Christmas in the Canary Islands: where and how to celebrate these holidays 🎅🏝️

Canary Islands Christmas
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Christmas in the Canary Islands is an unique experience that attracts travellers from Spain and all over the world every year. With its warm climate, unique traditions and breathtaking scenery, the Canaries offer a different and enchanting way to experience this special time of year.

🎄 Wait… Do people celebrate Christmas in the Canaries?

Yes, of course!… Despite its subtropical climate, Christmas in the Canaries is celebrated with great enthusiasm. The islands are decked out in lights and Christmas decorations, creating a magical contrast with their beaches and volcanic landscapes, where – except for great peaks such as Mount Teidesnow is just an unknown concept. Canarian traditions are mixed with the most universal customs, creating a unique Christmas. Everywhere, from the village squares to the shops and businesses, there is a festive and welcoming atmosphere, with endless activities for all ages, from concerts to shows for children.

☀️ What is the weather like in the Canaries at Christmas?

The Canaries at Christmas enjoy a fantastic weather, with daytime temperatures varying between 19ºC and 26ºC. At night, the thermometer stays around 17ºC and very rarely drops below 15ºC, offering a cool and pleasant atmosphere and making it the perfect destination for those looking to escape from the winter cold.

This climate allows visitors and locals to enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities, such as walks on the beach or hikes in nature… something unthinkable in many other parts of the world at this time of year.

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🎁 How is Christmas celebrated in the Canary Islands?

Christmas in the Canary Islands is a beautiful mix of religious ceremonies, carol concerts and Christmas markets. Gastronomy plays a crucial role, with typical Christmas dishes and sweets varying from island to island. It is also common for families to gather on the beach to enjoy the food and the good weather. Nativity scenes and nativity plays are also deeply-rooted traditions on the islands, where the community comes together to revive the spirit of Christmas.

In the Canary Islands, Christmas Eve is the most important Christmas celebration. Imagine a festive dinner filled with delicious typical dishes and flavours characteristic of the islands for this special occasion. During the Christmas season in the Canary Islands, trucha de batata (sweet potato trout) is the main dessert. These delicious puff pastries are typically filled with a mixture of sweet potatoes and almonds; variants include alternative fillings such as angel hair pasta, and even sweet options such as cream or chocolate.

During these holidays, the streets and squares come alive with lively street parties, Christmas carol singing choirs and colourful processions. However, it is important to remember that on December 25th, most restaurants are closed, and those that are open tend to be very busy: so, it is advisable to make reservations in advance if you want to enjoy an authentic Christmas feast with a Canarian taste.

Christmas holidays in the Canary Islands

🏝️ Best places to spend Christmas holidays in the Canary Islands 

If, like many others, you are planning a trip to the Canary Islands for Christmas, and wondering which island to choose, we have to tell you that each island offers something special. Tenerife and Gran Canaria are perhaps the most popular for their vibrant festivities and wide range of tourist attractions. In Gran Canaria, the festivities are filled with lights and colours, with vibrant nightlife and cultural shows that capture the essence of the season. And in Tenerife, nativity scenes and beach celebrations offer an unforgettable Christmas experience.

But don’t underestimate the charm of the rest of the archipelago, where each island brings its own magic to Christmas. Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are ideal for a quieter experience, in contact with nature. In Lanzarote, for example, Christmas is celebrated with a unique charm, mixing local traditions with a festive and welcoming atmosphere.

On La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro you can also experience a more traditional and relaxed Christmas, ideal for those looking to relax and enjoy nature in a more intimate, family atmosphere. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Christmas nativity scenes, a deeply-rooted tradition in all the islands. If you plan to stay a few days, you can also enjoy the celebrations of the 6th of January: according to popular tradition, the Three Wise Men arrive on their camels by ferry to deliver gifts to every corner of the Canary Islands.

Don’t forget to enjoy the typical Canarian sweets, which add a special flavour to these holidays. And, of course, let yourself be carried away by the music of the Ranchos de Pascua, local groups that roam the streets with their traditional melodies, filling every corner of the islands with the Canarian Christmas spirit.

🌟 What can I do in the Canary Islands at Christmas?

During the Canary Islands Christmas, the options are endless. From strolling through Christmas markets to taking part in outdoor activities such as hiking or water sports. The islands also offer a rich cultural offer with concerts, exhibitions and other events typical of the Christmas season. It is also an ideal time to explore the rich nature of the islands, with their unique flora and fauna, or simply relax on one of the many beaches and enjoy the winter sun, without the overcrowding of summer.

At this time of year, the Canary Islands are home to unique festivities and very singular traditions. From bathing in the sea to celebrate the New Year, a practice that symbolises purification and good luck, to admiring the artistic nativity scenes, such as the impressive Belén de Arena (Sand Nativity Scene) in Playa de las Canteras in Las Palmas, or the famous living nativity scenes in Tinajo, Lanzarote. Music also plays an important role with the Ranchos de Pascua, the Canarian version of Christmas carols, which fill the streets with traditional Canarian melodies.

Do not also forget that in the Canary Islands, in addition to the traditional Three Kings Parade, there is a special performance known as the “Autos de Reyes” (Three Kings Play). This is a dramatisation of the journey of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem, which takes place in various villages, such as Garafía in La Palma, which is reputed to be the oldest in the Canary Islands.

Food is an essential part of the celebration, with specialities such as the aforementioned trucha de batata, which you should absolutely try. For food enthusiasts who celebrate the festivities by savouring culinary delights, Canarian cuisine is a real feast: you can’t miss papas arrugadas con mojo, an iconic dish of the islands. Other traditional dishes include rancho canario, sancocho, potaje de berros, puchero canario, or the nutritious escaldón de gofio.

✨ 6 reasons to celebrate Christmas in the Canary Islands

In short, these are the main reasons that should encourage you to spend one Christmas holiday in your life – at least – in the Canary Islands:

  • Warm weather: forget the cold and enjoy the beach… Even in December!
  • A mix of traditions: on the islands you will find a perfect balance between Canarian traditions and the most universal Christmas festivities.
  • Exquisite gastronomy: it is without doubt a unique opportunity to savour typical Christmas dishes with a Canarian touch.
  • Endless activities: from relaxing on the beach to enjoying the local culture, no one can deny that Christmas in the Canary Islands is a very original plan.
  • Unique landscapes: Can you imagine enjoying a view of volcanoes, forests and beaches while celebrating your Christmas?
  • Canarian hospitality: what could be better than enjoying these special holidays surrounded by the warmth of the Canarian people, who make you feel at home.

In summary, experiencing Christmas in the Canary Islands is not just a celebration, it is all an experience that combines the unique beauty of the islands with a different and original festive atmosphere. With its ideal weather, authentic traditions and wide variety of activities, the Canary Islands are undoubtedly the perfect place to experience unforgettable holidays: come and discover by yourself why so many travellers choose to spend their Christmas on these islands! 🥂🏝️

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