A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Ios vs. Tenerife for Nightlife, Beaches, Hiking, and Families

Should you visit Ios or Tenerife?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Ios or Tenerife? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.


Ios is a party-oriented, vibrant, and beautiful island. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.


Tenerife is a scenic, vibrant, and adventure-filled island. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and nightlife.

Ios and Tenerife: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less hiking options
  • Less family-friendly
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular with backpackers

Is there more to do in Ios or Tenerife?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Tenerife. Although Ios and Tenerife are popular destinations, Tenerife has more sights and attractions for tourists. Tenerife is very popular for its scuba diving & snorkeling, hiking, and shopping, while Ios attracts visitors for its museums, food, and beaches. Tenerife is more touristy than Ios and is popular for its volcanic landscapes, built-up resorts, and fun-filled beaches. It is also well known for Mount Teide. Ios is famous for its party hard atmosphere that attracts a younger and rowdier crowd.

How is Ios different from Tenerife?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Tenerife and Ios. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Ios or Tenerife?


Ios is a nice place to visit for its museums and history. However, Tenerife is lacking in good options for its museums and landmarks.

Ios is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. If you can pull yourself away from the beaches or parties, there are a number of archaeological and historic sights around the island. Churches like Panayia Gremiotissa Church and Evangelisimos Cathedral are worth visiting. Other attractions include Odysseas Elytis Theatre, Homer’s Tomb, and Skarkos Hill.

Tenerife offers a few options for museum-goers. The island is filled with national parks, beautiful landscapes, and stunning beaches, but if you're not into outdoor activities, then you won't find many museums or other historical sights to visit.

Is the Food Better in Ios or Tenerife? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?


Ios is a very popular place for its restaurants. Also, Tenerife is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Ios. Most of the island's restaurants are found in the port area or in the town of Chora, but you'll also find several options near Mylopotas Beach. Most restaurants offer typical Greek dishes, but they often have a local twist. You'll often find local cheeses or a slightly different take on an old favorite. Popular ingredients include cheese, yogurt, fish, olives, honey, olive oil, and grains. Common meats include lamb, beef, and even rabbit, but seafood is obviously popular as well.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Tenerife. Many visitors stick to the major touristy areas, eating in their resorts or other nearby restaurants. If you want to try a bit of the island's authentic Canarian cuisine, you'll need to do a little research. Head into the local areas near the markets for the best chance of finding something a little more authentic. Local dishes often include fish and seafood as well as local meats, but you'll rarely find beef as there isn't a lot of land for cows to graze on the island.

Is Ios or Tenerife Better for Nightlife?


Evening events are fantastic in both Ios and Tenerife.

Ios is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. This is one of the quintessential party islands in Greece. Many young backpackers come here just to party, particularly during the summer months. You'll find many parties start around midnight or later and carry on well into the morning. Most of the clubs and bars are around the main square and nearby streets in Chora, but there are also clubs spread throughout the town. Outside of town, Mylopotas Beach is another popular party area.

People head to Tenerife just to party. The island has a variety of nightclubs that range in style and personality. There are all night wild beach parties as well as laid back beach clubs and hole-in-the-wall pubs. Many bars have happy hours where you can relax with a drink and many nightclubs host famous DJs that keep the party going into the early morning hours.

Is Ios or Tenerife Better for Resorts?


Ios and Tenerife offer a relatively similar set of very good luxury resort options.

Ios is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There are a number of resort areas around the island with families preferring the areas around Yialos Beach and Manganari Beach. Partiers usually head to Chora and the great beaches near Mylopotas, but if you want to escape the crowds, head to Agia Theodoti.

Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Tenerife. You'll find everything from world-class resorts like the Ritz to more budget-friendly hotels and even some hostels around the island. You'll find most of the resorts on the south side of the island, which is also where you'll find the best weather.

Is Ios or Tenerife Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?


Tenerife is notable for its diving and snorkeling. Also, Ios is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Many visitors partake in scuba diving or snorkeing while visiting Tenerife. A highlight of snorkeling in this area is the opportunity to swim with sea turtles. Some of the best snorkeling is in El Puertito, which is known for its many turtles and there is no shortage of organized snorkeling trips to the area. The island also has excellent scuba diving trips with a variety of shipwrecks and marine species.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Ios. There are some nice snorkeling and diving areas around the island as well as vendors who organize snorkeling and dive trips.

Is Ios or Tenerife Better for Beaches?


Ios is very popular for its beaches. Also, Tenerife is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for the beache.

The beaches in Ios are among the best in the world. The island has beautiful sandy beaches that range from family-friendly to party hard. There are popular and more developed beaches near Chora like Koumbara and Mylopotas as well as more relaxing beaches a little more removed like Kalamos and Manganari. Because of their striking beauty, the beaches around the island have been featured in a few films.

The beaches at Tenerife attract visitors from all over. The island has a large number of beaches that attract tourists, particularly during the peak winter months. The island's volcanic nature means that many of its natural beaches have black sand. The golden sand from the more developed beaches typically comes from the Sahara Desert. A favorite beach on the island is the 2 kilometer long Playa de las Teresitas.

Is Ios or Tenerife Better for Hiking?


Tenerife is very popular for the nearby hiking options. Also, Ios is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for its hiking trails.

People visit Tenerife specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. The island's volcanic landscapes mean that there are dramatic and breathtaking hikes throughout the island. Some of the best hikes are found in the Anaga Rural Park, Teide National Park, and the Teno Mountains.

Many people include a hike when visiting Ios. The island has a barren and rocky landscape that offers spectacular views. Many of the hikes are quite challenging, but there are a few options for beginners as well. Many also pass by the spectacular ruins around the island.

Is the Shopping Better in Ios or Tenerife?


Tenerife is notable for its shopping opportunities. Also, Ios is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for its shopping areas.

Tenerife is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. The island's low tax rates make it a popular shopping destination for tourists. The are shopping streets, local markets, and luxury malls that you can explore.

Ios has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are a number of local souvenirs that you can pick up. Many visitors prefer to take home unique items such as a tin of olives or olive oil. Jewelry, honey, and local ceramics also make good gifts.

Is Ios or Tenerife Better for Families?


Tenerife is very popular for its family-friendly activities. However, Ios is a mediocre island for its kid-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Tenerife is a very family-friendly destination. The island has many great waterparks for kids, with one of the best being Siam Park. Other family-friendly destinations include Aqualand, Loro Parque, Jungle Park, and Monkey Park. There are whale watching trips, outdoor adventures, and kid-friendly beaches as well.

Ios is not always a place people visit with their families. While the island is known as one of the top party destinations in Greece, it also has a more cultural side. There are impressive archaeological ruins and stunning beaches that kids will enjoy. The island also has snorkeling and plenty of kid-friendly food. Some of the best family-friendly beaches are in Manganari Bay and Yialos Beach is a nice family-friendly area.

Is Ios or Tenerife Better for Couples?


With fun activities for couples, both Ios and Tenerife make for a very good place to visit.

Ios is a very popular place to visit for couples. Because it's so close to Santorini, many people visit as a day trip. While the island is synonymous with partying, there are still many world-class archaeological sites and romantic beaches that make for an active and fun honeymoon. It's a bit quieter outside of the peak summer months.

Tenerife makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The natural beauty, great landscapes, and lively beaches make this a great island for a romantic getaway. There's hiking and outdoor adventures as well as swimming, boat rides, and even whale watching.

Is Ios or Tenerife Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?


Ios is very popular for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Tenerife is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Many backpackers frequent Ios. For many backpackers, partying in Ios is a quintessential European experience. Nights are spent at all night clubs or beach raves, while days are spent nursing a hangover on the beach. There are plenty of venues that cater to the budget crowd, with cheap food available at different places.

Tenerife is a good island to visit for backpackers. The island is large enough that there are a decent number of hostels and budget-friendly places to stay for backpackers.

Is Ios or Tenerife Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?


Ios is a very popular place for times when you don't have a car. Also, Tenerife is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

Public transit in Ios is fairly effecient and thorough. There are public buses that travel to most of the tourist sights around the island including several of the more remote beaches like Manganari and Agia Theodoti.

You'll find some public transit in Tenerife, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. The island has a decent bus service that is operated by a company called "TITSA".

Is Ios or Tenerife a more walkable city?


Ios and Tenerife both are nice when exploring on foot.

Ios is a somewhat walkable place. Chora is the most walkable part of the island.

Tenerife is a somewhat walkable island. There are many walks on the island that make for a fun way to explore the setting.

For even more information, also check out Is Ios Worth Visiting? and Is Tenerife Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Tenerife or Ios?

How long in Ios or Tenerife?

Both Ios and Tenerife have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Tenerife than in Ios. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Ios, and 3-7 days is enough time in Tenerife.

Families should spend more time in Tenerife than Ios. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Tenerife, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Ios than Tenerife. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Ios that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Ios than Tenerife if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Ios.

  • How many days in Ios or Tenerife? Ideal Length of Stay
    Ios 1-3 
    Tenerife 3-7

One day in Ios or Tenerife?

The beautiful island of Ios offers museums and nightlife. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

With nightlife and food around the scenic destination of Tenerife, there's plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A weekend in Ios or Tenerife?

Ios is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this island makes for a great vacation. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Ios, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Many people visit Tenerife for a weekend. With food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the volcanic island of Tenerife, there's plenty to do. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Ios or Tenerife?

Ios is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

With scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the destination of Tenerife, there's plenty to do. Many people spend five days here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

A week in Ios or Tenerife?

Ios is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This island offers something for everyone.

Tenerife, a popular island, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for one week. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is usually enough time to experience most activities.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Greece, The Best 3-Day Tours in Greece, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Spain, and The Best 10-Day Tours in Spain.

Which place is cheaper, Tenerife or Ios?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Ios is €91, while the average daily cost in Tenerife is €128. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Ios and Tenerife in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ios 39
    Tenerife 53
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ios 78
    Tenerife 106
Compare Hotels in Ios and Tenerife

Looking for a hotel in Ios or Tenerife? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Ios

Hotels in Tenerife

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Ios Hotel Prices and Tenerife Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ios 16
    Tenerife 60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tenerife

Also for Tenerife, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Puerto de la Cruz City Tour with Transfers: $21
  • Roundtrip Transfer Caldera de Taburiente and Guaguas Station: $22
  • Private Transfer from Tenerife to Santa Cruz Tenerife Cruise Port: $44
  • Transfer Tenerife South Airport (TFS) to Santa Cruz Tenerife Port: $44
  • Private Transfer from Santa Cruz Tenerife Cruise Port to Tenerife: $44
  • Transfer- Santa Cruz Tenerife Port to Tenerife South Airport(TFS): $44
  • Tenerife hotels to Santa Cruz Tenerife Cruise Port - Departure Private Transfer: $44
  • Santa Cruz Tenerife Cruise Port to Tenerife hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $44
  • Tenerife Cruise Port to Tenerife South Airport (TFS) -Departure Private Transfer: $44
  • Tenerife North Airport (TFN) to Tenerife hotels- Arrival Transfer: $51
  • Canary Islands : Gran Canaria - Tenerife ferry transfer: $60
  • Sunset Catamaran Tour with Transfer, Buff & Drinks: $64

Is it cheaper to fly into Ios or Tenerife?

Prices for flights to both Tenerife and Ios change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Ios 33
    Tenerife 39

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tenerife

For Tenerife, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Hard Rock Cafe Set Menu Lunch or Dinner & Drink: $34
  • Tenerife : Horse Show Entry ticket with optional dinner: $49
  • Castillo San Miguel Medieval Show with Dinner: $52
  • Music Hall Tavern Comedy Drag Show Ticket & Dinner: $53
  • Self Driving Sunset Tour with Dinner and Stargazing in Tenerife: $72
  • Teide Night Experience with Dinner and Stargazing: $76
  • Teide National Park Sunset & Stargazing with Dinner (Star Safari): $83
  • Tenerife Sky At Night: Sunset, Stargazing and Dinner: $85
  • Teide: Guided Sunset and Stargazing Tour with Dinner: $86
  • Stargazing Experience with Dinner & Drinks : $87
  • Scandal Dinner Show Entry Ticket and 5-Course Meal: $97
  • Mount Teide Stargazing with Dinner : $99

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ios 26
    Tenerife 27

Tours and Activities in Ios

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Ios are as follows:

  • 5 -6 Hour Private Chora E-Bike Tours: $133
  • Electric Bike Tour Chora to Diaseli Cheesery: $111
  • Electric Bike Tour Chora to Homer's Tomp: $111
  • Ios Island Trekking Tours: Discover Ios Unexplored: $28
  • Private Orienteering Experience in Mylopotas: $166

Tours and Activities in Tenerife

For Tenerife, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Teide Legends Exhibition Entry Ticket: $3.26
  • Icod de los Vinos: Dragon Tree & Botanical Garden Ticket: $5.44
  • Santa Cruz: Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique Entry ticket: $5.44
  • Icod de los Vinos: Casa del Plátano Entry Ticket: $5.44
  • Santa Cruz de Palmetum Entry Ticket: $6.52
  • La Casa de Los Balcones Entrance Ticket: $6.52
  • San Cristobal de La Laguna : Cathedral ticket w/ audioguide: $7.61
  • La Caleta Self-Guided Walking Tour: $8.59
  • Icod de los Vinos: ARTlandya Doll World Entry Ticket & Tour: $11
  • Finca Las Margaritas Banana Plantation Experience: $11
  • Guïmar: Pyramids of Güímar Ethnographic Park Entry Ticket: $14
  • Los Cristianos: Eco-Yacht Whale Watching Cruise with Swim: $16

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ios 33
    Tenerife 6.43

Sample the Local Flavors in Ios

Also in Ios, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Bar Crawl Ios Ticket in Cyclades: $39

Sample the Local Flavors in Tenerife

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Tenerife:

  • Wine tasting and Canarian products in La Orotava: $19
  • Local Wine Tour & Taste: $26
  • Visit to Arafo Mountain Vineyard and Organic Wine Tasting: $50
  • Half Day Southern Rural Tenerife Tour with Wine Tasting: $64
  • Wine Tasting Experience in Tenerife: $66
  • Full-Day Gastronomy and Wine Tour: $83
  • Taste of Tenerife Tour With Wine Tasting: $94
  • Wine tasting with tapas, Teide at sunset (shared): $103
  • Volcano Teide Buggy Tour with Wine Tasting & Tapas: $228

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ios and Tenerife, we can see that Tenerife is more expensive. And not only is Ios much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ios would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ios and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Tenerife would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Tenerife than you might in Ios.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Ios Expensive? and Is Tenerife Expensive?.