Canarian time in the balance as Spain seeks to change its clocks

We’re one or two hours out here in the Canaries in terms of where the clock should actually be, as is the country nationally, the result of Franco-era Spain choosing to align its time with Nazi Germany during WWII. We should be an hour behind Spain, and Spain should itself be an hour behind the main part of Europe … meaning that the Canaries should be at least an hour behind UK time.

This often has quite an effect with holidaymakers who don’t realise that all advice to “stay out of the midday sun” is out of kilter here, since the hottest part of our day is between 3pm and 6pm. But all this could be about to change because Spain is seriously considering reverting back to GMT in an attempt to rationalize, modernize and humanize the daily working life of millions of Spaniards.

The measure, proposed by employment ministers, has the support of most members of the fractured Parliament, which means it has a really quite reasonable chance of being passed as legislation. What this will mean for the Canaries is unclear for the moment: either the Canaries will end up on the same time as mainland Spain or our time here will also be put back an hour to maintain the difference with the peninsula – and if that happens, we’ll end up being an hour behind GMT, which is actually where we should be.

This is being widely reported in the Spanish press, and has even made the UK papers – the Guardian reports on it in English HERE.


  1. The Canary Islands ALREADY have GMT/BST and it works well. Sunrise varies roughly between 07.00
    and 08.00 across the year and evenings are far more pleasant than in UK.

    There *may* be a case for adjusting the time-zone in peninsula Spain but no such need exists here
    in the “Fortunate Isles”. It is perhaps the Balaeric Islands most in need of adjustment.

    Changing the timezone in the UK has been stymied by concerns in Scotland – where darkness
    would remain until after 09.00 if UK were to adopt CET (Central European Time). We do not need
    that sort of effect here OR daylight starting at 06.00 when most are asleep or in the house
    preparing for the day. We have it just right already.

    I live on El Hierro and appreciate the lifestyle of getting things done in the morning and the
    heat of the day not coming until well after noon (zenith at 14.15) – a good time for siesta.
    With whom should I make contact to have my say as a resident of these Fortunate Isles?

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