Are you wondering what Lanzarote in December is like?
You’re in luck: our guest blogger Lewis has been to the island a few times for a pre-Christmas trip, and has plenty to report on when it comes to December sun on this Canary Island!
When the temperature drops on the rest of the continent, Lanzarote still enjoys some sunshine and warm weather.
Plus, unique festive celebrations make this a December destination to seriously consider.
What’s Lanzarote in December like?
Lanzarote’s world-renowned for its incredible volcanic landscape – which is just as appealing in the winter months.
Situated off the coast of North Africa, Lanzarote boasts year-round sunshine, dramatic landscapes, and glorious beaches, which are, of course, appealing when looking for a winter break away.
The temperatures aren’t quite as warm as Europe in the summer, but if you’re coming from Northern Europe or North America, the climate will be incredibly welcoming!
Plus, festive celebrations run throughout the month; and while they may not be traditional, they’re appealing in their own way.
Let’s take a look at what a December trip to Lanzarote looks like!
Reasons to visit Lanzarote in December
From a holiday season with a difference to winter sunshine and plenty of outdoor activities, here are the top reasons to visit Lanzarote in December!
1. Buzzing Energy and Festival Spirit
Who doesn’t want to experience a fun-filled holiday season?
One of the main reasons to visit Lanzarote in December is to experience the buzz and energy of the island in the lead-up to Christmas and the impending New Year.
While the island is excellent to visit at any time of the year, there is nothing quite like experiencing the charm, the local traditions, and the festivals in December.
Expect festive lights to illuminate the streets, loved ones gathering, and Christmas music playing around you.
2. Christmas Markets
When thinking of Christmas markets, you might imagine Germany, France, or Austria, but what if we told you that the sunny island of Lanzarote also has some exceptional Christmas markets?
Each municipality on the island has its own Christmas Guide and program each year, so you won’t miss a thing, no matter where you are based.
One of the main Christmas markets to visit in Lanzarote is the Arrecife Christmas market in the capital, which has lots in store each year.
You can shop for local wines, pick up handcrafted gifts, indulge in local delicacies and mingle with locals, all while soaking up a sea view.
3. Winter Sun
Truth be told, Lanzarote can be pretty hot at certain times of the year, but one of the best things about the island is that it does boast year-round sun.
The winters in Lanzarote are ideal since they are mild and comfortable, allowing you to enjoy your surroundings and soak up much-needed Vitamin D!
Temperatures average between 18-22C (64-72F), which makes it a perfect winter escape, especially if you are coming from a country that experiences harsh winters.
If you want to make the most of the last month of the year, bask in the sunshine in Lanzarote!
4. Rancho Texas Christmas Eve Party
If you plan to spend Christmas in Lanzarote, you can’t miss the island’s best Christmas Eve party at Rancho Texas.
This western-themed winter wonderland is a family-friendly event that allows children to meet Father Christmas and be guided through the impressive cactus garden.
You’ll love Western-style BBQ with lots of festive extras, allowing you to experience the wild west at Christmas time.
There are horse and pony rides for the children, live bands, a whip and lasso show, and plenty of opportunities to put those dancing shoes on.
5. Outdoor Adventures
One of the top reasons you must visit Lanzarote in December is to take advantage of the mild weather when you can get out and enjoy all the island offers.
From the incredible Timanfaya National Park to the island’s best wineries, you’ll be inundated with activities to undertake on the island.
If you fancy going out and enjoying some sports, December is the perfect month to visit; it’s not too hot, but warm enough to enjoy yourself in the great outdoors!
Enjoy running, cycling, golf, and all kinds of watersports without humidity and hot temperatures.
Despite being less than half the size of neighboring Tenerife, if you’re looking for an active vacation, the island rivals most with its outdoor activities.
From Volcano buggy tours and Aquaparks to the famous Cueva de los Verdes caves and lava tube, there’s something for everyone here!
6. Dia de los Santos Inocentes (Day of the Holy Innocents)
The Day of the Holy Innocents occurs each year across Spain and its islands on December 28th.
Some compare this iconic prank day to April Fool’s Day, and if you visit Lanzarote around this time, it will undoubtedly be a memorable and downright hilarious experience!
You’ll need to be on the lookout if you’re on the island on the 28th, as this is a day of pranks, foolery, laughter, and complete mischief – some of which have been in the works for a whole year!
It might be your restaurant waiter who plays a trick on you, or you could see something in the local newspaper that’s a complete fabrication!
If you play a trick on someone, rather than say “April Fools!” to them, you should say “Inocentes, Inocentes”, which means “innocent, innocent”!
7. Sea Swimming
If you fancy a sea swim in December, chances are you won’t take the leap and dive headfirst into the Baltic Sea, Atlantic Ocean, or even the Med, for that matter – it’s just too cold (Editors note: I managed a swim when I was in Malaga last December, but I wasn’t in for very long!).
Since Lanzarote boasts an average of six hours of sunshine per day in December and is located off the coast of Africa, sea swimming on the island is possible.
The average sea temperature in Lanzarote is 20C in December, which makes it just about warm enough for swimming comfortably – although if you’re used to more tropical waters, you might still find it a little on the chilly side.
That being said, the sea temperature drops in the new year, with January and February being the coldest months sea water-wise in Lanzarote!
8. Experience a Sunny Christmas Day
How could we have a list of the main reasons to visit Lanzarote in December without including a sunny Christmas experience?
After all, this is one of the main reasons people visit this time of year.
It’s hard to believe that within Europe, it is possible to celebrate Christmas in shorts and a T-shirt, but in Lanzarote, it’s more than possible!
If you are looking for a Christmas like no other, Lanzarote is your place.
You can expect to experience all the usual festive features you would do at home, like nativity scenes, Christmas lights, Christmas music, plenty of festivals, and local celebrations, just with the bonus of warmth and sun.
9. Best month for Surfing
Apart from the obvious reasons to visit Lanzarote in December, like the glorious sunshine and fantastic festivities, there’s also excellent surf! (We know, it’s the gift that keeps on giving).
While December is not suitable for beginner surfers, it is the perfect month for experienced surfers to take on the incredible waves at one of the best surfing spots in Europe.
Known as ‘The Atlantic Hawaiian’, Lanzarote is a haven for surfers who take advantage of the numerous prime surfing spots around the island.
The enormous waves in December can reach 1.5m-4m.
Not a pro surfer? It’s enjoyable enough to watch the experts tackle the waves!
10. New Year’s Eve Celebrations
One of the best times to visit the Canary Islands has to be New Year!
Lanzarote offers fireworks on the beach, balmy temperatures of 20-23C (68-73F), energetic parties, and live music around the island.
Whether you want to celebrate in a romantic oceanfront restaurant, dance the night away at a beach party, or enjoy a family-friendly celebration, Lanzarote has it all.
Many bars and restaurants run their parties and events, but you will also find public celebrations in the main towns and resorts.
11. You Can See Dolphins!
One of the top reasons to visit Lanzarote in December is to witness the wildlife, especially the dolphins, prevalent in the island’s winter waters.
(Editor’s note: I saw them in Tenerife in winter too!).
December is an ideal time to take a daytime or sunset cruise to spot these incredible creatures.
Whales can be spotted occasionally but dolphins are much more likely to be seen.
It’s very rare to spot dolphins in other parts of Europe in December – most of them are hanging out here, in Lanzarote!
Things to consider for Lanzarote in December
Here are a few things you need to know to make your trip hassle-free when planning your December trip to Lanzarote:
- Peak season: Unlike the rest of Europe, December is one of the peak times to visit Lanzarote, so it is advisable to book your flights, hotels, tours and any festive events well in advance.
- Cooler evenings: The evenings can be cool on the island, so be prepared by packing something warm to wear when the sun goes down.
- Rainfall: Occasional rainfall is possible in December, so always have an umbrella with you or a lightweight waterproof coat – don’t worry, they don’t last long.
- Car hire: Hiring a car is one of the best ways to see as much as possible during your time on the island, and it allows you to get off the beaten path. December is the perfect time to get out and about, and having a car makes it much more manageable!
Weather in Lanzarote in December
Lanzarote’s position off the coast of Africa means it enjoys a subtropical climate – and the winters are warm and sunny.
December’s one of the cooler months on this Canary Island, daytime temperatures still typically hover around a pleasant 20°C, while evenings cool down slightly.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown:
|Average high temperature
|Average low temperature
|Days of rain
What to pack for Lanzarote in December
While packing for Lanzarote in December, don’t forget to include a lightweight jacket or sweater. The evenings can get a bit cool, especially if you’re planning on dining al fresco or taking in some of the local nightlife.
A pair of comfortable walking shoes is essential if you plan to explore Lanzarote’s unique volcanic landscapes or charming towns.
As the island enjoys a significant amount of sunshine even in December, don’t forget your sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat.
Do you want to get close to Lanzarote’s marine life? Don’t forget to pack a snorkel.
The sea temperature in December is usually around 19°C – cool but not cold – and there are plenty of fis to see!
Don’t forget your power bank and adaptors.
You’ll be taking a lot of pictures of the beautiful island, and you don’t want to run out of battery!
Even though December is one of the wetter months in Lanzarote, it still only averages about three rainy days.
But pack a light raincoat or umbrella just in case you encounter a short shower during your visit!
Things to do in Lanzarote in December
Here are some of the best things to do in Lanzarote in December. For a full break down of the best cooler season activities, take a look at my Lanzarote in winter guide.
- Take a tour of Timanfaya National Park to witness its surreal, moon-like landscape shaped by historic volcanic activity.
- Visit César Manrique’s home in Tahiche, designed by the artist himself and built into a series of underground lava bubbles.
- Explore the beautiful Cueva de los Verdes, a unique lava tube that offers guided tours.
- Visit the Mirador del Rio, a viewpoint designed by César Manrique that offers stunning views over the sea to La Graciosa island.
- Stroll around Teguise, the oldest Spanish settlement in the Canary Islands, and if you’re there on a Sunday, enjoy its bustling market.
- Spend a day at Playa Blanca, a resort area known for its pristine beaches and bustling marina.
- Visit the Jardín de Cactus, another of César Manrique’s creations, showcasing over a thousand types of cacti.
- Discover Arrecife, Lanzarote’s capital, known for its charming streets, historic fortress and vibrant markets.
- Take a boat trip to the nearby island of La Graciosa, with its beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere.
- Visit the Los Jameos del Agua, a series of interconnected lava caves that host a concert hall, restaurant, pool, and a unique species of blind white crab.
- Relax at Papagayo Beach, renowned for its white sands, clear waters, and striking cliffs.
- Visit the Lagomar Museum, a unique house and museum that was once owned by actor Omar Sharif.
- Explore El Golfo, a green lagoon set in a volcanic crater on the island’s western coast.
- Check out the local produce and crafts at the Haría Market, taking place every Saturday in the town square.
- Hike the Risco de Famara, a cliff offering stunning views over the island and sea, especially beautiful at sunset.
Are you ready to visit Lanzarote in December?
Dive into Lanzarote in December, one of the peak months to visit this subtropical island. It’s a Christmas with a difference, and one you won’t be forgetting!
About the author
Lewis Ogden is a UK-based entrepreneur, travel enthusiast, dad, husband, and the founder and owner of WayToStay.com.
Lewis started WayToStay to share his own travel experiences and provide epic free travel guides.
He caught the travel bug back in 2009 on a trip to Italy with his wife and has visited many different countries each year since.