Choose the Perfect Destination for Your Next Mediterranean Vacation – Canary Islands or Malta

If you’re looking for a warm and sunny getaway in Europe, two popular destinations that often come to mind are the Canary Islands and Malta. Both offer beautiful beaches, stunning natural landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage. However, each destination has its own unique characteristics that may make it the perfect fit for different types of travelers.

The Canary Islands, located off the northwest coast of Africa, are known for their year-round sunshine, pristine beaches, and diverse landscapes. With four main islands to choose from – Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura – each offers a distinct experience. Whether you’re seeking an active holiday filled with hiking and water sports, or a relaxing beach retreat, the Canary Islands have something for everyone.

On the other hand, Malta, a small archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, is famed for its rich history and ancient architecture. With its charming medieval towns, such as Mdina and Valletta, it’s a paradise for history buffs and culture enthusiasts. Malta’s crystal-clear waters are also perfect for diving and snorkeling, while its nightlife scene offers a vibrant atmosphere for those seeking entertainment.

When deciding between the Canary Islands and Malta, it ultimately comes down to personal preferences. If you’re looking for guaranteed sunshine and a wide range of outdoor activities, the Canary Islands may be your best choice. On the other hand, if you’re fascinated by history and prefer a more intimate, laid-back atmosphere, Malta might be the right destination for you. Whichever you choose, both destinations promise unforgettable experiences and memories to treasure.

Location and Climate

The Canary Islands and Malta are both located in the Mediterranean Sea, offering beautiful island escapes for travelers.

The Canary Islands comprise a group of islands located off the northwest coast of Africa. They are known for their volcanic landscapes, beautiful beaches, and year-round mild climate. The islands, such as Tenerife and Gran Canaria, offer a unique blend of natural beauty and vibrant culture.

On the other hand, Malta is a small archipelago located in the central Mediterranean. It consists of three main islands – Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Known for their rich history and architectural wonders, Malta offers visitors a chance to explore ancient ruins, medieval cities, and charming fishing villages.

When it comes to climate, both destinations offer pleasant weather throughout the year. The Canary Islands have a subtropical climate, with mild winters and hot summers. Malta, on the other hand, has a Mediterranean climate, characterized by mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Both destinations enjoy a high number of sunny days, making them ideal for beach lovers.

Whether you prefer the volcanic landscapes and cultural diversity of the Canary Islands or the historical charm and architectural wonders of Malta, both destinations offer a unique island experience with pleasant weather all year round.

Natural Attractions

The islands in the Canary archipelago are known for their breathtaking natural attractions. From volcanic landscapes to pristine beaches and lush forests, these islands offer a diverse array of natural wonders to explore.

One of the most iconic natural attractions in the Canary Islands is Mount Teide. Located on the island of Tenerife, this towering volcano is the highest peak in Spain, standing at a height of over 3,700 meters. Visitors can take a cable car ride to the summit, where they can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

The islands also boast stunning beaches, with crystal-clear waters and golden sands. Anaga Rural Park, located on the northeastern coast of Tenerife, is home to several picturesque beaches, including Playa de Benijo and Playa de Almáciga. These secluded beaches offer a peaceful retreat away from the bustling tourist areas.

For nature lovers, the Canary Islands offer a variety of hiking trails and nature reserves. Garajonay National Park, located on the island of La Gomera, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. The park is home to a unique laurel forest and numerous hiking trails that wind through its lush greenery.

Another natural attraction that shouldn’t be missed is the Timanfaya National Park on the island of Lanzarote. This park is a volcanic wonderland, with its barren landscapes and surreal rock formations. Visitors can take a guided tour through the park to learn about its volcanic history and witness geothermal activity up close.

In conclusion, the Canary Islands are a paradise for nature lovers, with their diverse range of natural attractions. From towering volcanoes to idyllic beaches and lush forests, these islands have something to offer everyone seeking a connection with the natural world.

Beaches and Coastline

Both the Canary Islands and Malta boast stunning beaches and picturesque coastlines, making them perfect destinations for beach lovers and sun worshippers.

The Canary Islands, located off the northwest coast of Africa, are known for their diverse and beautiful beaches. From the black volcanic sands of Tenerife to the golden stretches of Gran Canaria, there is a beach to suit every taste. The waters are crystal clear and perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports. Some of the most popular beaches in the Canary Islands include Playa de las Canteras in Las Palmas, Sotavento Beach in Fuerteventura, and Playa de las Teresitas in Tenerife.

On the other hand, Malta, located in the Mediterranean Sea, also offers a variety of breathtaking beaches. From secluded coves to lively resorts, there is something for everyone. The beaches in Malta are known for their pristine white sand and sparkling blue waters. Some of the most stunning beaches in Malta include Golden Bay, Mellieha Bay, and St. Peter’s Pool. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, visitors can also enjoy water sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing.

Whether you choose the Canary Islands or Malta, you can’t go wrong when it comes to beaches and coastline. Both destinations offer a perfect mix of natural beauty and relaxation. So grab your sunscreen and towel and get ready to soak up the sun in paradise!

Cultural Heritage

The islands of the Canary Islands have a rich cultural heritage that is influenced by their unique history and geographical location. The archipelago is located off the northwest coast of Africa, and over the centuries it has been shaped by different civilizations, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, and Spanish.

One of the most prominent cultural sites in the Canary Islands is the historic town of San Cristóbal de La Laguna on the island of Tenerife. This town was the first non-fortified Spanish colonial town and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore its picturesque streets, admiring the well-preserved architecture and charming squares.

Another notable cultural heritage site in the Canary Islands is the Cueva de los Verdes on the island of Lanzarote. This unique volcanic cave system was formed by a series of eruptions and is now open to visitors. Inside the cave, visitors can see impressive lava formations and learn about the history and geology of the island.

The islands also have a strong tradition of handicrafts, including pottery, basket-weaving, and embroidery. Visitors can visit local craftsmen and buy unique, handmade souvenirs to take home.

In addition to the cultural heritage of the Canary Islands, Malta also has a rich history and cultural heritage. The island is known for its ancient temples, fortified cities, and historic sites. Visitors can explore the UNESCO-listed city of Valletta, with its impressive Baroque architecture and grand palaces.

Malta is also home to a unique prehistoric site, the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum. This underground necropolis dates back to around 4000 BC and is considered one of the world’s most important prehistoric sites. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the underground chambers and learn about the island’s ancient history.

Both the Canary Islands and Malta offer a rich cultural heritage for visitors to explore. Whether you’re interested in ancient history, architecture, or traditional crafts, both destinations have something to offer.

Outdoor Activities

Both Malta and the Canary Islands offer a wide range of outdoor activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers.


Malta, with its stunning coastline and crystal-clear waters, is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking in the Mediterranean Sea. The islands also offer excellent conditions for sailing and windsurfing, with courses and rentals available for both beginners and experienced sailors.

For those who prefer to stay on land, Malta offers beautiful hiking and cycling trails that showcase the island’s natural beauty. From rugged coastal paths to peaceful countryside routes, there is something for every level of fitness and experience. The island’s unique landscapes, including cliffs, caves, and valleys, provide a picturesque backdrop for outdoor adventures.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are known for their diverse landscapes and offer a wide range of outdoor activities. The islands are a popular destination for hiking, with various trails catering to all levels of difficulty. From the volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote to the lush forests of La Palma, hikers can explore stunning natural scenery.

In addition to hiking, the Canary Islands are a hotspot for water sports. With warm waters year-round, visitors can enjoy activities like surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing. The islands also offer unique opportunities for whale watching and snorkeling with marine life.

Outdoor Activities in Malta Outdoor Activities in the Canary Islands
Snorkeling Surfing
Scuba diving Windsurfing
Kayaking Kitesurfing
Sailing Whale watching
Hiking Hiking

Whether you prefer water sports or exploring on foot, both Malta and the Canary Islands offer an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy during your visit.

Nightlife and Entertainment

If you’re looking for a vibrant nightlife scene and a wide range of entertainment options, both the Canary Islands and Malta have something to offer. The islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands are particularly known for their lively nightlife.

On these islands, you’ll find numerous clubs, bars, and discos where you can dance the night away. The popular resort areas of Playa de las Americas in Tenerife and Playa del Ingles in Gran Canaria are especially famous for their vibrant nightlife.

Whether you prefer electronic music, live bands, or traditional Spanish music, you’re sure to find a venue that suits your taste. Many clubs and bars in the Canary Islands often host themed nights and special events, adding to their appeal.

In Malta, the nightlife scene may be slightly more laid-back compared to the Canary Islands, but it still offers plenty of options for entertainment. Paceville, located in St. Julian’s, is the main nightlife hub on the island.

Here, you’ll find a variety of clubs, open-air bars, and live music venues. The atmosphere in Paceville is vibrant, with locals and tourists alike enjoying a night out on the town. The area is particularly known for its energetic clubs that play a mix of chart hits, house music, and R&B.

Whether you choose the Canary Islands or Malta for your holiday, you can be sure that both destinations offer a lively nightlife and a range of entertainment options to suit every taste.

Cuisine and Dining

When it comes to cuisine and dining options, both the Canary Islands and Malta offer a wide range of delicious dishes and culinary experiences.

The Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are known for their unique blend of Spanish, African, and Latin American influences, which is reflected in their diverse and flavorful cuisine. One of the most famous dishes is papas arrugadas, which are small, wrinkled potatoes served with mojo sauce. Other popular dishes include fresh seafood, such as grilled octopus and fried fish, as well as traditional stews like puchero canario. For dessert, be sure to try bienmesabe, a sweet almond cream.

The islands are also famous for their local wines, particularly from the volcanic soils of Lanzarote and Tenerife. You can visit local vineyards and enjoy wine tastings to experience the unique flavors of these wines.


Maltese cuisine is a fusion of Mediterranean flavors with influences from Italian, Arabic, and British cuisines. One of the most popular dishes is rabbit stew, which is slow-cooked with vegetables, herbs, and red wine. Another traditional dish is pastizzi, flaky pastries filled with either ricotta cheese or pea puree.

Being an island, seafood is also a staple in Maltese cuisine, with fresh fish such as lampuki (dolphin fish) and swordfish often being served grilled or fried. For dessert, try imqaret, deep-fried date pastries, or kannoli, sweet ricotta-filled pastries.

Malta also has a rich tradition of wines, with the indigenous grape variety Girgentina being a highlight. Wine lovers can enjoy vineyard tours and tastings to discover the unique flavors of Maltese wines.

No matter which island you choose to visit, you’ll be able to indulge in delicious local food and explore a variety of dining options that reflect the unique culinary heritage of these captivating destinations.

Shopping and Markets

In both Malta and the Canary Islands, you will find a variety of shopping opportunities and markets to explore.


Malta offers a unique shopping experience with its vibrant markets and boutique shops. The main shopping area in Valletta, the capital of Malta, is Republic Street. Here, you can find a mix of international brands and local vendors selling clothing, jewelry, and accessories.

If you prefer a more traditional shopping experience, head to Marsaxlokk Sunday Market, known for its fresh fish and seafood. This bustling market is the perfect place to pick up local produce, souvenirs, and handmade crafts.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are known for their duty-free shopping, making it an attractive destination for those looking for great deals. The main shopping area in Tenerife is in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where you can find international brands, local shops, and department stores.

For a unique shopping experience, visit the Mercado Nuestra Señora de Africa in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. This bustling market offers a variety of fresh produce, flowers, and local products. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and try some delicious Spanish delicacies.

Whether you choose Malta or the Canary Islands, you’ll find plenty of options for shopping and markets to satisfy your retail therapy needs.

Accommodation Options

When it comes to accommodation options, both the Canary Islands and Malta offer a wide range of choices to suit every budget and preference.

The Canary Islands, composed of seven main islands, have a variety of hotels, resorts, and apartments available for visitors. Whether you prefer a luxury beachfront resort or a cozy bed and breakfast in the mountains, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from. Many hotels on the islands also offer all-inclusive packages, allowing you to enjoy a worry-free vacation.

In addition to traditional accommodation options, the Canary Islands also offer unique experiences such as staying in a traditional cave house or a rural cottage. These alternative accommodations allow visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture and enjoy a more authentic experience.

Malta, on the other hand, offers a mix of luxury hotels, boutique guesthouses, and budget-friendly hostels. The main tourist areas of Valletta, Sliema, and St. Julian’s are home to a wide range of accommodation options, making it easy to find something that suits your needs.

For those looking for a unique experience, Malta also has a variety of farmhouses available for rent. These traditional Maltese houses have been converted into comfortable accommodations, often with private pools and stunning views of the countryside.

Whether you choose to visit the Canary Islands or Malta, you can rest assured that there will be plenty of accommodation options to choose from, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Language and Communication

When it comes to language and communication, both Malta and the Canary Islands offer unique opportunities for visitors.

In Malta, the official languages are Maltese and English. Maltese is a Semitic language that dates back to the Arabic period in Malta’s history. However, due to the country’s rich cultural heritage and history, Maltese also incorporates elements from Italian, French, and English. English is widely spoken and understood in Malta, making it easy for visitors to communicate with locals and navigate the island.

In the Canary Islands, the official language is Spanish. Spanish is widely spoken across the islands, and it is the primary language used for communication. However, due to the popularity of the Canary Islands as a tourist destination, many locals also speak English, especially in tourist areas and establishments. This makes it relatively easy for English-speaking visitors to communicate with locals and get around.

It is worth noting that learning a few basic phrases in the local language can go a long way in both Malta and the Canary Islands. Locals appreciate the effort to communicate in their native tongue and it can enhance the overall travel experience. Additionally, it is always helpful to have a translation app or phrasebook handy for any language barriers that may arise during your visit.

In conclusion, both Malta and the Canary Islands provide favorable language and communication conditions for visitors. English is widely spoken in both destinations, while Maltese and Spanish are the official languages respectively. With a little effort to learn some basic phrases, visitors can navigate the islands with ease and enjoy meaningful interactions with locals.

Safety and Security

When it comes to safety and security, both Malta and the Canary Islands are considered to be safe destinations for travelers.

Malta, known for its low crime rate, is generally considered safe for tourists. The local police force is efficient and vigilant, ensuring the well-being of residents and visitors alike. However, it is always advisable to take common-sense precautions and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas where petty theft might occur.

The Canary Islands are also recognized as safe destinations. The local authorities have implemented various measures to ensure the safety and security of tourists. However, it is important to remain cautious, as tourist areas can be targeted by pickpockets. Be vigilant with your belongings, especially in crowded places such as markets and public transportation.

Emergency Services

In Malta, the emergency telephone number is 112 for all emergencies, including police assistance, medical emergencies, and fire services. The healthcare system in Malta is well-developed, providing quality medical care to both residents and tourists.

Similarly, in the Canary Islands, the emergency telephone number is also 112. The archipelago has a comprehensive healthcare system, with hospitals and clinics equipped to handle a range of medical emergencies.

It is always recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and other unforeseen circumstances while traveling to either of these destinations.

Natural Hazards

Both Malta and the Canary Islands are generally free from natural hazards such as hurricanes or earthquakes. However, as with any coastal region, there is always a risk of high winds, storms, or rough seas during certain seasons. It is advisable to stay updated on weather forecasts and follow any instructions or warnings issued by local authorities.

Overall, both Malta and the Canary Islands offer a safe and secure environment for travelers, with well-functioning emergency services and a low crime rate. By staying vigilant and taking necessary precautions, visitors can enjoy their time in these beautiful destinations without major safety concerns.

Transport and Accessibility

Malta is a small island nation located in the Mediterranean Sea. Despite its size, it has a well-developed transportation system that makes it easy to get around and explore all that the island has to offer. The Malta International Airport, located just outside the capital city of Valletta, serves as the main gateway for visitors arriving by air. The airport is well-connected to major European cities, making it convenient for travelers to reach Malta from other parts of the continent.

Once you arrive in Malta, you’ll find that public transportation options are plentiful. Buses are the main mode of public transportation on the island, with an extensive network that covers most towns and villages. The buses are affordable and reliable, making them a convenient option for getting around.

In addition to buses, taxis and rental cars are also available for those who prefer more flexibility and convenience. Taxis can be found at designated taxi stands, or you can arrange for one to pick you up at your hotel or other location. Rental cars are a popular choice for those who want to explore the island at their own pace. Keep in mind that driving in Malta can be quite challenging due to narrow roads and heavy traffic in some areas.

If you’re considering a trip to the Canary Islands, you’ll find that the archipelago offers excellent transport links as well. The main airports on the islands are well-connected to major European cities, making it easy to reach your destination by air. Once you arrive, you’ll find that each island has its own transportation system, including buses, taxis, and rental cars, making it easy to get around and explore.

One popular option for getting around the Canary Islands is to hire a car. This allows you to have the freedom to explore the various islands at your own pace. Keep in mind that each island has its own unique attractions and landscapes, so having a car can be a convenient way to visit multiple islands during your trip.

Overall, both Malta and the Canary Islands offer excellent transport links and accessibility for visitors. Whether you choose to explore the Maltese archipelago or the volcanic landscapes of the Canary Islands, you can expect to find a well-developed transportation system that makes it easy to get around and explore all that these destinations have to offer.

Cost of Living

When considering a move to the Canary Islands, the cost of living is an important factor to take into account. Overall, the cost of living in the Canary Islands is relatively affordable compared to other European destinations.

One of the major expenses in the Canary Islands is housing. Rent prices can vary depending on the location and size of the property, but they are generally lower compared to major cities in Europe. Additionally, if you choose to buy a property, the real estate market in the Canary Islands offers a wide range of options at affordable prices.

Another factor that contributes to the affordable cost of living in the Canary Islands is the low tax rates. The islands have a special tax regime known as the Zona Especial Canaria (ZEC), which grants tax advantages to companies and individuals who establish their residence or business in the archipelago. This means that you can enjoy lower taxes on income, corporate profits, and other taxes.

When it comes to daily expenses, groceries and dining out are also reasonably priced in the Canary Islands. The islands have a variety of supermarkets and local markets where you can find fresh fruits, vegetables, and other essentials at affordable prices. Eating out is also relatively inexpensive, and you can enjoy a meal at a local restaurant without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a destination with a low cost of living, the Canary Islands are a great option. With affordable housing, low tax rates, and reasonably priced daily expenses, you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without spending a fortune.


What are the main attractions of the Canary Islands?

The Canary Islands are known for their beautiful beaches, stunning volcanic landscapes, and vibrant nightlife. Some of the main attractions include the Teide National Park, Loro Parque, and the historical city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

What is the weather like in Malta?

Malta has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. The average temperature ranges from 15°C in winter to 30°C in summer, making it a great destination for sunbathing and outdoor activities all year round.

What are the advantages of choosing Malta as a destination?

Malta offers a rich history, diverse culture, and stunning architecture. The island is full of historic sites, such as the ancient temples of Hagar Qim and the medieval city of Mdina. Additionally, Malta has a well-developed tourist infrastructure and is known for its warm and welcoming locals.

Which destination is more suitable for families with children?

Both the Canary Islands and Malta are great options for families with children. The Canary Islands offer many family-friendly resorts with activities and entertainment for kids, as well as water parks and zoos. Malta, on the other hand, has several kid-friendly attractions, such as the Splash and Fun Water Park and the National Aquarium.

What is the cost of living like in the Canary Islands?

The cost of living in the Canary Islands is generally lower than in other European destinations. Prices for accommodation, food, and transportation are affordable, making it an attractive option for budget travelers. However, keep in mind that popular tourist areas might be more expensive than smaller towns and villages.

What are the main differences between the Canary Islands and Malta?

The Canary Islands and Malta are both popular tourist destinations, but they have some key differences. The Canary Islands are located off the northwest coast of Africa and are known for their year-round warm climate, beautiful beaches, and volcanic landscapes. Malta, on the other hand, is located in the Mediterranean Sea and offers a rich history, cultural sites, and stunning architecture. So, the main differences are location, climate, and attractions.