Largest Canary Island & How many Canary Islands are there

largest canary island
Path inside Teide National Park, Tenerife

How many Canary Islands are there?

The Canary Islands archipelago is formed of 7 main islands (these are their names in descending order of their size):

  • Tenerife
  • Fuerteventura
  • Gran Canaria
  • Lanzarote
  • La Palma
  • La Gomera
  • El Hierro

Besides the main islands there are several other smaller islands and islets:

  • La Graciosa (this is the only inhabited island on this list)
  • Alegranza
  • Isla de Lobos
  • Montana Clara
  • Roque del Oeste
  • Roque del Este

La Graciosa is the only small island that is inhabited besides the main islands, although it has a population of less than 1000 people. This idyllic small island has no paved roads. La Graciosa is situated very close to the coast of Lanzarote and you can take a ferry or an excursion boat to visit for the day.

Tenerife - the largest Canary Island

Tenerife is the largest island in the Canary Islands archipelago in terms of size, with an area of area of 2,034 square kilometres and a population of around 900 000 people.

Tenerife is also the most visited island in the Canaries and it's one of the best and warmest Canary Island during winter, in our opinion.

The island is dominated by the massive Mount Teide situated almost in the middle, dominating the landscape with its imposing stature.

Not only is Tenerife the largest Canary Island, but Teide is the highest peak in all of Spain and one of the best places to visit on the island.

Fuerteventura - the second largest Canary Island

After Tenerife, Fuerteventura is the second largest island with an area of 1,660 km2.

Fuerteventura is also home to some of the best beaches in the Canary Islands, like Playa de la Concha (El Cotillo), Cofete, the beaches inside Corralejo Natural Park and of course Sotavento, in the Jandia Peninsula.

Fuerteventura is also the oldest Canary Island

Fuerteventura dates back 20 million years, which makes it the oldest of all the 7 (in case you had forgotten how many Canary Islands are there). The other islands are much "younger" having appeared around 5 million years ago. 

The rest of Canary Islands in order of their size:

  • Gran Canaria - 3rd largest, with an area of 1,560 km2
  • Lanzarote - 4th largest, with an area of 845.9 km2
  • La Palma - 5th largest, with an area of 708.32 km2 
  • La Gomera - 6th largest, with an area of 369.76 km2
  • El Hierro - 7th largest, with an area of 268.71 km2 

As you can see, after the 3rd largest island, Gran Canaria, the size drops considerably and the rest of the islands are much smaller, but they still have lots of interesting places to see and visit. The entire archipelago is blessed with wonderful weather all year round due to its location, which is why the Canaries are considered one of the warmest winter destinations in Europe.

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