Best time to travel to Canary Islands

Sea of Clouds in Canary Islands

A jaw-dropping scene of the "mar de nubes" is offered on the highest peaks

Best time: May–October

Sea of Clouds
Sea of Clouds
Sea of Clouds
Sea of Clouds
Sea of Clouds
Sea of Clouds

Looking up at the beauty of various shapes of clouds is a pastime for some. Looking down at the clouds from above—this is really fun! The sea of clouds, or 'mar de nubes' as the locals call it, is a magical natural phenomenon created by the particular geographical position and climate. The clouds form at the height of 1,000 to 2,000 m and create a fantastic mantle of mist that flows over a mountain range. A waterfall of clouds is simply hypnotizing​.

Of course, you can observe this beauty only from the highest peaks. Rock de Los Muchachos in La Palma, Mount Teide in Tenerife, the summit of Gran Canaria and high peaks of El Hierro are among greatest viewing ​spots. The view will stick in your memory forever.

When looking down on it from space, another phenomenon can be observed called "vortex streets." It usually occurs when the wind moves cloud formations from the ocean over land or another obstacle. In this case, this unique fl​ow happens when winds rush past the high peaks of the volcanic islands.

Practical info

When is the best time of year to see the sea of clouds in Canary Islands?

To have the highest possibility of seeing the sea of clouds in Canary Islands, visit between May and October, which is the dry season. However, viewing is not guaranteed, and visibility depends on the weather conditions. It's advisable to check the conditions and look for viewing spots before travelling. Show more

Where are the best viewing spots for the sea of clouds in Canary Islands?

The highest peaks in Canary Islands offer the best viewing spots for the sea of clouds. To witness this phenomenon visit El Hierro, Gran Canaria, La Palma's Rock de Los Muchachos and Tenerife's Mount Teide. Reaching these spots requires good physical condition, appropriate gear and clothing. Show more

How is the sea of clouds created in Canary Islands?

Canary Islands' sea of clouds is created by the region's peculiar geographic position and climate. When clouds below a 2,000 m altitude hit the volcanic islands' high peaks, the phenomenon begins, forming a magical mist mantle, popularly known as mar de nubes. This unique phenomenon provides breathtaking views of the clouds over the islands. Show more

What is the altitude range where the sea of clouds is created in Canary Islands?

The sea of clouds, also known as mar de nubes, can be observed in Canary Islands between the altitude range of 1,000 to 2,000 m. The phenomenon is created when clouds rise from the oceans and traverse over the volcanic peaks of the islands, producing a layer of mist or cloud waterfall. Show more

What are vortex streets and how do they relate to the sea of clouds in Canary Islands?

Vortex streets refer to the observation of cloud formations over an obstacle or land, visible from space. In the Canary Islands, they occur when wind shifts cloud forms from oceans over the volcanic peaks. Vortex streets' relation to the sea of clouds is that they occur at the time the clouds flow over the volcanic mountains, and viewers can observe them from space. The beauty of the sea of clouds in addition to this phenomenon is a remarkable feat of nature. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin