Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain)
Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, with 342 kms (213 miles) of coastline. It is also the most populated of the Islands with almost one million inhabitants (43% of the total population of the Canary Islands). The island is about 300 km (186 miles) from the West African coast, and approximately 1,000 km (621 miles) from Spain. Tenerife is also the economic capital of the Canary Islands.
The island’s landscape differs considerably between the north and the south. The north of the island has a rocky, steep and rugged coastline with lush vegetation, which contrasts significantly with the south that has a better sunshine record and an endearing lunar landscape with volcanic, sandy beaches.
Tenerife is dominated by Mt. Teide, a dormant volcano that is Spain’s tallest peak at 3,718m above sea level. It is the third largest volcano in the world from its base, and Mount Teide National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site. Mount Teide has become one of the main reasons active visitors come to Tenerife. It has now become a leading destination for serious road cyclists and mountain bikers, and also offers excellent hiking and trekking options for those who want to explore the areas around the mountain on foot.
The island also has 67 kms (42 miles) of beaches, such as those found at El Médano, surpassed only in this respect by the island of Fuerteventura. There are many black sand pebble beaches on the northern coast, while on the south and south-west coast of the island, the beaches have typically much finer and clearer sand with lighter tones. This is where the large tourist resorts of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Américas can be found. There are all the usual pass times found in the resort areas, including a busy nightlife. As the capital island, Tenerife is also rich in culture, and is well known for its Carnival de Santa Cruz, a huge pre-Lent festival with parades, music, dancing and colourful costumes, held in its capital town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the north of the island.
The weather is a big reason why the island has so much to offer its visitors both on and off the water. The climate in Tenerife and the other Canary Islands is often described as an “eternal spring”, and the difference between average minimum and maximum temperatures throughout the year is just 6 – 8°C. The average temperatures in summer range from 24 – 26°C with much higher peaks, and in the winter months 18 – 20°C, but the north tends to be cooler, and the south warmer and sunnier. The sea temperatures range from 17° – 23 ° throughout the year, with the warmest temperatures in September and October and the coldest temperatures from January to April. In summer bring a light jacket for windy nights, and in winter you’ll need trousers and a jacket at in the evenings.
Tenerife is easily accessible from the major European cities with flight times of about four hours in duration. It is served by two international airports, Tenerife North and Tenerife South. As there are so many flights, there is a lot of competition amongst the airlines and flights can be found relatively cheaply. Car hire is also cheap compared to other locations.
- Year round sunshine and warmth
- Dramatic scenery and nature to explore
- Wide range of outdoor activities
- Reliable winds
- Great windsurfing and kitesurfing in El Medano
- Plenty of windsurfing and kitesurfing rental equipment
- Wide range of accommodation
- Many sporting options
- Spanish Culture
- Vibrant holiday environment and nightlife in the south
- Warm Beach culture in the south
- Suitable also for those looking for quieter areas
- Easy to get to from overseas
- Easy to get around
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