What’s the Time Difference Between Britain and Tenerife?

Wed, October 24th, 2012 - By Jack Montgomery

Ask that question in a bar populated by bureaucracy battered ex-pats and the answer could be anything from between 10 and 30 years.

Whilst many a true word is spoken in jest, the true answer is there is no time difference between Britain and Tenerife.

British time and Tenerife are one and the same – always. When the clocks in the UK spring forward, so do Tenerife’s and when they fall back, Tenerife’s falls back with them.


Sunset Costa Adeje

It’s one of those little things that people struggle to get their heads around, probably because many people know for a fact that Spain is an hour ahead of the UK and Tenerife is in Spain.

However although Tenerife is a part of Spain, geographically it lies off the coast of West Africa. It’s nowhere near the Spanish mainland. The Canary Islands and Tenerife, like Britain, fall into the Western European Time Zone whereas Spain falls into the Central European Time Zone.

This hour’s time difference between Tenerife and Spain fuels a bit of ribbing between Spanish mainlanders and the islanders with some mainlanders joking (or half-joking) that the islanders will always be behind them… by at least an hour.

The positive spin from Tenerife is that on the islands you get una hora mas (an hour more) than on the mainland.


Moon above North Tenerife

Although Tenerife shares the same time zone as Britain, daylight hours differ by quite a bit. Because Tenerife is way, way further south it doesn’t get as dark as early during winter. But, on the other hand, it doesn’t stay as light as late during summer.

In summer months the latest it stays light on Tenerife is about 9.30pm, whereas in winter the earliest it gets dark is between 6.30 and 7pm.

These are general times because, although Tenerife is a relatively small island, having Spain’s highest mountain, Mount Teide, in the centre can mean there’s 20 minutes or more between when it gets light/dark from one part of the island to another.

In Santa Cruz in the east, it’s light as soon as the sun starts to rise above the horizon, whereas people in Garachico have to wait until the golden orb clears a mountain range as well, but that does mean they have it lighter later at night.


Sunset behind La Gomera from Playa de la Arena, Tenerife

Apart from the mountains, there are other little things that affect daylight hours. La Gomera is one of them. In resorts like Playa de la Arena or Los Gigantes in the south west, the sun sets behind the La Gomera. On the north west coast at Puerto de la Cruz, there’s no La Gomera to get in the way, so the setting sun comes right down the town’s throat until it disappears below the horizon; something that earned the town the title of the golden port in days of yore.

Basically what all this means is that whatever time of year you visit Tenerife, you’re going to enjoy a lot of daylight hours. When it gets to the point where it’s dark in the late afternoon in blighty, the sun will still have hours left to shine on Tenerife.

Posted : Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 at 10:31 am
Category : about tenerife
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