Sunbathing and Swimming on Tenerife in Winter

Wed, December 15th, 2010 - By Jack Montgomery

The last time we were on any beach in Tenerife was for about an hour at the end of August when we took time out to stretch out on Playa del Duque. Despite being determined to clock up more beach time since then we’ve never quite managed it, but a couple of friends who’d swapped Britain’s icy grasp for Puerto de la Cruz this week persuaded us to swap the keyboard for a sunbed on Playa Jardín.

Although the forecast had been for a mix of cloud and rain, the sky was blue and almost cloudless. With snow on Mount Teide’s slopes providing a dramatic backdrop and temperatures hitting the 24C mark it was perfect conditions for sunbathing.

Our friends Martin and Anne have been regular visitors to Puerto de la Cruz since we moved here seven years ago. Normally they have their teenage children with friends in tow, all of whom view the lively waves at Playa Jardín as nature’s version of a water park. This year they were children free so Martin and I weren’t able to use ‘we’re keeping an eye on the kids’ as an excuse for throwing ourselves about in the waves like a couple of fourteen year olds with middle-age spreads – but that didn’t stop us.

Even though sea temperatures vary by only a couple of degrees between summer and winter, it’s hard to shift the idea that it is December and therefore the water is going to be Baltic. A couple of rogue waves that lapped at our thighs on the way in did produce some embarrassingly loud high-pitched gasps, but once we’d battled our way beyond the waves and submerged our bodies, the temperature turned out to be pleasantly comfortable.

Playa Jardín experiences high waves almost continuously at this time of year and the current can be quite powerful. Even though a yellow flag was flying, and Martin and I are strong swimmers, trying to make any headway at all was a real energy sapper. In fact we spent most of the time going backwards as the sea mischievously positioned us in the best spot for a pummelling by 10 foot waves – that’s the fun part.
After an exhausting, but exhilarating half hour battle against nature we threw in the towel and gasped our way back up the beach to regale Andy and Anne with tales of bravery and derring do before recovering from the ordeal by getting prone under a benevolent sun.

A lot of people coming to Tenerife want to know if you can swim in the sea in winter. The answer is clearly yes, but at Playa Jardín only if you’re a confident swimmer. If you’re nervous at all in the water head to one of the calm lagoons at Lago Martiánez, or simply do what Andy and Anne did – lie back, relax and enjoy the sun’s embrace while reminding yourself this is December and it is 24C.

Posted : Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 at 10:19 am
Category : beaches
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