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A difinitive guide to the largest of the Canary Islands, plus its closest neighbour La Gomera. It includes reviews of accomodation, restaurants, and nightlife; accounts of all the sights and activities; and coverage of the islands' culture, history and wildlife.
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Christian Williams is an experienced travel writer. He is currently working on The Rough Guide to the Rockies.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
CLIMATE AND WHEN TO GO
For islands at this latitude, level with Morocco 300km to the west, their climate is generally milder than you’d expect - mainly thanks to the northeast trade winds – but also because of the cool Canary current in the surrounding Atlantic ocean. As a result the variation around the islands is marked and since there is only relatively minimal seasonal change the choice of where to go tends to be as important as when.
Winds and currents have the greatest effect on climate on the north side of the island, where northern slopes catch cool trade winds, forming a cloud base that results in less sunshine, more rain and cooler temperatures than at the southern end of the island. The only wind that affects the south is an occasional hot, dry, gentle and dusty Calima blowing from the Sahara – sometimes for days at a time. The climatic table below summarises variation around the island using data from the coastal resorts of Puerto Cruz in the north and Los Cristianos in the south. This pattern of variation also exists on La Gomera which, though tending to be a little cooler all round than Tenerife, also has a colder, wetter north and sunnier, drier south. Moving inland from the coast to higher ground on both islands, temperatures become progressively cooler, with Mount Teide often experiencing freezing temperatures and occasionally snow cover.
So, holiday-makers intent on spending time on sunny beaches would do best to stay in the south of either island at any time of year, while those seeking an active holiday in the summer, would be best off in the cooler north. Spring (March–May) is a particularly pleasant time for outdoor activities since many endemic species flower at this time.
Thus, with remarkably little variation year round in the weather conditions in the Canaries, the peak times for tourists to visit reflect the weather conditions back home rather than on the islands. Thus, the busiest times to visit – and in contrast to resorts on the Spanish mainland – are from mid-December to February, when many northern Europeans are keen to escape long and dreary winters. The islands are also popular at Easter and during summer holidays (June–Sept) when the nightlife in the resorts gets particularly busy and numbers are further bolstered by visitors from the Spanish mainland, arriving to escape the heat of their plains. There’s a slight low season between these times (March, May, Oct & Nov) – with the notable exception of the carnival period (Feb or March), when Santa Cruz is at its busiest; an excellent time to catch the island’s native nightlife in full swing.
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Book Description Rough Guides, 2001. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1858286654
Book Description Rough Guides, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1858286654