Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands has just about everything a visitor to a holiday destination could ask for. With a sub-tropical climate and over 350 kilometres of coastline, it is not surprising that Tenerife has become one of the most popular and established holiday destinations in Europe. But there is a far more to the island than just sun and beaches.
Tenerife offers tropical gardens, volcanoes, mountain walks with spectacular views, designer shopping, water sports, boat trips, great food and in many of the resorts there is a vibrant nightlife.
With some of the budget airlines now including Tenerife in their schedules, the island has become easily accessible and more people are discovering the charms of this subtropical island.
The 2 largest resorts on Tenerife are Playa de las Americas and Los Christianos. Playa de las Americas is a purpose built resort which was developed in the 1960's when tourism came to the island. Younger generations are attracted to the nightclubs of the Veronicas Strip area of the resort.
Pico Del Teide is Spain's highest mountain (it is actually volcanic but hasn't erupted since 1909) and is surrounded by a landscape of rock formations in spectacular volcanic colours. The El Teide National Park which surrounds the mountain was declared a World Heritage Site in 2007.
Santa Cruz De Tenerife has an annual carnival in February. If you are looking for a winter break with a lively nightlife, this is the perfect time to visit the island. Temperatures should be warm, and the street carnival has a reputation second only to Rio
El Teide - take the cable car ride to close to the summit of this mountain. If you do manage to climb up to the summit, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the island.
In the sub-tropical gardens at Puerto de la Cruz you could be mistaken for thinking that you had wandered into a tropical rain forest. Due to the warm climate and island location, there are many species of plants and insects that you won't find anywhere in mainland Europe.
Things to do
Tenerife is one of the best places in Europe for scuba diving. Even for novices, there are lots of opportunities for beginners.
For children, Loro theme park at Puerto de la Cruz will keep the kids amused for a day, especially if they have a penchant for parrots as it claims to have the largest collection in Europe. With monkeys, penguins, dolphins, aquariums and swimming pools the park makes a great day out for kids.
Tenerife is a walkers and birdwatcher's paradise, especially in the "winter" months. Wherever you stay on the island, you won't be far from great walking opportunities, although you will probably need to hire a car, as many of the best walks are at higher altitude such as in the Masca Valley. The islan has lizards everywhere which ae a great source of interest for youngsters.
See our Tenerife guide for more information.