Carnaval, February or March
San Juan, June
Festival de Música de Canarias, January–February
International Jazz Festival, July
Gay Pride, May
A popular month: the southern resorts are generally still warm enough for beach days and weather is (mostly) wonderfully pleasant. Northern and inland regions are cooler and rainier, while Tenerife’s El Teide can be snow-capped.
Día de los Reyes Magos
Spanish children receive gifts on 6 January (Three Kings' Day), brought by the three kings rather than Father Christmas (though some families do celebrate Christmas). There are regal parades the night before and traditional eats on the day.
Festival de Música de Canarias
January sees the launch of the Canaries' annual classical music festival, which has been waving the baton for over 30 years (www.gobiernodecanarias.org).
Southern resorts are generally sunny, while cooler weather in the islands’ interiors creates ideal conditions for walking. This is also Carnaval month – book your bed early!
Second only to Rio in terms of exuberance and party spirit, Carnaval here is at its biggest and best in Santa Cruz in Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, thought it's celebrated across the archipelago. Santa Cruz de la Palma hosts a memorable party.
Fiestas del Almendro en Flor
Numerous villages hold markets and festivities in honour of the pinky-white blossom that beautifully blotches the hillsides and valleys across several islands at this time of year; may fall in January.
Springtime flowers and great hiking, particularly on El Hierro, La Palma, La Gomera and Gran Canaria. During Easter week, expect tourist crowds and accommodation price hikes.
During Easter week, evocative and sombre parades of religious floats make their way through the islands’ towns and villages. Sometimes falls in April.
March sees the height of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's opera festival, attracting world-class virtuosos from across the globe.
Festival de Cine
The annual Las Palmas de Gran Canaria film festival is a great place to get the lowdown on up-and-coming film-makers, works and trends.
The sun still shines brightest on the southern beaches, though evenings are cooler and there can be showers, particularly on Tenerife. Walking remains good. Easter sometimes happens in April.
Celebrate Gran Canaria's wonderfully creamy queso de flor directly at its source – in Santa María de Guía during the annual cheese festival (www.santamariadeguia.es). Sometimes held in May.
Another good month with plenty of towel space on the sand and warmer evenings that make dining al fresco a delight.
Spain’s second-largest orgullo gay event (after Madrid) takes over Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, mid-month, with parties, parades, performances and much, much more.
You’re still just ahead of the tourist onslaught, and the weather is perfect in most places, with 10 hours of daily sunshine and temperatures in the low 20s.
Barbecues and dusk-to-dawn partying on the beach, plus fireworks, DJs and concerts: San Juan (23–24 June) is celebrated across the islands, but with particular gusto in Lanzarote, La Gomera and Las Palmas (Gran Canaria).
The mercury level is rising, with the average temperature in the southern resorts in the low 30s. Tourism numbers (and hotel rates) whizz up with the summer-holiday crowd.
Bajada de la Virgen de los Reyes
Held every four years (next in 2021, 2025 etc), El Hierro's most famous fiesta sees its patron saint carried from her chapel in the island's west to capital Valverde in early July.
Cool Jazz for Hot Days
The Festival Internacional Canarias Jazz & Más Heineken attracts big names from the international jazz world to a variety of venues.
Windsurfing World Championship
Like flocks of colourful butterflies, kiteboarders and windsurfers descend on Fuerteventura’s Sotavento de Jandía early to compete in this world-class competition.
Music, Dance & Theatre
Gran Canaria’s Festival de Teatro, Musica y Danza is another world-class festival – performers have included the New York City Ballet.
The prime holiday month for Spaniards, August is when the weather is at its hottest (though it rarely hits the 40°C common along the mainland's southern costas).
The 4 August Fiesta de La Rama in Agaete is one of Gran Canaria's most important festivals. With origins in a pre-Hispanic rain dance, today it's part religious parade, part riotous night out.
Día de San Ginés, on 25 August, is a mega-celebration in Lanzarote, with the two-week celebrations taking in concerts, football matches and beauty contests.
Lanzarote's biggest wine festival celebrates its volcanic drops with grape trampling, live music and plenty of tours and tastings – all part of La Geria's mid-August Fiesta de la Vendimia.
Temperatures linger in the mid-20s and summer crowds ease off; nights grow a tad cooler, particularly at higher altitudes. Perfect hiking in most areas.
Canarian Wrestling (and more)
The Fiesta del Santísmo Cristo in La Laguna (Tenerife) is held throughout the month, starring tournaments of lucha canaria, vintage car rallies and big-bang firework displays.
La Gomera's capital San Sebastián throws a week-long street party and cultural celebration, the Fiestas Colombinas, in honour of Christopher Columbus' first journey to the Americas.
Average temperatures hover in the low 20s, with cooler nights (especially higher up). Quieter October is ideal for hiking, including in the mountains – or just beaching.
While evenings can be chilly, daytime temperatures of around 20°C still lend themselves to beach time, and you're just before the winter-sun-seeking masses.
The skies above Fuerteventura's Corralejo sands are filled with multicoloured tails and soaring shapes for a weekend of kite-flying and family fun.
Christmas sees tourists, particularly northern Europeans, in search of warmer climes. Temperatures drop into the mid-teens (lower at night); the northernmost resorts and higher altitudes can be cloudy.
El Hierro’s Fiestas de la Concepción culminate on 8 December with religious revelry; on the previous evening, Valverde’s streets are packed with people eating, drinking and making merry.
Families congregate for a late-night feast on 24 December (Nochebuena) and, in many homes, Papá Noel now brings kids gifts on Christmas Day (though Three Kings' Day on 6 January is the traditional present day).