The Canaries are off the northwest coast of Africa, and therefore the islands are much more likely to offer warmth and sunshine during the long, dark winter days than mainland Europe. Being pretty close to the equator, the days are longer, usually around twelve hours of daylight. Tenerife offers the best chance of finding winter sunshine. It also has lots to offer besides glorious heat and sandy beaches, as the Canary Islands have a strong cultural background.
When the skies are grey, and winter coats and boots are the average daily wear, thoughts of finding sunshine rise to the surface. The problem is that Spain can often be just as cold and wet, and the Mediterranean does not mean year-round sunshine.
Even on the occasions when the clouds may gather, the days are bright, and thoughts of winter can be dispelled for a while.
Tenerife the Island of Hills
Tenerife can often be the warmest of the islands and, as a result, is a popular destination. One of the things to remember about Tenerife, however, is the hills. Unless situated along the coastal strip, many hotel and apartment complexes are built on the hills that sweep down towards the coast. They, therefore, involve a hefty climb back to the accommodation. Indeed, locals call many of the hills Cardiac Hill because of their challenging gradients.
So it is as well to be fit and able to cope with the steep climbs if visiting Tenerife and booking hillside accommodation or be prepared to use the local taxi cabs if not hiring a car.
The beaches are always a good draw with long bays of golden sand and plenty of cafes and restaurants to tempt with an array of choices from continental cuisine to traditional Canarian dishes to English fish and chips. Get away from the tourist areas, however, and Tenerife still has much to offer.
The Highest Peak in Spain
A trip to Mount Teide is an experience as the windy roads rise above the clouds into a silent and stunning volcanic world. The park is a renowned World Heritage site and is the highest peak in the whole of Spain.
The southern part of the island has more sunshine and is more developed, whereas the northern part tends to be cloudier, although the cloud cover can be welcome in the simmering summer heat.
Although the Spanish government leads the islands, it is multi-cultural. The shopping centers provide insights into other cultures with their spice shops, unusual souvenirs, and European designer clothing stores.
Of course, the Canary Islands are a year-round destination but must be a favourite choice for those seeking that elusive winter sun.