Best time to visit the Canary Islands

The volcanic archipelago of the Canary Islands, an autonomous community that's a part of Spain, lies in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa. It is a much-loved holiday destination thanks to its year-round sunshine and reliable temperatures.

Canary Islands by month

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There are eight islands, the largest being Tenerife followed by Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa.

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Below are the temperatures expected today at popular countries and places in the Canary Islands. Select a destination to compare today's forecast with average weather conditions.

All Canary Islands regions

All Canary Islands destinations

When is the best time to visit Canary Islands?

The best time to visit Canary Islands (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) is June, July and August based on the following average weather conditions.

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Best time to visit

The weather guide for Canary Islands (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) shows long term weather averages processed from data supplied by CRU (University of East Anglia) & today's weather forecast provided by meteoblue. Find out more about our data sources.

Metric (°C / mm)  |  Imperial (°F / inches)

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Weather in the Canary Islands

The weather in the Canary Islands plays a starring role in its appeal as a major holiday destination. With truly great conditions all year round, it's no wonder that they continue to be among the most popular places to go for sunshine from January to December; it really does have one of the best climates in the world.

The wild west coast of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
The wild west coast of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands © Eyewave -

This Spanish archipelago has a Mediterranean climate all of its own. The islands, of which there are seven main destinations, are rocky and volcanic with snow on their highest peaks and black and white sandy beaches at sea level.

While each island's weather is marginally different typically, the Canaries enjoy warm summers and pleasant winters. We have broken the seasons in two, showing just summer and winter. There simply isn't enough differentiation to include spring and autumn, as the weather changes only gradually throughout the year.

However, there are some local differences depending on altitude and which side of the mountains you are on. For example, on mountainous islands such as Tenerife and Gran Canaria, the higher you go, the colder it gets.

Anfi del Mar beach, Gran Canaria
Anfi del Mar beach, Gran Canaria © Cristian M Balate -

Typically, north-facing spots in the north of each of the islands are cloudier with more rain than south-facing places in the south of islands.

Whatever type of trip you're planning, be it a family summer holiday, winter sun escape or group getaway, you can find out everything you need to know about the weather in the Canary Islands right here.

Read on to find out more about the islands, take a look at today's temperature, the five-day outlook, and what the weather is usually like at this time of year with our collection of climate averages.

Canary Islands in summer - May to October

Summer in the Canary Islands sees virtually no rainfall, up to 10 hours of sunshine each day and temperatures that easily hit the high twenties, staying warm into the evenings.

Beach club pool by the sea, Tenerife
Beach club pool by the sea, Tenerife © Nikolai Sorokin -

The hottest days occur when hot, dry, dust-laden air is drawn out of the Sahara desert and reaches the islands brought via calima winds.

While it often rolls through quite quickly, it can, on occasion, linger for a few days or even weeks, creating haze and visibility problems but don't let this put you off.

The cold Atlantic current, which surrounds the Canaries, prevents temperatures in summer from climbing uncomfortably high. So unlike some other destinations in the eastern Med and North Africa, the Canary Islands don't succumb to any intense heat and humidity, with only moderate levels at the height of summer from July to September, which guarantees a sweat-free holiday.

Open spaces on a sunny day in Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Open spaces on a sunny day in Lanzarote, Canary Islands © Image'in - Adobe Stock Image

The cold current does, however, mean that sea temperatures never rise to the same highs you would find in parts of the Mediterranean, rarely surpassing 23°C at their peak in August compared with around 27°C at the same time in Cyprus, for example.

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Which Canary Islands should you visit? If you're wondering where to visit first, don't miss our guide to choosing the right Canary Island for your holiday.

Canary Islands in winter - November to April

The Canaries are just as popular in winter when people flock to the islands between November and April for the mild, sunny conditions.

There's more rain about during this time, especially on the northern sides of the islands and perhaps a touch of fog, although not enough to ruin any holiday.

Winter is a great time for walking in Gran Canaria
Winter is a great time for walking in Gran Canaria © Oleg Znamenskiy -

Daytimes enjoy up to six hours of sunshine from November to April which, compared with one to two hours in the UK, is a welcome change. Temperatures hover between 21°C and 18°C, although evenings are cooler dropping as low as 12°C by February.

But one big difference that is often overlooked is the number of daylight hours. In December, Tenerife enjoys two more hours of daylight every day when compared with Manchester in the UK.

Exploring the Canary islands
Exploring the Canary islands © Javier Sanchez Portero - Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

The weather in the Canary Islands in winter is thoroughly enjoyable but not necessarily right for those after some serious sunbathing, especially as the sea temperature is less than appealing at around 19°C from January to April.

Overall, the Canary Islands in winter are ideal for those keen to experience and explore; go for the fine food, hiking, walks and scenery of these diverse Atlantic islands.

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Individual Canary Islands

Take your pick from huge holiday favourites such as Tenerife and Gran Canaria to the lesser-known islands of La Gomera and El Hierro.

  • Tenerife - with the snowcapped Mount Teide at the centre of the island separating the drier, sunnier south from the more populated and greener farming areas of the north, Tenerife offers something for everyone from hikes and trails to lively towns, beaches, water sports and pretty villages
  • Fuerteventura - this is one of the driest islands with arguably the best selection of golden beaches, and countless opportunities for watersports such as sailing and windsurfing thanks to the trademark winds, much loved by families, adventure seekers and couples
  • Lanzarote - another dry island, Lanzarote is home to stunning volcanic cones and black lava landscape as well as plenty of places to rest, party, visit and explore for all types of holidaymakers
  • Gran Canaria - from the dunes of Maspalomas in the drier south to the more green and fertile north, this island has some of the most beautiful mountain scenery of them all as well as great beaches, nightlife and facilities
  • La Palma - also known as the Isla Bonita or beautiful island, La Palma is the greenest of the Canary Islands with more rain than the others as it's located further out into the Atlantic
  • La Gomera - no more than 20 miles from Tenerife, La Gomera is a mountainous island popular with daytrippers, with terraces, walks and a handful of black sand beaches
  • El Hierro - step back in time on the rocky, rugged island of El Hierro - forget high rise developments, here it's all about local guesthouses, hiking and exploring.

Ready to book your holiday to the Canaries? Search flights and holidays to the Canary Islands in our travel deals and discounts section.

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Which is the hottest month in the Canary Islands?

The hottest time of year in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands is normally August. Expect maximum daytime temperatures to reach 27°C with moderate heat and humidity.

Which month has the most rain in the Canary Islands?

In terms of rainfall, December is usually the wettest month in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands with 74mm on average. There are normally 7 days in December with some rain.

When is it sunniest in the Canary Islands?

The sunniest time of year in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands is normally July with bright sunshine on average for 74% of daylight hours; that's 10 hours of sunshine per day.

When is the sea warmest in the Canary Islands?

The sea is usually at its warmest in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands in September when the water temperature reaches 24°C.

Canary Islands travel features

Do you want to learn more about the Canary Islands? Read our latest features covering travel tips and insider destination guides on where to go and what to do in the Canary Islands.

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