a rocket to go! All you need to do is hop on a ferry from Tenerife to El Hierro!
This island of volcanic origin is an oasis for the traveler. It is a haven of peace, where you can admire the magical beauty of the deep blue ocean.
Is El Hierro your ideal island?
This island is an amalgam of contradictory traits, sculpted by time under the watchful eye of its fleeting admirers, the stars.
El Hierro is home to ancient laurel forests, so tall and lush, painting a green sky. Natural monuments on beaches that barely know the human touch and pearl-white villages, where past, present and future sit at the same table.
El Hierro is pure and unbridled nature, perfect for diving in its waters and greeting its marine inhabitants or for walking on foot, feeling the breeze caressing your forehead.
What to see and do in El Hierro?
You know what they say: "Good things come in small packages." So, despite being the smallest of the Canary Islands, El Hierro has a lot of hidden places to explore.
We recommend diving into the deep sea of La Restinga, one of the archipelago’s wonders. You should also pay a visit to the Orchilla Lighthouse, a remote construction that gazes at the infinite ocean.
Lighthouse standing on El Hierro’s coast
As Madonna used to sing, "Isla Bonita" is a dream, although La Palma is very real and is located in the Canaries, just north of El Hierro.
The island is known for its environmental quality, its imposing sceneries and its starry skies. But you will also discover the island's natural reserves, villages built in caves, and centenary lighthouses.
Important: The island's volcano recently erupted. Before taking the trip, stay informed about updates on La Palma’s volcanic eruption.
Is La Palma your ideal island?
If you travel to La Palma looking to party, you can turn around now because you will not see any of that here. In fact, this is among the most peaceful islands in the Canarian archipelago.
La Palma is a destination to fall in love anew. It is your ideal island if you are looking for a place where you can freeze time and admire bucolic landscapes with your partner.
Tip: Its main strength is the trails, so you have to go prepared to exercise. You know what they say: "The one that would have the fruit must climb the tree."
What to see and do in La Palma?
Among the most emblematic places of the island is its picturesque capital, Santa Cruz de La Palma, as well as its highest peak, Roque de Los Muchachos.
Other points of interest are the Salt Fields of Fuencaliente, the Caldera de Taburiente and the spectacular beaches of Nogales and Cancajos. To know everything about the Isla Bonita, head over to our La Palma travel guide.
The park of Taburiente reaching for the horizon in La Palma
Paradise on Earth exists and is found in the Canaries. La Graciosa is popularly known as the "eighth island," and although it is neither the most popular nor the most mentioned of the archipelago, its charm is unrivaled.
Its 29 square km are full of paradisiacal beaches, turquoise waters and incredible natural monuments. All this is wrapped in an aura of introspection and spirituality that invites you to recite poetry to Mother Nature.
Is La Graciosa your ideal island?
It may be your first or last stop on your tour of the Canaries. La Graciosa always welcomes visitors with humility and kindness.
If you want to disconnect with the world, reconnect with yourself and achieve nirvana, this is your island. It is practically uninhabited and has only basic services, so you have to be well equipped if you decide to travel. In La Graciosa, you won't find any city noise.
What to see and do in La Graciosa?
Beyond its countless coves, you can visit the island's main port, Caleta de Sebo, and the remote town of Pedro Barba. We also recommend taking a tour of the coast by catamaran and getting the services of a 4x4 taxi to navigate its dunes.
Desert beach of Caleta de Sebo in La Graciosa
Useful tips for traveling to the Canary Islands
Here are some useful tips to know before traveling to the Canary Islands:
- If you are not traveling with your own vehicle, we recommend renting a car to move around the Canarian land. Public transport is also a good option.
- Many places in the Canary Islands are far from the urban center. Although this is a cause for celebration, you should not forget drinks, snacks, and sunscreen for the road. You'd be surprised how much a bottle of water and a hat can help!
- The archipelago’s climate is the object of envy all over the world. Its mild temperature and low rainfall make it a safe destination throughout the year. However, you must find out what the best season for your vacation is. Going to the beach is not the same as climbing a mountain.
- Each island is a whole different world when it comes to accommodation. In Tenerife or Gran Canaria, you will not have any problem finding a place to stay. However, in more distant places like El Hierro or La Graciosa, you should plan well in advance if you don't want to sleep on the beach.
- One of the archipelago’s strengths is its proximity. The eight islands are at your entire disposal. Our island-hopping guide in the Canaries helps you take the first step on your journey.
The mountainous town of Tejeda located in Gran Canaria
Where can I book cheap ferry tickets?
Tip: Oh, and if you prefer, you can always carry us in your pocket by downloading our app. Easy, simple, and for the whole family!