Last updated on March 13th, 2023 at 11:09 pm
Azores vs Canary Islands – Choosing between Azores and Canary Islands comes down to personal preferences and interests. And while both are beautiful remote island destinations, they have key differences. While the Azores is better if you prefer natural landscapes, tranquility, and a more affordable option while the Canary Islands are better if you want diverse landscapes, a livelier atmosphere, and more activities. Read here Madeira vs Canary Islands
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Comparing the Azores vs Canary Islands
The Azores are known for their stunning natural landscapes, which include volcanic craters, hot springs, and lush forests. Visitors can explore the islands’ natural beauty by hiking, swimming in natural pools, or visiting the geothermal hot springs. The Azores are also home to several protected areas, including the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which is a must-see for nature lovers.
The Canary Islands are famous for their diverse natural landscapes, which range from sandy beaches to volcanic landscapes, including the famous Teide National Park. Visitors can explore the islands’ natural beauty by hiking, biking, or swimming in crystal clear waters. The Canary Islands are also home to several protected areas, including the Garajonay National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Culture and History
The Azores have a rich history and cultural heritage, with a mix of Portuguese and Azorean traditions. Visitors can explore the islands’ cultural heritage by visiting the many historic churches, museums, and cultural centers. The islands are also known for their traditional handicrafts, such as lacework and ceramics.
The Canary Islands have a unique culture and history, with a mix of indigenous Guanche culture, Spanish influence, and African heritage. Visitors can explore the islands’ cultural heritage by visiting the many historic sites and museums, such as the Casa de Colon and the Museum of Anthropology. The Canary Islands are also known for their traditional handicrafts, such as pottery and embroidery.
The Azores are known for their fresh and flavorful cuisine, which includes seafood, meat dishes, and traditional sweets. Visitors can try local specialties such as Cozido, a traditional meat and vegetable stew, or Queijadas, a sweet pastry made with cheese.
The Canary Islands have a diverse cuisine that reflects the islands’ history and cultural heritage. Visitors can try local specialties such as Papas Arrugadas, a traditional potato dish served with Mojo sauce, or Gofio, a toasted cornmeal that is a staple of Canarian cuisine.
The Azores are known for their peaceful and relaxing atmosphere, with plenty of opportunities to unwind and enjoy the islands’ natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy soaking in the hot springs, practicing yoga, or simply taking a stroll through the scenic landscapes.
The Canary Islands are famous for their sunny weather and beautiful beaches, which make them a popular destination for relaxation and sunbathing. Visitors can also enjoy spa treatments, yoga, and other wellness activities.
While the Azores is better if you prefer tranquility and affordability, the Canary Islands is for a livelier atmosphere.
The Azores offer a variety of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury resorts and hotels. Visitors can choose from cozy bed and breakfasts, rustic cottages, or modern hotels with all the amenities.
CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION IN AZORES BEFORE YOUR TRIP
The Canary Islands also offer a variety of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury resorts and hotels. Visitors can choose from cozy apartments, traditional villas, or modern hotels with sea views.
CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION IN CANARY ISLANDS BEFORE YOUR TRIP
Cost of Travel
The cost of travel to the Azores varies depending on the season, mode of transportation, and accommodation. Flights to the Azores can be more expensive during peak season (June to August) and cheaper during low season (November to February). Accommodation prices also vary, with budget hostels available in major towns and cities, while luxury resorts and hotels can be found in more remote locations. Food and drinks in the Azores are generally affordable, with many local restaurants offering traditional dishes at reasonable prices.
The cost of travel to the Canary Islands varies depending on the season, mode of transportation, and accommodation. Flights to the Canary Islands can be more expensive during peak season (June to August) and cheaper during low season (December to February). Accommodation prices also vary, with budget options available in popular tourist areas, while luxury hotels and resorts can be found in more remote locations. Food and drinks in the Canary Islands are generally affordable, with many local restaurants offering traditional dishes at reasonable prices.
Cash and Currency
The official currency in the Azores is the Euro (EUR), and credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments. Visitors can exchange currency at local banks or exchange offices, or withdraw money from ATMs.
The official currency in the Canary Islands is also the Euro (EUR), and credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments. Visitors can exchange currency at local banks or exchange offices, or withdraw money from ATMs.
Overall, both the Azores and Canary Islands offer unique and diverse travel experiences, with stunning natural landscapes, rich culture and history, delicious cuisine, and plenty of opportunities for relaxation and adventure. The best choice between the two destinations ultimately depends on the specific preferences and interests of each traveler.
Things To Do in Azores
The Azores are a paradise for hikers, with many trails that offer stunning views of the islands’ natural landscapes. Visitors can hike the Sete Cidades Caldera, a volcanic crater with two lakes, or explore the Terra Nostra Park and its beautiful gardens. Other popular trails include the Pico Mountain Trail and the Faial Island Trail.
Click here to book online activities in the Azores!
The Azores are one of the best places in the world to spot whales and dolphins. Visitors can take a whale watching tour and see many species of whales, including sperm whales and blue whales, as well as dolphins and other marine life.
The Azores are home to several natural hot springs that are perfect for relaxing and rejuvenating. The Caldeira Velha on Sao Miguel Island is one of the most famous, with hot pools surrounded by lush vegetation. Other popular hot springs include the Furnas hot springs and the Poca da Dona Beija.
The Azores offer some of the best scuba diving in Europe, with crystal-clear waters and a rich marine life. Visitors can explore the underwater world at many dive sites, including the Formigas Islets and the Princess Alice Bank.
Visit the Tea Plantations
The Azores are known for their tea plantations, which produce some of the best tea in Europe. Visitors can visit the Gorreana and Porto Formoso tea factories and learn about the tea-making process and taste the different varieties of tea.
Visit the Lakes
The Azores are home to many beautiful lakes that offer stunning views of the islands’ natural landscapes. Visitors can explore the twin lakes of Sete Cidades, the Lagoa do Fogo, and the Lagoa das Furnas.
Explore the Volcanoes
The Azores are a volcanic archipelago, and visitors can explore many of the islands’ volcanic landscapes. The Pico Island is home to the highest peak in Portugal, Mount Pico, and visitors can hike to the top for breathtaking views. Other popular destinations include the Furnas Volcano and the Graciosa Island volcano.
Visit the Museums
The Azores have a rich culture and history, and visitors can learn about the islands’ past at many museums. The Carlos Machado Museum on Sao Miguel Island showcases the islands’ natural history and biodiversity, while the Graciosa Island Museum displays the island’s cultural heritage.
Enjoy the Beaches
The Azores has many beautiful beaches that are perfect for relaxing and swimming. The Praia Formosa on Santa Maria Island is one of the most popular, with golden sand and crystal-clear waters. Other popular beaches include the Praia da Vitoria on Terceira Island and the Praia do Almoxarife on Faial Island.
Try the Local Cuisine
The Azores have a unique cuisine that combines Portuguese and regional flavors. Visitors can try traditional dishes such as the Cozido das Furnas, a stew cooked in volcanic steam, and the Alcatra, a beef dish cooked with wine and garlic. The Azores are also famous for their cheeses, such as the Queijo da Ilha and the Sao Jorge Cheese.
Things To Do in Canary Islands – Azores vs Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are famous for their surf spots, and surfing is one of the top activities to do on the islands. There are many surf schools on the islands, offering lessons for beginners and experienced surfers. Some of the best surf spots in the Canary Islands include El Quemao in Lanzarote, which is known for its powerful waves, and El Confital in Gran Canaria, which is a popular spot for experienced surfers.
The Canary Islands are home to some of the world’s best observatories, thanks to their clear skies and low light pollution. Visitors can take a stargazing tour and marvel at the night sky. The Teide Observatory, located on the island of Tenerife, is one of the most famous observatories in the world, with several telescopes and a visitor center.
Explore the Underwater World
The Canary Islands offer some of the best diving and snorkeling in Europe, with warm waters and rich marine life. Visitors can explore the colorful reefs and marine life at La Graciosa or El Hierro. There are many dive centers on the islands offering diving courses and guided tours.
Click here to book online activities in Canary Islands!
Visit the Theme Parks
The Canary Islands have several theme parks that are perfect for families. Siam Park, located on the island of Tenerife, is one of the largest water parks in Europe, with many water slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river. Loro Parque, also located on Tenerife, is a zoological and botanical park that is home to many animals, including dolphins, penguins, and parrots.
Explore the Volcanoes
The Canary Islands are home to several active and dormant volcanoes, and visitors can explore the unique volcanic landscapes. The Timanfaya National Park, located on the island of Lanzarote, is a must-visit destination, with a surreal landscape of lava fields and volcanic cones. Visitors can take a bus tour through the park and see geothermal demonstrations.
Hike the Trails
The Canary Islands have many hiking trails that offer stunning views of the islands. Visitors can hike the Masca Gorge, a narrow canyon with steep cliffs, or the Roque Nublo, a volcanic rock formation with panoramic views of the island. The Anaga Rural Park, located on the island of Tenerife, is another popular hiking destination, with many trails that lead through dense forests and to hidden beaches.
Visit the Beaches
The Canary Islands are home to some of Europe’s best beaches, with white sand and crystal-clear waters. Visitors can relax on the beaches of Fuerteventura or go windsurfing on the beaches of Gran Canaria. Playa del Inglés, located on Gran Canaria, is one of the most famous beaches on the islands, with many bars, restaurants, and water sports facilities.
Take a Wine Tour
The Canary Islands have a thriving wine industry, and visitors can take a wine tour and taste the unique flavors of the local wines. The islands are known for their sweet Malvasia wines and the volcanic soils that give the wines their distinctive taste. The La Geria wine region, located on Lanzarote, is a must-visit destination for wine lovers, with many vineyards and bodegas offering tours and tastings.
Visit the Botanical Gardens
The Canary Islands are home to several botanical gardens that showcase the unique flora and fauna of the islands. Visitors can explore the Jardín de Cactus, which houses over 10,000 species of cacti, or the Palmetum, which features a collection of palm trees from around the world. The Botanical Garden of Puerto de la Cruz, located on the island of Tenerife, is another popular destination, with many exotic plants and trees from different parts of the world.
Take a Ferry to a neighboring Island
The Canary Islands are a chain of seven islands, and visitors can take a ferry to explore the other islands. Each island has its own unique charm, from the volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote to the colonial architecture of La Palma. The ferry rides are usually short, and visitors can spend a day or two exploring the other islands. For example, visitors can take a ferry from Tenerife to La Gomera and explore the Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to many rare plant species.
Carnaval is a huge festival celebrated in the Canary Islands and is known for its colorful parades, music, and dancing. Each island has its own unique Carnaval celebration, but the biggest and most famous is the one in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is one of the largest Carnaval celebrations in the world.
Visit the Historical Sites
The Canary Islands have a rich history, and visitors can explore the many historical sites on the islands. The Cueva Pintada Museum in Gran Canaria is a must-visit destination, with a collection of pre-Columbian artifacts and paintings. The Castle of San Cristobal, located in the city of Las Palmas on Gran Canaria, is another popular destination, with a fascinating history and beautiful views of the city.
Enjoy the Nightlife
The Canary Islands are famous for their nightlife, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants that stay open late into the night. The Yumbo Centre in Playa del Inglés on Gran Canaria is one of the biggest nightlife destinations on the islands, with many bars and clubs that cater to all tastes.
Take a Quad Bike Tour
Visitors can explore the natural landscapes of the Canary Islands on a quad bike tour. These tours take visitors off the beaten track and allow them to explore the islands’ rugged terrain and hidden spots.
Try the Local Cuisine
The Canary Islands have a unique cuisine that combines Spanish and African flavors. Visitors can try traditional dishes such as papas arrugadas, which are small potatoes boiled in salt water, and mojo sauce, a spicy sauce made with garlic, paprika, and olive oil. The islands are also famous for their fresh seafood, which is served in many restaurants.
Relax at a Spa
The Canary Islands are known for their relaxing atmosphere, and visitors can unwind at one of the many spas on the islands. The Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque on Tenerife is a popular destination, with a luxurious spa that offers a range of treatments and therapies.
Take a Helicopter Tour
Visitors can see the Canary Islands from a new perspective on a helicopter tour. These tours offer breathtaking views of the islands’ natural landscapes, including volcanoes, beaches, and forests.
Attend a Music Festival
The Canary Islands are home to many music festivals throughout the year, from jazz to electronic music. The Womad Festival on Fuerteventura is one of the most famous, with a diverse lineup of international musicians and artists.
Best Time to Visit – Canary Islands vs Azores
Best Time to Visit Azores
The Azores have a subtropical climate with mild temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. The best time to visit is from May to October, when the weather is mild and dry, and the average temperatures range from 16°C to 25°C (61°F to 77°F). During this time, visitors can enjoy the islands’ natural beauty, go hiking, and explore the beaches. However, the Azores can be visited year-round, as the islands have a mild climate with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F) throughout the year.
The peak tourist season in the Azores is during the summer months of June to August, when the weather is warm and sunny, and many festivals take place. During peak season, flights and accommodation can be more expensive, and popular tourist spots can be more crowded.
Low season in the Azores is during the winter months of November to March, when the weather is cooler and rainier, and many tourist activities may be closed or limited. However, visitors can still enjoy hiking, whale watching, and other activities during this time.
Check the updated weather in Azores here.
Best Time to Visit Canary Islands
The Canary Islands have a subtropical climate with warm temperatures and little rainfall throughout the year. The best time to visit is from October to May, when the weather is mild and less crowded, and the average temperatures range from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). During this time, visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and exploring the natural landscapes.
The peak tourist season in the Canary Islands is during the summer months of June to August, when the weather is hot and sunny, and many festivals take place. During peak season, flights and accommodation can be more expensive, and popular tourist spots can be more crowded.
Low season in the Canary Islands is during the winter months of December to February, when the weather can be cooler and rainier, but also less crowded and more affordable. Visitors can still enjoy activities such as whale watching, scuba diving, and exploring the islands’ cultural heritage during this time.
Check the updated weather in Canary Islands here.
It’s important to note that both the Azores and Canary Islands can experience weather variations and occasional rainfall even during the recommended periods, so it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before traveling.
Final Thoughts on Choosing Between Canary Islands vs Azores
Both Canary Islands and Azores are islands escapes you’ll have fun with, whichever you choose. Get the tranquility you need with lots of hikes in the Azores or get the parties and beach times you want with Canary Islands. Either way, have fun and have a great vacation!