On your visit to the Canary islands of Lanzarote and Tenerife, it’s important to plan ahead and decide what kinds of activities you want to do and what you would want out of the trip in general. Is it for sightseeing and relaxation? Bonding time with family and/or friends? Celebrating an anniversary? Or simply a reward for working hard all year? Whatever your reason is for spending time in the Canaries, it’s important to know what you want before you even start looking for places to stay in. But what if you can’t decide on which Canary island to visit?
Today, we’ll help you make the ultimate decision between Lanzarote and Tenerife, covering factors not just from the activities and sights you can enjoy, but the weather, costs, and transportation modes available for each destination…
Why visit Lanzarote?
Like many of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote gives its visitors an incredible amount of sunshine all year-round. It is characterised by stunning mountain ranges, incredible volcanic landscapes, turquoise waters, and picturesque rolling vineyards. Because of its vast selection of natural attractions, Lanzarote has become a favourite destination of many families and couples alike. This island does not only provide a feast of visual entertainment, its rich diversity of history, culture, and gastronomy, provide experiences that can amuse visitors to their heart’s content.
Lanzarote’s abundant history lends visitors the excitement that they won’t get from any ordinary island. Here, the sights and sceneries paint an amazing backdrop of the island’s colourful history filled with natural phenomena that have changed the face of the landscape, prosperous agricultural lands formed from the thick layers of fertile soil from the volcanic eruptions, and the interesting lives lived by its early inhabitants before the Spanish rule.
With its interesting blend of culture and history, Lanzarote definitely has more to offer visitors than amazing sceneries. The island is also home to many parks, historical structures, gardens, and museums.
Things To Do in Lanzarote
Lanzarote is an island jam-packed with a myriad of activities fit for couples and every member of the family. So however you’d like your vacation to go, the island will always provide.
With Lanzarote’s treasure trove of natural attractions, there is no shortage of activities visitors can do on both land, sky, and sea! On land, you can enjoy strolling through sand dunes, trekking through mountainscapes, doing yoga and mindfulness activities, and walking through volcanic and agricultural gardens, windy beaches, and breathtaking lookouts.
Lanzarote is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Canary Islands. Whichever beach you’d like to visit, you will always find yourself marvelling at Lanzarote’s untouched beaches that boast of bright, crystalline waters, perfect for anyone needing the feeling of disconnect with the hustles and bustles of modern life.
While its popular beaches like Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen, and Playa Blanca are stunning enough, locals say that taking the less crowded, off the beaten track can lead visitors to even more beautiful waters that are more natural in such a way that the tides are responsible for cleaning up any debris and that there are no facilities that cater to human use other than the waters.
Many visitors are surprised when they hear about the number of museums that Lanzarote currently has. From conventional museums to living/working museums, this island provides an avenue for visitors to discover and dive into their extensive culture and history. These museums showcase everything that has to do with Lanzarote’s rich past such as modern paintings and sculptures, period architecture, viniculture, agricultural life artifacts, and exhibits that depict life during pirate incursions.
- Guided Tours
The island understands that while some tourists prefer to discover the island on their own, there are many who wish to see the island through the local perspective. This can be done through guided tours and trekking adventures that can easily take you through the main attractions and even those that are lesser known, but inarguably beautiful.
Lanzarote’s Most Popular Attractions
- Museo Atlántico (Europe’s first underwater sculpture museum)
- Outdoor sea swimming pools (natural swimming pools in the island’s Southern and Eastern coasts)
- Timanfaya National Park (volcanic environments, rare plants, wildlife, and the salt flats)
- Jardín de Cactus (gardens full of cacti of different shapes and variety)
- Jameos del Agua caves (caves with openings to the sky as has a built in auditorium, a restaurant, a curvy pool, and a bar)
- Marina Rubicon (see yachts, go, duty-free shopping, and enjoy the view at one of their seafront cafes)
- La Geria (wine region)
Weather in Lanzarote
The weather in Lanzarote varies per season. From May to mid-October, the weather is generally warm, making it the best venue for destination weddings all-year round. But from the months of November to April, the weather can become unpredictable. Sometimes, the weather can have torrential rains for a week. And in other weeks, the weather can turn as humid as summertime. Calima, or dust spells, can happen during the summer months which gives a feeling of intense heat waves and humid wind.
Getting Around Lanzarote
Travelling around Lanzarote is fairly easy as there are numerous options to choose from. You may choose to travel through public or private means. Taxis and buses are available, however, buses are very limited. Usually, visitors are transferred to their accommodations via coach or taxi. For private transportation, private transfers and car hires can be pre-booked, the latter starting from €15.
Getting around Lanzarote via bus: Buses around Lanzarote usually take routes around the airport, the islands, and the Teguise Market (only on Sundays). These buses usually run from Arrecife to areas such as Costa Teguise, Playa Blanca, and Puerto del Carmen.
Getting around Lanzarote via taxi: Taxis are all around Lanzarote especially in the airports and ports. Taxi ranks may also be found in villages, towns, and resort areas. Taxis from specific areas may only pick up passengers from the place they’re assigned in, making taxi hailing quite tricky at times.
Getting around Lanzarote via private transfers and car/motorbike hires: Hiring cars in Lanzarote is considered cheaper than having transfer arranged. Ranging from about €80 to €220, one can hire vehicles such as small cars, a family-sized car, an SUV, and a convertible sports car. As a rule, only people 21 years old and above can hire cars. Motorbikes can also be hired and their rates usually start from €20 to €70 depending on the model.
Private transfers can be easily booked online with so many companies offering the same service. Booking it before the trip can enable visitors to compare prices and check for any requirements or policies that they may need to know before the pick up and drop off dates.
Other modes of transportation in Lanzarote: Other than the typical taxis and private vehicle hires, you may be able to enjoy ferry rides in Lanzarote which can take you from one island to another. Most of these ferries can take you to areas such as Orzola and La Graciosa Island.
Water taxis are also available and usually run in the Puerto del Carmen, Puerto Calero, Playa Blanca, and Marina Rubicon. Bike hires are also an option, typically ranging from performance and touring/exploration bikes to e-Bikes. A day of hiring a bike generally costs about €10 to €30, depending on the make and model of each bike.
Travel Costs When Visiting Lanzarote
The average amount that tourists spend each day in Lanzarote is around €129, with food costing about €34, transportation for about €32, and hotel accommodation for about €151. In total, two people will usually spend about €1,805 for a week and €3,610 for two.
Tenerife: Things to Do, Transportation & Weather
Why visit Tenerife?
Among all the islands in the canaries, Tenerife is the largest. With over 6 million visitors each year, this island has so much more to offer for every type of tourist. From its wide variety of natural attractions to its world heritage sites, visitors will never run out of things to do and places to visit and experience. Because of the multitude of experiences Tenerife offers, it has attracted families, couples, friends, and solo travelers alike. It’s most famous not just for the incredible nature surrounding it, but because of the venues of entertainment established in different parts of the island.
Visitors can entertain themselves with a stroll through tropical forest walks, a visit to its selection of museums and historical sites, cruising through its crystalline waters, exploring through lava tubes-turned caves, watching majestic whales of different species, enjoying time at Europe’s biggest water park, and catching some sun at the golden or black beaches. With its exquisite blend of art, nature, fun, history, and culture, visiting Tenerife is an unforgettable escape for every tourist who visits here.
Things To Do in Tenerife
There are many activities and experiences to try on your visit to Tenerife. Here are some of the most popular things to do on your visit with friends, family, significant other, or on your own:
- Natural Sites
If there’s anything that Tenerife is abundant of, it’s beautiful natural sites. From majestic mountains and roaring waves to natural parks and wild animals, this large island checks out lots of entries in any adventurous person’s bucket list.
On your visit, see Tenerife’s world-renowned natural attractions including the Mount Teide Volcano (3rd highest volcano in the world), Punta de Teno Peninsula (a rocky headland that features stunning views of mountains, the bay, and a lighthouse), Los Gigantes Cliffs (giant cliffs that are between 500 to 800 metres above the sea), the Anaga Mountains (a 3-hour hike that allows visitors to see the Roque de Bermejo boat community and other exciting views), and the Garachico and Bajamar Natural Swimming Pools (lava rock pools where you can swim and snorkel).
Like many Canary Islands, Tenerife is not short on beaches. Get wonderful tans on your visits to Tenerife’s beaches such as the El Medano Beach, the Teresitas Beach (Santa Cruz de Tenerife), El Bollullo Beach (La orotava), Playa la Caleta Beach (Costa Adeje), Playa de las Americas Beach, Playa Paraiso Beach (Costa Adeje), Playa el Duque Beach (Costa Adeje), and Playa de Benijo (Anaga). Visitors may enjoy windsurfing, kitesurfing, jet skiing, scuba diving, sun bathing, bar hopping, snorkeling, diving, and many others.
- Parks and Attractions
Having parks and attractions such as zoos, water parks, and museums, Tenerife caters to most families especially those with young children. Families can enjoy zoos and aquariums that feature dolphins, sea lions, orcas and other aquatic animals that are local to the area. They may also enjoy visiting the Thai Village which is an orchid garden that features a playground that children can definitely enjoy.
Tenerife is also home to Europe’s best and largest water park called, “Siam Park”. This award-winning park features attractions such as an artificial beach, a sea lion island, and even river rapids that guests can relax in while the waters take them around a pool circuit.
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Tenerife also houses some of the UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the La Laguna Old Town (boasts of its unfortified Spanish colonial architecture), Teide National Park (known as the most visited national park in Europe), and the Teide Observatory (considered as the largest observatory in the world) among many others.
Tenerife’s Most Popular Attractions
- Carnaval Santa Cruz (the second most popular carnival in the world after the Rio carnival)
- Masca Village and Canyon (most attractive village in Tenerife)
- The Drago Milenario Tree (a tree that is about 1,000 years old and is the oldest dragon tree of its kind)
- Loro Parque Zoo (a 13.5-hectare zoo that features animal shows both from the tropics and the sea)
- La Caleta Fishing Village (a seafood haven where all the island’s best seafood restaurants are)
Weather in Tenerife
Similar to the other Canary Islands, Tenerife has warm weather all year-round. Visitors can enjoy the summer months from May to October when the temperatures can get as humid as 29°C (especially in August). During the winter months of November to April, temperatures between 20°C to 24°C can be felt.
Getting Around in Tenerife
Having over 550 buses running each day, travelling around Tenerife makes it the better-connected island in the Canaries. Buses have a number system for their routes and fares can be paid via cash or a ‘bono’ or season ticket (cheaper than when you pay with cash) which contains values from €5 to €100. For other means of public transportation, you may also try the tram service, ferries, taxis, or even rent bikes (mountain bikes, motorcycles, mopeds, and etc.). For private transportation, you may pre-book transfers or hire cars (you must be over 21 years old in order to do this).
Getting around Tenerife via bus: Bus services in Tenerife are quite reliable in the sense that they’re inexpensive, clean, comfortable, and most of the drivers can communicate in English. Different tickets are available for bus rides such as the one way ticket and the roundtrip ticket. Bono bus cards bearing €15 or €25 are available for purchase at retail outlets, newsagents, bus terminals, bus stations, and etc. Multiple people can use the card and it may also be used for all Titsa buses in Tenerife. Bus stations can be found in the towns of La Laguna, Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz, La Orotava, Guía de Isora, Icod de los Vinos, Los Cristianos, Buenavista, Adeje, Candelaria, Granadilla, Arafo, and Güímar.
Getting around Tenerife via taxi: Taxis in Tenerife are all about convenience. Several taxi companies are running in every district. Visitors with disabilities need not worry as most taxis are equipped with ramps to help those in wheelchairs. Visitors in groups may also be able to book/hail taxis as some taxis can take a maximum of 8 passengers. During the daytime, fares range from €3.15 to €1.10 per kilometre while it costs about €3.45 per kilometre.
Getting around Tenerife via private transfers and car/motorbike hires: Hiring cars in Tenerife can be a breeze especially if it’s booked ahead of time. Most car hiring companies offer a full range of cars at different price points. There are usually 2 options after selecting a car. The car may have a full tank of fuel or it has enough and customers need to fill it up with the same amount of petrol it had when they received it. Whether it’s a car or a motorcycle that’s been booked, it’s important to always have one’s passport, driving license, and car hire contract close by.
With private car transfers, several companies offer this service and are very reliable as they usually present all the details and requirements needed online. All visitors need to do is show up on time and be communicative during interactions with the driver or the company’s representatives.
Other modes of transportation in Tenerife: For active tourists who want a fresh way to travel to different off-the-beaten-path areas of Tenerife, bike hire companies offer rental bikes that range from road bikes and mountain bikes to e-bikes. These companies often offer guided bike tours with experienced tour guides as well. The cost of hiring a bike usually ranges from €14 to €29.
Travel Costs When Visiting Tenerife
The average amount that tourists spend each day in Tenerife is around €103, with food costing about €31, transportation for about €48, and hotel accommodation for about €85. In total, two people will usually spend about €1,436 for a week and €32,872 for two.
Picking between Lanzarote and Tenerife can be quite a challenge as both islands are charming and have their own set of attractions that can make it difficult to decide. But with our detailed comparison guide that lets you know what to see, do, experience, and expect (weather, cost, and transport-wise) for each island, we hope that you can make the best decision that suits your budget and preferences. If the decision were up to us, we’d recommend you visit both islands as well as their neighboring islands in the Canaries. But while you’re trying to decide where to go, feel free to browse through our blog for more information on holidays and buying properties in Spain!
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