Lanzarote enjoys the warm, sunny and dry climate for which the Canary Islands are famous.
Lanzarote weather averages and climate
The Canary Islands are on the same latitude as southern Morocco and very close to the Western Sahara, but its weather is much cooler. This is mainly down to two factors: the northeasterly trade wind and the Canary Current.
The northeasterly trade wind often reaches the Canaries from across the Atlantic where it has a significant cooling effect. When the wind swings south and crosses the Sahara first, it brings completely different weather: the 'calima', often carrying fine sand.
When this happens, temperatures and humidity rise dramatically and the sand can reduce visibility and give some people breathing problems. It's rare but it may briefly interrupt your stay: head indoors if it causes problems.
The Canary Islands sit right in the middle of the Canary Current, a broad swathe of the Atlantic Ocean characterised by cold water welling up from deep in the ocean. It flows south-east along the African coast and gives the islands cooler bathing waters and clearer skies than the surrounding seas.
When is the best time to visit Lanzarote?
There isn't a bad month to visit Lanzarote. Summers are sunniest (and windiest) but if you're in a southern or western resort you could enjoy a warm, cloudless holiday in January. Especially in the north, December is when you're most likely to see rain but the beaches are less busy outside the European holiday season. August is the hottest month but also the busiest time on the island
From May to October the average peak temperature in Lanzarote doesn't fall below 25 °C. The weather averages for the island are hot but not scorching throughout summer. There's very little cloud and rainfall - for three months the average rainfall is 0mm. But if the calima is blowing from the east it can quickly become a drought with temperatures as high as 40 °C. Throughout summer the average sunshine hours are nine a day.
Winter temperatures range from about 23 °C in spring and autumn down to 21 °C in mid-winter. This reliable warmth keeps the winter holidaymakers coming and for most of the time the sea temperature is higher than 18 °C, so it remains pleasant enough for many to bathe or enjoy watersports all year round.
Lanzarote holiday weather falls into two broad areas. In the north and east there is more rainfall, wind and cloud. This helps vegetation, so the region appears greener.
Two mountain ranges interrupt the flow of the northeasterlies across the island, making sure most of the rain falls before it reaches the west and south. This leaves these areas relatively dry, almost desert-like. There's also less wind, so although the temperatures across the island are virtually identical, the south and west feel significantly hotter.
Lanzarote tourist information
Evidence recovered from a recent archaeological dig suggests that, although no records of settlements exist, ancient Romans had traded with the settlers of Lanzarote; the Romans' presence in North Africa between the first and fourth centuries A.D. adds weight to the theory.
Lanzarote average maximum temperatures reach 28 °C during the summer months, and a typical nine hours of sunshine is experienced, with an average 20 mm of rain per month during the winter months.
Lanzarote is home to many landmarks both natural and man-made - the Timanfaya National Park set among the middle of the island is home to many natural breeds of exotic flora and fauna; an especially commendable feat considering the landscape is nothing but volcanic rock, although the fertile volcanic soil has proven very beneficial to many crops and grape production.
Far underground there is still some volcanic activity, as demonstrated by pouring water down into the ground and seeing it jet back up in geyser form.
Such is its otherworldly appearance that many films and TV programmes have been shot here to give the appearance of a different planet. Tourist buses frequently trek over the rocky ground, affording tourists the opportunity to capture the sights on film.
Many of the other spectacular sights on the island were built by legendary artist and architect César Manrique - his foresight proved valuable in boosting the tourist economy of Lanzarote by forcing a ban on high-rise buildings on the island so as not to spoil anyone's view. On the northeast of the island he created the Jardin de Cactus; a beautiful cactus garden which covers five square kilometres. Also of note on the island is the Jameos del Agua; an astonishing landscape built into the rocks on the north of the island; from a distance it looks like Tracy Island from Thunderbirds!
All these beautiful attractions are ably backed up by Lanzarote great nightlife; the resorts on the south of the island near Arrecife airport can always put on a great show, while the museums and concert venues on offer provide great entertainment for those keen to explore too.