Holidays in the sun: which of the seven Canaries is the right island for you
On the seven islands in the Atlantic – Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro – the daily temperatures rarely fall below the 20 degree mark, even in winter. In the big island check, we show which of the Canary Islands suits you best.
You can reach them from Germany in four to five hours by plane: the Canary Islands. They are 100 to 500 kilometers west of the Moroccan coast and lure you with fantastic views during our winter weather – and top the list of quickly and easily accessible as well as safe bathing and sunbathing destinations. We present the seven Spanish island beauties.
Tenerife: The high-contrast all-rounder
With a length of 80 kilometers and a width of 50 kilometers, Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. And that applies in many ways: the dormant volcano Pico del Teide is the highest mountain in Spain at 3718 meters and its traces of lava make the Atlantic island with the black beaches so special.
The mountains also contribute to the special climate: it is often cooler and rainier in the north than in the south. But what does cool mean: Even in winter the temperatures are around 20 degrees. In the summer months, the values rarely climb above 30 degrees, at night it is a pleasant 22 degrees. Never too hot, never too cold, that makes Tenerife a year-round travel destination. Tenerife shows how rich in contrast nature can be with its 40 beaches: from rugged cliffs and gorges in the west to a Caribbean beach in the north-east to the coastal deserts in the south-east and black lava beaches in the north-west.
Conclusion: If you are looking for a change, you will be richly rewarded on Tenerife – with beaches, mountains, whales and dolphins in the sea as well as one of the best diving areas in the country with underwater canyons, caves and grottos.
- Hotel tip: Adrian Hoteles Roca Nivaria
- Prices: 7 nights in a double room with half board and flight from 873 euros per person
Fuerteventura: The beach and surfer’s paradise
It is the second largest and most easterly of the Canary Islands: Fuerteventura is only 100 kilometers off the African continent, which makes it the warmest of the seven islands – with its desert-like, dry climate. In December, for example, the sun shines six hours a day with temperatures above 20 degrees. The Atlantic not only shines in surreal shades of turquoise, but also with average temperatures of 21 degrees. Almost 150 kilometers of wide and light sandy beaches make Fuerteventura the perfect destination for beach fans who like to have their own personal beach.
Example: Sotavento beach on the Jandia peninsula, Cofete Beach or Playa Bajo Negro, which are considered the most beautiful on the island. But also water sports enthusiasts such as wind, wing and kite surfers and surfers will find conditions here that can only be found in a few places in Europe – from beginner waves to big waves to flat water areas and strong wind zones. The fact that a constant wind blows over the island is already indicated by its name, which means something like strong wind.
Conclusion: water sports enthusiasts will find paradisiacal conditions on Fuerteventura – from strong winds to high waves.
- Hotel tip: Iberostar Playa Gaviotas
- Prices: 7 nights in a double room with all-inclusive, flight and train to flight from 692 euros per person
Gran Canaria: The island for explorers
Black lava, white sandy beaches and lots of green: The third largest island, Gran Canaria, is divided into a wetter, cooler north and a dry, warmer south by its volcanic mountains, which are up to 2000 meters high. Here is also the six kilometer long Playa de Maspalomas beach. It is the flagship of the island, where the sea meets the desert. High dunes of up to 20 meters stretch right behind the beach.
In addition to a number of sandy beaches, Gran Canaria also has the Monumento Natural del Roque Nublo nature reserve, which is good for hiking, spectacular cliffs in the north-west and pine forests on volcanic soil. Exciting destinations include the cave village of Cuevas Bermejas or a visit to a rum distillery on a sugar cane plantation.
Conclusion: Gran Canaria has a lot to offer – from varied beaches and wild nature to culture (example: Columbus House or Museo Canario) and parties.
- Hotel tip: Riu Gran Canaria
- Prices: 7 nights in a double room with all-inclusive, flight, train to flight and hotel transfer from 933 euros per person
Lanzarote: The always-a-little-different island
Between volcanoes, lagoons, vines, surfing spots, black reefs and people made of cement: Lanzarote, the easternmost Canary Island, is 62 kilometers long, 20 kilometers wide and completely different from its sister islands because of its rugged charm. Although it has more than 60 dark sandy beaches on its mostly rugged coast and an annual average temperature of 22 degrees, it is not one of the classic beach holiday destinations. 100 volcanic cones give Lanzarote a unique appearance.
In the south there is a kind of lunar landscape, the Timanfaya National Park: a lava area with bizarre rock formations, huge crater holes and more than 30 volcanic cones. The Playas de Papagayo, which are up to 400 meters long, are also nearby. The parrot beaches lure with crystal clear water and fine sand. Inland lies the La Geria wine region, where vines grow in small hollows of black lava ash surrounded by semi-circular stone walls. In the north of Lanzarote, a local artist converted a former garbage dump in a cave system into an art grotto – with a concert hall, salt lake and blue lagoon.
Conclusion: Everything extraordinary is the motto on the outsider island of Lanzarote, which goes well with athletes, nature and culture lovers.
- Hotel tip: Hotel Fariones
- Prices: 7 nights in a double room with sea view including half board, flight, train to flight and hotel transfer from 933 euros per person
La Palma: The volcanic island
The longest known volcanic eruption in history made the island of La Palma known around the world in autumn 2021: from September 19th to Christmas the volcano spat fire and ash. In addition to the new lava formations, there are also cliffs, gorges, laurel and pine forests, dragon tree groves, flowers of all colors and natural rock pools to admire on the third smallest Canary Island. Not to forget the caves at the pirate bay.
Due to its diversity, the locals call the island “La Isla Bonita (the beautiful)”. Anyone who would like to have a glass of wine or rum after enjoying nature, or perhaps a cigar as well, will find many opportunities along the “Ruta de los Vinos” wine route. There are also a number of beaches – but all have black sand. Attention: The popular beach of Puerto Naos in the west of the island was affected by the volcanic eruption and is still closed (as of November 2022).
Conclusion: If you like barren volcanic landscapes, green forests, good wine and black beaches, La Palma is the place for you.
- Hotel tip: Esencia de La Palma by Princess
- Prices: 7 nights in a double room with half board, flight and hotel transfer from 700 euros per person
La Gomera: The hiking island
It is almost circular and with a diameter of 25 kilometers it is the second smallest of the Canary Islands: La Gomera. Hippies and dropouts discovered their treasures – fairytale forests, rugged cliffs, bubbling springs and entire valleys full of palm trees – long before an airport was built in 1999. The most beautiful corners can usually only be reached on foot. Because the wildest and most pristine of the Spanish islands in the Atlantic was recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in 2011 because of its well-preserved ecosystems – plant species that have long since disappeared from the rest of the world still grow here.
This also includes the more than 1000-year-old laurel forest, which takes up ten percent of the island and, as an evergreen cloud forest with its ferns up to two meters high and moss-covered branches, looks like a primeval forest from a fairy tale book. In the southwest there are waterfall and cave tours in Valle Gran Rey, in the north volcano hikes to the beach. If you are fit, you can do the 140-kilometer tour of the island on the GR-132 long-distance hiking trail – which takes a good nine days.
Conclusion: The island near Tenerife offers nature lovers wonderful vacation conditions – from hiking and waterfall tours to whale watching tours
- Hotel tip: Hotel Jardin Tecina
- Prices: 7 nights in a double room including breakfast, flight and train to flight from 647 euros per person
El Hierro: The Unesco Biosphere Reserve Island
With an extension of 30 to 16 kilometers, it is the smallest of the archipelago: nature conservation and sustainability are the dominant topics on El Hierro, because the island was declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve more than 20 years ago. One of the many positive consequences: mass tourism is a foreign word here. Swimming too, by the way, because around 90 percent of the coast drops steeply into the sea, and there are only a few beaches. And the surf is strong in many places – and dangerous. That doesn’t bother divers, however, who can find a dozen or so dive centers at the southern tip.
Very close by are the rock carvings of Los Letreros, which were carved into the lava plates with sharp stones around 200 BC. The symbol of the island is the juniper forest El Sabinar with its bizarrely shaped trees that are several hundred years old. The most famous tree, however, is on the plateau near San Andrés: the Garoé laurel tree, also known as the Sacred Tree.
Conclusion: The Canary Islands can still be experienced authentically on El Hierro. The island is an insider tip for divers and those seeking peace and quiet.
- Hotel tip: Hotel Parador el Hierro
- Prices: 7 nights in a double room including flight and train to flight from 714 euros per person