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Monday, August 14, 2006

What Time is it in Tenerife Spain?

Reloj de Flores (Flower Clock)
Since people are searching the net for the time in Tenerife, Spain, I thought I would make this quick post as a reference. If you live here, you can look at your watch, but if you are coming to visit, especially from the UK, you may be pleased to know that the time in Tenerife is the same as the time in Britain.

If you've visited mainland Spain or the Balearic Islands, then you'll know that Spain is on Central European Time (CET), which is one hour ahead of the UK and the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands are on what is known as Western European Time (WET) - no that is not a measure of humidity!

The Canary Islands are NOT on the same time as the rest of Spain, resulting in the fact that when National Spanish TV and radio stations give out time checks they always give the current time in Spain, followed by the statement, "una hora menos ..." (an hour less/behind) "en las Canarias" (in the Canaries).

Now that the whole of Europe changes to and from Daylight Savings Time on the same dates, the time in the Canary Islands and the UK are always the same.

This is, of course, terribly convenient for British visitors or British ex-pat residents who regularly communicate with family back in Blighty!

That isn't the reason, however. If you look at the map, you will see that the Canary Islands are a fair way due west of Spain, off the north west coast of Africa, where the time in Casablanca, Morocco, is also on GMT. (They don't use Daylight Savings Time there.)

The difference with Spain also causes some confusion for Canary Island residents, because we have both National and local media. National media, of course, advertise upcoming program times in Spanish time. Local stations give upcoming program times in Canarian Time. Please don't ask me how many times one forgets to make the one hour adjustment, only to switch on and find that the program has just finished!

We also get to celebrate New Year twice each year, at 11 p.m., from Spain, on the National channels and again at midnight with the local ones. 

Once upon a time, until the British moved it, the Meridian used to be in the Canary Islands, at the Faro de Orchilla, on the island of El Hierro.

Current local time in Santa Cruz, Canary Islands, Spain

While you are checking the time, I have no doubt that you will also want to check the current weather conditions in Tenerife, which you can do here.