If you’re fed up of the icy-cold temperatures, bleak wet weather and dark nights that seem to creep in earlier and earlier back home, you should spend Christmas in Tenerife! The subtropical holiday island really comes to life during the festive season, with twinkling Christmas lights, traditional Canarian festivals and merry musical performances you’ll love. Combine that with a balmy average temperature of 20C, clear blue skies and oodles of sunshine and you’ve got more than enough reasons to spend the most wonderful time of the year on the idyllic island.
Most locals wait until January 6th (Epiphany) for the big Christmas celebrations, when the 3 kings parade through the streets, handing out sweets and presents to children. But with an ever increasing number of visitors arriving on the island, along with the high number of European expats, there are plenty of other traditional Christmas activities adopted from around the world to enjoy in Tenerife.
To help you get into the spirit, here are a few ideas to help make your Christmas in Tenerife extra special.
What to Do for Christmas in Tenerife
Watch a traditional Christmas concert
One of the biggest events which takes place each year on the island is the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra concert. Held at 9pm on December 25th at the Santa Cruz Harbour (Dársena de Los Llanos) this musical extravaganza is a great way to end the big day in style. Entry is totally free, but you need to snap up tickets early from the official website to avoid disappointment – they sell out surprisingly quickly each year so don’t hang around. If you can’t make the fantastic event or you miss out on tickets, you can always watch the video live on the port’s website instead.
Go whale and dolphin spotting with us
Spend Christmas Day like never before by joining us on one of our boat trips. We guarantee sailing onboard our yacht, with the Canarian sunshine warming your face and majestic whales and dolphins providing you with your own private show, will definitely be a Christmas to remember. Our gourmet feast, made up of delights including fresh focaccia bread, our indulgent prawn speciality and a traditional paella, accompanied with free-flowing bubbly, will be one of the best Christmas dinners you’ve ever had. Just don’t boast too much to your friends and family back home!
Treat yourself to a private charter
Make your Christmas in Tenerife extra special with our private boat rental. Perfect for groups of friends who want to celebrate Christmas in style, our private charters let you host your own party onboard our luxury yacht and go wherever the mood takes you. Whether you want to sail to one of the other Canary Islands and see how they celebrate the holidays or you just want to head into open waters to party, our private boat rental service will give you a Christmas you’ll never forget.
Play in the snow on a subtropical island
Snowy scenes might not be the first thing that come to mind when you think of Tenerife. But sometimes El Teide, the volcano in the centre of the island, gets covered in a blanket of snow in winter. When this happens, one of the most fun things to do is to hop in a rental car and race up into the mountains, where the usual rocky terrain is replaced by a real winter wonderland. When it snows, it’s traditional for locals to build small snowmen on the bonnets of their cars and speed down to the coast to see if they can reach the beach before the snowmen melt!
Admire the nativity scenes
In December, almost every municipality in Tenerife creates their own beautiful nativity scene (called “belén” in Spanish). The nativity in La Laguna is considered the most spectacular because it’s so complex and loaded with intricate details. But all the municipalities take great pride in creating standout belénes, making them all worthy of a visit. In addition to the traditional nativity scenes made of wooden and plastic figures, some places on the island add a creative spin, making nativities out of everything from chocolate figurines to real people.
Have a traditional Christmas experience
If you’re feeling a little homesick and want a traditional Christmas experience like you’d get back home, you’re in luck! There are loads of expats from all over Europe living in Tenerife, meaning many of the bars and restaurants host special celebrations for different cultures and nationalities. Whether you’re after a classic British Christmas, with cheesy Christmas songs and a hearty dinner with all the trimmings, or a typical Italian Christmas feast, with seven fish courses and a refreshing shot of limoncello, you’ll find just what you’re looking for in Tenerife.
Visit a Christmas market
The Christmas markets in Tenerife aren’t like the ones you’re probably used to. Instead of brimming with mulled wine, grilled sausages and warm winter clothing like most German-themed Christmas markets in Europe, Tenerife Christmas markets have a charming Canarian twist. These markets are laden with delicious Canarian cheese, traditional baked goods and locally-produced wine, along with artisan jewellery, handmade gifts and all kinds of trinkets that make perfect gifts for friends and family back home. As well as the market stalls, these events are also usually accompanied by traditional Canarian bands which play well into the early hours.