Hottest Canary Islands in December

 By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer

The Canary Islands enjoy year-round sunshine and are perfect if you want to escape the gloomy UK weather in December. If you visit over the festive period you’ll find that all the islands celebrate with gusto: Christmas Eve is the big day with street parties, festive markets and live music; try to book a seafood dinner at a local restaurant. New Year’s Eve is also a fun night out.

Gran Canaria and Lanzarote are the hottest of the islands in December. There’s only a very small chance of rain and temperatures can get as high as 26ºC, even over Christmas.

  • London

Average maximum temperature: 8ºC
Average minimum temperature: 2ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 1

  • Gran Canaria

Average maximum temperature: 22ºC
Average minimum temperature: 14ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 6

Gran Canaria offers 150 miles of coastline and 40 miles of beaches, with golden sands in the south and tiny hidden coves in the north. There’s a starkly beautiful volcanic interior which you should try to explore. At Las Canteras beach, a nativity scene is created with sand sculptures. See a pick of the best places to stay in Gran Canaria along with some charming boutique hotels.

  • Lanzarote

Average maximum temperature: 22ºC
Average minimum temperature: 14ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 6

Along with stunning beaches and unworldly volcanic landscapes, Lanzarote is also known for its pretty white-stone villages. Several of these put on impressive nativity scenes which are worth tracking down, including the villages of Yaiza and Haría in the Valley of a Thousand Palm Trees. See a selection of hotels in Lanzarote and villas with a private pool. The Princess Yaiza Resort is a wonderful hotel for young children.  

  • Fuerteventura

Average maximum temperature: 20ºC
Average minimum temperature: 14ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 6

Fuerteventura is known for its wild beaches, popular with surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers as well winter-sun seekers. The water in December can be a bit chilly for swimming, though. Try not to miss the Christmas market in the resort town of Corralejo. Check out this selection of charming and good-value places to stay in Fuerteventura.

  • Tenerife

Average maximum temperature: 20ºC
Average minimum temperature: 13ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 6

Tenerife is a great place to celebrate Christmas and New Year, and it’s also a wonderful time for nature lovers. You can spot pilot whales and dolphins on boat trips all year round, but between November and February, you can see migratory whales including humpbacks and finbacks. There are some gorgeous luxury hotels in Tenerife including the family-friendly Ritz-Carlton, Abama and Sheraton La Caleta.

See more about where to go in the Canaries. Also, explore the lesser-known Canary Islands such as La Gomera, La Hierro, La Palma and La Graciosa.

Walking in the Canaries

The Canaries offer some of the best walking holidays in Europe and December is a popular time for hikers. You can take an independent walking holiday with Inntravel, with your luggage transported each day to the next overnight stop. See options in Gran CanariaLanzarote and La Graciosa and Fuerteventura.

Alternatively, you can join a group walking trip with Ramblers Walking Holidays which has departures in December to Gran CanariaLanzaroteTenerifeLa Gomera and La Palma.

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Before you book

Travel restrictions have been lifted by the UK, but some other countries still have measures in place. Check the latest government travel advice.