The Canary Islands are known as the islands of eternal springtime and Tenerife is no exception. There is little difference between summer and winter temperatures, with winter temperatures rarely below 15 degrees and the summer months bringing in average highs of 27 degrees. However if you venture inland to the Teide National Park, the high altitude means that the average annual temperature is a mere 9 degrees.
When to fly to Tenerife
There are two busy seasons in Tenerife; the winter months from December through to February, with mostly older tourists seeking a warm winter break, and a second high season from May through to October when the island welcomes young families and teenagers looking for a good time.
The world-famous Tenerife Carnival takes place in February.
The months in-between the two high seasons are the off-season in Tenerife and probably the best time to pick up a bargain. However as the temperature remains fairly constant throughout the year, you can still enjoy the warm seas and find yourself a better spot on the less-crowded beaches.
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Getting around Tenerife
There are two airports on Tenerife; the smaller northern airport mainly handles inter-island flights and you can easily fly between all of the Canary Islands. Another easy way to island-hop is to use the ferry. Various companies run routes throughout the archipelago. It is also possible to catch a ferry to the city of Cadiz on mainland Spain, which runs once a week.
Taxis are reliable but highly expensive. It is a much better idea to hire a car from one of the many rental agencies around Tenerife. Rental cars on Tenerife are plentiful so it is easy to hire one, even for same-day rental.
There is also an excellent bus service throughout the island, referred to locally as guaguas.
Tenerife insider information
- February is carnival time on the island. The Tenerife Carnival is centred around Santa Cruz and held in the weeks leading up to Lent. Rivalling Rio and Notting Hill for size and glamour, the party culminates in a parade through the town with the ritual of the Burial of the Sardine. A huge model sardine is carried through the streets, followed by weeping mourners and eventually burned, marking the end of the festivities.
- The capital of Tenerife is Santa Cruz, a lively and cosmopolitan city where you are literally spoiled for choice. It is one of Spain’s largest ports, with plenty of leafy parks, tax-free shopping and historical theatres, and to top it off both white and black sand beaches. The Mercado de Nuestra Señora de Africa is definitely worth a visit, with galleries of merchants of all varieties surrounding a central courtyard and clock tower; it has been declared an Artistic Historical Monument.
- Catch the cable car up to the top of El Teide, one of the world’s largest volcanoes and the highest point in the Atlantic Ocean. The peak of the volcano offers spectacular views over Tenerife and the rest of the archipelago, while the high altitude means that the volcano is snow-capped for much of the winter, a stark contrast to the warm sunny beaches below.
- For those with young children a visit to the Monkey Zoo in Los Cristianos is a must. Most of the animal cages are open for you to walk into and animal food is available to buy at the entrance so you can guarantee an up-close and personal encounter with a variety of creatures, including ring-tailed lemurs and iguanas.