Imagine being in Africa and Europe at the same time. Geographically speaking, the Canary Islands are part of Africa. At the same time, the archipelago is counted as a region of Spain. And due to its location, the Canary Islands offer the hottest weather in Europe most winters. That’s why people from colder locales flock there every year.

With several cities and islands for you to pick from, the Canary Islands isn’t just some one-dimensional vacation spot. It has a mixture of developed cities, quaint towns, and of course, dozens of warm sandy beaches to fill the gaps in between. 

This article will give you an overview of what it’s like to live in the Canary Islands. We’ll cover the best destinations on the island, the cost of living, and everything else you need to know to have a comfortable and productive stay.

Is The Canary Islands good for digital nomads?

First and foremost, the climate is a significant draw. The islands enjoy a subtropical climate, offering mild temperatures and sunshine year-round. This pleasant weather not only enhances the quality of life but also provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities after work hours. Whether it’s surfing in Fuerteventura, hiking in La Palma, or simply enjoying the sunset on a Gran Canaria beach, there’s always an adventure waiting.

Infrastructure for nomads is also great. With high-speed internet widely available and a growing number of coworking spaces, remote workers find it easy to stay productive.

The cost of living is relatively lower compared to many European cities, making it a financially viable option for nomads looking to maximize their earnings while enjoying a high quality of life. Accommodations vary from affordable hostels to luxurious apartments, catering to a range of budgets. Furthermore, the islands offer a diverse culinary scene, combining local Canarian dishes with international cuisine, ensuring that your taste buds are always in for a treat.

But it’s not just the practicalities that make the Canary Islands ideal for digital nomads; it’s the lifestyle. The culture is relaxed, friendly, and welcoming to foreigners, making it easy for nomads to integrate and feel at home. The islands’ small size means everything is within reach, yet they’re diverse enough to keep the sense of exploration alive.

5 Reasons You Should Go To The Canary Islands

Pleasant Climate

The Canary Islands are renowned for their exceptional climate, often described as “eternal spring.” This climatic bliss is characterized by mild temperatures, ample sunshine, and a rare absence of extreme weather, making it an idyllic setting for digital nomads. Such weather not only enhances daily living comfort but also allows for a seamless integration of work and outdoor leisure activities. Whether you’re coding at a beachfront café in Lanzarote or brainstorming in a sunlit co-working space in Tenerife, the pleasant climate fosters a productive yet relaxed working environment. Additionally, the mild evenings are perfect for networking events or unwinding after a day’s work, further enriching the nomadic experience.

Diverse Landscapes

The Canary Islands offer an extraordinary tapestry of landscapes that cater to a wide range of preferences and activities. Each island boasts its unique topography, ranging from the white sandy beaches of Fuerteventura to the rugged volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote and the lush forests of La Gomera. This diversity not only provides stunning views for your remote work backdrop but also invites an array of outdoor activities. Digital nomads can spend their weekends hiking through ancient laurel forests, exploring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, or simply relaxing on pristine beaches. The varied landscapes offer a refreshing escape from the monotony of traditional office settings, making every free moment an opportunity for exploration and adventure.

Growing Digital Nomad Community

The Canary Islands are rapidly becoming a hub for digital nomads, fostering a dynamic and supportive community. This growing network of remote workers creates a vibrant ecosystem of creativity and collaboration. Coworking spaces in cities like Las Palmas and Santa Cruz have become melting pots for this community, hosting events, workshops, and social gatherings that facilitate networking and professional collaborations. The presence of like-minded individuals from diverse backgrounds and industries enriches the nomadic experience, offering opportunities for learning, sharing, and forming lasting connections. This sense of community is invaluable, particularly for those who are new to the nomadic lifestyle or the islands themselves.

Affordable Cost of Living

One of the most attractive aspects of the Canary Islands for digital nomads is the relatively low cost of living, especially when compared to major cities in Europe. Accommodation options range from budget-friendly hostels to affordable apartments, catering to different financial capabilities. Additionally, everyday expenses such as groceries, dining, and public transportation are reasonably priced. This affordability allows digital nomads to maintain a comfortable lifestyle without overstretching their budgets. The economic advantage is particularly beneficial for freelancers and entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of their careers or those looking to maximize their savings while enjoying a high-quality life.

Lifestyle and Wellness

The laid-back lifestyle you can enjoy on this island is a perfect antidote to the often hectic pace of city living. This relaxed atmosphere is complemented by numerous wellness activities. Yoga studios and wellness retreats abound, offering a peaceful respite for the mind and body. The islands are also renowned for their water sports, particularly surfing and windsurfing, which are great ways to stay fit while embracing the natural beauty of the surroundings. The integration of work and wellness in such a serene environment promotes a balanced life, where productivity is harmoniously aligned with personal health and happiness. This holistic approach to living is a key reason why digital nomads are drawn to the Canary Islands, seeking not just a place to work, but a place to thrive.

The Devil’s Advocate: 4 reasons to avoid The Canary Islands

Isolation

Island life hits differently. For digital nomads accustomed to the hustle and bustle of mainland cities, the Canary Islands might present a stark contrast due to their geographical isolation. Being a cluster of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, there’s a sense of detachment from continental Europe or Africa. This isolation can impact both the accessibility to certain amenities and the overall pace of life. While some may find this seclusion peaceful, others might miss the vibrancy and extensive networking opportunities typical of larger urban centers. The remoteness also means that traveling to and from the islands requires more planning and often, longer flights, which could be a consideration for those who need or prefer frequent travel to other destinations.

Limited Cultural Offerings

While the Canary Islands are rich in their unique culture, marked by their distinct historical, architectural, and gastronomical experiences, they may not match the variety of cultural and entertainment options available in larger cities. The islands offer a more laid-back lifestyle with a focus on nature and outdoor activities, which might not satisfy those seeking a dynamic cultural scene. The options for theater, art galleries, live music venues, and international cuisine can be limited compared to cosmopolitan cities. 

Language Barrier

The primary language of the Canary Islands is Spanish, and while English is commonly spoken in tourist areas and among the younger population, it’s not universally fluent across the islands. This language barrier can pose challenges in everyday interactions, professional settings, and in dealing with bureaucratic processes. For those not proficient in Spanish, simple tasks like grocery shopping, visiting the doctor, or setting up internet service can become more complicated. Additionally, integrating into the local community or fully appreciating the local culture might be hindered by the language gap. This barrier could be a significant drawback for nomads who are not inclined toward learning a new language or who prefer an English-speaking environment.

Transportation Limitations

The public transportation system in the Canary Islands, while present, may not be as extensive or frequent as in larger urban areas. This can be particularly limiting for those who wish to explore more remote or less touristy parts of the islands. The infrequency of buses and the lack of extensive rail networks mean that renting a car often becomes a necessity for extensive exploration, which can add to the cost and complexity of living on the islands. For digital nomads who are used to the convenience of well-connected public transit systems, this limitation can impact their mobility and the ease of exploring the diverse landscapes the islands offer. Moreover, depending on a car can detract from the minimalist lifestyle you might be pursuing. It’s not fun arriving in a place and having to think about renting a car right away.

What’s the best time to come to The Canary Islands?

If we’re just talking about the weather, all year round is good. From January to December, the weather is dry and mild. It gets a bit hotter during summer months, but it’s not worse than the rest of Southern Europe in that regard. And even a little bit of rain in winter is barely anything to worry about. October to March is the best time for surfing if you’re into that.

Cost of Living in The Canary Islands

Depending on your own preferences and financial situation, you can live in the Canaries for as little as €1,000 per month, but that’s going to mean you have to live in budget hostels, eat cheap food, and pursue few experiences. On the other hand, you can live quite comfortably on €2,000 if you find a good apartment deal. And at €3,000, you wouldn’t need to hold yourself back much.

Cost of Accommodation in The Canary Islands

Accommodation costs in the Canary Islands can vary significantly based on location and the type of housing. On local rental websites like Idealista, you’ll get a better deal than Airbnb. For a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, the average rent is around €1,000 per month, while outside the city center, it drops to about €800 per month. Larger three-bedroom apartments in the city center can cost around €2,000 per month, and slightly less outside the city center, averaging around €1,450 per month​​.

Cost of Food in The Canary Islands

Indulging in the culinary delights of the Canary Islands is an experience that blends affordability with a diverse array of flavors. When dining out, the islands cater to all tastes and budgets. An average meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs around €12 For a more elaborate dining experience, a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is priced just over €40, where you can indulge in the archipelago’s seafood specialties and traditional Canarian cuisine.

Grocery shopping in the Canary Islands is also fairly affordable, you won’t need to go far to find stands filled with delicious fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, given that you’re on an island, certain staples that you expect back home might be more expensive than you think, but won’t break the bank.

The café culture in the Canary Islands offers a delightful respite for both locals and nomads, with a regular cappuccino priced at just under €2. 

Transportation Costs in The Canary Islands

Navigating the Canary Islands is both convenient and economical. The islands’ public transportation system, encompassing buses and taxis, offers an affordable way to explore the diverse landscapes. A one-way ticket for local transport is priced at about €1.00, making day trips and spontaneous adventures highly accessible. For regular commuters or those planning extensive exploration, a monthly pass is a steal at around €20.

Taxis in the Canary Islands start at €2.65, with an approximate per-mile charge of €2.49, providing a comfortable and reasonably priced option for travel. 

How to Find a Short-term Stay in The Canary Islands

Finding short-term accommodation in the Canary Islands requires some planning and research, especially to balance pricing and quality for the best value.

The cost of renting a property in the Canary Islands varies significantly based on location, size, and quality. Prime locations like seafront villas will cost more than apartments in less touristy areas. Monthly rent can range from €300 to €25,000, depending on these factors​​. The eastern towns of Gran Canaria, like Telde, have lower rent prices than Las Palmas and the southern resort towns. For example, a room or studio away from the beach can be as low as €350 a month, while beachfront two-bedroom apartments may go up to €1,000​​.

Generally speaking, you can find monthly accommodations available for less than €2,000​​ per month. That said, Airbnb and other typical rental websites offer slim pickings if you’re looking for a good deal. You’ll need to do a lot of digging yourself.

How Long Beforehand You Should Book Ahead: It’s advisable to book a place through a coliving space/hostel or hotel initially and then find a longer-term home once you are on the island. This approach allows you to see the place before committing and often leads to discovering more options and lower prices than those available online​​.

Where to Look for Apartments

Most rental sites have posed major problems for me, and I know I’m not alone. If you want a more consistent solution, we’re in the process of curating a large database of digital nomad apartments in the Canaries and the rest of Spain. Enter your name and email below to get access to them as soon as they’re released.

If you want to do all the work yourself and get the cheapest deals, you can do the work of trawling private groups yourself. Private rentals are widely available on platforms like Facebook Marketplace and within specialized groups such as ‘Gran Canaria Digital Nomads’. These online communities often provide up-to-date listings and insights from fellow nomads about available properties. Additionally, local shops and restaurants in the Canary Islands sometimes display rental signs, offering a more traditional way of finding accommodation. Word-of-mouth recommendations can also be a valuable resource, especially in smaller communities or less tourist-centric areas.

Spending in The Canary Islands

In the Canary Islands, the Euro (€) is the official currency. Digital nomads should carry both cash and credit cards during their stay. While credit and debit cards are widely accepted in most establishments, including restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions, some smaller businesses or local markets might only accept cash, so bring 100-200 with you.

A crucial warning for those renting in Gran Canaria is to be wary of rental agencies. Many agencies charge up to one month’s rent as a commission, which can significantly increase initial expenses. As a result, exploring direct rental options through landlords or private listings might be more cost-effective.

For EU residents, there’s a benefit in terms of mobile connectivity. Thanks to free roaming within the EU, a new SIM card for mobile internet may not be necessary, allowing for seamless connectivity and avoiding additional expenses on local mobile plans. This makes staying connected and managing work as a digital nomad in the Canary Islands more convenient and affordable.

Internet Speed in The Canary Islands

The Canary Islands, particularly in larger cities like Las Palmas and Santa Cruz, as well as in tourist resorts, offer high-speed internet. This infrastructure supports the growing community of digital nomads and remote workers in the region​​.

Are There Digital Nomad Communities in The Canary Islands?

Yes, there are active digital nomad communities in the Canary Islands. Tenerife and Gran Canaria are the most popular islands for remote workers, with Gran Canaria’s Las Palmas being the most favored location. These communities are often centered around coworking and coliving spaces in major cities. Additionally, online platforms like Facebook groups ‘Gran Canaria Digital Nomads’ and ‘Canary Islands Digital Nomads & Remote Workers’ are great resources to connect with these communities​​​​.

Best cities and towns for digital nomads in The Canary Islands

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Main Reason for Going: Vibrant digital nomad community and urban beach lifestyle.

Cost of Living: Moderate; slightly higher in beachfront areas. A studio near Playa Las Canteras can range from €800 to €1,000 per month.

Infrastructure: Numerous coworking spaces, cafes, and a fantastic beach with plenty of shopping places.

Presence of Other Nomads: High, making it a popular destination among remote workers.

Las Palmas Digital Nomad
Las Palmas Digital Nomad

Santa Cruz, Tenerife

Main Reason for Going: Urban atmosphere with beautiful beaches.

Cost of Living: Comparable to Las Palmas, with a variety of housing options.

Infrastructure: Growing number of coworking spaces, alongside urban amenities and cultural sites.

Presence of Other Nomads: Increasing, with a focus on creating a welcoming environment for remote workers.

Santa Cruz Digital Nomad
Santa Cruz Digital Nomad

Costa Adeje, Tenerife

Main Reason for Going: Resort-like feel, ideal for a relaxed work-leisure balance.

Cost of Living: Can be higher due to the resort-like setting.

Infrastructure: Adequate with cafes and some coworking spaces, catering more to leisure activities.

Presence of Other Nomads: Moderate, attracting those seeking a quieter, more luxurious environment.

Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

Main Reason for Going: Small-town charm with access to local culture.

Cost of Living: Generally lower than in larger cities.

Infrastructure: Limited coworking spaces but good cafes and local amenities.

Presence of Other Nomads: Smaller community, offering a more intimate and local experience.

La Laguna, Tenerife

Main Reason for Going: Rich history and vibrant student-driven atmosphere.

Cost of Living: Lower, benefiting from the university’s influence.

Infrastructure: Sufficient cafes and some coworking spaces, with a focus on cultural sites.

Presence of Other Nomads: Growing, particularly among younger nomads and students.

Tenerife Digital Nomad

The Final Word on The Canary Islands

The Canary Islands, with their mesmerizing blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and modern amenities, present an idyllic setting for digital nomads seeking a unique blend of work and leisure. Each island, with its distinct character, caters to diverse preferences – whether it’s the bustling city life of Las Palmas, the serene beaches of Costa Adeje, or the historical allure of La Laguna. The moderate cost of living, coupled with a supportive nomad community and ample infrastructure, makes the archipelago a compelling choice for those looking to enrich their professional and personal life.

If you want to learn more about what it’s like to be a digital nomad in Spain, we have an in-depth guide to helping you investigate other destinations in the country.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Sign In

Register

Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.