For those seeking winter sun, holidaying in the Canary Islands is a great choice. Thanks to the climate, wealth of natural beauty and endless activities they are the perfect winter sun destination.
Winter sun holidays in the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands have some of the best beaches in the world. Apart from at Christmas the Islands are generally less busy during the winter months. The islands beaches provide something for everyone. There are long stretches of golden sand with crystal clear, calm waters. There are volcanic black sand beaches and protected coves, as well as rugged beaches which are ideal for water sports. The ocean temperature is at it’s lowest in February and even then it doesn’t drop below 18 degrees!
The Canary Islands are home to six endemic species and many endemic subspecies. In addition to this the winter months are a great time of the year to visit the islands due to the migrant birds that can be found. Fuerteventura is the only place in the world where you can see the Canary Island Chat. Tenerife is home to two endemic pigeons, the distinctive Great Spotted Woodpecker and the famous Blue Chaffinch. La Gomera has a large population of the Laurel pigeons as well as the Kinglet and Sparrowhawk. Gran Canaria is a great place to visit to see the endemic Berthelot’s Pipit and the Canary Island Chiffchaff. Lanzarote is a must visit island if you wish to see the Elenora’s Falcon, the Cattle Egret and the Barbary Falcon. The Red billed Chough breeds on La Palma and it also has it’s own endemic subspecies. Plus El Hierro has it’s own endemic subspecies, the Common Chaffinch and the Blue Tit.
First of all, carnival in the Canary Islands is a big deal. In fact Tenerife is home to the second biggest and greatest carnival in the world. Coming in at a close second to Rio de Janeiro. The explosion of colour and music makes the carnivals fun for everyone. Canarians dress up, gather in the streets and party! The costumes are dazzling, the music is pumping and the food is sizzling! Each carnival last for weeks and moves around each of the islands. These carnivals are all held from late January through until March.
The Canary Islands are a hikers paradise. Not only do they boast incredible scenery but the temperatures during the winter months drop to an average of 18 – 24 degrees. Consequently the conditions are pretty much always perfect to enjoy some of the areas that are not accessible by car.
Tenerife offers some real diverse walking opportunities. With pine forests, wide valleys, coastal paths and the worlds third largest volcano. Gran Canaria boasts picturesque hill towns, steep ravines and rocky coastlines. La Gomera is the most famous Canary Island for walking. It has escaped development and the whole island has been geared up for walkers so the signage is great. La Palma is truly stunning, with forests, rivers, waterfalls and plenty of colour. In comparison Lanzarote is very different. The landscape is dramatic and volcanic, making it a great choice for those that love walking. Fuerteventura is different again. It is filled with ravines, caves and beautiful orange hills. Finally, El Hierro offers sweeping valleys, farmlands and lush forests.
Unlike many summer holiday destinations, the Canary Islands resorts remain open all year round. This is mainly thanks to what is often described as the worlds best climate. The activities are almost all open throughout the whole year and the lists of excursions available is endless. The shops, restaurants, bars and hotels in the resorts do not close during the winter months.
The Canary islands have been recognised on an international level for their exceptional conditions. The quality of the sky has been protected and the stargazing opportunities during the winter months are epic. The islands are home to three Starlight Reserves. Including La Palma, Mount Tiede in Tenerife and Fuerteventura. Because of this the islands have lots of astronomy excursions to chose from. As well as natural and man made viewing platforms, observatories and telescopes that visitors can make use of.
In other words, the Canary Islands are a dream destination for astronomy enthusiasts and those that simply enjoy the night sky.
The pleasant temperatures during the winter months in the Canary Islands make it a fabulous choice for sports lovers.
Some of the best golf courses in Europe can be found on the Canary Islands. Most have breathtaking views and are attached to luxurious hotel and spas. We have spoken about hiking above. The steep tracks, challenging terrains and forests make the islands a paradise for mountain bikers. Most of the islands roads are brilliant, with smooth tarmac and low traffic making them a haven for cyclists and runners. Water sports are of course massive in the Canary Islands, including scuba diving, surfing, swimming, sailing, windsurfing and kite surfing.
Not of the feathered variety! Thousands of retirees flock from the UK to the Canary Islands every winter and they are affectionately knows as swallows. Not only do they avoid the worst of the UK winter, their health benefits greatly. It is widely known that sunshine benefits a long list of ailments and generally makes you feel great.
The days remain reasonably long throughout the year in the Canary Islands. With even the shortest day being around 10 hours long. The daytime temperatures range from 18-24 degrees and then generally doesn’t fall below around 12 degrees. The ocean does cool in the winter but only to around 18 degrees in the month of February. The trade winds die down during the winter months making the days great for sunbathing. It does rain during the winter months but the bursts are often short and sharp, and sunshine follows them.
We hope that you’ve found our guide to winter sun holidays in the Canary Islands helpful.
Inspired for a winter sun break? Please do contact us if you have any questions or need help planning your next holiday.