Gran Canaria vs Tenerife: What’s The Better Holiday Destination

First published on October 5, 2023 and last updated on October 1, 2023

If you’re dreaming of sun-soaked getaways in the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria and Tenerife are two gems that sparkle with unique charms. Golden sand dunes, vibrant nightlife, and a cultural tapestry that tells tales of times gone by.

Gran Canaria is like a canvas painted with diversity. From the rolling dunes of Maspalomas to the lush green interior, it’s a feast for the eyes. You’ll have a plethora of activities to keep you occupied or you can jump on board one of the many boat trips on offer. Tenerife is where nature plays the lead role. The towering Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak, commands attention with its volcanic might. Tenerife isn’t just about landscapes; it’s a playground for families with thrills, spills, and breathtaking views.

Geographical Comparison

Climate Differences

Gran Canaria, the southern belle of the duo, sits a bit further down the map and flaunts a subtropical vibe. What does that mean? Well, it’s like having a perpetual summer love affair with an average temperature of 24°C. Summers? Hot and dry, like they should be. Winters? Mild and a tad humid, just enough to keep things interesting. And don’t forget the occasional rain – nature’s way of giving the island a lush, green makeover.

Thanks to its equatorial proximity, Tenerife rocks a more temperate style. A year-round temperature hug of around 23°C, giving you that ‘just right’ feeling whenever you decide to visit. Summers bring the heat, and winters? They’re mild and come with a side of rain – a sprinkle to keep things fresh.

So, whether you’re up for the subtropical warmth of Gran Canaria or the equatorial coolness of Tenerife, these islands have got your weather wishes covered.

Landscape Contrast

Gran Canaria is a rugged beauty in the world of islands. Think of it as nature’s sculpture gallery, with its mountains playing hide and seek, deep valleys that could tell tales, and sandy beaches inviting you to kick back. What’s the secret behind this masterpiece? Volcanoes. And right in the spotlight is the iconic Roque Nublo, a volcanic rock formation standing tall at 1,813 meters. It’s like the island’s way of saying, “Look at me!”

Now, let’s swing over to Tenerife, where the landscape drama unfolds in the Teide National Park. Picture this: the highest mountain in Spain, Mount Teide, casting its majestic shadow over the island. It’s a volcanic symphony, and the black sand beaches are like the notes in this geological composition – a reminder of Tenerife’s fiery origins.

In a nutshell, whether you’re drawn to Gran Canaria’s rugged mountains, deep valleys, and volcanic beaches or Tenerife’s monumental Mount Teide and unique black sand shores, both islands are like geological treasure chests waiting to be explored.

Tourist Attractions

Gran Canaria and Tenerife, where each turn is a discovery and every sight is a postcard waiting to happen. Let’s dive into the top tourist attraction, shall we?

Gran Canaria

1. Maspalomas Dunes: Imagine a natural reserve where the sand dunes play hide and seek with the coastline for miles. That’s Maspalomas Dunes, a sandy haven that’s both serene and spectacular.

2. Roque Nublo: A rock star of volcanic origin, Roque Nublo stands proudly as one of Gran Canaria’s iconic landmarks. It’s like nature decided to leave its signature on the island.

3. Puerto de Mogán: Take a stroll in this charming fishing village where every corner is a burst of colour. Colourful houses, a marina, and a beach – Puerto de Mogán is a visual treat.

4. Palmitos Park: Calling all nature lovers! Palmitos Park is a botanical garden and zoo, showcasing a global palette of animals and plants. It’s a living, breathing testament to Earth’s biodiversity.

5. Vegueta: Step back in time in the historic district of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Colonial architecture and a lively vibe make Vegueta a must-visit, offering a glimpse into the island’s rich past.

sand dunes of maspalomas


1. Teide National Park: Prepare to be awe-struck in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Teide National Park boasts volcanic landscapes that are nothing short of mesmerizing, and the cherry on top? The highest peak in Spain.

2. Siam Park: Get ready for a splash in paradise. Siam Park is not just a water park; it’s a thrill-seeker’s haven with rides, a wave pool, and even a sandy beach. Who said water parks can’t be stylish?

3. Loro Parque: This isn’t just a zoo; it’s a wildlife symphony. Dolphins, whales, parrots – Loro Parque is a haven for animal enthusiasts, offering a front-row seat to the wonders of the animal kingdom.

4. Masca Valley: Nature’s masterpiece unfolds in Masca Valley. A picturesque village surrounded by rugged mountains and deep ravines, it’s a visual feast that showcases Tenerife’s diverse terrain.

5. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: The beating heart of Tenerife, where beautiful architecture, museums, and a lively atmosphere converge. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is where history meets modern vibrancy.

Accommodation and Dining

Hotels in Gran Canaria

  1. Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort Spa & Casino: Enter a world of luxury at this 5-star haven. With a name like that, you know you’re in for a treat. From the sparkling pool to the indulgent spa, it’s a paradise within a paradise.
  2. Seaside Palm Beach: For those who appreciate the finer things, Seaside Palm Beach is a chic retreat. Palm trees, sun-kissed poolside afternoons – this hotel embodies the essence of Gran Canaria.
  3. Bohemia Suites & Spa: If ’boutique’ is your buzzword, Bohemia Suites & Spa is your answer. Stylish, intimate, and with a spa that whispers relaxation, it’s a hidden gem in the heart of the island.
  4. Hotel Riu Palace Oasis: Fit for royalty, this palace oasis lives up to its name. From the grand architecture to the lush surroundings, it’s a haven in Maspalomas.

Hotels in Tenerife

  1. Iberostar Grand Hotel El Mirador: Perched by the coast, this hotel is grandeur personified. Elegant rooms, breathtaking views, and a touch of class – El Mirador is a Tenerife gem.
  2. Hotel Botanico & The Oriental Spa Garden: Nature meets luxury in this Tenerife haven. The botanical gardens set the tone, and the spa garden is a retreat within a retreat. It’s a symphony of relaxation.
  3. Bahia del Duque: Welcome to a world where luxury knows no bounds. Bahia del Duque is a universe of pools, gardens, and culinary delights. Prepare for indulgence.
  4. Royal Hideaway Corales Suites: Chic and contemporary, this hotel in Playa de las Americas is a blend of modern design and comfort. The suites are your private oasis in the heart of the action.

Whether you’re drawn to the lavish resorts of Maspalomas or the coastal elegance of Costa Adeje, Gran Canaria and Tenerife open their doors to a spectrum of accommodation, ensuring every stay is as memorable as the islands themselves.

Cuisine Comparison

Gran Canaria

  1. Traditional Canarian Delights: Dive into the heart of Canarian cuisine with papas arrugadas, those delightful wrinkled potatoes, and gofio, the toasted cornmeal that’s a local staple. It’s like a taste of tradition in every bite.
  2. Fresh Seafood Extravaganza: The ocean’s bounty takes centre stage in Gran Canaria. From daily-caught fish to a variety of seafood, prepare your taste buds for a journey to the briny depths.


  1. Puchero and Conejo en Salmorejo: Tenerife’s traditional dishes are a symphony of flavours. Puchero, a hearty stew, and conejo en salmorejo, rabbit in a garlic and wine sauce, showcase the island’s culinary richness.
  2. Mojo Magic: Don’t miss the mojo sauce – Tenerife’s culinary wizardry in a bowl. Garlic, oil, and paprika dance together to create a sauce that elevates every dish it touches.

International Flair

  1. Global Palette in Both Islands: For those craving a taste of the world, both Gran Canaria and Tenerife have you covered. From Italian pasta to Chinese stir-fry and aromatic Indian dishes, the islands are a global feast.

Vegetarian and Vegan Delights

  1. Options Abound: Whether you’re a devoted vegetarian or a committed vegan, both islands welcome you with open arms and tantalising menus. The culinary scene caters to diverse tastes and dietary preferences.

In the end, dining in Gran Canaria and Tenerife is not just about food; it’s an immersive experience into the rich tapestry of Canarian and global flavors. So, whether you’re savouring the traditional or exploring international cuisines, the islands promise a gastronomic adventure that mirrors the diversity of their landscapes. Bon appétit!

Cost of Living and Travel

Cost in Gran Canaria

So, you’re stepping into a tourist haven, and yes, prices do a little happy dance. But fret not, it’s still a bargain compared to some Euro-heavy destinations. Accommodation? Well, it plays peek-a-boo with your budget, especially when the sun seekers flood in during peak season.

Now, let’s talk food – local produce is your wallet’s best friend. Prices are generally on the friendly side, but beware of the tourist traps when dining out. Head off the beaten path, and you’ll find gems that won’t break the bank. And for getting around, buses and taxis are the budget heroes.

Cost in Tenerife

Tenerife, the sibling in the spotlight, mirrors Gran Canaria’s budget vibes. Living costs might give you a nudge, but it’s still a budget-friendly paradise. Accommodation? Like a rollercoaster, prices go up when the tourist tide rushes in.

Food and drink? Again, local goodies are your financial allies. Tourist areas might tempt your taste buds but might also test your budget limits.

Both islands throw a budget-friendly fiesta, even if they’re in the tourist limelight. Your pounds can stretch, especially if you’re savvy about where and when to spend.


In the end, the choice? It’s all about you. Seeking relaxation? Gran Canaria’s whispering landscapes call. Adventure? Tenerife’s lively embrace awaits. Craving a vibrant party scene? Both islands have the playlist ready.

So, whether you’re team Gran Canaria or Team Tenerife, these islands are your holiday canvas. Splash it with your preferences, and let the Canary magic unfold.