Exploring Tenerife in the Canary Islands

 

If you thought Tenerife holidays were all about neon-lit towns, big-name DJs and even bigger nights out, think again. Yes, you’ll get all this and plenty more if you’re after a clubbing holiday, and as nightlife goes, the island’s southern resorts of Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos certainly won’t disappoint. But there’s plenty more to this sun-baked island than meets the eye.

Beach-lovers will get their kicks in any one of scores of different beaches that wrap around this fabulous island. Some tinkle with the sounds of shingle and pebbles, while others feature striking dark volcanic sands that contrast sharply with the azure seas and lush green interiors. Some also have traditional golden sand, perfect for sun tanning and relaxation.

Some beaches front bubbly resorts that are packed to the rafters with shops, bars and restaurants, while others flank quaint whitewashed villages or traditional fishing harbours.

The fantastic beach at Las Teresitas. Photo credit Flickr: Chop1n

The fantastic beach at Las Teresitas. Photo credit Flickr: Chop1n

Nature enthusiasts, hikers, explorers, geologists, photographers and just about everyone in-between will love the island’s mountainous interior. Home to the spectacular Teide National Park, a sprawling nature reserve that’s home to the soaring Mt Teide, this place is well worth exploring. Visitors come to enjoy the alpine-like scenery and vast forests, or whizz to the top of Mt Teide itself – a dormant volcano and the highest peak in Spain – by cable car, to enjoy magnificent views across the island.

The striking landscape of Tenerife's Teide National Park. Photo credit Björn Freiberg

The striking landscape of Tenerife’s Teide National Park. Photo credit Björn Freiberg

As for shopaholics, there are plenty of great plastic-melting opportunities in the major resorts dotted around Tenerife, from bustling Los Cristianos and lovely Costa Adeje to the fabulous Puerto de la Cruz in the north. But if you really want to put in some serious shopping, head to the capital city of Santa Cruz on the island’s north-east tip for a day’s shopping and sightseeing.

Los Cristianos is a busy port town with some great shopping. Photo credit Mike Lawrence CC BY-SA

Los Cristianos is a busy port town with some great shopping. Photo credit Mike Lawrence CC BY-SA

The largest island in the Canary Islands, most travelers arrive to Tenerife via one of its two airports. However, for travelers with extra time to spare, there is a ferry from Tenerife to the Spanish mainland city of Cadiz that takes two days. The nearby island of Gran Canaria, however, can be reached via fast ferry in as little as one hour.

But however you get there, whether it’s a package holiday with the likes of Thomas Cook breaks or a DIY getaway under your own steam, don’t miss your chance to explore Tenerife to the full this year. It might just surprise you…

See Tenerife on the Map

 

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