Can’t decide between the Canaries or Balearic Islands for your next vacay? We don’t blame you – they’re both incredibly stunning and versatile, offering something for every type of traveller. Luckily for you, though, we know a thing or two about both of these gorgeous archipelagos to help aid your decision. Keep scrolling to find out which is the best Spanish island.
Do you picture the Canary Islands as a fly-and-flop-holiday? We advise you pack up your preconceptions and hop on a plane right now, because this is the new ‘it’ destination for 2017 and beyond. And with its mountainous scenery, the best waterpark in Europe, designer beaches and much more up its never-ending sleeve, you’re probably wondering why you haven’t already visited.
Best for: adventures
Tenerife isn’t your usual sand and sea holiday. In fact, we think it’s the most action-packed out of all the Canary Islands thanks to its wealth of things to do.
In the nature-filled north, you’ve got Mount Teide National Park, which is home to the tallest mountain in Spain – it reaches an impressive 3,718 metres. Aside from taking in amazing views from the top of the rocky mountain, you can hike your way through lunar-like lava fields, spot constellations at one of the best observatories on the globe, or ride a cable car 1,200 metres above the crater-covered floor to take in unrivalled views of the Canarian archipelago.
It’s not a trip to Tenerife unless you tackle the slides at Siam Park. This place is the largest waterpark in Tenerife and the best in Europe, thanks to its giant wave pools, nail-biting river rapids, and zero-gravity chutes where you’ll endure vertical drops and more. And for when it’s time to chill out, just hop into the lazy river and float to your heart’s content. Want to know the best part? If you stay at one of our SplashWorld resorts in Tenerife, you’ll get free access to Siam Park. What more could you want?
Best for: solitude
La Palma may be one of the Canaries’ smallest islands, but this place is fast becoming one of the most popular to chill out thanks to its crowd-free Blue Flag beaches, secret coves, and barely-touched walking trails.
If you’re looking to escape the crowds, look no further than Fuencaliente. Because it’s set on La Palma’s peaceful southern coast, you’ll be surrounded by nothing but emerald-green forests, vineyards, and inactive towering volcanoes – so it’s the perfect retreat for those seeking some solitude. The best way to see all of La Palma’s natural beauty is to tie up your shoe laces and go for a hike. We recommend a six-hour-long-trail called Ruta de los Volcanoes. As you climb the steep hills and crater-like landscapes, you’ll pass everything from tiny villages, flower-covered fields and, er, volcanoes, obviously, so it’s one not to be missed.
Why wouldn’t you want to visit the Balearic Islands? This beautiful archipelago boasts azure-coloured waters, legendary nightlife, some of the best beaches in Europe, and drool-worthy Spanish cuisine – we think it’s a no brainer.
Best for: partying
It goes without saying that Ibiza is a clubber’s paradise. The White Isle is renowned for its all-night raves, amazing venues and knockout line-ups which are basically unrivalled – and you’ve still got time to experience it for yourself until late September. But while oh-so-many-cocktails and some of the best parties in the world are an obligatory part of the Ibiza experience, there are plenty more other sides to this chic island.
Did you know Ibiza Town was first founded in 654 BC? It’s also one of the most Instagrammable spots on the entire island, and is well-known among holidaymakers for its gorgeous whitewashed houses, hippy markets, and cobbled streets. And down at the water’s edge, the beaches are almost as famous as the nightclubs. We recommend stretching out on Playa d’en Bossa Beach – it’s the longest strip of sand you’ll find on the White Isle. Plus, you’ll be just a few minutes’ taxi ride away from world-famous clubs, like Hï and Ushuaïa, so you’ll never be too far away from a party.
Best for: scenery
If you’re looking for jaw-dropping vistas on your next holiday (who isn’t?), we think Formentera is the ideal choice. The island is absolutely full to the brim with eco-friendly trails, meaning you can explore most of it on foot or bike. This up-and-coming protected isle has also been blessed with really beautiful beaches, like Platja de Migjorn. This giant strip of sand is lined by caverns and caves, and the tropical-looking waters play host to the biggest underwater grass meadow in the Mediterranean, so it’s really gorgeous. And if you do want to visit neighbouring Ibiza, it’s just a 35-minute ferry ride away.
Fancy visiting the Balearic Islands or the Canary Islands? Browse our First Choice holidays.