Island Hopping on the Canary Islands
The contrasts of the Canary Islands and their proximity to each other offer the best conditions for exploring more than one of the paradisiacal islands. Island hopping between Fuerteventura and Lanzarote or Tenerife and La Gomera is particularly easy. The ferry ride takes only 45 minutes. A day trip or a two-part holiday is worthwhile. There is also the possibility to “jump” back and forth between the islands with a small plane or propeller aircraft. A flight from Gran Canaria to Fuerteventura or from Tenerife to El Hierro, for example, takes about 40 to 45 minutes, but the same routes with the ferry take more than 2 hours. In principle, all Canary Islands can be reached by plane or boat, including La Palma.
Island Hopping by Plane
Changing islands by plane is very easy. You just have to plan that you can’t fly from La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro to every island by direct flight. After all, there are direct flights between the big islands, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.
The Canary Islands also boast three airlines.
First, I’d like you to introduce Air Europe. To be honest, I didn’t know the airline until I researched this article. They have (still) the fewest connections, but are called here first as they manage to provide a German and an English website.
Binter Canarias has besides the Spanish and French at least an English website and also offers more connections. Apart from flights between the islands, there are also direct connections to Madeira, the Cape Verde Islands, the Balearic Islands, Morocco and mainland Spain and Portugal. So you can combine a Canary Islands holiday in different ways.
The name says it all. Canary Fly offers only flights between the Canary Islands. La Gomera is the only exception, as there are no flights at the moment. Although the website is only available in Spanish, it is worth taking a look at the prices. The airline can at least convince with some connections with the cheapest offers.
Island Hopping by Ferry – Connections and Shipping Companies
As I said at the beginning, the most worthwhile ferry connections for a day trip are between Tenerife and La Gomera and between Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. Even with a rental car the ferry trip is sometimes cheaper than the flights. Other ferries are not worthwhile for a day trip or are not realizable as such. You should therefore plan at least one overnight stay if you want to see Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura or Tenerife and La Palma, for example. The second option is simply a shared holiday.
The ferries between the big islands (including La Gomera) run several times a day, from early to late. La Palma and El Hierro are only served once a day. Armas and Fred Olsen usually drive slightly delayed.
What do you have to pay attention to?
On Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura there are two ferry ports, on La Gomera even three. You should therefore be careful not to confuse the harbours.
Apart from the seven main islands, La Graciosa and Los Lobos can also be reached by express ferries. There are sufficient booking possibilities for this on site.
With Naviera Armas, one usually chooses the cheaper way to travel, but often takes a little longer. It is also the only ferry company that serves El Hierro.
Fred Olsen Express
As the name suggests, Fred Olsen Express operates express ferries without exception and is therefore almost always the quicker choice. But it’s also more expensive.
Trasmediterranea actually offers the ferry to and from the Spanish mainland. It goes as far as La Palma with stops on all the large Canary Islands. Since only one ship is in operation and the journey from Lanzarote to the mainland alone takes 1½ days, there is only one connection per week.
Is island hopping in the Canary Islands worthwhile?
Of course! Whether a day trip or a shared holiday on different islands, it can be worth it. You should only invest a little time in planning. Not that you want to travel El Hierro and Lanzarote by ferry and wonder why you spend 3 days on a cutter. The additional costs should also be taken into account.
Otherwise I can only say, explore the beaches of Fuerteventura and the mountains of La Palma in one holiday or experience the culture of Lanzarote together with the underwater world of Gran Canaria or just take a half year break and explore all islands.