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These 3 Gorgeous Islands In Spain Are Not Yet Ruined By Overtourism In 2024

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The Canary Islands may be the number one holiday spot in Spain right now, but that doesn't mean visitors are exactly welcome.

Just recently, thousands took to the streets to protest the rising levels of tourism, as visitor crowds are expected to surge come summer.

La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain

The seven-island Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic is widely popular for its year-round temperate climate and affordable resorts, but it's no secret that the top three most popular islands, namely Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote are being ruined by the masses.

Not all of the Canaries are as badly affected, however, as these 3 gorgeous islands remain virtually unspoiled, with tourism largely under control:

La Gomera

Population: 22,000

Best known for: Atlantic nature, volcanos, crowd-free beaches

How to get there: Ferry from Tenerife, regional flights departing from Gran Canaria and Tenerife-North

Solitary House In La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain

One of the hidden gems of the archipelago, La Gomera is often dubbed a ‘mini Tenerife', as it is equally mountainous, with towering peaks cutting across its hinterland, offering nature enthusiasts epic hikes, dense forests and beaches of black volcanic sand.

Unlike its famous counterpart, however, this tiny island is a lot more quiet and laid-back, being home to about 22,000 inhabitants, distributed around six peaceful towns, and lacking Tenerife's debauchery and overdevelopment.

Picturesque Small Town In La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain

Though nature is a reigning queen – the mist-enveloped, moss-covered Garajonay National Park is one of the most beautiful not only in the Canaries, but the whole of Spain – it is also steeped in History.

It was Christopher Columbus' last port of call before he set sail to the Americas.

If you're keen on slowing it down and ditching the Tenerifian party scene, La Gomera is the perfect island, but don't expect to find the same luxurious all-inclusives or golf clubs here.

Instead, it's the idyllic and affordable three-star listings starting from $58 that await you.

El Hierro

Population: 11,000

Best known for: Rugged coast, houses made from volcanic stone, rural life

How to get there: Ferry from Tenerife, regional flights departing from Gran Canaria and Tenerife-North

Young Female Tourist Admiring The Coastal Landscape In El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain

At only 103.67 square miles, El Hierro is the second-smallest of the Canaries, and a UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve best known for its thriving marine life, jagged volcanic peaks – the most out of any island in the archipelago despite its size – and unspoiled rural character.

La Gomera is already pretty rustic, but if you're looking to truly shut out the outside world, soak up the nature, and spend long balmy days basking in the Meridian sun, El Hierro – with its traditional fishing villages and modest hotels is where you should be headed.

Coastal Village In El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain

With its houses made from volcanic stone and thatched roofs and natural pools, formed by lava thousands of years ago, dramatic rugged coast, well-delineated hiking paths and tourist-friendly boardwalks lapping around the terrain, it's the escape into nature you've been craving.

As you might have guessed, there's not exactly an abundance of hotels and guesthouses in El Hierro, giving visitors a greater sense of exclusivity, with around 50 accommodation providers listed and prices for B&B stays ranging between only $32 and $70.

La Palma

Population: 84,000

Best known for: Mix of resort island and pacate countryside, affordable hotels and volcanic peaks

How to get there: Flights from mainland Spain (Madrid), or numerous departure points all over Europe (mainly Northern Europe), ferries from Tenerife and Gran Canaria

Panoramic View Of La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain

The largest island on this list, with a population of over 80,000, La Palma is yet another volcanic offer in the Canaries, with the customary black sands, jagged mountains and verdant landscapes combined in a 273 square-mile sized package.

It is the happy medium between bustling, cosmopolitan Tenerife and the more tranquil La Gomera.

It is well-equipped and ‘international' enough, but more quaint than your typical resort zone, with plenty of unspoiled cobbled towns to explore, natural observation decks with sweeping mountain views, and a varied selection of boutique hotels to choose from.

Verdant Landscape In La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain

The most famous volcanos on the island are Teneguia and Cumbre Vieja, which boast incredible panoramas of the dense, waterfall-dotted pine forests beneath, and if you're looking for a place to stay, Santa Cruz de la Palma, the compact, charming capital, is the best place to be based in.

It offers bus connections to other municipalities and points of interest in the landmark-packed island, as well as a plethora of restaurants and cultural attractions, with the cobbled Old Town and the Naval Museum, a replica of Columbus' 15th-century sailing ship, being two examples.

La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain

Single rooms in three-star hotels in La Palma start from as cheap as $59 per night, mainly in the capital area, going up to $222 for the more recluse, luxurious Hotel Hacienda de Abajo, an adults-only listing in the rapidly developing Tazacorte.

La Palma is the only Canary Island on this list to host flights from mainland European destinations, such as London, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich.

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