When planning a trip to somewhere like the Canary Islands, It’s always a good idea to get familiar with what the weather will be like when you get there and for the duration of your stay.
This page covers some of the unique aspects associated with the climate of these fascinating and iconic tourist islands. Now you can spend five minutes hearing and seeing what Canary Islands weather is really like through the eyes of a seasoned local.
The Weather in the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands weather, of course, has historically been one of the main attractions which have made the archipelago such a popular all-year round holiday destination.
Sometimes advertised as ‘the islands of eternal spring’, the warm, sunny weather that characterises the climate has resulted in millions of northern Europeans being drawn to these friendly, scenic islands just off the western coast of Africa.
The comparatively small variation between the temperatures throughout the year in the Canaries has meant that the larger of the islands now have two distinct tourist seasons. In the summer, although temperatures can sometimes rise to above 30° , it is far more common for the daily highs to be a much more comfortable 27º.
For many people, though, it is the prospect of winter sun which draws them here, with frequent days of warm sunshine meaning that many visitors from, especially, Scandinavia, Germany, Britain and Ireland choose to dedicate large parts of their winters to Canary Island Holidays.
The average daily temperature of 19 – 22º and the generally prevalent mild breezes sum up the attractions of Canary Islands weather.
Canary Islands weather is significantly influenced by the trade winds which usually blow from the north east and help moderate the temperatures.
Generally stronger on the eastern sides of all the islands, the winds tend to be stronger in the summer than the winter and help encourage the surfing and wind surfing activities which are so popular here.
Just occasionally, the winds can change direction and blow from the Sahara, which can result in what the locals call a calima, a hot sand-carrying wind which can be quite discomforting.
However, although the seven major Canary Islands do share this beautiful climate, there are many significant differences between them. Indeed, some of the individual islands have considerable variations within a comparatively small geographical location.
Broadly speaking, the islands closest to the African coast are the hottest and driest; the islands to the west of the Canarian archipelago are the greenest, coolest and wettest.
Very different weather on each island
Canary Islands weather, therefore, is very different in the western Isla Bonita, La Palma, to the desert-like conditions of Lanzarote, the island of fire just 60 miles from the African coast. Lanzarote and Fuerteventura both feature largely dry, arid landscapes and can all but guarantee sunshine throughout the year. La Palma and La Gomera are much wetter in the winter and have an enormous range of flora and fauna.
Even the weather conditions in the two most popular tourist destinations, Tenerife and Gran Canaria change within the islands themselves. Gran Canaria’s description, a continent in miniature, aptly symbolises this split.
Both of these two picturesque islands have significant mountain ranges which divide the northern and southern regions. Consequently, the northern parts of the islands are both wetter and cooler than the southern areas, where the tourist areas tend to be found.
The differences between the regions are greater in the winter, where it is common to wear a jumper during the day in the north although there will still be good ‘beach days’ in the south. Even in the summer, though, the main motorways travelling back to the northern cities from the southern beaches tend to be packed in the evenings with locals driving home.
Tenerife and Gran Canaria
The mountains in Gran Canaria and Tenerife, with their spectacular volcanic landscapes and breathtaking ocean views, can also surprise visitors even in the summer with their lower temperatures – after all, Mount Teide on Tenerife is Spain’s highest mountain.
Canary Islands weather will continue to help attract holidaymakers to these fascinating subtropical islands. If you visit in the summer, you’ll enjoy glorious days of warm sunshine, cooling breezes and a perfect sea temperature.
In the winter, although you might have the excitement of a ferocious rain storm, especially in the western islands, you’ll still have days when you can lounge comfortably in your shorts and t-shirts – although it’s as well to pack a jumper for the evenings.
“Canarias is not a place, it is the place”.