Gran Canaria, view to Las Palmas from Mirador de Montana Cabreja

The island of Gran Canaria is the center island in the Canary Islands and is known for being its second most populated island. It boasts of a stunning bays and beaches that have long become a favorite among the visitors of this island. Gran Canaria is located off the coast of Spain; however, its yearly climate and temperatures differ significantly from those of the European continent.

With its proximity to the West African coast, you can imagine how Gran Canaria would be affected by the region’s climate. An yet, it has a stable year-round environment altogether, thanks to the fact that it is located close to the Atlantic ocean, but also the West African coast. Its mountainous region that stretches over the northwest coast act as a shield to potentially erratic Atlantic weather conditions, and instead creates a pleasant and stable region to spend your holidays in.

Awarded the nickname “Island of Eternal Spring”, Gran Canaria is famous for its minimal temperature changes; however, there can be quite a difference in temperatures depending on what part of Gran Canaria you plan to vacation at. The difference in temperature between north and south becomes especially evident in the winter, due to the island’s terrain. In the north of the island, you can find the capital, Las Palmas, where the temperatures can be slightly lower than that of the south. If you plan to venture out towards the mountainous regions especially, you will find that must-see spots such as Arucas, Firgas, and Artenara have the tendency to drop in temperature due to their location – which becomes even more true for high-lying areas.

Mountain Road in Gran Canaria
Landscape with Mountain Road in Gran Canaria. – © Václav Mach

In the southeast of the island, resort towns such as Taurito and Amadores will have temperatures close to the island’s average, especially as they are close to the sea. In the famed Maspalomas region, with Playa del Ingles, Meloneras, Puerto Rico and San Augustin being some of the most popular tourist destinations, the temperatures will be at the highest average of the island, as they are exposed to Western Sahara and its winds, often referred to as “Calima”. This is a weather phenomenon that causes the east wind to blow hot air and change the temperatures drastically. Due to these town’s proximity, they, and the rest of the southern coast of Gran Canaria are the most likely to reach the highest temperatures on the island.

Gran Canaria is known for its often sweltering conditions in the summer months, while its winter months are pleasant, albeit with some rainfall. As it is profoundly affected by the climate that is carried over through the winds from Africa, it can have high temperatures at times. What makes the warmth more bearable are the more cooling winds that come from the Atlantic ocean, tempering the heat and bringing the temperature down. Because of this, Gran Canaria is known as one of the sunniest places on earth, with an average of about 3000 hours of sunshine per year.

JANUARY

The winters in Gran Canaria tend to be mild, especially when compared to the rest of Europe. At an average of about 21°C, you are sure to be still able to hit the beach for a stroll, or even a refreshing swim. However, during January, you can expect quite a bit of rain, as its precipitation will be at its highest. Also, though it is considered to be the wettest month, you are likely only to encounter some scattered and light showers, which clear up relatively quickly. In January, unlike in other parts of the European coast, the sea’s temperature can be comfortable to enjoy at an average of about 19°C.

FEBRUARY

Just like January, the weather stays pleasant all throughout February on Gran Canaria, especially in the south of the island. While there is still a chance of some rainfall, it tends to rain a little less in February, especially in the southern region, by the coast. It is however during this time of the year that you are most likely to experience some hot desert winds from Western Sahara, which can sometimes cause an uncomfortable dust storm. The temperature will linger at an average of 21°C, with the sea temperatures also steady at 19°C.

Integral Nature Reserve Inagua
Hiking path through old pine forest around Integral Nature Reserve Inagua – ©Tamara Kulikova

MARCH

Gran Canaria in March will mark the start of a steady rise in temperature, as we head closer to the summer. You can expect temperatures of up to 23°C, and much less rainfall, as you also begin to see longer days, with around 12 hours of the day being sunny ones. The mountains in the north will act as a barrier between the rest of Gran Canaria and the Atlantic winds, although a steady flow of wind across the south still creates a stable and comfortable climate. The sea temperature is consistent at around 19°C during this time, while the humidity reaches an all-time low during the year.

APRIL

At the start of spring, you will notice that the weather in Gran Canaria becomes drier and drier, as its rainfall precipitation drops down to around 6mm. The weather will become more noticeably warmer,  especially around the coastal areas in the south. The average temperature in Gran Canaria in April reaches an average of about 23°C, but still dropping down to around 14°C at night, offering a perfect balance. This sub-tropical April weather makes it easy to spend days soaking in the sun at the beach, while the rest of Europe is still freezing.

Central Gran Canaria Altavista Montain
Smooth wid blown clouds over Altavista montain – ©Tamara Kulikova

MAY

As the summer quickly approaches, you will be delighted to encounter an average of about 24°C and 14 hours of daylight in Gran Canaria in May. The chances of rain dissipate down to 4mm on average, as the dust storms also begin to create drastic spikes in the temperature. The temperature at night will stay steady at around 16°C, while the sea becomes more of a pleasure to swim in, with its temperatures around 20°C. These early summers are what make Gran Canaria such a joy to travel to, making the most out of your vacation time on the beach.

JUNE

The month of June in Gran Canaria will arrive with humidity levels of around 77% on average, and the same 14 hours of daylight. With daytime temperatures of up to 25°C, beach time in June will be nothing short of perfection, as the balmy weather makes it an absolute pleasure to enjoy the long days basking in the sun under Gran Canarias blue skies. The temperature of the sea will have an average of around 21°C, ideal for swimming, watersports, and other beach activities.

JULY

The height of summer in Gran Canaria is around July and August, where the precipitation is a mere 1mm on average, and the daytime temperature reaches up to around 27°C. At night, you can expect a balmy 19°C, ideal for nights out having dinner under the clear skies, without needing a sweater. The sea’s temperature can reach around 22°C, with 14 hours of daylight to thoroughly enjoy it. As it is the high summer in these months, UV protection should be taken very seriously, especially as these months will have little to no cloud coverage to protect you.

AUGUST

August in Gran Canaria will make you want to stay close to a pool or the sea, as its average temperatures can be found around 28°C. The evenings will carry temperatures of around 20°C, while the humidity can go up to approximately 79%. This means that at times it may feel much warmer than it is, as the Sahara winds will also occasionally push through the island, bringing hot desert winds that will make the temperatures spike. The sun will set at around 9pm every day, making it ideal for sunset dinners by the sea.

Canteras beach Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Canteras beach Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Spain – ©Alberto Giacomazzi

SEPTEMBER

As the summer slowly comes to a close, Septembers in Gran Canaria can mark a slow change in temperature. Despite this, the hottest days of the year still tend to be recorded on this month, most likely caused by the West African winds. Rainfall precipitation can slowly begin to go up, reaching an average of around 6mm, while dust storms due to the fluctuations in temperature are not uncommon. The temperatures during the day are likely to reach an average of about 27° C, while the evenings stay warm at around 20°C. The sea water will be at its warmest during the year, often measured at a whopping 23°C.

OCTOBER

The steady drop in temperature will also mark the start of the coming wet season, as Octobers in Gran Canaria are likely to see the rainfall precipitation rise up to 18mm. An average temperature of 26°C will still make the days feel warm and pleasant, even as the night’s temperature can drop down to 18°C. During this month you can always expect an average of 11 hours of daylight, as the sun begins to set around 7:45pm in the evening.

NOVEMBER

Gran Canaria in November will see the temperatures drop, while the rainfall continues to rise. At around 29mm precipitation, rain showers will occur more often than in the summer months. However, daylight is still available for 10 hours a day, while the temperature stays on an average of about 24°C, again allowing for days to be spent on the beach. In the evenings you might need a sweater or light jacket, as the temperature can drop to about 16°C. The sea’s temperature stays at around 22°C, making it possible to still venture out into the water without feeling too cold.

Puerto Rico Beach in Gran Canaria
People visit Puerto Rico Beach in Gran Canaria – ©Lillian Tveit

DECEMBER

There is a reason why Gran Canaria is a popular destination for tourists who would like to spend their Christmas holidays by the beach – the weather is cozy yet still warm enough to dine outdoors, even at night. An average high in temperature of 22°C can be expected during December in Gran Canaria, while the sea’s warmth stays at around 21°C. You can expect to get around ten hours of daylight during this month, with the likelihood of six of those hours being full of sunshine.