A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Kos vs. Tenerife for Food, Nightlife, Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, and Beaches

Should you visit Kos or Tenerife?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Kos and Tenerife can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Kos

Kos is a beautiful, ancient, and cultural island. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Tenerife

Tenerife is a beautiful, volcanic, and scenic island. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Kos and Tenerife: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Kos or Tenerife?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Kos. Although Kos and Tenerife are both popular with visitors, Kos has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Kos is more popular for its museums, food, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and impressive beauty, while Tenerife is known for its nightlife, resorts, hiking, and shopping. Tenerife is more touristy than Kos and is known for its volcanic landscapes, built-up resorts, and fun-filled beaches. Kos is popular for its sandy beaches and crystal clear blue water. It is also home to Asklepieion Archeological Site.

How is Kos different from Tenerife?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Kos
Tenerife

Kos is very popular for its museums and history. However, Tenerife is lacking in good options for its museums and landmarks.

Travelers visit Kos from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The small island is packed with archaeological sites and interesting history. Famous places worth visiting include the ruins of Asklepion, the ancient Agora, Roman Odeon, Neratzia Castle, and so many more!

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 Kos or Tenerife? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Kos
Tenerife

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

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Kos is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. The cuisine relies heavily on locally harvested ingredients with many dishes featuring cheese, seafood, vegetables, olive oil, and potatoes. The dishes are influenced by Italian and Turkish cuisines and common dishes include moussaka, souvlaki and tzatziki. Popular seafood options are prawns, squid, lobster and octopus. A great way to enjoy a sampling of local dishes is to visit an ouzeri, which is a Greek taverna that serves mezza style meals with small dishes that you can share.

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 Kos or Tenerife Better for Nightlife?

Kos
Tenerife

Tenerife is very popular for nightlife. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

Tenerife is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. 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.

The people in Kos know how to have a good time. For such a small island you'll find a huge party scene during the peak summer months. There are almost nightly parties, beach raves, and late night clubs throughout the summer months. The bars and clubs are mostly concentrated around a couple of streets in the center of Kos Town, but Kardamena is also a lively party area. It's popular with British tourists who head here for the all-night clubs.

Is Kos or Tenerife Better for Resorts?

Kos
Tenerife

Tenerife is an excellent place to visit for its luxury resorts. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its resorts.

In Tenerife, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. 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.

With a selection of resorts, Kos makes a nice vacation spot. It's a smaller island and there aren't as many resorts here as there are on some of the larger Greek islands. Some of the best resort areas include Lamp and Psalidi to the northwest, Tigaki on the west coast (a good option for families), as well as Mastihari and Marmari which both have relaxed atmospheres. The younger crowd often hangs out around Kardemena on the east coast.


Is Kos or Tenerife Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Kos
Tenerife

Kos is very popular for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. Also, Tenerife is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its diving and snorkeling.

People travel to Kos specifically to enjoy its famous scuba diving and snorkeling areas. There are countless snorkeling sports around the island where you can immerse yourself in the undersea world. Popular snorkeling areas include Camel Beach and Limnionas Beach. Make sure you understand the water conditions before heading into the water.

Tenerife is an extremely popular place to visit for scuba diving and snorkeling. 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.

Is Kos or Tenerife Better for Beaches?

Kos
Tenerife

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

The beaches in Kos are among the best in the world. The island is famous for its beautiful beaches, many of which are sandy with various shades of color. There are touristy beaches with plenty of amenities as well as less frequented beaches that offer a quieter and more remote atmosphere. Some of the most visited beaches on the island include Agios Stefanos, Kardamena, Kefalos and Lambi while some of the more peaceful areas are Cavo Paradiso and Helona Beach.

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 Kos or Tenerife Better for Hiking?

Kos
Tenerife

Tenerife is very popular for its hiking trails. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

Around Tenerife visitors will find world-class hiking trails. 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.

Kos offers some nice hiking trails. This is a great walking island with a number of easy walks or hikes that take you along the coastline or through interesting landscapes.


Is the Shopping Better in Kos or Tenerife?

Kos
Tenerife

Tenerife is an excellent place to visit for shopping. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping opportunities.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Tenerife. 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.

Kos offers some nice shopping areas. There are a number of traditional items that you can pick up while you're in town. Fun souvenirs include jewelry, leather items, and perfumes.

Is Kos or Tenerife Better for Families?

Kos
Tenerife

Tenerife is very popular for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Tenerife is an extremely popular island to visit for families. 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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Kos. It's comparable to other Greek islands when it comes to kids' activities. Kos Town can get a bit lively at night so if you want to avoid the party crowds, then those areas are easily avoided. Popular activities include exploring ancient ruins, going to the Kos Archaeological Museum, visiting The Castle of the Knights, and of course, hanging out at the beach. One of the best family-friendly resort areas is Tigaki along the west coast.

Is Kos or Tenerife Better for Couples?

Kos
Tenerife

Both Kos and Tenerife are high quality destinations for a couple's getaway.

Kos makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. This small island offers beautiful beaches and plenty of ancient ruins to explore. Kos Town is where you'll find the liveliest atmosphere but for some of the best resorts you'll want to stay in one of the resort suburbs like Lampi or Psalidi.

Couples visit Tenerife frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. 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 Kos or Tenerife Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Kos
Tenerife

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

Kos is very popular with the backpacker crowd. It's a small island but has a few hostels and a variety of apartments available for rent. Despite its small size, there are areas where you'll want to have a car if you wish to explore, but if you stay in town you'll find getting around fairly easy. The island attracts its share of young travelers and you'll find plenty of people to hang out with.

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

Kos
Tenerife

Kos 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 Kos is fairly effecient and thorough. Buses connect many of the tourist destinations including beaches, cultural sights, are resort areas.

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 Kos or Tenerife a more walkable city?

Kos
Tenerife

Kos is a very popular place for its walkability. Also, Tenerife is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

Kos is very walkable. It's small size means it's possible to explore parts of the island on foot or bicycle. There are some beautiful walks on the island, but some areas will require a car or bus.

Tenerife is a somewhat walkable place. 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 Kos Worth Visiting? and Is Tenerife Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Tenerife or Kos?

How long in Kos or Tenerife?

Both Kos 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 Kos. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Kos, and 3-7 days is enough time in Tenerife.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Kos 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 Kos.


  • How many days in Kos or Tenerife? Ideal Length of Stay
    Kos 2-5 
    Tenerife 3-7

One day in Kos or Tenerife?

The beautiful island of Kos offers museums and nightlife. Most people come for the beaches. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

With nightlife and food around the volcanic 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 Kos or Tenerife?

Kos 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. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Kos, 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 vibrant 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 Kos or Tenerife?

Kos is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Kos, five days is sufficent for most. 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 Kos or Tenerife?

Kos 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 2-Week Tours from Athens, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Greece, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Spain, and The Best 10-Day Tours in Spain.


Which place is cheaper, Tenerife or Kos?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kos is €134, 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 Kos and Tenerife in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kos 62
    Tenerife 53
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kos 124
    Tenerife 106
Compare Hotels in Kos and Tenerife

Looking for a hotel in Kos 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 Kos


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: Kos Hotel Prices and Tenerife Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kos 37
    Tenerife 60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kos

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

  • Roundtrip Minivan Transfer to Therma Natural Spa Beach: $24
  • Private Transfer from Kos Airport to Resorts: $30
  • Lido Water Park Admission Ticket with Transfers: $24
  • Roundtrip Bus Transfer to Mount Zia for Sunset Viewing: $27
  • Paradise Beach Return Transfer: $25
  • Kos transfer services, Kos - Airport - Kos: $108
  • Kos Town: Kalymnos & Pserimos Day Cruise & Optional Transfer: $30
  • Kos Private Transfer Services: $53
  • Kos Hotels to Kos Airport Private One–Way Transfer: $59
  • Kos Airport to Kos Hotels Private One–Way Transfer: $65
  • Kos - Airport Private Transfer: $55
  • Kalymnos, Pserimos & Plati Island Cruise with Hotel Transfer: $59

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tenerife

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

  • Transfer- Santa Cruz Tenerife Port to Tenerife South Airport(TFS): $44
  • Transfer Tenerife South Airport (TFS) to Santa Cruz Tenerife Port: $44
  • Sunset Catamaran Tour with Transfer, Buff & Drinks: $64
  • Mount Teide Tour with Cable Car Ticket & Transfer: $92
  • Marine-Life Tour with Transfer, Buffet and Drinks: $64
  • Loro Parque & Siam Park Entry Ticket with Transfer: $100
  • Tenerife hotels to Santa Cruz Tenerife Cruise Port - Departure Private Transfer: $44
  • Tenerife Transfer from North Area Hotels to South Airport (Reina Sofia): $199
  • Tenerife Sunset Catamaran tour with transfer - Food and Drinks included.: $65
  • Tenerife South Airport (TFS): Transfer to Santa Cruz Port: $254
  • Tenerife North Airport (TFN) to Tenerife hotels- Arrival Transfer: $51
  • Tenerife Cruise Port to Tenerife South Airport (TFS) -Departure Private Transfer: $44

Is it cheaper to fly into Kos or Tenerife?

Prices for flights to both Tenerife and Kos 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Kos 43
    Tenerife 39

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kos

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

  • Greek Dinner with Music, Dancing, and Unlimited Wine: $43
  • Kefalos Sunset Cruise from Kos with Dinner: $61
  • Sunset Cruise with Swimming and BBQ Dinner: $62
  • Tavern Dinner Experience with Greek Dancing and Wine: $66
  • Kos Cooking Classes by Mama Contessa: $86
  • Private Greek Cooking Class in Kos with Lunch: $91
  • Sunset Safari Tour with Dinner: $96
  • Private Cooking Class in Kos, Local Recipes: $98
  • Half Day Wine Tasting with Dinner in Kos: $117

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: $33
  • Tenerife : Horse Show Entry ticket with optional dinner: $49
  • Castillo San Miguel Medieval Show with Dinner: $51
  • 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: $75
  • Teide National Park Sunset & Stargazing with Dinner (Star Safari): $83
  • Tenerife Sky At Night: Sunset, Stargazing and Dinner: $84
  • Teide: Guided Sunset and Stargazing Tour with Dinner: $85
  • Stargazing Experience with Dinner & Drinks : $87
  • Scandal Dinner Show Entry Ticket and 5-Course Meal: $96
  • Mount Teide Stargazing with Dinner : $99

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kos 33
    Tenerife 27

Tours and Activities in Kos

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

  • Dory's Glass Bottom Boat Adventure in Pserimos and Pserimos Beach: $30
  • From Boat Tour to the Volcanic Island of Nisyros: $38
  • From Cruise to Kalymnos, Pserimos, and Plati with Lunch: $41
  • From Kalymnos, Pserimos and Plati Day Cruise: $32
  • From Nissyros guided island tour and volcano: $57
  • From Pserimos Island Snorkeling Cruise by Diving Boat: $54
  • From Zia Sunset Tour: $27
  • From the Port of Full Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands: $32
  • Full Day 3-Island Boat Cruise from Port of Kos: $33
  • Full Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands with optional pickup: $33
  • Full Day Kos Guided Boat Tour Including Lunch: $44
  • Full-Day 3 Island Cruise Tour in Kos Island: $37

Tours and Activities in Tenerife

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

  • Chef Roberto Medda's Private BBQ Experience - At Your Doorstep!: $89
  • Private tour of Anaga: Enter, walk in a lost world: $94
  • Tenerife Animal Farm Private Car Tour. Canarian Cheese and Wine: $166
  • "Boat Cruise & Photos: Your Photographic Adventure at Sea": $322
  • "Pyramids of Güímar Admission PREMIUM Ticket": $20
  • 1 Hour and Half Mojo Sauce Workshop With Winery Tour: $61
  • 2h Viking Cruise Whales and Dolphins Watching: $27
  • 3-Hour Cetacean Watching and Snorkeling Tour in Tenerife: $77
  • 3-Hour Guided PADI Scuba Diving Experience in Tenerife: $132
  • 3-Hours Shared Tour to Accessible Boat en Canary Island: $66
  • 3H Private o Shared Tour to Accessible Boat en Canary Island: $65
  • 3h Viking Cruise with Drinks, Live Show and Swimming Time: $49

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kos 19
    Tenerife 6.43

Sample the Local Flavors in Kos

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Kos:

  • Wineries Tour w/ Wine Tastings, Lunch & Transportation: $59
  • From Tour of 2 Wineries with Wine Tasting & Small Bites: $64
  • Kos Island: Wine Tasting & Zia Village Visit for Sunset: $151

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: $25
  • 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: $82
  • Taste of Tenerife Tour With Wine Tasting: $94
  • Wine tasting with tapas, Teide at sunset (shared): $102
  • Volcano Teide Buggy Tour with Wine Tasting & Tapas: $226


When comparing the travel costs between Kos and Tenerife, we can see that Kos is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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