Lanzarote weather 2015/2016

Lanzarote has been delighting visitors to the Canary Islands with its year round sunshine for more than 40 years. It's a fully paid up member of both the summer and winter sun clubs, and the fact that Lanzarote's weather is so consistently reliable is part of what makes it one of the most popular destinations for British holidaymakers. The Lanzarote weather guide shown below is for Arrecife.

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Lanzarote weather 2015/2016: an overview

Located just under 80 miles off the west coast of Africa, and within a five hour flight of the UK, Lanzarote is a firm favourite with those after great value holidays somewhere well equipped with every amenity and facility you could imagine. As well as the countless hotels, restaurants, and bars for every budget, Lanzarote is incredibly beautiful, which means there's loads to see and do.

Dramatic Lanzarote weather © Brian Russell - Flickr Creative Commons
Dramatic Lanzarote weather © Brian Russell - Flickr Creative Commons

You'll find no less than five Blue Flag beaches and 13 nature reserves on the island, which is a recognised UNESCO biosphere reserve complete with active volcano and striking landscapes. Mix all of this with the great Lanzarote weather, and you've got a natural playground just waiting to be explored, be it in the water, on foot or on two wheels throughout the year.

Naturally conditions do vary between summer and winter, the real question however, is what you want from your holiday there. If it's hot and sunny Lanzarote weather you're after, ideal for beach breaks, then summer is for you. Yet, if you want warm temperatures perfect for exploring the island in all its splendour, then perhaps Lanzarote's weather makes it an ideal winter sun option.

We've grouped the following information on Lanzarote's weather into two seasons rather than four, simply because the distinction between them is less obvious than you would expect to see, say, here in the UK. This doesn't mean there aren't spring and autumn periods, more that they are brief and blend seamlessly into either summer or winter.

Lanzarote's summer - April to November

Lanzarote is a go-to destination for many brits in summer. It's known for its long sunny days with hot temperatures, ideal for working on the tan or taking a dip, and vibrant party scene which comes alive after dark. There are however, a few nuances that make Lanzarote's weather quite unique.

A summer's day on Papagayo Beach © SantiMB.Photos - Flickr Creative Commons
A summer's day on Papagayo Beach © SantiMB.Photos - Flickr Creative Commons

Temperatures in Lanzarote climb steadily from April onwards, starting at around 22°C reaching 25°C by June and 28°C by August and September. Things start to cool down again from the end of September, dropping to around 25°C in October and 23°C by November - although this is still warm enough for those who don't like it too hot to enjoy.

Evenings too, start to warm up from April, benefiting somewhat from the higher daytime temperatures, rising from 14°C after dusk in April to 20°C by August and September, dropping to 18°C by October and 16°C by November. It's worth noting that while Lanzarote weather's characteristic lack of cloud cover is wonderful during the day, it does also prevent heat being captured and retained after dark even at the height of summer, which is why evenings are never much warmer than 20°C.

Sea breezes offer a breath of fresh air by day, and help to regulate temperatures however, if you happen to be there when Lanzarote's weather comes into contact with the sirocco wind blowing from Africa during summer, you will notice a significant leap in the temperature. These winds bring hot air, sand and dust from the Sahara creating sandstorms or calimas, which are a bit of a nuisance although not especially dangerous, unless you suffer from conditions such as asthma. Calimas vary in severity and duration, lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, but are also unpredictable and difficult to forecast in advance.

Speaking of winds, Lanzarote's weather is renowned for creating fantastic windsurfing spots thanks to the northeast trade winds, and there's no shortage of schools or competitions to suit all levels. It's a popular sport during the school holidays however, you'll find the best conditions to try windsurfing off the likes of Costa Teguise between October and March.

As for rainfall, it goes from virtually nonexistent in April and May to bone dry in June, July and August, and back to virtually nonexistent between September and November. If for any reason you do encounter a few spots, it's unlikely to be more than just that, and won't interfere with your holiday plans.

You can thank Lanzarote's comparatively flat landscape for this as, unlike some of the other Canary Islands, its lack of high mountains means clouds rarely form or produce rain. It's for this reason that Lanzarote's weather is typically much sunnier than any of the other islands.

As well as its famed lack of clouds, one of the most attractive elements of Lanzarote's weather is that it doesn't succumb to any intense heat and humidity thanks to the consistently cool sea. This is one reason many find Lanzarote's climate so appealing, as it's hot and dry without becoming too sticky. Heat and humidity only really makes an appearance from June to October, and even then it peaks at a moderate level in August.

The same cannot be said for UV however, which is very high in April and May, extreme from June to August and very high dropping to moderate between September and November. A good, strong SPF is recommend for anyone visiting the island to make the most of Lanzarote's weather at this time.

True to form for a Canary Island, Lanzarote's weather is a victim of the cold Atlantic current which flows around the islands keeping sea temperatures down, especially when compared to destinations across the Med. Of course, what's acceptable varies from person to person, but it's unlikely you'd want to be swimming, or solely reliant on the sea for your dips, in April or May which sees temperatures rise from 18°C to 19°C.

From June this does improve rising from 20°C to 22°C by August, only starting to descend once more from 21°C in November. It is perhaps worth investing in a hotel or apartment with a heated pool to avoid any disappointment if you aren't too sure about getting in the sea at these temperatures.

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Lanzarote's winter - December to March

Lanzarote's winter is considered to be shorter than the summer period. If you like it hot it's fair to say that Lanzarote weather won't be for you in winter, but if it's warm, sunny days great for hiking and enjoying the scenic landscape, then this is a magical time to visit, not to mention slightly quieter.

Winter sun in Lanzarote © mammita - Flickr Creative Commons
Winter sun in Lanzarote © mammita - Flickr Creative Commons

Daytime temperatures plateau in the low twenties from December to March, dropping marginally from 21°C to 20°C in January and February, before climbing again. This makes it a very pleasant time to visit for some seasonal sunshine, but not great for a beach break. Evenings are a bit on the chilly side between 14°C and 13°C, so you will need some layers. There is a chance of encountering a calima, and if so, you will feel an increase in temperature.

In terms of sunshine, you'll see plenty of it between November and March, with roughly seven hours each day. This is where Lanzarote weather comes in to its own as a winter sun destination, especially when compared to the UK at this time, which peaks with anything from one to four hours of sunshine each day.

Another win for those hoping to enjoy Lanzarote's weather in winter without getting too hot is that there's no heat and humidity to worry about - conditions are warm but fresh. While there's a brief respite from the dangerous levels of UV, it is omnipresent, rarely sinking lower than moderate even in January.

As for the sea temperature, it takes some time for the warming effects of summer to wear off, which is why it sits at around 20°C in December, dropping to 19°C by January and 18°c in February where it stays pretty much until the end of April. We would recommend a hotel with a heated pool if you're hoping to swim, especially with young children.

One final thing to be aware of is that Lanzarote's weather in winter is prone to calimas, especially from February to March. These can impact on everything from visibility and transport to air quality, and can't be relied upon to show up at the same time every year. They can last up to 10 days, and often trigger short sharp rain storms afterwards, which can cause some localised flooding.

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Lanzarote weather: summary

Given that Lanzarote's weather is generally dry, sunny and warm, we can't over emphasise how good the island is as a holiday destination from January to December. As for when to go, Lanzarote's weather follows a typical pattern of being hotter and drier in the summer, but the seasonal change is a gentle one.

Choosing when to go is really down to you and what you want from your holiday; if it's a beach break with all the trimmings you're best to aim for June to September. Every other month is just as great for those hoping to get a flavour of the local culture, cuisine and landscape.

If you're keen to experience Lanzarote weather for yourself in 2015/2016, you can find out more on the annual climate page or check to see what it will be like in the coming days with our five day forecast. Don't miss our dedicated Lanzarote holiday guide, which has everything from cheap deals and online discounts to information about where to go and what to do.

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Lanzarote weather by month

Check the weather in Lanzarote for a particular month by selecting from the list below.

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