Tenerife in May: the weather and best activities for your holiday

Located off the African coast in the azure Atlantic Ocean, Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands. With its uniquely diverse landscapes, enchanting cultural treasures, and vivacious touristic hotspots, this island stirs the hearts of thousands of travellers. This article endeavours to explore the suitability of Tenerife as a destination during the month of May.

If one were to simplify the answer to whether May is a good time to visit Tenerife, it would unequivocally be a 'yes'. The favourable climate conditions, blooming natural beauty, and balanced tourist influx during this period enhance the overall experience of the island, allowing visitors to savour its charm in an unhurried manner.

Overview of Tenerife's Climate

Blessed with what many refer to as an 'eternal spring', Tenerife offers pleasant weather conditions year-round, making it an attractive destination irrespective of the season. Its subtropical climate ensures mild winters and warm summers, with temperatures rarely going to extremes. North-east trade winds and the Gulf Stream contribute to this benevolent climate, offering travellers a delightful weather experience.

Tenerife weather in May

As May heralds the onset of summer, Tenerife experiences an average daytime temperature of around 24C (75F), while the night-time temperature drops to a comfortable 17C (63F). The general trend indicates a gradual increase in warmth throughout the day, making it ideal for sunbathing or simply basking in the sun's warmth at leisure. Thus, the temperature is quite pleasant, neither too hot nor cold, making it a favourable time for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

Tenerife weather temperature in May

With the advent of May, Tenerife enjoys extended daylight hours, giving visitors ample time to explore the island. A typical day in May witnesses around 14 hours of daylight. The Island of Eternal Spring basks in an average of 9 to 10 hours of sunshine per day during this month. While occasional cloud cover might occur, especially in the northern parts of the island, clear, sunny days are more prevalent.

Tenerife sunshine hot in May

May is one of the driest months in Tenerife, with average rainfall recorded at a scanty 6mm. The number of rainy days is typically minimal, usually not exceeding two or three days in the entire month. Therefore, travellers can enjoy the island largely without the concern of rainfall spoiling their plans. As for snow, it is rare and generally confined to the peak of Mount Teide during the winter months, and is therefore not a consideration for May.

Tenerife rain wet in May

As for the sea, the water begins to warm up in May, with an average sea temperature of around 20C (68F). Though slightly on the cooler side, it is generally warm enough for most visitors to enjoy a refreshing swim or indulge in water sports. As with any aquatic activity, individual comfort levels can vary, so while some may find the water perfectly agreeable, others may deem it a tad cool.

Tenerife sea temperature in May

May strikes a harmonious balance between the bustling high season and the quieter low season in Tenerife. The island doesn't experience the same overwhelming rush as the summer months, making it a perfect time for travellers who prefer a more relaxed, less crowded atmosphere.

Financially, May can be quite appealing for the budget-conscious traveller. With the tourist rush yet to reach its peak, hotels and rental rooms often present enticing offers and deals. However, it's advisable to book in advance to secure the best options.

For families with young children, May poses an excellent opportunity. The pleasant weather, paired with the slightly less hectic pace, creates a suitable environment for family outings. School vacations in many countries also coincide with this period, enhancing its appeal for family vacations.

The majority of tourists visiting Tenerife in May originate from Western European countries, including the UK, Germany, and Spain. Their choice is often influenced by the agreeable transition of weather from spring to early summer in Tenerife, contrasting the still cool temperatures in their home countries.

With these factors considered, it's easy to see why Tenerife is a beloved destination in May. Offering agreeable weather, ample sunshine, minimal rainfall, and inviting sea temperatures, the island extends an open invitation to those seeking a perfect spring getaway.

Clothes to pack for May in Tenerife

When it comes to packing for a visit to Tenerife in May, prioritise comfort and versatility. With the island's pleasant daytime temperatures, light, breathable clothing such as t-shirts, shorts, and sundresses are ideal. However, do pack a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. A swimsuit is a must for those who plan on enjoying the sea, and comfortable shoes are necessary for exploring the island’s diverse terrains.

Don't forget your sun protection essentials - a hat, sunglasses, and high-factor sun cream, as the sun in May can be strong. In Tenerife, where temperatures remain comfortable but the sun is potent, these items are key to a comfortable and health-conscious vacation.

The best months to visit Tenerife

Among the top months to visit Tenerife, May, June, and September stand out. These months provide a sweet spot, offering warm temperatures without the intense heat of high summer. Furthermore, these months fall just outside the peak tourist season, which means fewer crowds, more affordable accommodation, and an overall calmer atmosphere, all while enjoying the island's attractions under plenty of sunshine.

The worst months to visit Tenerife

Although Tenerife boasts an 'eternal spring' climate, August can be challenging for some visitors. This is the peak of summer, with temperatures sometimes rising above 30C (86F), which can be uncomfortable for those unaccustomed to such heat. Moreover, August coincides with European school holidays, which leads to a significant influx of tourists, making popular sites crowded and accommodation prices more expensive.

Fantastic activities for Tenerife during May

Mount Teide: As the crown jewel of Tenerife, a trip to Mount Teide, Spain's highest peak, is a must. May's pleasant temperatures make the journey enjoyable. Ride the cable car to the summit, experience breathtaking views, and explore the Martian-like landscapes.

Masca Village: Nestled amidst towering mountains and verdant greenery, Masca Village provides a tranquil escape. Stroll through its quaint lanes, admire its traditional Canarian architecture, and if you're adventurous, hike the Masca Gorge to the sea.

Whale and Dolphin Watching: May's calm sea conditions are perfect for a boat trip to see the dolphins and whales that inhabit Tenerife's waters. Marvel at these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, a truly unforgettable experience.

Beaches: Tenerife's beaches are a delight in May. Whether you prefer the golden sands of Las Teresitas or the unique black volcanic beaches like Playa Jardin, the island offers something for every beach lover. Enjoy sunbathing, swimming, or water sports.

Siam Park: Voted as one of the best water parks in the world, Siam Park offers an exciting day out for the entire family. With water slides, a lazy river, and even a wave pool, the fun is endless and well suited to May's warm weather.

Santa Cruz: Take a day to explore Santa Cruz, Tenerife's capital. Visit the Auditorio de Tenerife, shop at the bustling local markets, or simply enjoy the city's lively atmosphere and unique architecture.

Botanical Gardens: May, with its blooming flora, is a great time to visit Tenerife's botanical gardens. Both the Botanical Garden in Puerto de la Cruz and the Palmetum in Santa Cruz will impress with their exotic plant collections.

Stargazing: Thanks to its clear skies, Tenerife is one of the best places in the world for stargazing. Visit the Teide Observatory or simply find a quiet spot to gaze at the night sky.

Wine Tasting: Tenerife's wine heritage is rich and vibrant. Visit a local winery, learn about the unique volcanic soils, and taste some exquisite Canarian wines.

Historical Sites: Explore Tenerife's history by visiting sites like the ancient Dragon Tree in Icod, the historic town of La Laguna, or the mysterious Pyramids of Güímar.