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Lanzarote or Fuerteventura: Which Should You Visit?

Last Updated on 16th March 2023 by Sophie Nadeau

The two most eastern of the Canary Islands are some of the most popular to visit thanks to shorter flight times to mainland Europe, as well as their sheer beauty and wealth of things to do. But if you’re wondering which isle to visit between Lanzarote or Fuerteventura, then I know it can be a hard choice to make! This guide will compare the two islands depending on your preferred activities and travel style!


Lanzarote or Fuerteventura: Which Should You Visit?

The short answer as to which Canary Island you should visit is that you shouldn’t choose! Instead, you should be sure to visit both islands if you’re able to.

We personally opted to visit the Canary Islands for 10 days and spent 5 days in each Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, meaning that we got a pretty good overview of both islands, and what they have to offer.

There are easy ferry links between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, with regular boats running between the two islands throughout the day. Therefore, you can rent a car and drive around and explore one island, before taking your car and travelling to another island to explore that one too.

La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe)
Town in Lanzarote

Visit Fuerteventura for…

If you love endless landscapes where hiking opportunities are abundant and it’s quite easy to get a little off the beaten path, then I would opt to visit Fuerteventura. As one of the largest Canary Islands, it’s easy to find little pockets of the island where hardly anyone else is present.

This is not as true on nearby Lanzarote, where almost every part of the island (save for the national park) is inhabited with at least one little hamlet or village. Lanzarote is much more built up and the beaches are more crowded, not to mention that there are fewer of them.

Fuerteventura also has more of a laid-back vibe than its nearby Canary Counterpart and is the better island it visit if you’re in search of water-based activities and long, sandy beaches. In short, it’s the place to head to if you want something more remote and love adventure activities.

port in corralejo
Corralejo in Fuerteventura

Visit Lanzarote for…

Renowned for its volcanic terrain, Lanzarote is often likened to an extraterrestrial landscape. Its main allure stems from its black lava fields, craters, and peculiar rock formations. Some of my favourites on the island include Las Grietas and the Stratified city.

Additionally, the island boasts numerous stunning beaches, delightful villages, as well as an array of cultural and artistic attractions. If you’re interested in a healthy balance of unique geological features and cultural attractions, Lanzarote may be the better choice.

How to Spend a Rainy Day in Lanzarote (and still have fun!)
Rainy day in Lanzarote

If you want a greater range of activities…

If you’re looking to visit the Canary Islands in the off season (i.e. when it’s more likely to rain) or with kids, then I would personally opt to visit Lanzarote as it has a greater variety of museums and towns, where you can see attractions such as Cueva de los Verdes, Jameos del Agua, the LagOmar mansion, etc.

Those who are searching for stunning landscapes will find them both in Fuerteventura, as well as in Lanzarote, where volcanic landscapes stretch out for as far as the eye can see.

However, if you want a greater variety of landscapes, you should probably head to Lanzarote, where there’s the verdant green valley surrounding the village of Haria, the volcanoes of Timanfaya, and the vineyards of la Geria, among other unique vistas.

best of haria lanzarote
Haría, Lanzarote

If you’re visiting for the weather…

Truth be told, the weather of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura is very similar, though Fuerteventura is slightly windier than nearby Lanzarote. Both islands are quite dry and have warm, mild climates all year ’round.

Both islands experience the Calima, which is a weather phenomenon whereby hot sand is blown over from the Sahara desert, blanketing everything in a layer or red sand and making the sky kind of foggy.

We didn’t find there to be much difference between the two islands, apart from that some of Fuerteventura was incredibly windy, especially in elevated areas such as at La Entallada lighthouse.

A history of the Faro de la Entallada
La Entallada lighthouse

Food and drink in the Canary Islands

Due to their close geographic proximity to one another, as well as their shared history as part of the Canary Islands, there isn’t much difference between the food found in Lanzarote vs Fuerteventura.

Many restaurants serve traditional dishes which are fish-forward, and thanks to the islands’ status as being part of Spain, plenty of taverns serve up tapas style small plates.

I found both islands had a number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, though particularly enjoyed the vegan options in Corralejo, Fuerteventura. As such, there is no clear winner when it comes to the food on Lanzarote vs the food on Fuerteventura.

The one notable exception to this comes in the form of wine. The clear winner for oenophiles is Lanzarote due to the unique vineyards present in the central part of the island. The lunar-like landscape is punctuated with small craters which resemble the moon but are used to grow vines.

These vineyards are collectively known as La Geria portion of Lanzarote and some of the best wine in all of the Canary Islands is produced in this well-known area of Lanzarote.

Many wineries on the island offer tours and tastings, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the winemaking process and sample some of Lanzarote’s unique and delicious wines. Some popular wineries to visit include Bodega La Geria, Bodegas Rubicón, and El Grifo.

Baobab fuerteventura
Food at a vegan café in Fuerteventura

If you only have a few days…

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys fully covering a place, wandering around its most famous streets and ticking off a list of all of the top attractions, then you’ll want to head to Lanzarote as opposed to Fuerteventura.

This is because, while the main activities of Lanzarote can be seen over the course of a couple of days thanks to the fact that the distance between attractions is quite small, Fuerteventura is much bigger.

As such, if you don’t want to spend all your time in the car driving between destinations, then Lanzarote is the obvious choice. In order to see all that Fuerteventura has to offer, you’ll need at least four or five days.

rhodoliths fuerteventura
Popcorn beach of Fuerteventura

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Lanzarote or Fuerteventura: Which Should You Visit?

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She currently splits her time between Paris and London. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.

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Tim Bennett-Goodman

Monday 20th of February 2023

Thank you for an interesting article, Sophie, but in answer to the question you pose in your title, I'd suggest neither. I'm visiting Canarian family and have just attended a funeral so hardly a holiday! I'm frankly appalled by the damage tourism is doing to all the islands of the archipelago but Lanzarote is especially vulnerable and the President of the island Cabildo, María Dolores Corujo, has recently caused a controversy by calling for a better class of tourism and fewer cheap package deals, aiming her critique particularly at the Brits. These islands have a delicate and unique ecosystem, a rich native heritage and a serious shortage of water. Tourism is putting all these under intolerable pressure and could soon result in an eco-catastrophe. I urge intending visitors to resist the very real temptations your article dangles before them. The planet simply can't sustain much more of this.

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