Which Canary Island should I visit?
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Which Canary Island should you visit in 2024?

Planning a trip to the Canary Islands? In this article, I share some of the best islands and help you to choose which Canary Island to visit in 2024.

If you’re planning a getaway in 2024 and considering the beautiful Canary Islands, you’re in for a treat. Officially part of Spain, the Canary Islands are an archipelago just over 60 miles west of Morocco. Fragrant pine forests, towering volcanoes, hidden coves, and miles of panoramic, barren sandy
landscapes shape the unmatched beauty of the Canary Islands. From all-day sunshine to unspoiled simplicity, there are so many reasons to visit this beautiful archipelago. Each of the islands has its own unique charm, offering a blend of natural beauty, culture, and adventure. If you’ve got the Canary Islands on your list for 2024, it’s worth getting familiar with a few of the most incredible islands first. In this article, I explore the distinct personalities of the Canary Islands to help you decide which is your ideal destination for the upcoming year. So, which Canary Island should you visit in 2024?

Quick tips for visiting the Canary Islands

Get this: affordable car hire across the Canary Islands. Discover Cars is an awesome comparison site for car hire, so you can be sure you’re securing the cheapest price, no matter which island you visit.

Don’t miss: a stargazing tour in La Palma – watch the beautiful sunsets in this part of the world while enjoying a glass of wine before catching the stars through a telescope.

Bucket list experience: guided off-road volcano buggy tour – this is such a fun experience that enables you to climb to Lanzarote’s peak and see the incredible scenery.

Flights: find the cheapest flights to the Canary Islands with Skyscanner.

This article may contain some affiliate links. Do note I’d never recommend anything I wouldn’t truly advise for any of my friends.

Which Canary Island should you visit in 2024?

Below, I share my guide to the best Canary Islands to visit, and why.

Lanzarote

Famed for its dramatic volcanic scenery, Lanzarote boasts rugged lava formations and staggering volcanic cones. For those fascinated by volcanic landscapes and the art of César Manrique, Lanzarote is a must-visit. You can make the most of the land by indulging in thermal spa treatments and using the ashen mountains as a playground for walking, mountain biking, and other outdoor adventures. 

Remarkably, pivotal architecture in Lanzarote can be traced back to one key figure: César Manrique. This island-born architect and sculptor not only designed buildings that seamlessly complement the landscape but prevented overdevelopment too. You won’t find high-rise hotels in Lanzarote, which makes for a nice change to many summer destinations. When the afternoon sunlight hits the landscape, you can feast your eyes on unforgettable scenery. There’s a surprising contrast too: in vineyards, the dark, ashen ground is a fertile bed where verdant vines flourish. Food and wine are plentiful here, and you can even visit wineries listed among the best wine regions in Spain. Lanzarote is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that offers unique scenery and a laid-back atmosphere, making it an excellent choice for art lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Fuerteventura

One of the most family-friendly Canary Islands, Fuerteventura is a haven for active holidays and beach lovers. Pristine coastlines, pretty coves, and turquoise water provide an effortlessly photogenic background – whether you’re windsurfing or relaxing on the beach. With its long sandy beaches and a relaxed vibe, it’s the perfect destination to unwind and enjoy the ocean breeze.

The island also offers plenty of attractions, including the Oasis Wildlife Park, an interactive nature reserve. The environment spans over 800,000 square metres of sheltered land, protecting native flowers and fauna and over 3,000 animals – from parrots to sea lions. Beyond the wildlife park, Fuerteventura also boasts an aquarium, an exhilarating water park, and thrilling off-road activities like Segway tours and dune buggy adventures. If you’re looking for somewhere varied, Fuerteventura is perfectly equipped for memorable family activity holidays. From water sports to tailormade tours and local cuisine, there’s something for everyone. 

La Gomera

This lesser-known Canary island is the perfect choice for those seeking a peaceful break. It’s one of the smallest, most idyllic isles in the archipelago, promising an authentic experience filled with natural beauty. It’s only 24km long, but La Gomera boasts incredible diversity. Those interested in cultural heritage will be intrigued by the ancient whistling language (Silbo Gomero) spoken on the island, preserved through generations. Once the key to survival on mountaintops and ravines, whistling could indicate imminent danger, a request for livestock to be brought over, and other important messages.

La Gomera is home to one of the most immense laurel forests in the world, at the UNESCO Garajonay National Park. The island’s hot and dry summer climate, especially around the coastline, means that you’ll see plenty of banana palms and cacti too. From dusty hiking paths on ridge lines to beautifully carved roads adjacent to terraced fields, it’s set up for any explorer. La Gomera is a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure.

Tenerife

Still wondering which Canary Island should you visit in 2024? Discover the allure of Tenerife, the largest Canary Island, where an array of natural wonders and cultural delights beckon. Tenerife boasts diverse landscapes that range from golden beaches to the lunar-like Teide National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage site dominated by Spain’s highest peak, Mount Teide, this park and its myriad hiking trails offer adventure seekers an exhilarating experience. If you’re a nature enthusiast and love a mix of outdoor activities, Tenerife might be your perfect match.

For those looking to relax, the coastal charms of Playa de las Américas and the historic allure of Santa Cruz de Tenerife with historic landmarks and modern attractions offer tranquility and culture. For a taste of traditional Canarian cuisine, explore the local markets and savour dishes like ‘papas arrugadas’ (wrinkled potatoes) and ‘mojo’ sauces (spicy sauce often served with papas arrugadas and grilled meat). Whether ascending volcanic peaks or lounging on golden beaches, Tenerife promises a diverse and unforgettable escape.

Looking for some heat in the winter months? Why not consider North Africa too – here’s my guide to the best destinations in Northern Africa.

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is known for its lively atmosphere and diverse geography, from bustling cities to serene sand dunes. If you’re after a holiday in the Canary Islands that combines cultural experiences with beautiful beaches, Gran Canaria won’t disappoint. The golden sands of Playa de las Canteras beckon beach enthusiasts, while the iconic Maspalomas dunes create a serene escape along the shoreline. Las Palmas offers a blend of history and modernity, inviting visitors to explore the cultural Vegueta district, lively neighbourhoods like Las Canteras, and captivating events including the colourful Carnival of Las Palmas.

For those who want to venture beyond the coastal delights, Gran Canaria has a beautiful interior characterised by Roque Nublo’s volcanic grandeur, lush valleys, and charming villages. Nature enthusiasts can explore the Bandama Caldera and its panoramic views, before immersing themselves in the botanical wonders of Viera y Clavijo. Culinary delights abound, with local markets and eateries serving up Canarian specialties like ‘papas con mojo’ (potatoes with a tasty sauce known as mojo) and fresh seafood, making Gran Canaria a feast for both the senses and the soul. In 2024, this dynamic island enables every traveller to find their perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

La Palma

Aptly named ‘La Isla Bonita’, La Palma is a hidden gem in the Canary Islands with lush landscapes, hiking trails, and stargazing opportunities. If you’re after tranquility and natural beauty, La Palma is your perfect destination if you’re wondering ‘which Canary Island should you visit in 2024?’ One of the smaller Canary Islands, the island is characterised by lush forests, volcanic craters, and charming towns. Visitors can explore the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, a vast crater surrounded by pine forests, which offers great hikes with breathtaking views. La Palma is also known for its astronomical observatories, taking advantage of the island’s clear skies. The Roque de los Muchachos Observatory is located at a high altitude and is a prime spot for stargazing. You can even enjoy a guided tour if you’re interested in learning about the cosmos.

La Palma’s towns, like Santa Cruz de la Palma, have beautiful colonial architecture and a relaxed atmosphere. The island’s cultural richness is evident in its festivals, traditional crafts, and local cuisine, perfect for those looking for both natural wonders and culture. If you’re interested in ecotourism, you’ll appreciate La Palma’s sustainable practices and efforts to preserve its unique ecosystems. Whether exploring volcanic landscapes, stargazing, or immersing yourself in the local culture, La Palma offers a relaxing escape in the Canary Islands.

El Hierro

The smallest and least populated of the Canary Islands, El Hierro, is a haven for those seeking peace, nature, and sustainable tourism. Here, you can explore the island’s untouched beauty and embrace the slow-paced island life. Known for its commitment to sustainability, El Hierro is a model of eco-friendly tourism. You can explore the island’s diverse landscapes, from rugged volcanic terrain to lush forests and pristine coastlines – it really does have it all. The island’s designation as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve emphasises its dedication to preserving its ecosystems, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

El Hierro’s charm extends beyond its landscapes to its local culture and traditions. The island’s traditional architecture, charming villages, and laid-back atmosphere offer a glimpse into a lifestyle deeply connected to nature. The Mirador de La Peña, designed by renowned artist and architect Cesar Manrique, provides panoramic views of the ocean and is a testament to the island’s artistic and cultural richness. With activities from hiking along ancient paths to enjoying the crystal-clear waters for snorkelling and diving, El Hierro invites you to experience a slower pace of life while immersing yourself in the unique charm of this secluded Canary Island. If you’re looking for an authentic and sustainable getaway in 2024 away from the crowds, El Hierro is the perfect escape.

Which Canary Island should you visit in 2024? FAQs

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions I’m asked about the Canary Islands.

Which is nicer Tenerife or Lanzarote?

This question largely depends on your personal tastes and preferences. Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is known for its diverse landscapes, featuring volcanic peaks, lush forests, and vibrant cities like Santa Cruz. There are tons of activities in Tenerife, from hiking in Teide National Park to enjoying the lively atmosphere in tourist hotspots like Playa de las Américas. On the other hand, Lanzarote boasts a unique lunar-like terrain shaped by volcanic activity, with stunning beaches and architectural creations by artist César Manrique. I’d say Lanzarote appeals to those seeking a more relaxed atmosphere. Ultimately, the choice between Tenerife and Lanzarote depends on your unique interests, whether it be a blend of nature and party or a tranquil escape in a distinct landscape.

Should I go to Tenerife or Gran Canaria?

Deciding between Tenerife and Gran Canaria depends on the kind of holiday you’re after. Tenerife, the largest Canary Island, offers a diverse range of landscapes, from the iconic Mount Teide and lush forests to bustling cities. It caters to both nature enthusiasts and those looking for a vibrant urban and party scene. Gran Canaria, on the other hand, is known for its diverse ecosystems, including beautiful beaches, sand dunes, and mountainous interior. You’ll find a mix of relaxation and lively entertainment, with popular tourist areas like Playa del Inglés. If you’re deciding between Tenerife and Gran Canaria, I recommend considering whether you’d prefer more nature and urban life in Tenerife, or beaches and vibrant nightlife in Gran Canaria.

Is Gran Canaria or Lanzarote better?

Choosing between Gran Canaria and Lanzarote is a matter of preference when it comes to landscapes. Gran Canaria is known for its gorgeous beaches, sand dunes, and mountainous interior, offering a blend of relaxation on the shores of Playa del Inglés, and outdoor adventures. Lanzarote, on the other hand, is characterised by its unique volcanic landscapes, with lunar-like terrain shaped by past eruptions. The island is often appreciated for its tranquility and the artistic influence of César Manrique in its architecture. If you’re drawn to a mix of diverse landscapes and vibrant tourist areas, Gran Canaria might be the perfect choice of destination for you. Alternatively, if you prefer a more serene atmosphere with distinctive volcanic scenery, Lanzarote might be the better fit for you.

Which is the prettiest Canary Island?

Of course, this question is a little subjective and depends on your own preferences when it comes to ‘which Canary Island should you visit?’ The prettiest Canary Island will depend on whether you prefer volcanic scenery, pristine beaches, or lush greenery. In my opinion, Gran Canaria is the prettiest Canary Island – it has a mix of beautiful beaches, sand dunes, and mountainous regions. I think it offers a bit of something for everyone, and is so picturesque.

Of course, it’s difficult to say which is the ‘least popular’ Canary Island as this is very dependent on what you like to experience in a destination. Tourism trends can change over time, too. If we define popularity by the least visited Canary Islands, both La Gomera and El Hierro have long been considered less touristy than some of the larger and more established islands like Tenerife and Gran Canaria. That said, there’s something about these smaller, less visited islands that really appeals to me. You’re more likely to find tranquillity, natural beauty, and most importantly less crowds.

How do I choose a Canary Island?

Still wondering ‘which Canary Island should you visit’? Here are some factors I recommend considering when choosing the island for you:

  • Landscape and activities – each island has its own distinctive landscape, and accompanying activities as a result. Tenerife is pretty versatile, with the Teide National Park to its vibrant cities. Gran Canaria boasts beautiful beaches and mountain, while Lanzarote has volcanic landscapes. Think about which kind of nature you’d like to see to align yourself with the right Canary Island for you.
  • Vibe – the atmosphere naturally varies from island to island. Tenerife and Gran Canaria are the most vibrant of the Canary Islands, while La Gomera and El Hierro are much quieter and less developed. Think about whether a lively atmosphere and party scene is important to you or not.
  • Beaches and resorts – after pristine beaches and a nice resort? Gran Canaria and Tenerife are likely for you. If, on the other hand, you’re seeking out more natural and unspoiled coastline, La Gomera or El Hierro might be more suitable.
  • Nightlife – Tenerife and Gran Canaria are the islands to visit if you want vibrant nightlife and entertainment. Here, you’ll find a lively atmosphere, as well as plenty of bars, restaurants, and shows.
  • Budget – I recommend considering your budget and the cost of living on the island you’re looking at visiting. Some are more budget-friendly than others. You should also check to see how the flight options look from your departure point.

Ultimately, the best Canary Island for you depends on your personal preferences and the type of experience you desire. Research each island’s characteristics and attractions to find the one that aligns with your interests and travel goals.

Which Canary Islands are most expensive?

Obviously this question depends on your lifestyle and spending habits! But generally speaking, as Tenerife and Gran Canaria are considered more developed, they are more expensive than the smaller of the Canary Islands, like La Gomera, El Hierro, and La Palma. This can, of course, depend on where you decide to stay on each island. Coastal areas and popular tourist destinations will have higher prices than more rural locations inland or in rural areas.

Hopefully you’re now much clearer on which Canary Island to visit in 2024. Each and every island has a diverse and unique offering, so I’d recommend squeezing in a couple if you can! Whether you crave the vibrant atmosphere of Gran Canaria, the volcanic wonders of Lanzarote, or the serene landscapes of La Palma, the Canary Islands have something for everyone.


I hope you’ve found my guide on ‘which Canary Island should you visit in 2024?’ helpful! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

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