La Palma Weather in December - Christmas & New Year's in the sun
December means proper winter in most countries in Europe, so if you are looking for a warm place to escape from the cold, La Palma (and the Canary Islands in general), might be one of the first places to pop up as suggestions.
But how warm is the weather really?
The climate in La Palma is considered as tropical semi-arid, with wet winters but mild temperatures, with snow possible only on top of the mountains. Down by the coast, you will not see any snow even in the middle of winter, so no need to worry if you plan to spend most of your time in the coastal towns.
Weather averages for December in La Palma
These temperatures are measured at the meteorological station in La Palma Airport (close to the island's capital - Santa Cruz de La Palma), on the east coast of the island.
- RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE: 28.1°C
- AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE: 21.7 °C
- DAILY MEAN TEMPERATURE: 19.2 °C
- AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURE: 16.7 °C
- RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE: 10 °C
- AVERAGE RAINFALL: 77 mm
- AVERAGE RAINY DAYS: 8
- MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS: 133
- MEAN DAILY SUNSHINE HOURS: 5
- SEA TEMPERATURE: 21 °C
What's La Palma like in December
Between December and November the daily average temperature drops by about 2°C, with the month's daily mean situated at 19.2°C during this last month of the year.
Although it is officially winter, the temperatures during the daytime are still in their 20s°C, so this usually means T-shirt weather if you are staying somewhere on the coast.
The situation changes in the mountains, as Roques de los Muchachos is 2,423 meters (7,949 ft), which means that even snow is a possibility at that altitude.
If you plan to go hiking even when visiting La Palma in December, make sure to pack a warm jacket that is also water-resistant and windproof, as well as some sturdy boots, well insulated. The weather can change fast in the mountains, so always be prepared with warm clothing and something to eat, when you go on hikes.
Average temperature in December in Santa Cruz de La Palma
- The average temperature is 19.2 °C, which is a mean value calculated between the average high temperature during the daytime of 21.7 °C and the average low temperature of 16.7 °C.
Although the weather might not always be warm enough to sunbathe, it is still fairly warm and considerably warmer than winter on the European continent.
For winter trips we always recommend to pack a jacket and a cardigan even you don't plan to go on hikes, as the weather can be windy on some days, with an average of 5 days with the wind over 55 km/h in December.
- The average rainfall in December: 77 mm
December is the rainiest month of the year on La Palma, with an average of 77 mm. Although it may seem like a lot of rain, it doesn't always rain all over the island at the same time, so if you rent a car or take a bus, you can find a dry place to spend the day (if not a sunny one).
Rain usually happens during the course of 8 days in December, which is why we recommend bringing a jacket and water-resistant shoes, so that you can be prepared for adverse weather conditions in case these occur while you're in La Palma.
Average sea temperature in December
- Average sea temperature in December: 21°C
The ocean temperature in La Palma drops to around 21°C and for some people, it might be too cold to swim now, with the air temperature also lower than in the previous months.
Some beaches, like the one in Los Cancajos, still benefit from the supervision of lifeguards even during the winter months and here you can still see people swimming even in December.
Sunshine hours & daylight hours
- Daily hours of sunshine: 5
5 hours might not seem that much, but keep in mind that some places get more sun than others.
For example, Puerto de Tazacorte is the sunniest place in La Palma and it is actually considered to be one of the towns with the most hours of sunshine throughout the year as far as European cities go. (although the Canaries are geographically part of the African continent).
Events in December
- December 31st - Nye Year's Eve
If you're looking for a bit of sunshine during these winter holidays, La Palma might be one of the best choices if you're also looking for a relaxed and quiet trip.
We recommend you to celebrate New Year's Eve in La Palma at one of the local fiestas, with all the residents, to get a better understanding of the local culture.
Should you come on holiday to La Palma in December?
In our opinion yes, no matter if you come to spend the holidays or just for a sunny break at the start of the month.
However, during Christmas and NYE prices tend to do up by a lot, so make sure to book ahead of time if you want to find a good deal.
It's true that the weather can be tricky in December and you can have some rainy days during your stay, but La Palma is a beautiful island waiting to be explored and if you are willing to do that you can always find something great to do, even when the weather is not that great.