To visit Tenerife in May is to experience the largest Canary Island at its very best. Minimal rainfall and hot – but not scorching – temperatures makes the climate idyllic. In the north spring is still in evidence, while in the sun-drenched south it’s time to enjoy swimming in the warm ocean waters.
The weather in Tenerife in May is great – but as well as the climate, there are countless other reasons to visit Tenerife at this time.
Firstly, it is the low season. Until the school holidays start, you can enjoy a more peaceful stay on the island. As well as getting better deals on flights and accommodation.
Also, May is the time of the year when the true beach season starts in Tenerife. Even though you can sunbathe all year long here, May is the first month when you can comfortably swim in Tenerife’s waters. The average sea temperature rises then, following winter and early spring.
While Tenerife weather in May isn’t quite as hot as during the summer months, it’s more than warm to enjoy beach life to the full. It can be the best time to enjoy all the resort activities you’ll want to, without dealing with the scorching sun.
The average temperature is very pleasant in May, with only minimal chances of precipitation and low humidity – even in the north of the island. In the south the weather might be fast approaching summer temperatures, but in the north it is still true spring. Everything there is green, blooming and lush. A great time for hiking and enjoying nature.
Another reason to visit in May is the many festivities taking place then. Here is all you need to know about visiting the resorts, cities, towns and villages of the island in May.
After temperatures rising in April, May sees this trend continue on the islands of eternal spring. The weather forecast will show a higher maximum temperature, an earlier sunrise and a later sunset.
In the resorts served by Tenerife South Airport, you can expect the temperature to be around 23 to 25°C, during the day and in the shade. It will feel much hotter in the full glare of the sun, however. At night, the temperature drops to about 18 to 20°C. Some evenings with spring breezes can still feel a bit chilly, while others might make you feel as though it’s summer already.
The variation in rainfall levels and temperature vary quite a lot between the north and south of Tenerife during most of the year. But this is less apparent in May. For example in the northern resort of Puerto de la Cruz, the temperature ranges between 20 and 22°C during the daytime and 13 to 16°C at night.
We’ve created a table so you could compare the day and night temperatures in the southern resort of Playa de las Americas and the northern resort of Puerto de la Cruz in May 2022.
North vs South May Temperature Comparison Table
Sunshine and Rainfall
It’s not only a question of how hot is Tenerife in May. You can forget about rain at this time of year too. There should be zero rainy days in southern Tenerife during this month, and only one or two short showers in the northern parts. Expect more cloudy days in northern Tenerife, though.
The sun rises at around 7:15 am and sets at around 8:45 pm in May. So expect 13 and a half hours of daylight. Each day there’s around 10 hours of sunshine.
The UV levels are very high in the Canary Islands during May, so do take the right precautions.
In May, the water temperature is around 20 to 21°C. Unlike parts of mainland Spain, the water is warm enough here for comfort when taking a dip. The temperature increases a little towards the end of the month, as compared to early May. The ocean in Tenerife doesn’t get much warmer than this, in fact (it’s around 22°C in the middle of summer).
Generally, the ocean temperature is ideal for most in late spring. If you’d like to swim in warmer water, though, Siam water park and heated hotel pools also await.
What to Pack for Tenerife in May
Pack lightweight clothing for hot daytime weather, such as T-shirts, shorts, summer dresses and skirts.
Some evenings bring cooler temperatures, while others will be balmy. A t-shirt will be enough in many cases, though for chillier ones do pack a jumper, hoodie, cardigan or light jacket as an extra layer. These will come in handy for a cable car trip to the top of Teide too.
Suitable footwear choices are sandals and flip-flops. You’ll only need shoes if you plan to hike, so pack those too if you want to do that.
You’ll definitely need swimsuits in May, as well as sunglasses, a hat or cap and lots of sunscreen. We can’t emphasise the importance of the latter enough!
Events in May
The Corpus Christi celebrations of late May to mid-June are almost as marvellous as Carnaval. Corpus Christi festivals are held over an eight day period.
Huge artworks are central to these annual celebrations. Volcanic sand in a multitude of tones, flower petals and dyed salt is used to create the artworks that are displayed on paved ground. Often these have an Old Masters or religious theme.
La Laguna and La Orotava are the best places to see these in Tenerife. When flower petals are used, parades trample over these, releasing their fragrance into the air. In addition to religious celebrations, colourful Spanish fiestas with lots of music and dancing, plus good food and wine, also take place.
Fiestas de la Cruz
The Day of the Cross is marked on the 3rd May each year. The streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are decorated with crosses made from fruit and flowers. Santa Cruz celebrates its anniversary on the very same day.
During the evening, Los Realejos is packed with people from all over the island who come to see the processions and the fireworks show. Calle del Sol and Calle del Medio tend to engage in an annual battle at this time, competing to put on the most impressive display. Expect lots of drama, including smoke, explosions, fire, floral carpets, decorated cars, celebrational potato bakes and other spectacular events.
Day of the Canary Islands
The first session of Parliament in the Canaries is marked by a day of celebrations across the archipelago. You can see locals in traditional dress and the parties include lots of food, colour, music and dancing.
To see the fiestas at their best, wander through central Santa Cruz. A whole host of activities take place here on 30th May.
Tenerife Walking Festival
Tenerife Walking Festival is when trekkers from all over Europe descend on the island. This event showcases Tenerife’s finest hiking trails that criss-cross the landscape.
While hiking is of course central to the celebrations, other activities are also available to take part in. You can also congregate with other walkers at the meeting points, sharing experiences, ideas and tips.
If you want to sample some of the island’s beautiful hiking trails, then the Tenerife Walking Festival provides you with the perfect opportunity to do this. It’s equally popular with families, groups of hikers, couples and solo adventurers.
There are various levels and lengths of hike to choose from. You will need to book these online in advance. All the events of the festival are popular, and thus places do fill up very quickly.
Pros and Cons
To summarise, here are the main advantages and disadvantages of planning a May visit to Tenerife.
Pros of Visiting in May
- The weather is perfect – and as an added bonus it’s still the low season before the European school holidays start. So you can expect plenty of sunshine and little to no rain, together with better flight deals and cheaper accommodation.
- After winter and early spring the ocean is finally warm enough to comfortably swim in. Expect the water temperature to be around 20 to 21°C in May. In fact we could say that May marks the official opening of the beach season in Tenerife!
- Spotting the island’s beautiful flora is one of Tenerife’s most popular outdoor activities. While colourful flowers can be seen throughout the year, May and June are the top months for seeing the native flora at its finest.
- Surfing conditions are ideal in May, with big swells that put a smile on the face of local and visiting surfers. The southeastern resort of El Médano is particularly popular.
- During May, the Tenerife capital celebrates a variety of colourful occasions. There are thus lots of events to choose from when you want to enjoy an authentic, Canarian-style fiesta.
- One of the best things to do in May is to see Tajinaste, the archipelago’s endemic red plant, in bloom. The rare species exists throughout Teide National Park, and seeing it for yourself really is a special experience. The red flowers typically burst into flower from around the second week of the month, in late spring. The viewpoints at Llano de Ucanca and La Fortaleza are your best bet when you want to witness the majesty and colour of this natural phenomenon.
- May is the perfect month for hiking in Tenerife. Firstly, it’s not yet as hot as in the summer months of June, July and August. Also, the northern part of the island is still lush and green, as it’s still spring there. As compared to the preceding spring months of March and April, there’s normally only a few rain showers in the north during May as compared with the earlier, wetter months.
Cons of Visiting in May
- We honestly cannot think of a single disadvantage of visiting Tenerife in May. It’s truly the perfect time of year for a holiday on the island!