Tenerife is undoubtedly the most popular of the Canary Islands among tourists. On closer inspection, however, there is a possibility that one of the other islands may be a better fit for your desired vacation. I spent two months in Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote and I think they are different enough to satisfy a wide range of travel tastes.

We didn't make it to La Gomera and El Hierro, so I can't share personal experiences from there. Of those explored, La Palma and Lanzarote were the most to our taste. But we are different, we have different expectations, so it doesn't mean that they are the best choices for you too. I will try to describe them as objectively as I can and then add my personal impressions. But to begin with...

Reasons to go on holiday in the Canary Islands

1. For mild winters and cool summers

The weather is pleasant all year round: you can enjoy the sun in winter and reasonable temperatures in summer when in other destinations in Europe you feel like you're boiling in your own juice. You can enjoy a beach holiday in October or November, outside the peak season crowds.

However, it should be noted that ocean water does not get too warm at any time, but that is a matter of taste.

I don't recommend the Canary Islands in winter for those looking for a beach destination, as I don't like the temperatures and would migrate to warmer areas. Specifically: if all you want to do is sit in the sun and frolic in the winter, think carefully about whether this is what you're looking for. If the beach is just a place to rest between two days of hiking and walking through picturesque towns, the Canaries get a big thumbs up from me.

2. The diversity of experiences offered

From the imposing Teide, the fascinating landscapes of young La Palma, and the fiery mountains of Lanzarote to the endless beaches of Fuerteventura, old towns, and tasty food, you can find it all in the Canary Islands.

Depending on the ingredient you want to feel more strongly on your trip, choose one island or another. Or combine them.

3. Because you're in Europe, even though it's not really Europe

For some tourists, the comfort that the familiarity of the old continent gives is important. We are not looking for it in general 🙂 In these pandemic times, however, the fact that it is in an EU country, the infrastructure, and the quality medical system contributed to the decision to go there in early 2021.

Read also:

What to visit in Mallorca, including a 7-day itinerary
We loved it so much in Mallorca! And to think that I got here by accident! It was like Russian roulette on the Ryanair website, we were looking for a cheaper flight and we didn’t have a destination in mind, what’s more, we didn’t feel like going there or beyond,


sant cruz de tenerife

An island that surprised and delighted us with its landscapes! And it offers something for everyone, whether you want a cozy resort holiday, explore the mountains, or get lost in the narrow streets of a city.

Depending on the experience you want, you should also choose the place (or places to stay). The south is made especially for tourists. It is a more arid area where you can find sandy beaches, several amusement parks (Aqualand, Siam Park), and huge resorts. The north is more authentic, and greener, with old towns and seemingly tastier food, with smaller hotels, guesthouses, and lodgings in the middle of banana plantations.

Pros: We were impressed by: the hikes and landscapes in Teide and Anaga National Park; walks through Puerto de la Cruz, La Orotava, San Cristobal de La Laguna. The winding roads we kept going in and out of the clouds: all the roads to Teide and the ones to Masca are an experience in themselves.

Cons: We were not impressed: with the beaches. I mean we were impressed to see beaches like El Bollulo or Playa de Benijo. Beaches for lazing around are ok, nice, but that's it. According to my tastes, if I were looking for a few days to lie on the sand I would choose another island.

Gran Canaria

beach gran canaria

Gran Canaria is the island that I think is most similar to Tenerife. At least it follows the same pattern: the authentic and green north, and the arid and touristic south. And here the south is built especially for tourists: from small pop-up hotels to giant resorts, and theme parks. Streets around Maspalomas have names such as "Avenida de Turoperator Tui".

Pros: We were impressed by: the walks through Las Palmas, Teror, Telde, Tejeda, etc.; the roads through the mountains and the spectacular barrancos (ex: Barranco de Guayadeque), Pico de las Nieves and surroundings, the dunes of Maspalomas

Cons: We liked the beaches better than those in Tenerife, but I still wouldn't go there just to sit on the beach

In short: Gran Canaria is also a place to have a nice holiday with many kinds of experiences.

La Palma

la palma

La Palma is the second youngest of the Canary Islands, a green island with raw, unpolished landscapes. Not being touristy, you won't find big resorts or amusement parks here. Accommodation spaces are relatively few, most of them in the form of guesthouses, villas, and apartments for rent. The organized beaches are very few and relatively small (eg: Playa de Tazacorte,  Puerto Naos)

Pros: They impressed us: nature. All. We were also won over by the authenticity of the island, less "polluted" by excessive tourism.

Cons: Not the place to come if you just want the beach.

It is the ideal place for lovers of hiking in nature, and for those looking to discover experiences that are not made especially for their pleasure. Those who enjoy stargazing will find here many suitable places from which to do so, as well as astronomical observatories that can be visited.



Fuerteventura is the island that, in my opinion, and that of many, has the largest and most beautiful beaches in the Canary Islands. Unfortunately, they also come with a strong wind that often blows you away. The wind makes it popular among kite surfers, who you can find in large numbers in the northern part of the island. There is also a reason for this: the south is more sheltered from the wind, so a more suitable option for those who just want to enjoy the sea (ocean please) and sun.

The months when the wind blows the strongest are July and August, after which it subsides until January.

Pros: They impressed us: beaches with white or golden sand, with or without lagoons, small or seemingly endless. Isla de Lobos, with its turquoise waters and volcanic landscape, won us over.

Cons: Few alternatives to spend time away from the beach.



Lanzarote is also an old, eroded, and arid island, like its neighbor Fuerteventura. An important part of the south of the island is part of the Timanfaya National Park, which bears the name of the volcano of the same name. The landscapes that seem from another planet are what it is known for, but the island has other assets up its sleeve. The wild beaches and the works of Manrique would be some of them.

Pros: We were impressed by: the mastery of nature at Timanfaya National Park, Los Hervideros Charco Verde, Mirador del Rio, Cueva de los Verdes and Manrique at Jameo de Aguas.

Cons: Arid island

El Hieroo And La Gomera

These are the islands that, unfortunately, we have not been able to reach. Both are small and have no direct flights from the mainland, which is why they have to connect with Tenerife or Gran Canaria. Both are recommended for hikers and those who want to escape from the tourist spots.

Which Canary Islands Suit Whom And How To Combine Them

For those who first of all want to enjoy the ocean and the sun: Fuerteventura, Lanzarote (especially in the periods September - March. In the summer months the wind is stronger in all the islands and should be taken into account)

For those who want to explore less touristic places: La Palma, El Hiero, La Gomera

For those looking for diverse experiences, a holiday "with everything": Tenerife, Gran Canaria

For hiking enthusiasts: La Gomera, La Palma, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, El Hiero

For those looking for unique landscapes: Lanzarote, La Palma

If you have more time, you can visit several islands on the same trip. You can travel between the Canary Islands by plane or ferry, and the larger ones are connected to the mainland by direct flights.

Some itinerary suggestions:

1 Lanzarote & Tenerife/ Gran Canaria

If resorts and theme parks don't appeal to you, you can spend a few days in Tenerife in the N area before flying to Lanzarote to complete your experience with Timanfaya, a few days at the beach, and seeing the works of Manrique.

2 Fuerteventura & Tenerife/ Gran Canaria

If resorts and theme parks don't appeal to you, you can spend a few days in Tenerife in the N area and then fly to Fuerteventura or the beaches there. If you like amusement parks, you can spend a few days in Tenerife S to visit them, then fly to Fuerteventura for the beach (you can find resorts there too).

3 Tenerife & La Palma/ La Gomera/ El Hierro

A combination that I see suitable for nature lovers, who want to enjoy it more than man-made attractions.

There are no direct flights to La Palma and El Hierro except from Tenerife or Gran Canaria. If you opt for the ferry, Tenerife is the optimal option in terms of road.

I hope you found the information and suggestions here helpful. We were surprised by the Canary Islands and we are glad that we were able to explore further than Tenerife.