A friend of mine has recently asked me what she can expect in Tenerife when traveling there in winter months.
Here’s what I’ve told her.
What’s the weather like in Tenerife?
Both times I visited Tenerife, it was in winter months – in February a few years ago and the whole month of January very recently.
On both occasions, the temperature was around 22 -25 Celsius most of the time. So even if you travel to the Canary Islands in winter, you can safely bring your summer clothes, you’ll need them!
However, with this being an island, the wind can get quite strong and sometimes the weather might feel chillier than the thermometer tells you, so don’t forget your jacket, a light sweater and an umbrella (yes, it does rain on the island!).
North or South of Tenerife?
When visiting the island, both times our base was on the South Coast.
Somehow, every time we ventured up North, we found that it got cooler and wetter the closer we approached the northern coast.
Many times we found ourselves leaving the sunny coast on the south and entering the rainy-cloudy season in the northern part.
And it happened quite often that on returning back on the same day, we’d hit the sunshine again, with numerous sun worshipers on the beaches on the south coast.
So although the island is not large at all, the climate seems to be quite varied, so plan your wardrobe according to the location and the activities you are most likely to pursue.
What to eat?
Fish and seafood, of course, accompanied by traditional Canarian potatoes, which are simply potatoes boiled in salty water and served with two or three types of sauces.
It’s no surprise that fish dishes are served everywhere, after all, Tenerife is an island!
And you can get the varieties that you might not necessarily have access to at home, so keep your eyes open!
But if you find fancy fish restaurants packed with tourists a bit of a boring experience, then try and go native, seek out a guachinche.
What is that?
It’s a kind of pop-up restaurant, especially in the North of Tenerife, and can be discovered in most unlikely places, such as someone’s backyard, garden or garage.
The most authentic ones do not have fancy signs or entrances – you might find yourself following a crudely handwritten sign precariously attached with one nail to a half-fallen wall – but that seems to be part of the charm.
The food is basically home-cooked with small selection menu and very reasonable prices.
It seems to be more of a northern tradition, originally started when winegrowers needed to sell their surplus wine.
The small authentic guachinches are supposed to be open only a couple of months a year, but you can find guachinche restaurants which cater for customers all year round.
While purists will argue that these are not the real deal, an average visitor who might not have the courage or time to seek out the genuine ones in the middle of nowhere will definitely find local guachinche restaurants a much more authentic experience than the restaurants lined up near the beach.
If you visit a guachinche, expect very simple rustic dishes (for example roast chicken, steaks served with fries or Canary potatoes), simple salads (always with eggs, I don’t know why), one kind of house wine and very simple desserts, if any at all.
The one we ended up going to a few times seemed to be always busy with locals. The food was simple but always fresh and very reasonably priced.
So next time you are in Tenerife, seek out and have a meal at a local guachinche!
What to do in Tenerife? Find out HERE
What to buy in Tenerife? Find out HERE
Language spoken: Spanish (Tenerife is a Spanish island).
Roads: the main roads are of good quality and not too crowded. However, if you end up on smaller windy roads, your driving skills may be seriously tested!
Travel Tenerife, enjoy your life!
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