Averages for Playa de la Arena in January
Not many are the places in the world that usually have perfect weather, but Playa de la Arena, along with the rest of the splendid island of Tenerife, are among these superb patches of dry land blessed with a mild tropical climate. The average temperature is January is 17°C (63°F), with the nights sufficiently warm and pleasant at 14°C. The hotter days can reach up to 19°C on the high average, and humidity is steady and low at 75%, which is the mos...
Not many are the places in the world that usually have perfect weather, but Playa de la Arena, along with the rest of the splendid island of Tenerife, are among these superb patches of dry land blessed with a mild tropical climate. The average temperature is January is 17°C (63°F), with the nights sufficiently warm and pleasant at 14°C. The hotter days can reach up to 19°C on the high average, and humidity is steady and low at 75%, which is the most to expect out of this island throughout the entire year.
The days are relatively short, with up to 8 hours of sunshine, and a whopping 80% chance of sunny days over the month. Rest assured that this percentage likes to stay up there in this part of the Canary Islands. Chances of clouds are low at 5% on average, and chances of rain are a mere 5%. This roughly translates into sunshine galore and barely any noticeable rain. In fact, precipitation should not exceed 25mm, spread over up to 6 days on average and yes, that is the most you will get in terms of rain if you are looking to spend your winter in Tenerife.
However, what is characteristic to Playa de la Arena, given its positioning on the west coast of the island, is a high volume of winds. Chances of windy days are 60% on average, with wind speeds of 13mph, and most of them northern and north-eastern, mainly Atlantic and Moroccan influences, a mild combination of cool, warm and dry. The gorgeous Central Atlantic Ocean maintains an average temperature of 19°C (66°F). It is not the warmest but it sure beats the much lower temperatures present in continental regions. In fact, you can still go for a quick swim or a dip in the shallow parts of the waters, as most of the currents flowing around the island are warm enough to make aquatic activities very much enjoyable even in winter.
Where to Stay
An excellent choice of accommodation for your New Year's Eve celebrations would probably be the Barcelo Varadero, a splendiferous hotel resort offering superior apartments for just £58 per night for couples. The hotel includes a series of attractive features, such as a spa and fitness centre, a sumptuous sun terrace and a beautiful freeform pool. All the suites are modern and stylishly decorated, featuring a fully equipped kitchen, flat screen TV, lounge area and terrace overlooking the palm-lined complex or the beautiful ocean. Its minutes away from the main beach of Playa de la Arena and very close to the legendary Los Gigantes cliffs.
If you want to be within walking distance of a fun water park, you might as well book one of the £81-per-night apartments available at the Tamay 1-7, a pet-friendly hotel in Acantilado de Los Gigantes and just minutes away from Playa de la Arena. The majestic cliffs are only 100 yards away and you can certainly grab a drink at the on-site bar before you go on your walks. Some of the units feature a terrace or patio overlooking the ocean, and they all come fitted with air conditioning, flat screen TV, private bathroom and fully equipped kitchen. The hotel is also home to a tennis court and a mini golf course, as well as a fine dining restaurant. You can even arrange diving and snorkelling tours from the reception desk.
Hotel Rural El Navio (Adults Only) is an excellent way to reconnect with the stunning nature of Tenerife, without overlooking the comforts of high quality accommodation. You can get a twin room for £65 per night for couples, and enjoy your stay in the charming setting of a banana plantation about half a mile from Alcala Beach. This delightful resort features an outdoor swimming pool, while its rooms are decorated in a country style, with tiled floors and rustic furnishings. The hotel restaurant is well known for its variety of delicious homemade dishes – an authentic selection of local cuisine. There are also a lounge and a terrace, the latter from which you can just sit back and enjoy the breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Things to Do
The first thing you'll want to do upon arrival in Tenerife is immerse yourself into the young but fascinating local culture – and the best place to start is from the local markets, the bustling clusters of stalls selling healthy and delicious local produce, most of them exotic and not easy to get in regular supermarkets. Spend the first part of the day in the market at Los Cristianos, the island's biggest market. Lose yourself in the seemingly endless maze of street shops and stalls, browse through souvenirs, handmade jewellery, leather goods and other local arts and crafts out for sale. In addition, don't shy away from trying the fresh fruit and fish stalls that always line this market – all the produce is locally and responsibly sourced, while the fish is caught early in the morning. And if you run out of energy after all the browsing and most likely spending, you can always sit down and enjoy a coffee or cold lemonade at one of the many cafes and terraces lining the beach promenade.
Taking the Panoramic Teide Tour is an absolute and inevitable must-do when in Playa de la Arena. You cannot ignore the 12,402-foot mountain rising ever so gracefully from the centre of the island, even with your feet in the sand and ocean water splashing around. Mount Teide is Spain's tallest mountain, and a seemingly endless resource for stunning views of lush mountain sides, quaint villages and charming roads leading all the way down to the natural black beaches of Playa de la Arena.
The tour itself will take you along the slopes of the giant Teide, from Vilaflor – the highest settlement in Spain, to the craters of Roques de Garcia, which is best known for its intriguing views of oddly shaped rock formations and breath-taking views of the surrounding areas. You'll then make it to Orotova, on a guided tour of the beautiful historical town, and later on to Puerto de la Cruz for a refreshing and replenishing lunch. The tour will also show you Garachico, the town destroyed by volcanic eruptions, and the majestic thousand-year-old Dragon Tree at Icod de los Vinos. Just don't forget to bring your camera.
Hit the Beach
You can easily spend your days on the main beach of Playa de la Arena, a giant stretch of black volcanic sand, a natural and simply different feature of Tenerife. It is not every day that you get to lie on black sand while soaking in the glorious sun, so you might as well do it while you are here. The average temperatures may not be perfect for August-like shenanigans, but you can certainly enjoy yourself on any part of the shoreline. Take in the superb views of the deep blue ocean and the neighbouring island of La Gomera, and feel free to stop by one of the many cafes and terraces along the beach. This is one of Tenerife's most valuable jewels, the result of volcanic activities from aeons ago, and truly a remarkable sight.
Eat and Drink
We must say that what Playa de la Arena lacks in terms of buzzing and flashy nightlife, it certainly makes up in terms of cuisine and desserts. Macaronesia, for example, is somewhere close to legendary for the quality and undeniably good taste of its cakes, which are also available for takeaway. So you can certainly take one afternoon out of your holiday and stop by this delightful little cake shop, and let the artisanal goodness take over you.
Charlie's Bistro serves a delightful variety of Spanish and International cuisine, in a friendly and casual setting under the silent gaze of Los Gigantes. The staff is always extremely professional and very welcoming, the prices are more than reasonable and the quality of the food is flawless. The chefs take great pride in their method of cooking and the results are always scrumptious and Instagram-worthy. Try the lamb parcels along with a cold beer if you want to experience the full madness that is Charlie's Bistro.
The slightly more upscale but equally impressive Restaurante Domingo Terrazza should also be considered, for both dinner and lunch. Not aggressive towards the wallet, this venue makes a habit of serving generous portions of both Spanish and International specialities, as well as an impressive selection of seafood. The sauces and side dishes are absolutely to die for, and the meats are cooked close to perfection. The wines are also carefully selected to pair even with the prawns and avocado drowned in Marie Rose sauce, and the desserts are fantastic – so make sure you save room for that.