Sailing in Tenerife

The largest of the seven major Canary Islands, and the most populous, with around 900.000 inhabitants, Tenerife is also the most popular with tourists, with over five million visiting each year. Many come simply to soak up the sun on the great golden beaches of busy South Coast resorts like Playa de las Américas and Los Cristianos, whilst others come principally to explore the island’s inland charms, notably the peak of Mount Teide (in essence the mountain and the island are the same thing, as this volcanic beast starts 7,500 m below sea level and continues another 3,718 m above sea level… the latter part being the surface area of Tenerife!).

sailing tenerife yacht charter boat canary islands spain

Sailing by Mount Teide, by: Håkan Dahlström

Thanks to its year around clement weather, “The Island of Eternal Spring” is also the perfect location for a sailing holiday in either winter, when temperatures typically nestle between 20-22 degrees celsius, or summer when 25-28 degrees is more like the norm. The winds are both strong and reliable, with northeast trade winds blowing through the year, providing a good challenge for sailors and plenty of power for ploughing the waves. Overall Tenerife’s conditions make it a perfect choice for adventurous sailors keen on a bit of challenge, whilst those with less experience can of course can choose a skippered charter (over a bareboat one) and hire a local captain who knows the region, as well as the ropes.

The capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the main port on the island and the base of most motor boat and sailing yacht charters, and is situated nearby Tenerife North Airport (there’s a second airport in the South). It retains the feel of a lively Spanish city, as opposed to a holiday resort, and has several old fortifications of interest, a vibrant culture and nightlife scene and a stunning modern auditorium by Spanish starchitect Santiago Calatrava. It is also famous for hosting one of the world’s best carnival celebrations every February/March. From Santa Cruz you can set sail around the island’s shores, marvelling at the snow-capped Teide, forever in sight, and the black volcanic cliffs closer at hand. There are also plenty of beautiful coves and beaches to lay anchor in, whilst out on the ocean you’ve got a great chance to spot whales, dolphins and turtles bobbing in the surf. Hugging the coastline and you’ve got a total of seven port towns, with plentiful marinas, which ensures there’s always somewhere safe to moor your boat at night.

sailing holidays in tenerife

Meet the locals, by: Exeter Mogs

Alternatively, for a more derring do vacation, you could steer your yacht into the Atlantic and set sail for some of the other Canary Isles. To the west lie the islands of La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera. And to the east of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. You can reach most within a day, whilst the nearest – La Gomera – is a peaceful land of luxuriant clouded forest, deep canyons, banana plantations, beaches and desert completely overlooked by mass tourism.

Overall those looking for a sailing holiday in the Canaries would be well advised to search for boat charters from Tenerife, as it is well serviced by flights from Europe to its two airports, has a central location in the middle of the archipelago, and plenty of natural beauty, culture, nightlife – and marinas. Those less dedicated to a nautical vacation could forgoe hiring a yacht for a week, and elect instead to go on a shorter day cruise or deep sea fishing charter, both popular options (romantic sunset cruises are also en vogue!).

Tenerife Yacht Charter Info

Use our search engine above to search for boats in both Tenerife and the rest of the Canary Islands and Spain… or fill out this simply enquiry form and let us do the hard work for you!


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Sailing the Canary Islands Dec 2011

Related Destinations

Spain Boat Charter
Sailing in the Balearic Islands
Gran Canaria Yacht Charter (coming soon!)
Lanzarote Sailing Holidays (coming soon!)

Travel Resources

Official Tourism Site