Tenerife benefits from the consistent weather that Spain’s Canary Islands are noted for, with warm days throughout the year, little rainfall and lots of sunshine even in winter.
Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands that lie off the western coast of Morocco. The weather is cooler than North Africa due to the northeasterly trade winds and the temperate Canary Current. This is cool water that swells up from deep in the Atlantic Ocean and affects the sea temperature and weather in Tenerife.
Tenerife weather averages and climate information
Situated 1,500 miles south of the UK and lying at the same latitude as the Sahara Desert, Tenerife sees a climate that is warm all year round but with some remarkable regional variations.
When is the best time to go to Tenerife?
Tenerife offers attractive weather all year round, so it depends on what temperature and climate best suits you. Summer in the south of the island will be relatively cloudless, hot and dry with excellent sea temperatures for swimming and water sports. The north will be a little cooler during the same period but still pleasant. Rain is most likely between November and February, but the average six hours of daily sunshine and average peak temperatures above 21 °C. August is when most tourists visit.
Tenerife month by month weather averages
While Morocco can be subject to severe heat, Tenerife enjoys much more predictable and consistent weather due to the northeasterly trade winds which blow in from across the Atlantic to provide a pleasant temperature all year round. This wind also means the Canary Islands generally have cloud-free skies.
However, the weather in Tenerife can be affected by dust storms that sweep in from the Sahara when the prevailing wind direction changes. Called the ‘calima’, this brings fine sand particles that create a haze and can cause some people breathing difficulties. On these days, it’s best to stay indoors, but this weather is rare and quickly passes.
Like other Canary Islands, Tenerife’s weather is clearly defined between the north and south. Mount Teide is a dormant volcano in the middle of the island and divides the two halves. In the north, the climate is wetter and cooler, which means it attracts fewer tourists. The south has more sunshine and warmer temperatures. This southern half is also less windy with fewer clouds, which gives a hotter climate.
Summer weather in Tenerife
During the six months from May to October, the average peak temperature in Tenerife is 25 °C. With very little rainfall during this period, the island feels pleasantly hot without ever becoming uncomfortable. It’s helped by low humidity that remains constant around the year, while a gentle breeze offers some relief on the hottest days. If the calima blows in, temperatures can rise. Expect an average of nine hours of sunshine in summer.
Winter weather in Tenerife
The winter temperatures in Tenerife range from a peak of 21 °C in the mid-winter to as high as 24 °C in late spring and autumn. Visitors to the island are drawn by this consistent and enjoyably warm weather, while the sea remains comfortable for year-round swimming. Average sunshine during this half of the year is six hours per day.
Tenerife tourist information
Tenerife alone is home to approximately two-fifths of the entire Canary population, and takes its name from an old native name for Mount Teide - White Mountain, from the snowy peaks of its dormant volcano whose emissions created the island itself millions of years ago.
The island was conquered in the late 15th century by Spanish forces and served as a major stopping point for ships on their way to the Americas. A mass emigration by Tenerife's residents to Latin America is what sealed its bond to the then-New World, as the island's grape production was by far the strongest facet of its economy.
British forces would try to take the island during the Revolutionary Wars; Nelson famously lost an arm while he battled in vain to capture Tenerife, while Sir Walter Raleigh was involved in another failed attempt.
Tenerife is served by two airports; one each on the north and south of the island. The northern airport is only a few miles away from Santa Cruz de Tenerife; the joint capital along with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria of the whole island group. Known as the Island of Eternal Spring, temperatures on the island are mild enough for agreeable weather all year round - however it is not unusual to see snow-covered hills off in the distance during t-shirt weather!
Santa Cruz is the administrative capital of the Canary Islands, and has a wide range of attractions, events and nightlife which bring tourists from all over the world; principally Germany and Britain are two of the biggest countries whose residents visit the island for holidaymaking. Each year the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife takes place on the capital's streets; such is its cultural importance as a seat of identity that it is currently seeking to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Parades, performances and shows take place in and around the city streets attracting many visitors.
While all this much-vaunted culture takes place up north, the south of the island is given over to resorts such as Playa de las Americas which are famous for their high-quality beaches and accommodation, though the island does afford travel between both areas enabling visitors to get the best of both worlds. The Tenerife Auditorium is a beautiful venue still used today for concerts of both classic and popular music, while the architecture and sculptures can be enjoyed all over the island.
Sports fans can take in a game of football at the Estadio Heliodoro Rodriguez Lopez located in Santa Cruz.