The Best Places to Live in the Canary Islands for Expats
The Canary Islands have emerged as an enticing destination for expats, with many people choosing to move from the UK to one of the beautiful islands each and every year.
This widespread appeal can be attributed to a variety of factors, all of which contribute to the area’s appeal to British buyers. The year-round mild and pleasant climate of the Canary Islands is a major draw for expats, as these islands offer an ideal escape from the unpredictable climate of the UK.
The relative closeness of the Canary Islands to the UK is another significant factor, with the short flight duration making it an easily accessible place to live, facilitating regular visits from friends and family. This geographical proximity also fosters a sense of connection and makes the Canary Islands an appealing choice for individuals seeking a second home or holiday retreat.
Deciding to Move to the Canary Islands
While the popularity of the Canary Islands as a whole is evident, individual preferences often lead to varying levels of interest in specific islands. Historical trends reveal that certain islands have consistently ranked higher in popularity among British buyers. For example, Tenerife and Gran Canaria are frequently favoured. This is due to their diverse offerings, including vibrant urban centres, cultural attractions and a range of recreational activities.
The popularity of specific islands can also be subject to market fluctuations and trends. Economic conditions, changes in infrastructure and evolving tourism patterns can influence the desirability of particular locations within the Canary Islands. While individual preferences and market trends may influence island specific popularity, the collective appeal of these Spanish archipelagos continues to make them sought after destinations for those looking to move to a piece of paradise.
Why Do Expats Move to the Canary Islands?
A lot of expats move to the Canary Islands, which will come as no surprise, especially when you consider everything that the area has to offer. People are drawn to the Canary Islands for a range of reasons, and this has created a unique and vibrant expatriate community. The islands’ year round mild climates, regular sunshine and stunning landscapes – ranging from sandy beaches to lush mountains and volcanic terrains – serve as a magnet for those seeking an idyllic and diverse living environment.
A lot of Brits are enticed by the prospect of a relaxed and outdoor lifestyle, where leisurely strolls along the coastline and basking in the sunshine become a daily reality. The islands’ cultural richness, coupled with the cosmopolitan feel in certain areas, appeals to individuals eager to experience a blend of tradition and modernity. When you move to the Canary Islands, you really can enjoy the best of both worlds; sunshine and relaxation, as well as cosmopolitanism and culture.
With numerous welcoming expat communities and the opportunity to embrace a slower pace of life, it’s not surprising that the Canary Islands’ holds a status as being an attractive haven for those in search of a new beginning and a unique, island inspired way of life. You will find families moving to the Canary Islands for an outdoor lifestyle, and couples moving to have easy access to sunshine and beaches. You’ll even find older people moving to the Canary Islands to retire somewhere slower, less stressful and more relaxing than home.
The Pros and Cons of Living in Each of the Canary Islands – Which Island is Right For You?
Are you contemplating a move to the enchanting Canary Islands? With their diverse landscapes and unique cultural offerings, each island caters to different lifestyles and preferences. Below, we have explored the pros and cons of the individual islands, helping you make an informed decision tailored to your requirements.
There are a lot of pros to living in Tenerife, which is why it’s a popular destination for expats. It boasts a vibrant nightlife, a mix of beaches and mountains, direct flights to the UK and a large expat community. However, it does also attract a lot of tourists, which can lead to crowded beaches and busy attractions. Tenerife’s popularity has also led to higher living costs in tourist hotspots. Tenerife is ideal for those who are seeking lovely resorts, natural beauty and a strong expat community.
Gran Canaria is another popular island, and this is largely due to its diverse landscapes, mixed with a definite cosmopolitan feel. It boasts a rich culture and active nightlife, which is why it attracts people who are looking for a little bit of everything. However, there are areas of Gran Canaria that are highly commercialised, and properties tend to be expensive in popular areas. Gran Canaria blends city life and beach relaxation, whilst also offering cultural experiences and landscapes.
Lanzarote has long been a favoured holiday destination, but it’s also an appealing place for expats to live. It offers unique volcanic landscapes, a UNESCO reserve and consistently warm weather, even during the winter months. Lanzarote also has a growing arts scene. On the other side, Lanzarote is an island with slightly less greenery than others, and the landscape can be stark. It’s a worthwhile consideration for those who enjoy unique environments, art and a quieter lifestyle, with a focus on conservation and sustainability.
In Fuerteventura, you will find long sandy beaches, a relaxed pace of life and less commercialisation than there is on other islands. So, it’s easy to see why it’s an island that a lot of people consider. It’s well suited to beach lovers, water sports enthusiasts and those looking for a tranquil environment, a life in the Canary Islands that’s away from bustling crowds. Before choosing Fuerteventura as your Canary Island of choice, it’s important to know that there are limited amenities and entertainment options, and it can be windy.
Though it’s one of the lesser known islands – this is largely because Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are popular holiday destinations – La Palma is also a Canary Island that a lot of Brits move to. With lush landscapes and a genuine Canarian experience, it’s slightly different to the other islands, with many considering it to be a ‘true’ representation of the area and culture. As is the case with the other islands, there are a few downsides to La Palma. For example, there are fewer direct flights to the island from the UK and amenities are somewhat limited. It also has a quieter social scene, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on what you are looking for. It’s favoured by expats looking for peace, quiet and a closer connection to local culture.
As a UNESCO World Heritage site, La Gomera has a lot to offer including ancient forests, numerous hiking trails and rich folklore. It’s unlike the other islands, which are focused more on enjoying the beaches, sunshine and ‘holiday’ lifestyle. In La Gomera, there’s limited nightlife and fewer modern amenities, and it’s a lot less touristy. It’s also harder to access, which can be a problem for anyone who plans to travel to and from the UK a lot. La Gomera is well suited to those valuing tradition, nature and hiking, and people seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle.
You might not have heard of El Hierro, as it’s not a Canary Island that’s regularly visited as a holiday destination. But, it’s a beautiful and relaxing place to live, and it’s certainly an island worth considering. El Hierro is the least commercialised Canary Island, and it provides a more rustic and traditional living experience. There’s a big focus on sustainable practices in the area, and many people travel to the area to enjoy unique underwater landscapes. As El Hierro attracts fewer visitors, it has limited amenities and entertainment options. It’s not somewhere to move to if you are seeking a busy social life and lots of nights out. There are also fewer transport connections to El Hierro, which can make it difficult to organise visitors or trips back to the UK. It’s well suited to eco-conscious individuals and those looking for a remote, authentic life.
Things to Consider When You’re Choosing the Right Canary Island to Move to
Choosing the right Canary Island to call home is an exciting decision, but it requires careful consideration to ensure that your choice aligns with your lifestyle and preferences. Each island boasts its own unique charm, meaning that evaluating various factors before making a final decision is key.
Lifestyle and Atmosphere
Think about the atmosphere that you are hoping for. Tenerife and Gran Canaria offer a more vibrant and cosmopolitan lifestyle, with bustling nightlife and a mix of city and beach living. In contrast, La Palma and El Hierro are known for their tranquillity and a closer connection to nature, attracting those who prefer a quieter, more authentic Canarian experience.
Climate and Geography
The climate and topography vary across the islands. If you long for warm, sandy beaches, Fuerteventura might be ideal, while Lanzarote’s unique volcanic landscapes might appeal to those seeking something different. La Gomera, with its lush forests and hiking trails, is perfect for nature enthusiasts.
Cost of Living
Think about the cost of living on each island, and compare your options. Some, such as Tenerife and Gran Canaria, can be more expensive due to their popularity and tourist amenities. Fuerteventura and Lanzarote may offer a more affordable lifestyle, especially in less commercialised areas.
Consider the accessibility of your chosen island, especially if you plan to travel back to the UK, or you are hoping that friends and family will visit. Tenerife and Gran Canaria have major airports with frequent international flights, providing convenient connections. Smaller islands like La Gomera or El Hierro may have fewer direct flights, potentially impacting accessibility.
If you are hoping to move into a welcoming group of expats, think about the expat community on each island. Tenerife and Gran Canaria boast large and diverse communities, offering a mix of cultural experiences. If you prefer a more intimate setting, islands like La Palma or El Hierro might provide a closer knit alternative.
Evaluate job opportunities and industries on each island, especially if you are moving and hoping to continue your career. Tenerife and Gran Canaria, being larger and more populous, may offer a broader job market. Smaller islands may have a more limited scope, potentially impacting employment opportunities.
Language and Culture
Consider the predominant language and cultural nuances in each Canary Island. While Spanish is the official language, English is widely spoken in tourist areas. Islands like La Gomera or El Hierro might offer a more immersive experience if you are hoping to enhance your Spanish language skills and embrace Canarian culture.
Relocating to the Canary Islands
Moving to the Canary Islands is not just a change of address, it’s a transformation of lifestyle, a fusion of cultures and an immersion into the beauty of these enchanting destinations. Whether you are drawn to the lively resorts of Tenerife, the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Gran Canaria or the unique landscapes of Lanzarote, the tranquil beaches of Fuerteventura or the lush nature of La Palma, each island offers a distinct combination of experiences.
The decision to make the Canary Islands your home is a chance to embrace a year round temperate climate, stunning natural wonders and a sense of community that spans across expats and locals alike.
Once you have chosen the right Canary Island to relocate to, you can begin planning your big move. When you are relocating abroad, it’s always a good idea to enlist the help of an expert removals company, such as United International Removals. To find out more about who we are and what we do, get in touch.