A tropical paradise, a pirate base, the gateway to the Americas, an explorers haven and a volcano just waiting to explode – that just about sums up the incredible Island of Tenerife, one of the most popular of all Spanish tourist sites. But, while the Island may technically be Spanish, its proximity to the African mainland (much closer than Spain) allows it a distinct culture that puts it in a touristic category quite apart from any other.
Taken over by the Spanish in the 15th century, Tenerife is a utopia for nature lovers and hippified backpackers that few other destinations can compare with. A paradise for sun-seekers, Tenerife is nevertheless not only about the beach – almost half of the territory is a giant conservation area full of lush forests and acres wildflower fields, while its spectacular plunging cliffs and volcanic craters, as well as the imposing peak of the sometimes snow capped Mount Teide are simply breathtaking.
A Tourist Hub
Away from the tourist dominated south, the islands capital city of Santa Cruz is a place of vitality and energy and home to many interesting museums and markets where you can shop till you drop. For quaint, small town atmosphere with a Spanish flavour, head to Puerto de la Cruz or Garachico, small fishing towns which offer both majestic sights and gracious hospitality from its locals.
The main reason why we visit Tenerife of course, are its spectacular beaches. The warm, often crystal clear Atlantic waters are a constant temptation to visitors here – no matter where you are on the island you are never more than 15 minutes away from a gorgeous secluded beach. After all, Tenerife has exactly 269 kilometres of coastline.
South Tenerife, with its golden sand beaches is where all the tourist hot spots are, yet the secluded coves of the north with their black-sand beaches are equally charming and provide real isolation if you look hard enough.
Fantastic for families, the beach resorts of Tenerife are able to accommodate travellers on every kind of budget, and they provide non-stop water sports and activities for those looking to do more than just relax or hit the bars. Scuba diving, surfing, sailing, whale watching, jet-skiis; you name it, you can do it in Tenerife.
Main Attractions: Puerto de la Cruz, Botanic Gardens in Puerto de la Cruz, the Canarian Parliament, Playa de las Americas, Castillo de San Andrés, Plaza de España, the Pyramids of Guimar, the Museum of the History of Tenerife, Teide National Park, Siam Park, Masca, Los Gigantes, and dozens more.
Official language: Spanish
Area: 2,034 km2 (785.3 sq mi)
- Voltage: 220-240 Volts (U.S./Canada are 110-120 Volts)
- Primary Socket Type: Europlug, Schuko
- Multi-voltage appliances (laptops, etc.)
- 110-120V electronics: Plug adapter + step-down transformer
- Hair dryers, curling irons, etc.: Plug adapter + voltage converter
Other places to see & things to do: Anaga, Auditorio de Tenerife, Cathedral of La Laguna, Teide Observatory, Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre, Teno point, Volcan El Teide, and many, many others.