Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is renowned for its beaches, long sunny days and coastal resorts. But there’s more to Tenerife holidays than just a typical beach break. Drag yourself away from the coast and explore the island to discover a whole host of other experiences.
1. The architecture of La Laguna
In complete contrast to Tenerife’s beach resorts head inland a little to the Aguere Valley and the city of La Laguna. Established in the late 15th century as the first capital of Tenerife by the Spaniards, the city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll through the historic streets and marvel at the intricately carved wooden balconies of the traditional houses; stumble across flower-filled courtyards, and discover La Laguna’s intriguing history at its heritage museum.
2. Explore a unique forest
The Anaga Rural Park in the far north of Tenerife is a magical landscape of valleys, ancient woodlands and isolated villages barely touched by tourism. It’s a protected area within which are the Anaga Mountains, and the park offers some of the islands most challenging and rewarding nature walks.
3. Take a hike
In the spectacular Teno Rural Park lies the picturesque hilltop village of Masca. After browsing in the craft shop and admiring the view from the café, take a hike down the narrow gorge to the sandy Masca beach. Take a boat from the beach to the harbour at Los Gigantes and save your legs the 3-hour trek back up.
4. Come face to face with exotic birds
The Katandra Treetops aviary at the Loro Parque wildlife centre is the size of Sydney Opera House and contains more than 100 different species of parrots alone as well as other birds including cockatoos and lorikeets. Loro Parque began life as a parrot park but is now focuses on conservation and has a wide variety of species including sea lions, turtles, crocodiles and monkeys.
5. Go whale watching
The sea between Tenerife and the neighbouring island of La Gomera attracts many species of whales as well as turtles and pods of dolphins. For a moving and unforgettable experience on holidays to Tenerife, take a boat trip from Los Gigantes on the southwest coast to see the whales up close. Sightings of the resident pilot whales are guaranteed almost all year round.
6. Discover a dramatic volcanic landscape
Mount Teide is the highest mountain in Spain, rising 3718 metres above sea level and is within the country’s most visited national park. The winding road climbs through small villages and a dramatic volcanic landscape to emerge from the clouds into a unique lunar landscape. Take the cable car up the last 1000 metres to the highest point of Mount Teide and be rewarded with breathtaking views over Tenerife.
7. Golf with a view
Tenerife has nine golf courses, all offering either stunning coastal, mountain, or countryside views. Spain’s second oldest golf course, the Real Club de Golf de Tenerife is located on the north side of the island, while a handful of newer courses have attracted some of the world’s best players.
8. Party at the carnival
February is the time to enjoy holidays to Tenerife to experience the island’s annual carnival, ranked one of the top three carnivals in the world. There are events all over the island, but Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz are the main locations. Take to the streets and join in with the dancing and partying and revel in the music and experience.
9. Try the local cuisine
The traditional food of the Canary Islands includes fresh fish and seafood as well as meat casseroles, often accompanied by local-style potatoes served with red chilli peppers and mojo sauce. The island has in recent years gained a reputation for fine dining with many restaurants featuring delicious international cuisine.
10. Pamper yourself with 5-Star luxury
Tenerife has long been a budget break destination but the island has an increasing number of 5-star hotels, such as the Costa Adeje Gran Hotel, that offer luxurious spas, beautiful pools, fine dining restaurants and first class evening entertainment. For upmarket Tenerife holidays, Costa Adeje on the south coast is packed with top class hotels include the Bahia del Duque.
About the author:
K. Frost is a travel content writer and writes for the easyJet holidays website.