If anywhere is known for a holiday in the sun it has to be Tenerife. Not only is it a short haul destination easily reached from the UK but it has a glorious year round climate, the close proximity to North Africa is responsible for the weather, but this Spanish island has culture that takes in plenty of influences from the seafarers of years gone by. As the largest of the Canary islands, Tenerife boasts not only miles of diverse coastline, but the highest mountain in Spain leading to the much loved sight of snowcapped peaks as viewed from a sun lounger on the beach. Popular for families and fun seekers alike Tenerife has bustling cosmopolitan cities, sleepy villages and traditional towns all with plenty of tourist attractions and activities to keep even the most discerning of travellers happy; this destination has it all, and with a warmth at its core that will make you want to return time and time again it is no wonder that Tenerife remains a favourite destination year after year.
The south of the island is known to be far more developed than the quieter north, if you want a quiet holiday with a sense of traditional Spain then Garachico in the north west is the perfect destination, the old fishing town has a real rustic charm about it, with its old church and beautiful streets; although not the liveliest of destinations is one of the most scenic. Highly recommended is La Quinta Roja an ancient building housing a great hotel.
At the other end of the scale, lively Playa De Las Americas is well known as a party hotspot, days on the beach are filled with activities and once the sun sets the resorts gears up into full party mode; there is plenty of great accommodation all around the resort ranging from simple self catering apartments to luxurious spa resorts. If you want a holiday that will keep you on your toes then this is the resort to choose.
There are many great places to eat in Tenerife as the islands population really appreciate good food, drink and socialising, the local specialities include fresh fish and seafood (best bought as ‘fish of the day’ which varies in everything except quality) and the locally grown and cooked potatoes – wrinkly skinned, boiled in heavily salted water and served with a thick garlic dip or a hot and peppery sauce, they are the perfect thing to have with one of the great Spanish wines that are available everywhere.
Although the north of the island is the place to find the more rural rustic restaurants there are plenty of good places to eat in the south if you look amongst the vast range of establishments that fill the streets; there is no doubting that parts of Tenerife do cater to the party crowd who just want to grab some fast food before they go out, but look around and there are still some real gems that serve great local food at great prices.
Tenerife is the perfect destination for sporting activities, the natural beauty and diverse countryside is absolutely perfect for walking and hiking and has many routes that can take from a few hours to a few days and include overnight stays in pretty little rural villages; the ample coastline also allows for a multitude of watersports with scuba diving and wind surfing being among the many activities that are readily available.
Travel to the top of Mount Teide in a cable car – the highest mountain in Spain gives stunning views across the island and into the horizon as the peak stands above the beautiful Tenerife National Park, the cable car journey is exhilarating and is an experience in its own right although as the altitude becomes quite high quite quickly it is not suitable for everyone.
Tenerife has a warm climate throughout the year as it shares its latitude with the Sahara Desert, the incoming Atlantic trade winds temper these hot conditions and due to the volcanic nature of the earth rainfall and moisture use is maximised leading to fertile land and greenery that thrives despite the geographical position of the island.
Tenerife has many festivals throughout the year but the largest and most important one is the Carnival of Santa Cruz, lasting ten days this festival held in February is seen as only second to the Rio carnival in terms of popularity – the island explodes with incoming tourists but the bustle is worth it for the fabulous party that is open to all.