The Canary Islands are a popular place to visit in Europe in winter as the sun tends to shine warmer and brighter than other nearby destinations at this time of year. 

Visiting the Canary Islands in winter allows you to enjoy some Vitamin D throughout the winter months when the islands are quieter and therefore also cheaper to visit. 

In this post we will share with you the top reasons to visit the Canary Islands in winter.

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Reasons to Visit the Canary Islands this Winter

The Canary Islands are a collection of eight Spanish islands off the coast of West Africa. Besides La Gomera, volcanic activity has occurred during the last 11,700 years on all the main islands, and the results are stunning (and safe!). Below, we will look at the main reasons to visit the Canaries this winter.

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The main reason why the Canaries are popular in winter is because… There is no winter. In fact, the winter in Tenerife (Average highs of 20° in January) is higher than Glasgow’s summer. And, it’s way more likely to rain on the hottest day of the year in Scotland than it is to rain on the coldest day in Lanzarote. Basically, it’s sunny whenever you go.

Cheap Hotels

Being Spanish owned and with a large tourist industry, the Canary Islands are well-equipped for visitors. Just looking at Iberostar’s best hotels in Tenerife will make you realise that even luxury stays are affordable, but there’s also something for everyone. Plus, digital nomads and expats can rent apartments for similar prices to the Spanish mainland, which is impressive given these are fairly exotic islands.

Volcanic Hiking

Most of the islands essentially have a mountain peak in their center, formed by a volcano, but the cities around the coast are sea-level or thereabouts. This means that even when staying in a beach hotel resort by the coast, your backdrop is stunning mountains that can easily be accessed. 

And, because these are popular islands, hiking trails are safe, well-established, and well-reviewed. Although it feels like a loophole being next to Africa, the volcanic black sand beaches are one of the most exotic places in Europe. However, don’t be fooled, there are some very green, damp forests with interesting microclimates dotted around.

Something for Everyone

So far, it’s difficult to know who the Canaries are supposed to be for. Luckily, they are places filled with (welcoming) locals and so, these are just very much authentic places with something for everyone. Sure, Tenerife has the best nightlife and Gran Canaria may edge it for hikers, but you can have a night out in Gran Canaria and an amazing hike in Tenerife…

For those looking for quiet, stunning beaches, Fuerteventura or La Gomera are good options. But ultimately, all of the islands are family friendly with snorkelling and hiking potential.

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One of the major pains for winter in Europe is that it can get too cold to enjoy your outdoor hobbies. But, because of the weather and vast sporting options, the Canaries are ideal for an active winter holiday. For example, it’s very easy to rent bikes to cycle around mountain trails. And, when heading to the beach, there are ample places to have a go at windsurfing, scuba diving, and jet skiing.


Finally, it’s important to stress that these are not just holiday places. There are a lot of cultures to see in the Canaries, although it may be best to venture towards the smaller towns. There’s a ton of incredible, traditional architecture that reminds you it’s a place with a long history. So, for those that want an authentic experience away from tourists, there are a lot of sightseeing options tucked in quaint villages.

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Before You Leave for the Canary Islands

Before you set off on your way to Canary Islands, there are a number of things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. These include what to pack, where to stay and what is the best insurance for your trip to the Canary Islands. All of this is discussed in detail below.

How to Get to the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are best travelled to by plane and can be reached from many destinations around the UK and Europe. 

What to Pack for Your Trip to the Canary Islands

What you need to pack for the Canary Islands will rely highly on when you make your trip there. During the Spring and Autumn months, temperatures and weather patterns vary wildly between beautiful sunny skies and rainy days. During the Summer, you are pretty much guaranteed nice weather with temperatures ranging from 20-35 oC. The hottest months are July and August, so these will be the most popular for a Summer holiday.

During the winter months in th Canary Islands, the temperatures won’t be as high, however, they will still sit around 20 oC. If you need more inspiration on what to pack for your trip, check out our full packing guides for all-weather conditions over here.

When it comes to toiletries, we recommend that you don’t forget to pack sunscreen. The sun in the Canary Islands is very strong, especially during the summer months. Apply a lot of sun cream regularly to prevent a nasty burn from ruining your trip. We use this specific sunscreen to protect us as it is not as oily and irritating as other sunscreens.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you will see in the Canary Islands, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

What is the Best Travel Insurance for the Canary Islands

I know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!

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So there you have it, 6 reasons why you should visit the Canary Islands in winter. If you are visiting this beautiful part of the world and have any other questions on what to expect, leave us a comment down below. We love to chat about this stuff! If you have already been, let us know how it was!

Also, remember to share this with your friends and family that you are going to share this amazing experience with. Sharing is caring and we want to ensure that everyone is fully prepared to maximise their experience.

If you are planning a trip to Spain soon, check out our other Spain content right here. Come and find us on social media to see where we are currently exploring. Tag us in your photos from your stay and we will share them with the rest of our community of explorers and backpackers.

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