Want to visit the Eastern Canary islands? But here is the question: Lanzarote or Fuerteventura ? Both islands have a lot to offer: beaches, volcanoes, cliffs... Below is my in depth comparison to help you decide.
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Lanzarote or Fuerteventura - Overall Summary
To the East of the Canary islands, the 2 main islands closest to the African continent are Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. You can see them on the map below:
Lanzarote or Fuerteventura - Quick answer
If you don't want to check all the criteria and photos below in the article, here is my overall answer:
- If you want a pure beach holiday or love wind sports, head to Fuerteventura
- If you want to have a wide variety of activities and a lot of charm, then head to Lanzarote
I enjoyed both, but my favorite is Lanzarote. I love how it has kept it authenticity with the architecture and the limited development and how many fascinating volcanic features there are.
Lanzarote Island vs Fuerteventura Island - Videos
Before I write point by point on various criteria to compare and help you decide where to go: Lanzarote or Fuerteventura - below are 2 videos to give you a snapshot of both islands.
Let's start with an introduction of all you could see in Lanzarote:
And now an introduction of what it looks like visiting Fuerteventura:
Beaches - Lanzarote vs Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura definitively has a lot more sand than Lanzarote, so there is a larger choice of beaches for you to choose from.
Resort Beaches of Lanzarote or Resort beaches of Fuerteventura?
- Lanzarote has 3 main resort towns: Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise. They all have beaches mostly small coves.
- Fuerteventura's resorts are mostly in the South of the island with Morro Jable and Costa Calma. Both have long beaches with lots of space. And for the North area, huge beach areas are not far away from Corralejo.
Fuerteventura offers larger beaches and more space to set up near all the facilities of town.
Wild Beaches - Fuerteventura or Lanzarote?
If you are looking for more scenic beaches, wilder options, both islands have lots to offer.
In Lanzarote, choices are more limited, but you have some very scenic options.
The most famous are the Papagayo beaches in the South of the island. The landscape is bare and the last beach is a beautiful cove with emerald waters.
Whereas in the North, you can find the Caletones with the contrast of the dark volcanic rock on the white sand. It also has a lagoon if you want to relax is quiet waters
You can learn more on my article about the best beaches in Lanzarote.
In Fuerteventura, you have the Corralejo sand dunes to the North that just sand and turquoise water for kilometers. It is impressive and magnificent.
And in the South you have the Jandia Lagoon where you won't feel like you are cluttered and getting to know too much your towel neighbours. It also have wilder beaches with huge waves on the South West Coast such as Cofete or La Pared.
You can easily find the right beach for your mood.
Both have interesting choices. But I would pick Fuerteventura because you get a lot more space and can more easily get away from the crowds if you want.
Landscapes - Fuerteventura or Lanzarote
Landscapes of Lanzarote
Lanzarote has a great variety of scenery. You can find:
- Many many volcanoes including the National park of Timanfaya. Some are black, others are red and there is even one large white one.
- So you also have a lot of fascinating volcanic features such as: lava fields (smooth or rock), lava tubes (where Cesar Manrique has fun reinventing the space), lava cliffs at Los Hervideros or the green lagoon of El Golfo
- You can also find high cliffs to the North West at Famara
- And Vineyards at the foot of Volcanoes
- And of course the beaches we mentioned in the previous section
Landscapes of Fuerteventura
In Fuerteventura, the landscape is a lot less volcanic, you can admire:
- Fascinating bare mountains with shades of orange, pink and brown
- White Sand dunes in the Corralejo natural park
- Impressive cliffs in the South west at the famous Cofete (only accessible by bumpy track)
- Ancient cliffs and caves at Ajuy
- Fascinating sandy Lagoon at Jandia in the South East
Because of all the volcanoes, the winner is Lanzarote.
But I must admit that I was pleasently surprised by Fuerteventura. It was much more interesting than I expected from the pictures.
The best option if you have 2 weeks would be 10 days in Lanzarote and 4 days in Fuerteventura or something like that.
My guide can help you with that with all the things to see in Lanzarote and also some great locations to consider in Fuerteventura:
Attractions, Activities & Things to do - Fuerteventura vs Lanzarote
Both islands offer great activities to keep busy. Here are some suggestions:
Cultural Things to do in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura
- In Lanzarote you can discover the amazing work of Cesar Manrique integrating nature with architecture and art: for example at his fondation or at Jameos del Agua - see his attractions
- In Lanzarote you can also learn more about the volcanoes and enjoy a bus tour of Timanfaya as well as see the heat under the earth with a couple of demonstrations
- While in Fuerteventura, you can explore the center of the island with the town of Betancuria, the historical capital of the Canary islands. I really enjoy the charming village. I even spent the night in the historical buildings of Casa Princess Arminda
Family attraction parks in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura
Both islands have attraction parks for families:
- In Lanzarote you can visit the Rancho Texas park which combines zoo, water park and other outdoor activities. It is near Puerto del Carmen - Get your ticket
- Lanzarote also has a second water park in Costa Teguise with a paintball area - get tickets
- In Lanzarote, discover exotic animals at the Oasis park - get tickets
Water sports in Lanzarote vs Fuerteventura
Prefer the water? On both islands you can enjoy watersports:
Lanzarote offers a wide variety of activities in all the resort towns:
While in Fuerteventura:
Fun activities - Lanzarote or Fuerteventura
On land, there are also options to have fun while discovering the islands.
Conditions - weather, accommodations, food, getting around
Now let's have a look at the travel conditions you can expect on both island.
Being very close to each others, there are nor many differences, except for accommodations.
Weather Lanzarote vs Weather Fuerteventura
Generally speaking, the weather is warm and dry all year around.
Both islands are windy, but Fuerteventura is considered to have more wind.
Both island experience foggy days especially when the wind is blowing from the Sahara.
In Winter you can expect temperature around 21°C while in Summer it climbs to 28°C - 30 °C.
Accommodation options in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura
Accommodations are quite different between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura:
- In Lanzarote, construction has been limited to preserve the island's character. So you will find very few huge buildings and giant hotels. This is one of the things I love the most about the island. The architecture is tasteful and integrating in nature. White buildings everywhere 🙂 You have a great choice with apartments, resorts and villas - To help you find your perfect place to stay and accommodation, I have written a complete guide on the best places to stay in Lanzarote
- In Fuerteventura, there were no such restrictions, so you can see many taller buildings and ugly ones... However the resort offer is more developped - I will write a complete guide too, but in the meantime you can check the best rated accommodations in Fuerteventura
Food in Lanzarote vs Food in Fuerteventura
Because of the common Canarian history and similar weather conditions, you can find similar food on both islands.
Local cuisine is primary seafood with traditional Spanish recipes and Latin American influences.
Not much grows on the islands, so fruits vegetables are imported and not heavily present in the menus.
One special thing though about Lanzarote, are the vineyards where trees grows thanks to the Picon volcanic rocks. Sweet tasting wine and great visits to be done and discover the unique agriculture technique.
Driving in Lanzarote vs Getting around in Fuerteventura
Driving on both islands is not very difficult.
Roads are in fairly good conditions. Driving in on the right.
Because of its size and lesser volcanic soil, Fuerteventura has some bigger road that allow you to drive quickly from North to South on the East coast.
Nearby small Islands - Lobos or La Graciosa
What's funny is that both Lanzarote and Fuerteventura have wonderful smaller volcanic islands very close to them.
They can be reached with smaller ferries and experienced as a day trip.
I really enjoyed both.
From Lanzarote: La Graciosa
To the North of Lanzarote is the small island of La Graciosa, which can be reached by ferry from Orzola.
The island has amazing fine sand beaches and volcanoes.
There are no roads but dirt track and you can hire a 4WD taxi to get around.
Stunning island. More photos and info here.
From Fuerteventura: Lobos
And to the North of Fuerteventura is Lobos island. It is smaller than La Graciosa. It can be reached by ferry from Corralejo. Book here (option to add snorkelling)
Walking around is quite fascinating with the mix of sand and volcanic soil.
Really worth a trip. Learn more
Combining - Lanzarote and Fuerteventura
As I said earlier, a great idea is to combine Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in one trip.
Either 1 week each or more on one.
It is quite easy to travel from one to the other with a short ferry ride between Playa Blanca and Corralejo - see the ferry options
And you can plan your road trips with my eBook:
OTHER OPTION - Day Trips - Lanzarote to Fuerteventura or Fuerteventura to Lanzarote
The other option is to book a day trip to the other island, just to get a snapshot and maybe come back on another trip. For example:
- From Lanzarote you can explore the Northern part of Fuerteventura with the sand dunes of Corralejo - learn more
- Or From Lanzarote as well, you can discover the mountains and history and Fuerteventura - learn more
- From Fuerteventura, you can enjoy a day trip to discover the volcanoes of Lanzarote and its wine region - learn more
One of the small bonus I found with Fuerteventura were the chipmunk in the mountains and by the sea 🙂
I love them they are so funny (but can be a pest for locals)
Want to see more of the CANARY ISLANDS?
So, Where are you traveling to? Lanzarote or Fuerteventura ?
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