Overview, climate, average temperatures and weather in Tenerife

Tenerife - overview of the main tourist areas

The Canary Islands archipelago, which along with the Azores, Madeira, Cape Verde and the Savage Islands, forms Macaronesia (derived from the Greek words for "islands of the fortunate") located off the north-western coast of Africa (the shortest distance from mainland being only 100 km and the longest 500 km). Even though the Canaries lie over 1000 km away from the Iberian Peninsula, the archipelago  is part of Spain. The islands, which are located between 27 ° 37 'and 29 ° 25'N, 13 ° 20' and 18 ° 10'Z (it is due to this location that there is a 1 hour time difference between the islands and mainland Spain and also Poland), include El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma and Tenerife (all part of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife) and Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria province). The archipelago also includes a number of smaller islands including La Graciosa, Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este, Roque del Oeste and Lobos (some of which are uninhabited or seasonally inhabited).

The largest of the lot is Tenerife (surface area 2034.38 km²) which also boasts Mount Teide, a volcano that is Spain’s highest point at  3718 metres above sea level. The island has a population of about 900 000 and its capital is Santa Cruz de Tenerife (where the world’s second largest carnival is held).

Tenerife we can boasts two sites enlisted on UNESCO World Heritage List: San Cristobal de La Laguna (as a site of cultural significance) and Las Cañadas del Teide National Park (natural site).

Tenerife overview and tourist areas

Tenerife weather and climate

Tenerife is known worldwide as the island of the eternal spring, and this name is due mainly to the trade winds prevalent in these parts. Coming from the north-east, they form the so-called. ‘sea of clouds’ in the north and northeast of the island at the altitude of 600 to 1500 metres above sea level.

Tenerife weather and climate

Another factor contributing the moderate climate of the Canary Islands, located at the same latitude as the Sahara, is the cold Canarian sea current (although, quite frankly, we don’t think it is so cold, as we have often taken our kids swimming in the ocean in January and February).
Generally speaking, Tenerife’s climate is moderate and mild throughout the year. There are neither cold nor hot seasons here. Average temperatures oscillate between 17-18 °C in winter and 24-25 ° in summer. It should be noted, however, that these are average temperatures for the whole island, while many different local climates are to be  can be found. Especially in the winter months, we can enjoy sun and sea bathing on the southern beaches, while admiring the snow-capped summit of Mount Teide, where snow falls every year.
Another example of climate contrasts are the cities of Santa Cruz and La Laguna which practically merge into one another. Whilst the former enjoys mild and warm weather throughout the year, the latter has notably lower temperatures and more rainfall.

Tenerife average temperatures

North and south of the island are also characterised by climatic differences, the main culprit being the majestic Mount Teide volcano (3718 m altitude). 73 percent of the precipitation recorded on the island is in the north, where there is also greater relative humidity and less sunshine. In general it is difficult to find a spot in the north with less annual rainfall 250 mm (in Poland it is 600 mm), while in the south these figures are significantly lower (for reasons unknown to us finding exact data on this subject has been a challenge).
Another interesting weather-related phenomenon in the Canaries is the so-called ‘calima’. Caused by Sirocco winds blowing occasionally from the Sahara, it carries dust and sand particles that sometimes reach a very high density and can remain air-borne for several days.
As a curiosity, C19th doctors throughout Europe (and especially in Britain and Netherlands) praised Tenerife's climate and recommended visits to the island as a way to alleviate ageing ailments and cardiovascular problems.


Average temperatures in Tenerife

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Day °C  21  21  22  23  24  27  29  30  28  26  24  22
Night °C  15  15  16  16  17  19  21  21  21  20  18  16
Water °C  19  19  19  19  20  20  22  23  22  22  21  20


Check other information about the island and attractions Tenerife:

Top 10 Beaches in Tenerife

Canarian cuisine - food in Tenerife

High mountains in Tenerife

Tenerife’s wildlife – general overview

Marine wildlife in Tenerife

Landscapes of Tenerife - natural landscapes in Tenerife

Ecosystems in Tenerife - special protection area, birds and mushrooms

Ecosystems in Tenerife - Tabaibal cardonal

Ecosystems in Tenerife - Thermophilic forests

Laurel forests (fayal – brezal) - Tenerife

Pine forests in Tenerife

Tenerife history highlights

First inhabitants - Tenerife

Guanche language and history - Canary Islands

Canary islands in antiquity

Precolonial period - Canarias

Canary Islands in the Modern Era

Canary Islands - re-discovery and conquest

Canary islands - transformation period and creation of autonomy

Canary Islands - present day