is it cold to swim in tenerife

Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about dipping into the clear, turquoise waters of Tenerife’s beaches? The idea of swimming in the warm, inviting ocean is undoubtedly appealing, especially for those looking to escape the chilly temperatures of their hometown. However, many travelers wonder, “Is it cold to swim in Tenerife?” Let’s dive into this question and explore the factors that influence the water temperature in this beautiful island destination.

The Climate of Tenerife

Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, boasts a subtropical climate with warm temperatures throughout the year. The island benefits from its location off the coast of West Africa, which brings pleasantly warm weather and sunshine. The average temperatures range from 17°C in the winter to 24°C in the summer, making it an ideal destination for sun-seeking tourists.

Water Temperature

When it comes to the water temperature in Tenerife, it largely mirrors the island’s climate. During the summer months, the sea temperature can reach an inviting 23-25°C, providing a refreshing escape from the heat. However, winter months see a significant drop, with water temperatures averaging around 19-20°C. While this might not sound too cold, it can be a shock to those accustomed to warmer waters.

Variability of Water Temperature

It’s important to note that water temperature can vary depending on the specific beach or coastal area in Tenerife. The southern beaches tend to have warmer waters compared to the northern ones, due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. Additionally, the depth of the water and time of day can also play a role in the temperature you experience when swimming in Tenerife.

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Factors Affecting Water Temperature

Several factors contribute to the water temperature in Tenerife. One of the primary influences is the Canary Current, a cool ocean current that flows from the northwest African coast to the western shores of the Canary Islands. This current helps regulate the water temperature, keeping it relatively cooler than other subtropical destinations.

Weather Conditions

The weather also plays a crucial role in determining the water temperature. Prolonged periods of strong winds, cloudy days, or rainfall can lead to a drop in sea temperature. Conversely, calm, sunny weather can help maintain warmer waters, especially during the summer months.

Seasonal Variations

As mentioned earlier, water temperature in Tenerife sees seasonal fluctuations. While summer brings warmer seas, winter tends to usher in cooler waters. This variation is an essential factor to consider when planning a swimming excursion in Tenerife.

Is it Comfortable to Swim in Tenerife?

Whether swimming in Tenerife feels comfortable largely depends on individual preferences and tolerance to cooler temperatures. Visitors from colder regions may find the water to be relatively warm, while those from warmer climates might perceive it as chilly. It’s advisable to test the waters and gradually acclimate to the temperature before diving in.

Enjoying the Experience

Despite the variability in water temperature, many visitors find swimming in Tenerife to be an enjoyable experience. The stunning coastal landscapes, abundant marine life, and variety of water activities make it a worthwhile destination for beach enthusiasts and water sports lovers alike. Whether swimming, snorkeling, or simply relaxing by the shore, Tenerife offers something for everyone.


In conclusion, the water temperature in Tenerife can fluctuate depending on various factors such as the time of year, location, and weather conditions. While summer months generally bring warmer seas, winter sees cooler temperatures that may affect swimming comfort. Ultimately, the decision to swim in Tenerife is a personal one, and visitors should consider their own preferences and tolerance to water temperature before taking the plunge. Regardless, Tenerife’s breathtaking coastal beauty and diverse aquatic offerings make it a compelling destination for beachgoers and water enthusiasts.

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1. Can I swim in Tenerife year-round?

Yes, you can swim in Tenerife throughout the year. However, be prepared for cooler water temperatures during the winter months.

2. Are there specific beaches in Tenerife with warmer waters?

Yes, the southern beaches of Tenerife tend to have warmer waters due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. Playa de Las Teresitas and Playa del Duque are known for their relatively warmer seas.

3. What activities can I enjoy despite the water temperature?

Even if the water feels chilly for swimming, you can still partake in various activities such as sunbathing, beach volleyball, paddleboarding, and coastal walks along Tenerife’s scenic shores.

4. Should I bring a wetsuit for swimming in Tenerife?

If you’re particularly sensitive to cooler water temperatures, bringing a wetsuit can enhance your comfort and extend your swimming time in Tenerife.

5. What is the best time of year for warm water in Tenerife?

The summer months, from June to August, offer the warmest water temperatures in Tenerife, making it an ideal time for swimming and water activities.