Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands and is a highly popular tourist destination for those seeking to gain from the stunning beaches and the exciting nightlife. The landscape of Tenerife varies greatly with rich forests, blooming fauna and flora, hot deserts, mountains, volcanoes and sublime coastlines. Home to the highest peak in Spain, El Teide (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Tenerife is named ‘The Island of Eternal Spring’ with its year round good weather working well into 30°C and above. Whatever you are looking for from your stay, the island of Tenerife is more than likely to offer it. Its glowing beaches offer a perfect haven to let loose and relax, if you are wanting an adventure to explore there are vast mountains and vivid green forests offering a true eye opener to the nature on the island, and if you are looking for a cultural visit, there is a large number of educational and interesting museums giving insight into the history of the island amongst many other things. Tenerife is your ideal destination and you will definitely not be disappointed as it is an island that has something to please everyone.
Places of Interest
This is the highest mountain in Spain and tourists can either take the 10 minute cable lift to the top which costs 25€ each way, or choose to climb the summit with which special permission is needed by the National Park Office in Santa Cruz. From the top of the Teide, there is a break taking view over the whole of the island of Tenerife however, irrespective of temperatures on the beaches, visits can be very cold with much snow and ice as well as strong winds.
This is a zoo located on the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz. Since its opening in 1972, this parrot park now has a vast number of 3,500 various types of parrots and is titled as ‘the most diverse collection of parrots in the world. In addition to this, the park claims to hold Europe’s largest dolphin show pool, the world’s largest indoor penguin exhibition and the longest shark tunnel in Europe. With all of this, the park is jam-packed with amazing attractions and a visit here should definitely be made.
The Güímar Pyramids
This ethnographic park is located at around 26 kilometres away from Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It received an investment of more than 6 million euros to fund this site measuring 65,000 square metres and it is a highly popular destination amongst both tourists and residents of the islands. The site refers to 6 rectangular pyramid-shaped terraced structures built from lava stone without the use of mortar. They date all the way back to the 19th century and are supposedly a byproduct of contemporary agricultural techniques.
Los Gigantes Cliffs
This is a resort town with giant rock formations rising from the sea to a height of 500-800 metres. This is one of the island’s main tourist attractions and there is also a small black sand beach located between the rocks and the town’s marina. There is also a boulevard with many restaurants as well as small shops so you can make this a proper day trip or you can even opt to stay a little longer as there are a huge number of hotels and apartments for those looking to make a longer trip there.
Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre
Located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, this museum contains highly significant archaeological finds and is considered to have the best collection of objects from the Prehispanic Canary Islands. This museum in fact composes three museums: The Museum of Natural Sciences, The Architectural Museum of Tenerife and The Canarian Institute of Bioanthropology. This museum is famous for its collection on the culture of the Guanche as well as the presentation of Guanche mummies. This makes it a highly attractive tourist site for those wishing to know more about the history of the native people of the island as this museum is know to be a world reference in regard to the preservation of mummies.
Tenerife is well known for its year round good weather and this is one of the reasons which make its multitude of beaches popular to everyone. With summer temperatures heading straight into the 30s, visitors flock from all over the world every year to enjoy the fine, sandy beaches and the crystal clear water. As well as this, people frequently enjoy taking part in water sports on the island and the beaches vary significantly. There are black volcanic beaches, stretches of golden sand imported from the Sahara, fishing harbours and man-made water parks. The beaches here offer something for everyone and it makes Tenerife one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations.
Getting to Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Tenerife conveniently has two airports. Tenerife South (Reina Sofía) is located near Los Cristianos and Tenerife North (Los Rodeos) is situated by La Laguna. Los Rodeos is the smaller of the two airports and is located near the metropolitan area Santa Cruz-La Laguna. Here there are both national and European flights and for the past few years there have even been weekly flights to Venezuela. The Reina Sofía airport is the busiest airport in Tenerife (the 7th busiest in Spain) and covers many destinations including most of Europe. There are a number of buses which run from both airports to other towns; however there may be some changes around the way. These bus services start at around 5-6am in the morning and run all the way through until midnight.
As Tenerife is an island, the only other way to travel there is by ferry. You can either head to Santa Cruz de Tenerife or Los Cristianos, near Playa de Las Américas. This costs approximately €80 return. Trasmediterranea runs a weekly ferry from Cadiz in Spain which takes 2 days to travel there.
Getting around the City
There is sufficient public transport on the island provided by an extensive network of buses run by the company TITSA which operates numerous modern, air-conditioned buses. There are many services that will allow you to travel from town to town on the island and these buses are very frequent. You can choose to purchase a BONO travel card as this can save 50-70% on costs and is particularly useful if you are planning to spend a lot of time using the public transport. Between Santa Cruz and La Laguna there is also a tram line and the BONO card can be used here also.