When winter is firmly upon us and many are feeling the first icy blasts and experiencing the first proper snowfall of the season our thoughts turn rapidly to the idea of escaping to warmer climes.
And for those weary of Christmas shopping and New Year party planning the temptation to escape from it all for a chill-out, relaxing break – or perhaps even an activity break – can be overwhelming. For many of us here in the UK the first choice for winter sun is usually the Spanish or north African resorts; after all they are reasonably cheap and easy to get to and are reliable as far as the weather is concerned. If you’re planning a winter break check out the Tenerife weather in February – it may surprise you to find how comfortably warm you can be after just a short plane journey. Tenerife is a popular choice for Brits searching for some warm sunshine so what sort of weather can you expect from this, the biggest of the Spanish Canary Islands and often referred to as ‘the island of eternal spring’?
The weather in Tenerife with its sub-tropical climate is moderate throughout the year with even mid-December temperatures averaging a pleasant 16-19°C, contrasting pleasingly against the average temperature in the UK which is usually around the 6°C mark. However temperatures in Tenerife have been known to reach the low 20s even late into the evening and with light winds and very little rain this explains why Tenerife is such a popular destination with the months between December and February being the busiest. For those who are looking for a quieter type of getaway the winter months also tend to be more popular with families, couples and older people whilst the summer months are more attractive to younger folks looking for a more active holiday.
Average Monthly Temperatures and Rainfall in Tenerife
Tenerife boasts of blue skies, sunshine and warm temperatures throughout the year and has very little rainfall with an average of 5 days worth of rain even in December. Starting in January/February the temperatures will average around 17° and will rise steadily through the months to reach a high of around 24-26° in August. During the hotter months a cooling sea breeze helps to refresh the days. Temperatures then start to very gradually tail off from September until they reach an average of 18° by December. Temperature-wise Tenerife holds no nasty, sudden changes to catch out the unwary! One unusual feature though concerns Mount Teide which is a dormant volcano that dominates the Tenerife skyline. During the winter months you will often see snowfall in the Mount Teide National Park even while the coastline resorts are enjoying warm sunshine.
Rainfall is not a problem that is likely to put off any holidaymakers as even during the wettest month, which is December, the average 5-6 days of rain only produces an average of 10-12 mm. The driest months are July to August which gets hardly any rain at all. In all then, there is generally no need to think about whether to pack for all weather eventualities. Rather than filling your suitcase with woollies and wet weather waterproofs as is often the case in the UK, your luggage for your winter break in Tenerife need consist only of light summer clothing with perhaps a warm jacket or garment to wrap around your shoulders if the evenings start to feel a little cooler. Don’t forget your swimwear and flip-flops because you can still get on the beach in Tenerife even in December and the sea is still warm enough to swim in.
Differences between the coastal and mountainous areas
The climate on Tenerife can vary slightly depending on which part you visit. For instance the north coast can be slightly cooler, wetter and windier which makes it a popular choice for windsurfers. Even so, winter temperatures here average 15° in January. The south coast is where the majority of the tourist resorts are and it is here that winter temperatures are slightly higher during the day with evening temperatures averaging a low of around 14°. For those who prefer slightly cooler climes coupled with spectacular mountain scenery the central mountainous region is the area to head for.
Things to do in Tenerife
The Teide National Park in the shadow of Mount Teide the dormant volcano is a great place to visit if you like to walk in a landscape that is almost moon-like in appearance. Afterwards you could take a swim in the rock pools of Garachio which were formed in 1706 when a volcanic eruption filled the port of Garachio with molten lava. There is a good chance of seeing sub-tropical fish in the deeper pools.
Go camping in one of Tenerife’s 13 official campsites which have no modern conveniences like electric hook-up points but are perfect for fans of ‘wild camping’. These sites are free to use but need a pre-arranged permit.
Masca, an ancient village set deep within the historic Teno Mountains is the place to go for those who love to find something that looks like it belongs in a lost world. Another must-see for lovers of ancient mythology is the Millennium Drago tree in Icod de los Vinos which is said to have come from the blood of slain dragons and is reputed to be 1000 years old!
Tenerife is proud of its carnival culture and one of the biggest and best is held during February or March. Each town celebrates their own carnival and they are all colourful and exhilarating and well worth seeing.
Tenerife plays host to several free concerts and music festivals some of which have in the past attracted big name acts like blues guitarist Robert Cray or Echo and The Bunnymen. These are often part of the annual town fiestas.
Lots to do in Tenerife
Whether you are a culture vulture, nature lover or you and your family love to visit zoos and water parks, there is such a variety of activities for all on Tenerife all year round. With shopping malls and restaurants, sporting complexes and sites of historical interest, you won’t be short of something to do.