(image: Hello Canary Islands Tourism Website)
8 Tips to See a Different Side of Tenerife on Your Travels
Many people who visit Tenerife flock to its famed beaches, completely missing out everything else it has to offer. Yes, the seaside scenery is amazing, but this does not completely define Spain’s tropical vacation hotspot. If you’ve got a holiday booked and want to avoid the rowdy crowds, here’s a list of tips to keep in mind before you hop on a plane and say adiós.
Ride the tram
Secure a pass for the Tenerife Tram that goes through all the major points of attraction on the island. Get on Line 1 bound for the Intercambiador at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which eventually rises about 550 metres above sea level giving you a lovely view of the capital city’s harbour.
Take a sunset drive
Renting a vehicle is also another convenient way of exploring the coast and the inlands as the highway branches off to most beaches and commercial areas. Take a sunset drive to Los Gigantes to see its massive cliffs set against a backdrop of endless sea and sky. It might be less crowded as well, because a lot of tourists are usually trotting back to their cabins at this time.
Walk the coast to a quiet beach
From Puerto de la Cruz, there is a coastal path that leads to a more secluded beach that is much more accessible on foot. The walk to El Bollullo Beach passes through a banana plantation and takes you to an expanse of black sand and volcanic formations towering over the sea. You can still have your well-deserved fun in the sun without having to fight for a spot to lay down your beach towel. Be sure you’re thoroughly prepared by checking Travel Lobsters’ sun exposure tips especially because the Canary Islands tend to be hot all year round.
Swim in a natural pool
(image: Hello Canary Islands Tourism Website)
Spa treatments can be expensive, so how about taking a dip in one of the island’s soothing natural pools? Seawater is known to moisturise and get rid of dead skin cells, and the best yet, is you won’t have to pay for the privilege. Tenerife Today recommends visiting Charco de la Laja, which is right in the heart of San Juan de la Rambla. The rock formations only appear to be treacherous from above, but there is a stoned path which gives easy access to the pool. Meanwhile, the water in El Caletón in Garachico is deeper which makes it great for those who love to jump into the water from the cliffs above.
Traipse around historic towns
No visit to Tenerife is complete without taking a walk through the Spanish island’s historic towns. Its former capital, San Cristóbal la Laguna, is a well-preserved Unesco World Heritage Site for its historical and cultural significance as the first city to be established in the Canary Islands. Horse-drawn carriages and wealthy merchants used to frequent the town’s cobbled paths where several formidable palaces and churches have been built. On the northern coast, the rest of the aforementioned Garachico, which could have been the island’s main port if it hadn’t been ravaged by a volcanic eruption, is also worth the side trip.
Catch a show or a carnival
Entertainment in Tenerife can be very, well, entertaining, especially during the Carnival of Santa Cruz. For a week sometime in February or early March, the entire island is consumed by parades, an endless rhythm of orchestras, street dance offs, and exciting pageantry. It’s the second biggest Carnival in the world, next only to the one held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The constant beating of the drums make it impossible not to step outside and join in the fun.
If you don’t make it to the Carnival season, don’t worry as there are concerts and shows that keep the festival spirit alive all year round. Tourists fly in every year to witness and contribute to the electric energy of Tenerife, and the island even entices production companies who are looking to ride on the almost constant wave of vibrant celebrations. In fact, the British talent show The X Factor is set to hold auditions on the island for its next season. Tenerife, with its contagious verve, is a perfect place to host a program that showcases and celebrates talent. There’s always a fiesta somewhere in Spain, and that is why the island is one of the prime locations for having a fun holiday.
Explore the mountains
Of course, Tenerife also has plenty of nature-filled land activities, such as accessible hikes and challenging trails around lush villages. The island is actually home to the highest point of Spain, Mount Teide, which is also an active volcano. Many have come from different corners of the world to watch the rewarding sunrise from its snow-glazed peak. Standing at the topmost spot of Tenerife after a tortuous walk can be a humbling experience altogether.
Cycle through the island
(image: Bicycling Magazine)
Tenerife is also quickly becoming the hotspot for cyclists, both leisure and professional, from all over the world. Bicycling Magazine described it as the ‘World’s Best Cycling Destination’ for the tropical weather, some very unforgiving terrain, but also guaranteed road safety. If you’re in for a different challenge, going up Mount Teide can be done on two wheels. But be warned: its slopes are where professionals pedal through when training for races like Tour de France.