best spanish holiday island

Best Spanish Holiday Islands for Your Next Trip in 2024

Spain is home to some of the most gorgeous islands in the world! From the white-sand beaches of the Balearic Islands to the wild landscapes of the Canary Islands, there’s something for everyone. 

Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape or a fun family holiday, Spain’s islands have it all. I’ve put together a guide to Spain’s holiday islands, so that you can pick a holiday destination and plan a trip that fits your needs.

Spanish Holiday Islands: The Balearic Islands 

Just off the northeast coast of Spain you’ll find the beautiful Balearic Islands. Situated in the Mediterranean Sea, these Spanish holiday islands feature stunning beaches and incredible landscapes. 

The Balearic Islands mostly come alive during the summer when the warm, sunny weather beckons visitors from all over the world to experience a summer paradise. In the off-season, the Baleares are much quieter and attract travelers that are seeking a more low-key vacation. 

Here’s what you need to know about the Balearic Islands. 

majorca - best spanish resort island

Majorca – Popular island destination that has something for everyone

The largest in this group of islands is Majorca (or Mallorca) and it’s probably the most visited Spanish resort island. 

That’s because it has a lot to offer: the beautiful and historic capital city of Palma, varied landscapes ranging from gorgeous beaches to rugged mountainous areas, vineyards, quaint villages, vibrant nightlife, and lots of outdoor activities. You won’t run out of things to do in Majorca!

Popular areas to stay are Palma de Mallorca (the capital city and close to the airport and port) and Alcudia (a port town in the north of the island). You can easily find accommodations in those areas, regardless of your budget. There are some high-end resorts in various parts of the island, if you’re looking to splurge. 

There are also apartment and house rentals in other small towns and villages on Majorca which is ideal for the more independent traveler. Plus, you’ll get a more local experience that way… which is something I always look for. 

Best time to visit Majorca: April to October, when the weather is warm and sunny. July and August are the busiest months so May and June are my personal preference — you can enjoy a more relaxed holiday while still enjoying great weather. The bigger towns on the island also remain open and lively in the off-season and the scenery is breathtaking all year round, so there’s really no bad time to visit Majorca. 

Majorca highlights: Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca, the Caves of Drach, and the Bellver Castle. There are also many beautiful beaches such as ​​Cala Agulla, Playa de Formentor, and Es Trenc. There are over 200 beaches in Majorca, so be sure to visit at least a few of them on your trip! 

How to get to Majorca: The most convenient way to get to Majorca is by plane. There are direct flights from Madrid and Barcelona, and they are usually very affordable. You may also be able to find direct flights from other major European airports. For a slow and easy option, you can take a ferry from Barcelona to Majorca. It’ll take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours, depending on the ferry company. 

menorca - best spanish islands

Menorca – Perfect for a peaceful escape in nature 

If you prefer a Spanish holiday island that’s more peaceful and authentic, then forego the popular Majorca and choose Menorca instead. The second-largest Balearic Island is also an attractive destination, just that it’s not as high on the tourist radar. 

Like its sister, Menorca is home to many stunning beaches and coves, with the added benefit of being less crowded even in the hot summer months. There’s loads of nature to enjoy, whether in the water (swimming, diving, sailing) or on land (hiking and walking trails, natural parks). The island is also home to ancient monuments that reveal its rich history. 

I love Menorca because of its laid-back, low-key atmosphere. It’s perfect for a relaxing island getaway and to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Time seems to move slower here, in a good way!

Best time to visit Menorca: Even in the summer months, it doesn’t get as crowded here compared to Majorca. June to September offers the best weather and you’ll get to enjoy the best Menorca has to offer. In the non-peak months, the island has very few tourists and some smaller towns and villages close down for the winter. 

Menorca highlights: Check out some of the island’s best beaches, like Cala Mesquida and Es Grau. Other must-see attractions are the Cova d’en Xoroi caves, the Naveta des Tudons, and the ancient city of Ciutadella. If you love walking and hiking, try the Cami de Cavalls trail which circles around the island. 

How to get to Menorca: The best way to get to Menorca is by plane. There are low-cost flights departing from Madrid and Barcelona multiple times daily, and you may also be able to find direct flights from other major European airports. Menorca is also accessible by ferry from Barcelona and also from Majorca. 

best spanish resort island - ibiza

Ibiza – The Spanish holiday island for partying

If your idea of an awesome vacation is partying, drinking, and dancing the day and night away, then Ibiza is 100% the Spanish holiday island for you. It has an international reputation as one of the best party destinations, with famous nightclubs and celebrity DJs. 

Explore the main party areas San Antonio, Playa d’en Bossa and Ibiza Town, and find your favorite spots. Ibiza’s huge superclubs are an experience not to be missed. Notable nightclubs include Pacha, Octan, Hi Ibiza, and Es Paradis. The island is known for its live electronic music scene so if that’s your jam, you’ll definitely love it here. 

During the daytime, you can bask in the sunshine and discover Ibiza’s natural beauty. Areas such as Portinax, Cala Llonga, Puerto San Miguel and Santa Eulalia are worth visiting. Their secluded beaches and bohemian vibes show a different side of this Spanish island, proving that Ibiza is more than just a party island. 

Best time to visit Ibiza: May to October offers warm temperatures, making it the ideal time to visit Ibiza. Of course, if you’re here to party, the height of the party scene happens in the summer months. 

Ibiza highlights: Aside from its world-renowned nightclubs, Ibiza Town’s historic center is worth exploring. For sun and sea, head to Cala Comte, Cala Llonga, Cala Saladeta, and Cala d’Hort. It’s also worth venturing to Cueva de Can Marçà, a huge natural cave that’s a cool place to see and visit. 

How to get to Ibiza: Grab a budget flight from Barcelona, Madrid or selected major airports in Europe. You can also choose to take a ferry from Barcelona, Valencia, or Denia which takes about 6 to 8 hours.

formentera - a hidden gem and one of the spain's best holiday islands

Formentera – The underrated Balearic Island

The smallest of the Balearic islands, Formentera is often overlooked and many visitors only see it as a day trip from Ibiza. But this Spanish holiday island deserves more of your time. 

Just a 30-minute ferry ride away from party central Ibiza, you’ll be transported to a different world when you land on Formentera. This is a true haven with the stunning beaches that the Balearics are known for, plus a hippie laid-back vibe that’s perfect for rest and relaxation. 

With 9km of coastline, Formentera’s beaches are a highlight, thanks to its clear turquoise waters and fine white sand. Sunbathe, swim, and wade in picture-perfect beaches like Playa de Migjorn, Playa de Ses Illetes, and Cala Saona. 

The island is also a walking paradise. The terrain is fairly flat and you can choose from 32 different routes throughout the island. All the trails are well-marked and there’s a range of distances and difficulty, so there’s sure to be a trail that suits your fitness level. A great easy option is the short coastal walk that leads to Caló d’es Mort.

In my opinion, Formentera is a great destination for a romantic getaway or if you’d like to relax and unwind in nature.

Best time to visit Formentera: Like its Balearic sisters, it’s best to visit Formentera from May to October, when the weather warms up. If you’re keen to soak in the sun and sea, then July and August are the best times to enjoy the beaches here. The island basically closes down in the off-season. 

Formentera highlights: The island’s natural beauty is the main reason to visit – beaches, hikes, and walks will fill your days! On Formentera, less is more so get ready to simply laze your days away. On Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, head to El Pilar de la Mola for a taste of the island’s hippy vibe at the local artisan market. 

How to get to Formentera: Formentera doesn’t have its own airport so your best bet is to fly into Ibiza and take one of the frequent ferries that run between the two islands. There are also ferries to Formentera from the mainland, departing from Barcelona, Valencia, or Denia. 

Spanish Holiday Islands: The Canary Islands 

Are you looking for a sunny Spanish getaway? Look no further than the Canary Islands! This gorgeous archipelago off the coast of Morocco is the perfect holiday destination for anyone who loves sun, sand, and a very pleasant climate. 

Comprising 7 main islands, the Canaries offer a different island experience. Thanks to the proximity to the equator, the weather here is warm and mild year-round, making it an ideal escape from cold winters. The landscape here is also distinct as these are volcanic isles; so here, you’ll find both white and black sand beaches. 

The Canary Islands all differ in size and have different personalities but each one has its own charms. Here’s a quick overview of the popular Islas Canarias which are some of the best Spanish islands. 

tenerife is one of the best spanish holiday islands

Tenerife – My favorite Spanish island for a nature-focused getaway

I’m gonna be upfront about my bias: Tenerife is my favorite Spanish island! I spent over 4 weeks there and still feel like there’s so much more to experience and explore. 

Like most other Spanish holiday islands, the abundance of nature on Tenerife is a huge draw. What makes Tenerife interesting is the variety of nature; the island has many different micro-climates! Down south, you’ll find popular beaches that attract visitors all times of the year due to the ideal weather. Up north, the weather is a bit cooler thanks to the Anaga natural park and mountainous landscape. 

Dominating the island is the volcanic Mount Teide, a majestic sight. The volcano and the surrounding natural park is definitely a highlight of the island. Along the coast, you’ll find hidden coves, stunning beaches, and dramatic rocky cliffs that will take your breath away. 

There are also cute little towns to explore such as La Oratova, La Laguna, and Puerto de la Cruz. 

Best time to visit Tenerife: The weather in Tenerife is mild so there’s no bad time to visit. I prefer visiting in the shoulder season when the days are comfortably warm and the evenings get cool. Do note that it tends to stay warmer in the south of the island compared to the north. 

Tenerife highlights: Tenerife is a haven for nature lovers: discover the island’s black sand beaches, try your hand at surfing, hike the scenic trails in Anaga, and visit Teide’s peak. Foodies, be sure to pop into a guachinche and sample the local cuisine!

How to get to Tenerife: By plane is the best way to get to Tenerife and you can get low-cost flights from most airports on mainland Spain. There are two airports serving the island, one in the north and the other in the south, so it’s best to fly in/out from the airport that’s closest to your accommodations. You can also take a ferry from Gran Canaria to Tenerife.

gran canaria - best spanish islands

Gran Canaria – Where it’s beach season all year round

With its temperate climate and abundance of sun, Gran Canaria is the perfect escape for anyone seeking beach weather at any time of the year.

It’s no surprise that outdoor activities are a big hit here and the island’s diverse landscape makes it even more interesting. There are sand dunes in the south, the lush green landscape of the north and the beautiful forests… and of course, let’s not forget the beaches like Playa de Las Canteras and Puerto de Mogán! There are plenty of opportunities to get active on Gran Canaria. 

Culture vultures, you’re not forgotten; Las Palmas and its historic old town is worth a visit. Notable landmarks include Santa Ana Cathedral and Casa de Colón which details Christoper Columbus’ journeys from the Canaries. Then get a taste of local food at the markets at Vegueta and Mercado del Puerto. 

Something unique to this Spanish holiday island are the cave houses that were inhabited by the pre-Hispanic people. You can learn more at the Cueva Pintada museum in Gáldar and even visit Caves of Valeron and the Guayadeque ravine to see the cave houses. 

Best time to visit Gran Canaria: There is basically no bad time to visit this Canary Island. July and August see the highest temperatures but even the winters here are mild enough to enjoy the beaches. 

Gran Canaria highlights: Don’t miss the black lava beaches here and the sand dunes at Maspalomas are impressive. The Caldera of Tirajana should also be on your must-see list! A wander through the Vegueta Old Town will reveal the island’s deep history. 

How to get to Gran Canaria: Ferries are a great way to travel between the Canaries but a ferry from mainland Spain (Huelva or Cadiz) takes over 30 hours so the best way to get here is by flying into Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Airport, the only airport on the island. You’ll easily find cheap flights from Spain as well as other major European airports.

spanish holiday island - la palma of th canaries

La Palma – The hidden gem of the Canaries

Known as “isla bonita”, La Palma flies under the tourist radar as a Spanish holiday island as it’s often overshadowed by the other Canary Islands. But as its nickname suggests, the beauty of this volcanic isle makes it one of the most dramatic Spanish islands to visit. 

The island’s volcanoes are the star. You can’t miss Teneguía and Cumbre Vieja lining the skyline and a guided tour of Cumbre Vieja (which is still an active volcano) is easily the highlight of a trip here. 

Hiking is a major activity in La Palma and the scenery is exceptional.  Caldera de Taburiente National Park is a great place to explore as is Bosque de los Tilos. The hike to Roque de los Muchachos, the highest point on the island, is also worth the effort. 

Apart from the beauty natural of the island, don’t forget to stop by the capital Santa Cruz de la Palma to get a glimpse of local life and the island’s history.

Best time to visit La Palma: July and August offer the highest temperatures but for a more laid-back visit while still enjoying great weather, May/June is an awesome time to visit. Like the other Canaries, it’s still relatively warm here in the winter – the west side of the island is generally drier and sunnier this time of year. And, of course, the temperature cools down in the areas of higher elevation. 

La Palma highlights: A must-do is a guided tour of the Cumbre Vieja volcano; it’s an experience like no other. Take some time to laze the day away at one of the stunning black sand beaches or hike in the Caldera de Taburiente National Park. Other nature-focused activities include stargazing at Roque de los Muchachos, whale and dolphin watching, and water sports such as surfing and sailing. 

How to get to La Palma: There’s an airport in Santa Cruz, the island’s capital and you can get direct flights to La Palma from mainland Spain and selected parts of Europe. There’s a ferry from Cadiz to La Palma that takes over 2 days, if you prefer to travel slow. There’s also a ferry from Tenerife which takes 2-3 hours. 

lanazarote - spanish holiday island

Lanzarote – A natural beauty with a quirky personality

Lanzarote is often associated with Spanish artist César Manrique who was born and lived on the island and indeed, if you’re a fan of the artist, there’s much on this Spanish holiday island to enjoy.

Manrique’s home/studio, Taro de Tahiche, is an intriguing place to visit, regardless of whether you like the artist. The harmony of design and nature is on full display here. Another cool Manrique spot is the Jameos del Agua caves which show his vision for the island and his unique style. 

If it’s beach time you’re after, head to Playa Blanca, Playa de las Cucharas or Playas de Papagayo. Other natural wonders on Lanzarote include El Golfo (the green lagoon), Los Hervideros (dramatic cliffs with powerful waves), and Los Charcones (natural pools near Playa Blanca). 

And like the other Canaries, Lanzarote is marked by its volcanic roots so be sure to visit the Timanfaya National Park!

Best time to visit Lanzarote: August is the hottest time of the year and it’s also the busiest. So if you prefer fewer crowds, May and June is a good time to visit as well. If you don’t mind mild temperatures, exploring Lanzarote during the low season is just as enjoyable. 

Lanzarote highlights: Discover the intriguing landscape of Timanfaya National Park on a guided tour – it looks like something out of Star Wars! A visit to the underwater Museo Atlántico is the most fun you can ever have on a museum visit. Don’t miss the charming village of Teguise with its whitewashed houses and palm trees. And I’d suggest visiting at least one César Manrique spot!

How to get to Lanzarote: There are ferries from mainland Spain (Huelva/Cadiz) and they take over 25 hours to get to Lanzarote. If you’re traveling between the Canaries, there are ferries to Lanzarote from Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura; do note there is no direct ferry line from Tenerife. For a quicker journey, you can fly into Lanzarote via direct flights from major Spanish airports and some European airports. 

fuerteventura - best spanish island

Fuerteventura – A hotspot for beaches and water sports 

Stunning beaches, tons of opportunities for adventure, and a warm climate 365 days a year — these are some of the reasons why travelers flock to the Canary island of Fuerteventura. 

This Spanish holiday island is full of unspoiled beauty: over 150km of beautiful beaches dot its coastline while inland, you’ll find rolling hills and austere, stark landscapes, thanks to its volcanic roots. 

For those seeking adventure on the water, Fuerteventura is a haven for windsurfing and kitesurfing, attracting enthusiasts from all over the world to ride its winds and waves. The warm weather here makes it possible to hit the water any time of the year. 

Beyond the island’s natural attractions, its historical town Betancuria is also worth a visit. 

Best time to visit Fuerteventura: If you’re visiting Fuerteventura for its beaches, the best time to visit is between July and September. It’s still very pleasant from May to November and it’ll likely be cheaper and less crowded outside of the summer months. 

Fuerteventura highlights: Check out the impressive sand dunes as well as the beaches in Corralejo Natural Park. Take a hike to see the crater at Calderon Hondo Volcano. Some of the island’s best beaches include Cofete, La Concha, and Risco del Paso. On the foodie front, be sure to try the local Majorero cheese! 

How to get to Fuerteventura: The best way to get to this Spanish holiday island is by plane. There are low-cost flights from major Spanish airports as well as other major European airports. Fuerteventura is also accessible by ferry if you’re coming from elsewhere in the Canaries.

So there you have it: 8 of the best Spanish holiday islands that I love! As you’ve seen, Spain has amazing islands to explore, all with their own unique vibes, sights and activities. All you have to do is pick the one that suits your vibe. So why not pack your bags and head off for a Spanish adventure? You won’t regret it!

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