MAINLAND VERSUS ISLAND: A Cook Comparison between the Canary Islands and Mainland Spain

Arrecife, Canary Islands
I asked one of Britain’s Top Travel Agencies, Thomas Cook to give us the low-down on the important factors that tourists compare when choosing these as holiday destinations and why either islands are worthy to be on your bucket list.


It’s a near 3 hours extra flight time to the Islands as opposed to Madrid, Spain. They not only compared the cost of airfare to the Canary Islands and flights to Madrid but also compared the price of accommodation, activities and overall cost of experience. The Canary Islands beat out Spain by a mile. The flights to Tenerife, accommodation at 3-star hotels and price of entertainment was far less than that of mainland Spain. Granted, there’s more to see on the mainland but what there is to see is quite pricey.
Mainland Spain

According to the online survey that Thomas Cook released, the Canary Islands were chosen as the spot for winter sun as it’s generally good weather all year round, and mainland Spain was chosen as a safer bet for the height of the summer season. The weather in the Canaries is somewhat dependant on the winds off the Sahara.
Breathtaking view, Canary Islands

It depends on what you plan on doing, if you just want to relax, an island vacation on one of the Canary Islands might be for you but Mainland Spain will win hands-down for the Tren de Sóller timber-panelled train, the Architecture of Toledo or the Santa Maria de Montserrat Basilica. Both destinations have their volcanic scenery, the mainland has Ilsa Graciosa and the Canaries have the volcanic coast, Los Hervideros where you can see Montanas del Fuego in the background. Both holiday destinations have the same ‘islandy’ activities like diving, yacht chartering, surfing, snorkelling, paddle-boarding, village-vibe and impassioned music.
Ocean view, Mainland Spain

Most passengers from the Spanish-speaking countries (like Cuba and Mexico) thought that they would have an edge on all other tourists visiting either the Canary Islands or mainland Spain. The islanders drop their ‘eses’ and don’t lisp the ‘th’ like in the mainland. When you travel to more rural parts of either territories, it can be quite frustrating for people who know they can speak Spanish but are not understanding the words that are coming out of local’s mouths and why an old lady keeps shouting “Lah mohcah!” (“The flies!” and you think she’s shouting “The coffee”/Las Mocha) It can get very confusing.
Biking in the Canary Islands
Food & Culture

Both share a cultural compulsion with good food and wine. So you will not find either lacking in either department. The size is the biggest comparison, Madrid is huge and a bustling city whereas even in the most touristy areas, it’s still a quiet island. Both are a ‘touchy-feely’ culture but some parts of the islands, they are very-very-very-touchy-feely and stand right next to you. So if you are like me, and you like your space, leave your personal bubble at home.
White sand beaches, Mainland Spain
Surveys can be tricky, they give you facts and figures but don’t illustrate the feeling. Thomas Cook in cooperation with the passengers aboard the TFS flight hope their insights will help you decide on which of these magnificent and somewhat opposite poles of rich and vibrant Spanish regions, you might choose.

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