Tenerife is a volcanic island in the Atlantic Ocean and is geographically part of Africa. It is the largest of the Canary Islands. It is famous for its beaches and its spectacular nature is a popular beach holiday destination for Europeans, and also popular among surfers.
Tenerife has the most diverse ecosystems of all the Canary Islands. Tenerife has several climatic regions; because of this the landscapes are diverse, going from snowy mountain tops to dessert dunes and tropical forests. Each climatic area has its own ecosystem with specific flora and fauna. One of Tenerife’s best assets is its beaches. There are beaches of all kind spread around the island; black volcanic sand beaches, white sand beaches, beaches bordering dessert-like dunes. Beaches with dramatic rock formations rising from the ocean, and beaches sheltered by green covered mountains. Some beaches if you inform yourself you will be able to find what you’re looking for.
Things to do and see in Tenerife
If you love active holiday, you'll love Tenerife!
Tenerife is an excellent holiday destination for the active person and beach enthusiast. When you have enough of enjoy the sun and the ocean there are many sport activities you can do. Paragliding is popular sport on the island. There are 6 main routes and more than 40 take off points. In recent years golf has become a popular pastime, Tenerife now has many golf courses. You can also go see a competition in Canarian sports. Water sports are also very popular on the island. There are possibilities to rent sailing boats and catamarans, and many opportunities to learn surfing, windsurfing, or kitesurfing. Or go on an organised fishing trip with the group of friends or take diving trip to explore local marine life
Visit Santa Cruz
In Santa Cruz there are several museums. Santa Cruz is a popular University city for the Canarian population. The architecture that you will find on Tenerife is mainly inspired by Andalusian and Portuguese architecture. They are typically with buildings with heavy wooden balconies and interior patios. However, in Tenerife’s larger cities you will find buildings of all the art historical periods. On the edge of Santa Cruz you will find the historic centre of San Cristobal de La Laguna. The old town is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has become famous for its architecture and the survival of historic buildings. On top of that its beauty is impressive. According to some this is the nicest city in all of the Canary Islands.
South part of the island
Tenerife used to be a poor banana growing region. But tourists have now taken over the small fishers’ villages and turned them into all-inclusive beach resorts. Especially the beach resorts in the south of the island are popular with Europeans. Here you will find the famous Playa de las Americanos and Los Christianos. These beaches are popular with surfers and mainly young people. This area is also known for the vibrant nightlife
North side of the island
On the north side of the island there is the beach resort town of Puerto de la Cruz. This town maintained more of a Spanish feeling and is especially popular with Spanish tourists and older tourists. Here you will find nice restaurants, good beaches, and beautiful nature not far from the town. Life is generally quieter on this side of the island. From Puerto de la Cruz it is also easy to visit the capital Santa Cruz.
Explore natural wonders
When you go to Tenerife you have to go and see some of its spectacular nature parks. One of the special natural phenomena on the north side of the island is the Laurel Forrest. This forest is a unique tropical forest. There are many natural parks around the island. Mount Teide National Park is Spain’s most popular natural park. El Teide Mountain is the highest point in Spain, and the world’s third largest volcano. The volcano is still active. The Teide volcano is a sacred mountain for the aboriginal Guanches. They believe that their god Guayota was locked up in the mountain. The people who inhabited the island before the Spanish colonised it in the 15th century were called Guanches. The Guanchas probably came from North Africa; however, ancient writers often described this people and the Canary Islands as the remnants of the sunken continent of Atlantis. If you’re staying in the south of the islands, go on o trip to the Adeje Mountains. It will be like going back in time; a sharp contrast with Tenerife’s beach life. The town of Adeje is also nice to visit. Here you will find some good restaurants and bars. Try Otello and Café Antonia.
Your kids will love Siam Park
If you are visiting the island with your family the many beaches will surely keep your children entertained, but if you want to change environment you can take them to Siam Park, the unique artificial wave park, or go to one of the aqua parks on the island. If you want to see more of the Canary Islands consider taking a day trip to the beautiful small island of La Gomera by ferry.
Visit Santa Cruz
A must see village on the island is the village of Maca. This village is usually reached by foot after a three hour walk. It is nearly impossible for busses to climb the steep roads that bend around the many ravines that surround the village of Maca. This village is set to have been an important pirate hide out.
Best time to visit
Tourists visit Tenerife from May to October
Getting there and around
The best way to get around the island is by renting a car. Tenerife can easily be reached by plane from mainland Spain and from many European cities. There are also cheap charters flying on the Canary Islands. To get to the other islands, or to get to Tenerife from the other islands, there are several companies that offer ferries. Canarian domestic flights are offered by the company Binter Canarias. With Binter Canarias you can also get to Cabo Verde, Morocco or Senegal.
Some local dishes to try in the Canaries are Papas Arrugadas with Mojo sauces, goats chees, seafood, and of course leche leche; the typical Canarian coffee.