Weather and Climate in Lanzarote

by Nicola Quinn
'View on Lanzarote island from an airplane' - Lanzarote
'View on Lanzarote island from an airplane' chbaum / Shutterstock

Lanzarote enjoys a superb climate with high temperatures, very low rainfall and almost endless sunshine throughout the year. Due to being the most easterly positioned Canary Island, closest to the Western Sahara and Morocco, Lanzarote is generally the hottest of the islands.

Although most of the island is quite flat, there are two low mountain ranges which partially block the north eastern trade winds and the blistering westerly African winds. It’s due to these mountain ranges that the western side of Lanzarote – which includes Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca, Yaiza and Timanfaya National Park – is typically drier and hotter than the eastern side of the island.

Not only do the mountain ranges affect the climate, but they also affect the landscape. The dry, western side of the island is where you’ll find desert-like volcanic surroundings which are often compared to the surface of Mars. On the other hand, the eastern side of Lanzarote is much greener and features a lot more plant life.

The day-to-day weather in Lanzarote is very predictable – long, sun-kissed days and short, pleasant nights are the norm – so you’ll never need to think long and hard about what clothes to pack. The best time of year to visit Lanzarote is May-June and September-October. During these months, daily sunshine is almost guaranteed and the temperatures are wonderfully warm without being too hot.

August is the hottest time of the year, when temperatures can reach up to a staggering 30°C during the hottest part of the day. These temperatures can be closer to 40°C if there is a calima – hot and dusty weather caused by Saharan sand storms being blown over the sea. Rainfall is practically unheard of during the summer months, whilst clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine are almost guaranteed.

On the other hand, January is the coolest time to visit Lanzarote, when temperatures can drop as low as a chilly 14°C. Calimas aren’t just restricted to summer and temperatures can soar up to 30°C during winter if the island is subject to a calima. You’re still likely to experience some sunshine if you visit during winter, but you’ll probably also get your fair share of clouds and overcast days, too. Rainfall is likely during winter and usually comes in the form of very short downfalls which tend to last less than 20 minutes.

Due to its location and geographical features, Lanzarote is subject to blustery winds no matter which time of year you visit. These winds are generally stronger toward the west and the coast and die out the further inland you travel.

Whatever the weather in Lanzarote, you’ll always have plenty of things to see and do during your visit. Hot sunny days are ideal for lounging by the pool or spending a day at the water park, whereas cool cloudy days are perfect for exploring Timanfaya National Park or enjoying a round of golf.