Tenerife is famous for a reason- the island offers not only sun, sea and cocktails in abundance, but also an extraordinary volcanic landscape and many hidden cultural gems.
Located off the coast of West Africa, Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands. Holiday-makers have faith in Tenerife for its guaranteed sunshine and thriving nightlife. However, the 10 million plus visitors a year that land in Tenerife, fly out with a new found fondness for its surprising and stunning natural features. Dominating the Island is Pico del Teide, a dormant volcano and Spain’s tallest peak. Fantastic hiking opportunities should be snatched up on Teide, as the dramatic scenery of its snow covered peaks are exceptional. Teide National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site is comprised of a 10-mile volcanic crater, which can be admired by taking a cable car and flying over its centre. The area is a wild landscape of craters, volcanoes and rivers of petrified lava surrounding the Teide Volcano. Access to the park is simple, there’s a useful road network, visitor centres and an abundance of walking trails. The perpetually-changing appearance of the Teide throughout the seasons, confidently invites delighted visitors back time after time.
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Of course, Tenerife’s natural beauty does not lay solely in its magnificent volcanic landscape. The beaches are its prime attraction and exploring the different sands and shores of each is a pleasing way to spend a trip to the island. Playa de las Americas is the obvious place to begin, the most famous beach in Tenerife, it’s a man-made, large and well-equipped beach offering sunbeds, sports and drinking hotspots. Following this, more soft sand can be found on Playa de las Teresitas, also a man-made beach and also extremely popular. Here, rows of palm trees line the sand and incredible views of nearby Santa Cruz and the attractive skyline make for a striking setting.
If seclusion charms you, then head to Los Gigantes. Appearing completely untouched due to the wild rocky cliff formations, Los Gigantes is the perfect place to spend the day basking and bathing before watching the sunset over the sparkling waters. Tenerife’s unique topography creates the famous black volcanic sand beaches. Playa del Bullollo is a leading choice to experience this natural wonder in an intimate and unexplored setting. Surfers are attracted by the rough sea providing fun entertainment for the day. Picnics are advisable as Bollullo is secluded in every sense and only offers a tiny food stand.
Generally, the type of holiday activity you pursue is divided between the north and the south. Whilst, historic towns, peaceful gardens and walking excursions dominate north Tenerife, theme parks, watersports and other adrenaline-filled activities can be found in the south. Charming towns worth visiting are in abundance in the mountains. One of the most popular for visitors is Garachico and its history is inspiring. In 1706, Garachico was engulfed by lava in a volcanic eruption and fell from its position as the wealthiest town in Tenerife, but it still remains the most picturesque. Enjoy the views and the matchless experience of swimming in rock pools made from the lava. Another gem is Mesca, a quaint village balanced on a rocky plateau in the Teno Mountains. The historic town was cut off from the rest of the island until the 1970’s and its secluded elegance remains strong today.
Watersports, diving, whale watching and dolphin watching tours can be reached from many points around the island and a good jumping off point for excitement are any of the larger beaches. For families, two popular theme parks are always waiting to be enjoyed. Loro Parque is Tenerife’s longest-established theme park and its Jurassic Park environment is unbeatable. Loro Parque is also proud to house the world’s largest collection of parrots. Differing in theme, but equally as loved, Siam Park is a Thai-themed aquatic playground. Water slides, lazy rivers and the terrifying Tower of Power slide are all fun features of the park.
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Thriving nightlife and cheap drinks are a key feature of Tenerife. Playa de las Americas is the nightlife capital for visitors. Cabaret bars, karaoke, and busy nightclubs are open most night as well as many live music spots. Beach clubs also host parties, like the youthful Monkey Beach club and the Kaluna beach club owning a heated infinity pool. Of course, Santa Cruz, Tenerife’s capital does not shy away from after-dark attractions but it does offer a more chilled experience. Rooftop bars are the best way to appreciate the views of the city and watch the sunset over the island with a refreshing cocktail in hand. For authentic tapas, La Laguna, the previous capital of Tenerife is the place to be. La Laguna is a university city and a Unesco Heritage site offering delicious Spanish cuisine, antique shops, boutiques and elegant architecture.
Tenerife Island is ready to be explored this summer.
Why does Tenerife keep calling you back to its shores? Let us know in the comments below or tweets us @RHSunglasses