Saturday, 28 April 2018
SPAIN: Tenerife, No Scorpions Or Snakes To Worry About. Malaria Free Mosquitoes Bite At Night. Beware Of Pickpockets
It is also very popular among holidaymakers from the Spanish peninsula, especially during Easter time. Tenerife is probably one of the last European paradise isles.
It offers lush forests, exotic fauna and flora, deserts, mountains, volcanoes, incredibly beautiful coastlines and spectacular beaches.
Tenerife is an autonomous territory of Spain. The island has a tiered-government system and a special status within the European Union in which it holds lower tax rates compared to other regions.
Santa Cruz is the seat of half of the regional government departments and parliament and it is there that the governor is elected by the Canarian people. Afterwards, they are appointed by Madrid.
There are fifteen members of parliament who work together in passing legislation, organising budgets and improving the economy.
Tenerife is the largest and most populated island of the seven Canary Islands. It is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 square kilometres (785 sq mi) and 898,680 inhabitants,43 percent of the total population of the Canary Islands. Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of Macaronesia.
About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the most visited island of the archipelago. It is one of the most important tourist destinations in Spain and the world.
Tenerife hosts one of the world's largest carnivals and the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is working to be designated UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of the World.
Served by two airports, Tenerife-North Airport and Tenerife-South Airport, Tenerife is the economic centre of the archipelago.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of the island and the seat of the island council or cabildo insular. The city is capital of the autonomous community of Canary Islands shared with Las Palmas, sharing governmental institutions such as presidency and ministries.
Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927, Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands. In 1927 the Crown ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands be shared, as it remains at present.
Santa Cruz contains the modern Auditorio de Tenerife, the architectural symbol of the Canary Islands.
The island is home to the University of La Laguna; founded in 1792 in San Cristobal de La Laguna, it is the oldest university in the Canaries. The city of La Laguna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is the second city most populated on the island and the third in the archipelago. It was capital of the Canary Islands before Santa Cruz replaced it in 1833.
Teide National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located in the center of the island. In it, El Teide rises as the highest elevation of Spain, the highest of the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, and the third-largest volcano in the world from its base.
On the island, the Macizo de Anaga (massif) has been a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2015. It has the largest number of endemic species in Europe.
Tenerife is also notable for being the site of the Tenerife Airport Disaster, the deadliest aviation accident in history.
The island's indigenous people, the Guanches, referred to the island as Achinet or Chenet in their language. According to Pliny the Younger, Berber king Juba II sent an expedition to the Canary Islands and Madeira; he named the Canary Islands for the particularly ferocious dogs or canaria on the island.
Tenerife is a rugged and volcanic island sculpted by successive eruptions throughout its history. There are four historically recorded volcanic eruptions, none of which has led to casualties.
The first occurred in 1704, when the Arafo, Fasnia and Siete Fuentes volcanoes erupted simultaneously. Two years later, in 1706, the greatest eruption occurred at Trevejo. This volcano produced great quantities of lava which buried the city and port of Garachico.
The last eruption of the 18th century happened in 1798 at Canadas de Teide, in Chahorra. Finally, and most recently, in 1909 that formed the Chinyero cinder cone, in the municipality of Santiago del Teide, erupted.
The island is located between 28° and 29° N and the 16° and 17° meridian. It is situated north of the Tropic of Cancer, occupying a central position between the other Canary Islands of Gran Canaria, La Gomera and La Palma.
The island is about 300 km (186 mi) from the African coast, and approximately 1,000 km (621 mi) from the Iberian Peninsula. Tenerife is the largest island of the Canary Islands archipelago, with a surface area of 2,034.38 km2 (785 sq mi) and has the longest coastline, amounting to 342 km (213 mi).
The highest point, Mount Teide, with an elevation of 3,718 m (12,198 ft) above sea level is the highest point in all of Spain, is also the third largest volcano in the world from its base in the bottom of the sea. For this reason, Tenerife is the 10th-highest island worldwide.
It comprises about 200 small barren islets or large rocks including Roques de Anaga, Roque de Garachico, and Fasnia adding a further 213,835 m2 (2,301,701 sq ft) to the total area.
The Canary Islands have low levels of air pollution thanks to the lack of factories and industry and the tradewinds which naturally move away contaminated air from the islands.
According to official data offered by the Health and Industry Ministry in Spain, Tenerife is one of the cleanest places in the country with an air pollution index below the national average.
Despite this, there are still agents which affect pollution levels in the island, the main polluting agents being the refinery at Santa Cruz, the thermal power plants at Las Caletillas and Granadilla, and road traffic, increased by the high level of tourism in the island.
In addition on the island of Tenerife like on La Palma light pollution must be also controlled, to help the astrophysical observatories located in the island's summits.
Water is generally of a very high quality, and all the beaches of the island of Tenerife have been catalogued by the Ministry of Health and Consumption as waters suitable for bathing.
The island of Tenerife has a remarkable ecological diversity in spite of its small surface area, which is a consequence of the special environmental conditions on the island, where its distinct orography modifies the general climatic conditions at a local level, producing a significant variety of microclimates.
This diversity of natural microclimates and, therefore, habitats, means that a rich and diverse flora of 1400 species of plants exists on the island, with well over a hundred entirely endemic to Tenerife.
Endemic species include Viper's bugloss, Teide white broom, Teide violet etc. The fauna of the island has many endemic invertebrates and unique reptile, bird and mammal species.
The fauna of Tenerife includes some 400 species of fish, 56 birds, five reptiles, two amphibians, 13 land mammals and several thousand invertebrates, along with several species of sea turtles, whales and dolphins.
The vegetation of Tenerife can be divided into six major zones that are directly related to altitude and the direction in which they face.
Xerophytic shrubs that are well adapted to long dry spells, intense sunshine and strong winds. Many endemic species: spurges, cactus spurge or Euphorbia canariensis, wax plants or Ceropegia spp,etc.
Thermophile forest, transition zone with moderate temperatures and rainfall, but the area has been deteriorated by human activity. Many endemic species: juniper or Juniperus cedrus, dragon trees or Dracaena draco, palm trees or Phoenix canariensis, etc.
Dense forest of large trees, descendants of tertiary age flora, situated in a zone of frequent rainfall and mists. A wide variety of species with abundant undergrowth of bushes, herbaceous plants, and ferns. Laurels, holly or Ilex canariensis, ebony or Persea indica, mahogany or Apollonias barbujana, etc.
Wax myrtle. A dryer vegetation, poorer in species. It replaces the degraded laurel forest. Of great forestry importance. Wax myrtles or Myrica faya, tree heath or Erica arborea, holly, etc.
Open pine forest, with thin and unvaried undergrowth. Canary Island pine or Pinus canariensis, broom or Genista canariensis, rock rose or Cistus etc.
High mountain. Dry climate, intense solar radiation and extreme temperatures. Flora well adapted to the conditions.
Before the arrival of the aborigines, the Canary Islands and especially the island of Tenerife, were inhabited by endemic animals now mostly extinct. These specimens reached larger than usual sizes, because of a phenomenon called Island gigantism.
Among these species, the best known in Tenerife were:
The giant lizard or Gallotia goliath inhabited the island of Tenerife from the Holocene until the fifteenth century AD. It was a specimen reaching a length of 120 to 125 centimeters (47.2 to 49.2 inches).
The giant rat or Canariomys bravoi. Fossils mostly dating from the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Its skull reached up to 7 centimeters long, so it could have reached the size of a rabbit, which would make it quite large compared to European species of rats.
Tenerife Giant Rat fossils usually occur in caves and volcanic tubes associated with Gallotia goliath.
The giant tortoise or Geochelone burchardi. A large tortoise, similar to those currently found in some oceanic islands like the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.
Remains found date from the Miocene, the tortoise may have inhabited the island until the Upper Pleistocene, apparently becoming extinct because of volcanic events long before the arrival of humans. Its shell measured approximately 65 to 94 centimetres (26 to 37 inches).
Nearly half of the island territory 48.6 percent is under protection from the Red Canaria de Espacios Naturales Protegidos or Canary Islands Network for Protected Natural Areas.
Of the 146 protected sites under control of network in the Canary Islands archipelago, a total of 43 are located in Tenerife, the most protected island in the group. The network has criteria which places areas under its observation under eight different categories of protection, all of them are represented in Tenerife.
Aside from Parque Nacional del Teide, it counts the Parque Natural de Canarias or Crown Forest, two rural parks Anaga and Teno, four integral natural reserves, six special natural reserves, a total of fourteen natural monuments, nine protected landscapes and up to six sites of scientific interest.
Also located on the island Macizo de Anaga since 2015 is Biosphere Reserve and is the place that has the largest number of endemic species in Europe.
Tenerife is the economic capital of the Canary Islands. At present, Tenerife is the island with the highest GDP in the Canary Islands.
Even though Tenerife's economy is highly specialized in the service sector, which makes 78 percent of its total production capacity, the importance of the rest of the economic sectors is key to its production development.
In this sense, the primary sector, which only represents 1.98 percent of the total product, groups activities that are important to the sustainable development of the island's economy. The energy sector which contributes 2.85 percent has a primary role in the development of renewable energy sources.
The industrial sector which shares in 5.80 percent is a growing activity in the island, vis-a-vis the new possibilities created by technological advances.
The construction sector with 11.29 percent of the total production has a strategic priority, because it is a sector with relative stability which permits multiple possibilities of development and employment opportunities.
Tourism is the most prominent industry in the Canaries, which are one of the major tourist destinations in the world.
In 2014, 11,473,600 tourists excluding those from other parts of Spain went to the Canary Islands. Tenerife had 4,171,384 arrivals that year, excluding the numbers for Spanish tourists which make up an additional 30 percent of total arrivals.
According to last year's Canarian Statistics Centre's (ISTAC) Report on Tourism the greatest number of tourists from any one country come from the United Kingdom, with more than 3,980,000 tourists in 2014.
In second place comes Germany followed by Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Poland, Russia and Austria.
Tourism is more prevalent in the south of the island, which is hotter and drier and has many well developed resorts such as Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos.
More recently coastal development has spread northwards from Playa de las Americas and now encompasses the former small enclave of La Caleta a favoured place for naturist tourists.
After the Moratoria act passed by the Canarian Parliament in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, no more hotels should be built on the island unless they are classified as 5 star-quality and comprise different services such as golf courses or convention facilities.
This act was passed with the goal of improving the standard of tourism service and promoting environmentally conscious development.
The area known as Costa Adeje or (Las Americas-Los Cristianos) has many facilities and leisure opportunities besides sea and sand, such as shopping centres, golf courses, restaurants, water parks the most well-known being Siam Park Tenerife, animal parks, and a theatre suitable for musicals or a convention centre.
In the more lush and green north of the island the main development for tourism has been in the town of Puerto de la Cruz. The town itself has kept some of its old-harbour town charm mixed with northern European influences.
Still, the tourist boom in the 1960s changed the outlook of the town, making it cosy and cosmopolitan at the same time, and a favourite for the more mature traveller, notably the German and Spanish tourist.
Tourists came especially British, showing interest in the agriculture of the islands. With the world wars, this sector weakened, but the start of the second half of the century brought new forms of tourism.
The emphasis was on cities like Arona or Adeje, shifting to tourist centres like Los Cristianos or Playa de Las Americas, which now house 65 percent of the hotels on the island. Tenerife receives more than 5 million tourists every year; of the Сanary islands Tenerife is the most popular.
However, this data also reflects the large quality of resources that tourism consumes space, energy, water etc.
Since tourism dominates the Tenerifian economy, the service sector is the largest. Industry and commerce contribute 40 percent of the non-tourist economy. The primary sector has lost its traditional importance on the island to the industrial and service sectors.
Agriculture contributes less than 10 percent of the island's GDP, but its contribution is vital, as it also generates indirect benefits, by maintaining the rural appearance, and supporting Tenerifian cultural values.
Agriculture is centred on the northern slopes, and is also determined by the altitude as well as orientation: in the coastal zone, tomatoes and bananas are cultivated, usually in plastic enclosures, these high yield products are for export to mainland Spain and the rest of Europe.
In the drier intermediate zone, potatoes, tobacco and maize are grown, whilst in the south, onions are important.
Bananas are a particularly important crop, as Tenerife grows more bananas than the other Canary Islands, with a current annual production of about 150,000 tons, down from the peak production of 200,000 tons in 1986.
More than 90 percent of the total is destined for the international market, and banana growing occupies about 4200 hectares. After the banana the most important crops are, in order of importance, tomatoes, grapes, potatoes and flowers.
Fishing is also a major contributor to the Tenerifian economy, as the Canaries are Spain's second most important fishing grounds.
Commerce in Tenerife plays a significant role in the economy which is enhanced by tourism, representing almost 20 percent of the GDP, with the commercial center Santa Cruz de Tenerife generating most of the earnings.
Although there are a diversity of industrial estates that exist on the island, the most important industrial activity is petroleum, representing 10 percent of the island's GDP, again largely due to the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife with its refinery.
It provides petroliferous products not only to the Canaries archipelago but is also an active in the markets of the Iberian Peninsula, Africa and South America.
There are many monuments on the island, especially from the time after the conquest, we can highlight the Cathedral of San Cristobal de La Laguna, the Church of the Conception of La Laguna and the Church of the Conception in the capital.
The Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria can be found on the island, Patron of Canary Islands. Also noteworthy on the island are the defensive castles located in the village of San Andres, as well as many others throughout the island.
Among other impressive structures is the Auditorio de Tenerife, one of the most modern in Spain, which can be found at the entry port to the capital in the southern part of Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Another prominent structure is the Torres de Santa Cruz, a skyscraper 120 metres (390 feet) high the highest residential building in Spain and one of the tallest skyscrapers in the Canary Islands.
The island also has several archaeological sites of Guanche time prior to the conquest, which generally are cave paintings that are scattered throughout the island, but most are found in the south of the island.
Two of the most important archaeological sites on the island are the Cave of the Guanches, where the oldest remains in the archipelago have been found, dating to the 6th century BC, and the Caves of Don Gaspar.
This is where the finding of plant debris in the form of carbonized seeds indicates that the Guanches practiced agriculture on the island. Both deposits are in the town of Icod de los Vinos.
Other important sites of archaeological site of Los Cambados and the archaeological site of El Barranco del Rey both in Arona. One could also highlight the Cueva de Achbinico the first shrine Marian of the Canary Islands, Guanche vintage-Spanish. There are buildings called Guimar Pyramids, whose origin is uncertain.
There are also traces that reveal the Punic presence on the island, as in the wake commonly called Stone of the Guanches in the town of Taganana. This archaeological site consists of a structure formed by a stone block, large, outdoor, featuring rock carvings on its surface.
Among these is the presence of a representation of the Carthaginian goddess Tanit, represented by a bottle-shaped symbol surrounded by cruciform motifs. It is thought that the monument was originally an altar of sacrifice linked to those found in the Semitic field and then reused for Aboriginal ritual of mummification.
Distinctive representatives of craftsmanship on the island are Tenerife Lace or calado canario, which is drawn work embroidery, and the intricate doilies known as rosetas, or rosette embroidery, particularly from Vilaflor.
The lace, often made for table linen, is produced by the intricate and slow embroidering of a stretched piece of cloth, which is rigidly attached to a wooden frame and is finished with illustrations or patterns using threads that are crossed over and wound around the fijadores, or pins stuck in a small support made of cloth.
These decorated, small pieces are afterwards joined, to produce distinct designs and pieces of cloth.
Another Tenerife-based industry is cabinetwork. The north of the island produced various master craftsman who created distinctive balconies, celosias, doors, and windows, as well as furniture consisting of pieces made in fine wood.
Basketmaking using palm-leaves was also an important industry. Other materials are chestnut tree branches stripped of their leaves and banana tree fibre known locally as la badana.
Pottery has a long history harking back to the production of ceramics by the Guanches. The Guanches were unfamiliar with the potter's wheel, and used hand-worked clay, which gave their pottery a distinctive look.
Pottery was used to produce domestic objects such as pots and grills, or ornamental pieces such as bead collars or the objects known as pintaderas, which were pieces of pottery used to decorate other vessels.
Perhaps the most important festival of Tenerife, popular both on a national and international level, is the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which has been declared a Festival of International Tourist Interest or Fiesta de Interes Turistico Internacional.
The carnival is celebrated in many locations in the north and south of the island, but is largest in scope in the city of Santa Cruz. Contests are celebrated, and the carnival includes bands of street musicians or murgas, groups of minstrels or rondallas de Tenerife, masquerades or comparsas, and various associations or agrupaciones.
Once the Queen of the festival is elected, the first part of the carnival ends, and thereafter begins the actual street carnival, in which large numbers of people gather in the centre of Santa Cruz, with the carnival lasting ten days.
The most traditional and widespread religious festivals on the islands are the pilgrimages or romerias. These events, which incorporate Christian and non-Christian elements, are celebrated by various means. With wagons and floats, plowing teams and livestock, in honor of the patron saint of a particular place.
The processions are accompanied by local dances, local dishes, folkloric activities, local arts and crafts, local sports, and the wearing of traditional dress of Tenerife, trajes de mago.
The origins of these events can be attributed to the parties and celebrations held by the richest classes of the island, who would gather to venerate their patron saints, to which they attributed good harvests, fertile lands, plentiful rainfall, the curing of sicknesses and ending of epidemics, etc.
They would thus give homage to these saints by consuming and sharing the fruits of their harvest, which included the locally cultivated wines. These have developed into processions to mark festivals dedicated to Saint Mark in Tegueste, where the wagons are decorated with the fruits of the earth such as seeds, cereals, flowers, etc.
Saint Isidore the Laborer in Los Realejos; to Saint Isidore the Laborer and Maria Torribia Saint Mary of the Head in La Orotava; the Romeria Regional de San Benito Abad in La Laguna; Virgin of Candelaria in Candelaria; Saint Roch in Garachico; Saint Augustine in Arafo; and the Romería del Socorro in Guimar.
The Virgin of Candelaria is the patron of the Canary Islands; a feast is held in her honor two times a year, in February and August.
The Pilgrimage-Offering to the Virgin of Candelaria is celebrated every 14 August in this event is a tradition that representations of all municipalities of the island and also of all the Canary archipelago come to make offerings to their patron.
Another significant act of the feast of the Virgin of Candelaria is called - Walk to Candelaria - held on the night of 14 to 15 August in which the faithful make pilgrimage on foot from various parts of the island, even coming from other islands to arrive at Villa Mariana de Candelaria.
On 2 February we celebrate the feast of the Candelaria. Also on this day come to town many members of the Virgin.
The religious festival of Corpus Christi is particularly important, and is traditionally celebrated with floral carpets laid in the streets. Particularly noteworthy are the celebrations in La Orotava where a very large carpet, or tapestry, of different coloured volcanic soils, covers the Plaza del Ayuntamiento or town square.
These soils are taken from the Parque Nacional del Teide, and after the celebration, are returned, to preserve the National Park. The celebration of Corpus Christi in Orotava has been declared of Important Cultural Interest among the official Traditional Activities of the Island.
Among the numerous other celebrations that define Tenerifian culture, Easter remains the most important. This is celebrated across the island, but is particularly notable in the municipalities of La Laguna, La Orotava and Los Realejos, where elaborate processions take place on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday.
Holy Week in the city of San Cristobal de la Laguna is the largest of the Canary Islands.
As with the rest of Spain, Tenerife is largely Roman Catholic. However, the practice of other religions and denominations has increasingly expanded on the island due to tourism and immigration, as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Evangelicalism, Judaism and Afro-American religion.
Minority religions are stationed in the island: Chinese Religions, Baha'i and the neopaganism native form, the Church of the Guanche People, among others.
An important Roman Catholic festival is the celebration of the feast day associated with the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the Canary Islands, who represents the union of the Guanche and Spanish cultures.
The Guanches became devoted to a Black Madonna that Christian missionaries from Lanzarote and Fuerteventura left on a beach near the present-day Villa Mariana de Candelaria, which gave rise to the legends and stories associated with the Virgin.
These legends fueled the cult of the Virgin and the pilgrimages to Candelaria that have existed to this day on the island. Another cult to the Virgin Mary exists in the form of Our Lady of Los Remedios or la Virgen de Los Remedios, who is patron of the island and Roman Catholic diocese of Tenerife or Diocesis Nivariense.
In Tenerife were born two Catholic saints who were of the greatest missionaries in the American continent: Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur and Jose de Anchieta.
The first was a missionary in Guatemala and founder of Order of Our Lady of Bethlehem, the first American-born religious order, the second was a missionary in Brazil, and was one of the founders of Sao Paulo and of Rio de Janeiro.
It also highlights the figure of the mystic Mary of Jesus de Leon y Delgado. This nun died with a reputation for holiness and is highly revered throughout the Canary Islands. Her body is intact in the Convent of Santa Catalina de Siena in San Cristóbal de La Laguna.
Principal Roman Catholic places of worship on the island include:
The Basilica of Candelaria in Candelaria: The place where the image of the Virgin of Candelaria can be found, this sanctuary is built in neoclassical style, and is visited daily by the parishioners, who visit the Villa Mariana out of devotion to the Virgin.
The Cathedral of La Laguna in San Cristobal de La Laguna: The seat of the Diocese of Tenerife known as the Diocesis Nivariense, or Nivarian Diocese, the cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of Remedies or la Virgen de Los Remedios. A combination of neo-Gothic and neoclassical architectural elements.
Real Santuario del Cristo de La Laguna in San Cristobal de La Laguna: One of the most important churches in the Canary Islands, it contains the venerated image of the Cristo de La Laguna, and is a symbol of the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna.
Principal Parish of Saint James the Great or Parroquia Matriz del Apostol Santiago: Situated in Villa de Los Realejos, this parish church was the first Christian church built on the island after its conquest by Castilian forces. It is dedicated to Saint James the Great, as the conquista was completed on the saint's feast day on 25 July 1496.
It was, along with the Parish of the Conception of La Laguna, one of the first parishes of the island.
The Church of the Conception of La Laguna or Iglesia de la Concepcion de La Laguna: One of the most ancient buildings on Tenerife, its construction was ordered by Alonso Fernandez de Lugo. It has been declared a National Historic Monument.
Around this church were built the dwellings and infrastructure that formed the nucleus of the city of San Cristobal de La Laguna.
Other important churches include the Church of the Conception in La Orotava or Iglesia de la Concepcion; the churches of San Agustín and Santo Domingo in La Orotava; the church of Nuestra Senora de la Peña de Francia in Puerto de la Cruz; the church of San Marcos in Icod de los Vinos; the church of Santa Ana in Garachico; and the Church of the Conception or Iglesia de la Concepcion in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The first saint of Tenerife and Canary Islands was Santo Hermano Pedro de San Jose Betancurt, born in the town of Vilaflor, Tenerife. His shrine is a cave in Granadilla de Abona, near the coast, where he lived in his youth.
Another notable building on the island is the Masonic Temple of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, generally considered the finest example of Masonic temple architecture in Spain; it was the Masonic center of the country until the military occupation of the island by the Franco regime.
The headquarters of the Islamic Federation of the Canary Islands is in Tenerife; the organization was founded to unite the Muslim communities of the Canary Islands in a common association.
The island boasts a variety of museums of different natures, under dominion of a variety of institutions. Perhaps the most developed are those belonging to the Organismo Autonomo de Museos y Centros, which include the following:
Museum of Nature and Man: located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, this museum exhibits the natural riches of the Canary Islands and of the pre-Hispanic people who inhabited these. The Museum of Nature and Man is a world reference in regard to preservation of mummies. The complex is composed of three museums:
- The Museum of Natural Sciences
- The Architectural Museum of Tenerife
- The Canarian Institute of Bioanthropology
Museum of the History of Tenerife: located in the city of La Laguna, the history of museum presents an overview of the institutional, social, economic and cultural development of the Island in from the 15th to 20th centuries.
The Museum of Science and the Cosmos, also located in La Laguna adjacent to the property of the Instituto de Astrofísica as a museum about the laws and principles of nature, from those of the cosmos to those of the human body.
The Museum of Anthropology of Tenerife, in La Laguna as well, more specifically in Valle de Guerra is a public institution for the investigation, conservation and spread of popular culture
The Centro de Documentacion Canario-Americano or CEDOCAM, Center for Canarian-American Documentation, located in La Laguna has a mission of strengthening cultural relations and elements of common identity between the Canaries and the Americas.
Through such means as conservation, information and diffusion of their shared documentary patrimony.
The Centro de Fotografia Isla de Tenerife or Island of Tenerife Photographic Center located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife offers an annual program of expositions that allows contact with tendencies and works of various renowned and emergent photographers of the Canaries.
In the future, this center will share a headquarters with the Instituto Oscar Dominguez de Arte y Cultura Contemporánea or Oscar Dominguez Institute of Art and Culture.
The Tenerife Espacio de las Artes or TEA, Tenerife Arts Space also in Santa Cruz de Tenerife was founded to promote knowledge of the many contemporary tendencies in art and culture among the local population and visitors, by organizing cultural, scientific, educational and technical activities.
Independent of the Organismo Autónomo de Museos y Centros are:
The Casa del Carnaval or Carnival House, located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is a museum dedicated to the history of the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The enclosure has two exhibition areas.
One for temporary exhibitions and also used as an assembly hall, and another for permanent exhibitions in which the costumes of the queen of the carnival of each year stand out, the original posters of the carnival, thematic videos of the history of the party, touch screens and virtual reality glasses, etc.
The Municipal Museum of Fine Arts in the Tenerifan capital has a permanent exhibit of the paintings and sculptures of Jose de Ribera, Federico Madrazo, Joaquin Sorolla and such Canarian artists as Manolo Millares and Oscar Dominguez.
The Casa del Vino-La Baranda or House of Wine-La Baranda, a member of the Asociacion de Museos del Vino de Espana or Association of Wine Museums of Spain, is located in the municipality of El Sauzal.
Its facilities include a rustic, historic hacienda, a museum of the history of viticulture in Tenerife, a restaurant serving typical Tenerifan food, a wine store, an audiovisual hall, and a tasting room.
The Casa de la Miel or House of Honey is an annex to the Casa del Vino-La Baranda, and was established by the Cabildo Insular to support and develop the apicultural or bee-keeping sector on Tenerife.
The visitor's center of the Casa de la Miel offers exhibits about the history of this industry on the island and how apiculture is conducted, as well as information services and opportunities to taste Tenerifan denominacion de origen honeys.
The Museum of Iberoamerican Artisanship is located in the old convent of San Benito Abad, in La Orotava. El centro se encuadra dentro del programa de divulgacion que ejecuta el Center for Documentation of Artisanship in Spain and America.
The Foundation is financed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism; the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional or Spanish Agency of International Cooperation, the Comision Nacional or Quinto Centeneario or Fifth Centenary National Commission.
The Consejeria de Industria y Comercio del Gobierno de Canarias or Council of Industry and Commerce of the Government of the Canaries, and the Cabildo Insular de Tenerife.
It has five galleries, specialized in popular musical instruments, textiles/new designs in artisanship, ceramics, fibers, and popular art.
The Archaeological Museum of Puerto de la Cruz in the city of the same name is located in a traditional casona, a type of house dating from the 18th–19th century, offers an archival collection comprising more than 2,600 specimens of items from the Guanche culture, and a document collection named after researcher Luis Diego Cuscoy.
The Regional Military Museum of the Canaries, is located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, more specifically in the Fuerte de Almeyda district.
Its galleries present all of the military history of the de Canaries, including the repelling of the attack by British Admiral Horatio Nelson, as well as other events and battles waged in the islands.
Separate from the Regional Military Museum are files providing the Intermediate Military Archive of the Canaries and the Military Library of the Canary Islands.
Tenerife is most easily reached by air. There are two airports: Reina Sofia or Tenerife South Airport, in the south, and Tenerife North Airport, also called Los Rodeos, near Santa Cruz. Each has flights to the capitals of the other islands and to cities throughout Europe, as well as to Caracas, Dakar, and Miami.
Overall, Tenerife has the highest annual passenger count and the greatest number of arrivals, made more popular by the frequency of cheap flights from many European destinations. Tenerife North Airport was the site of the deadliest accident in aviation history: in 1977 two Boeing 747s collided on a runway, killing 583 people.
Tenerife North Airport and Tenerife South Airport together account for the highest passenger numbers in the Islands with some 14 million passengers annually AENA report. Of the two airports on the island, Tenerife South is the most popular tourist destination.
Besides air transport, Tenerife has two principal maritime ports: the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife or Puerto de Santa Cruz, which serves the various capitals of the Canary Islands, especially those in the west; and the Port of Los Cristianos or Puerto de Los Cristianos, which serves the various island capitals of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The first port also has passenger services, which connect with the mainland port of Cadiz and vice versa. In 2017, a large important port was opened in the south of the island, the Port of Granadilla, and another one is planned in the west, in Fonsalia.
The Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the first fishing port in the Canary Islands with approximately 7,500 tons of fish caught, according to the Statistical Yearbook of the State Ports 2006 the latest of which is changing. Following this report is the largest port number of passengers recorded.
The second port of Spain moving ship and loaded into cars, only surpassed by the Port of Algeciras Bay. In the port's facilities include a border inspection post (BIP) approved by the European Union, which is responsible for inspecting all types of imports from third countries or exports to countries outside the European Economic Area.
Tenerife has an extensive system of buses, which are called guaguas in the Canary Islands. The bus system is used both within the cities and also connects most of the towns and cities of the island. There are bus stations in all of the major towns, such as the Intercambiador de Transportes de Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
There is a well-regulated taxi service on the island.
Since 2007, the Tenerife Tram connects Santa Cruz de Tenerife and La Laguna through the suburb of Taco. There are 20 stops and it covers a distance of 12.5 km (7.8 mi) in 37 minutes.
It calls at some points of interest including Tenerife's two major hospitals, the university complex of Guajara, and a number of museums and theatres. Concerning its power supply, it will support development of further wind farms to provide it with 100 percent clean energy.
By 2005, plans for a light-rail network linking the capital with the South had been approved by both the Tenerife Council and the Canary Islands Government, though the discussion with the central Spanish Government stalled on budget issues.
The original intent was to establish two railway systems that would serve the northern and southern sides of the island connecting these with the capital. By March 2011, these intentions had been replaced by advanced plans for a single 80 km (50 mi) high-speed rail line.
The South Train which would connect Santa Cruz de Tenerife with Adeje via Santa Maria de Anaza, Candelaria, San Isidro, Tenerife South Airport, and a main stopover station at Adeje which would be designed to service up to 25,000 passengers per day.
Trains would run every 15 minutes during rush hours, and would achieve speeds up to 220 km/h (137 mph). The project, which involves 9 tunnels, 12 false tunnels together 22.1 km and 33 viaducts (8.3 km) has been budgeted at EUR 1.7 bn.
It has met staunch opposition from local environmentalists. An alternate plan for a high-speed Transrapid maglev has also been put forward.
Due to the geographic situation of Tenerife, the island enjoys an abundance of fish of various kinds. The species that are consumed the most are the Combtooth blennies or viejas, as well as sea bream or sama, red porgy or bocinegro, gold lined bream or salema, grouper or mero, and various and abundant types of Thunnus.
The Atlantic mackerel or caballa), sardine, and Jack mackerels or chicharros are also consumed frequently. Moray eels or morenas are also eaten, usually fried. Most seafood is cooked simply, usually boiled, or prepared a la espalda which is cut into two equally shaped pieces along the spine or a la sal baked in salt.
These dishes are usually accompanied by mojo a local sauce and wrinkly potatoes.
The typical festive meat dish of marinated porc tacos is a very popular dish prepared for town festivities in ventorrillos, bars and private homes. Rabbit in salmorejo, goat, and of course beef, pork and poultry are also regularly consumed.
The fish dishes along with the meats are often accompanied by wrinkly potatoes or papas arrugadas. This is a typical Canarian dish which simply refers to the way the cooked potatoes look. They are boiled in their skins, in water with lots of salt, and the water is allowed to evaporate, leaving a salty crust.
Mojo, a word probably of Portuguese origin, describes a typical Canarian sauce, served as an accompaniment to food. The sauces come in a variety of colours, flavours and textures, and are usually served cold, often in separate dishes, for the diner to choose how much to apply.
Green mojo usually includes coriander, parsley, and garlic; whilst red mojo is piquant, and made from a mix of hot and sweet peppers. A wide variety of other ingredients are also used, including; almonds, cheese, saffron and fried bread.
Mojos are served with most meat, and some fish, dishes, and are often used on potatoes, or bread is dipped into them.
Tenerife exports about 3,400 tons of cheese per year, representing about 50 percent of the output of the island, and about 25 percent of the entire Canary Islands.
After the conquest of the Canary Islands, one of the first commercial activities to be started was cheese production. The sale of cheese provided the inhabitants with an income and cheese was even used as a form of currency for exchange and sale, becoming a crucial product in agricultural areas of the island.
Cheese grew to become one of the most commonly produced and consumed products on the island and is regularly served as part of a starter course or as a snack. Farms at Arico, La Orotava and Teno produced a variety of cheeses, including soft cheeses, cured, smoked and were mostly handmade.
Today the main product is goat cheese, although certain amounts are made from sheep's or cow's milk, and according to the Registro General Sanitario de Alimentos, the general health registry, around 75 different cottage cheeses are produced.
The cheeses of the Canaries have generally received good international reviews, noted for their sweetness which differentiates them from certain other European cheeses. In particular, Tenerifan cured goats cheese was awarded best cheese in the world final of the 2008 World Cheese Awards held in Dublin, Ireland.
Cheeses from Tenerife now have a quality mark promoted by the Fundacion Tenerife Rural, to standardize their quality in an attempt to publicize the qualities of the cheese and improve its marketing.
Gofio is one of the more traditional elements of cooking on the island, It is made with cereal grains that are roasted and then ground. Increasingly used to make a gofio on the island is wheat although there are other types, and they are often made with chick peas.
Relatively common is a mixed-type with wheat. It was served as main food to the guanches even before the Spanish conquest. In later times of scarcity or famine it was a staple of the popular Canarian diet.
Today it is eaten as a main dish gofio escaldado or an accompaniment to different dishes, meats, fishes, soups, desserts. Some famous cooks have even made gofio ice cream, receiving good comments from the critics.
Confectionery in Tenerife is represented and strongly influenced by La Palma, with confections like bienmesabe, leche asada, Príncipe Alberto, frangollo, huevos moles, quesillo, etc.
Viniculture in the archipelago, and especially in Tenerife dates back to the conquest, when the settlers brought a variety of vines to plant. In the 16th and 17th centuries, wine production played an important role in the economy, and many families were dedicated to the culture and business.
Of special mention is malvasía canary, considered the best wine of Tenerife and at the time one of the most desired wines in the world, being shipped across to the major warehouses of Europe and America. Writers such as William Shakespeare and Walter Scott make reference to the wine in some of their works.
In the past, the names Malvasia, Malvazia, and Malmsey have been used interchangeably for Malvasia-based wines; however, in modern oenology, Malmsey is now used almost exclusively for a sweet variety of Madeira wine made from the Malvasia grape.
Grape varieties in this family include Malvasia bianca, Malvasia di Schierano, Malvasia negra, Malvasia nera, Malvasia nera di Brindisi and a number of other varieties.
Malvasia wines are produced in Italy including Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardia, Apulia, Sicily, Lipari, Emilia-Romagna, and Sardinia, Slovenia, Croatia including Istria, Corsica, the Iberian Peninsula, the Canary Islands, the island of Madeira, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Australia and Brazil.
These grapes are used to produce white and more rarely red table wines, dessert wines, and fortified wines of the same name, or are sometimes used as part of a blend of grapes, such as in Vin Santo.
Tenerife has 5 main wine growing regions. These include Abona, Valle de Guimar, Valle de La Orotava, Tacoronte-Acentejo and Ycoden-Daute-Isora.
Cities of Tenerife
- Las Galletas A peaceful little fishing village.
- Los Abrigos A picturesque working fishing village on the South East coast of the Island.
- Costa Adeje Adeje is an old town on the hill above the coast. It is now a major tourist destination.
- Las Americas a major tourist town.
- Los Cristianos Once a small fishing village but now a major tourist destination.
- Puerto de la Cruz featuring Loro Parque Zoo.
- Los Gigantes tourists and locals. The impressive Los Gigantes Cliffs are located here. There are also many whale and dolphin excursions from here.
- La Laguna the World Heritage city.
- La Orotava Beautiful city in the north of the island.
- El Medáno Laid back, alternative haven, one of the windsurfing capitals of the world. It is usually very windy here.
- Santa Cruz de Tenerife the capital of the Island and department of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
- Los Silos A small, traditional Canarian town between gorgeous mountain and the sea.
Neighbouring islands are a few hours ferry ride away. La Gomera is the nearest.
A poor, banana-growing region in past decades, Tenerife has been brought up to European living standards since the arrival of mass air travel in the 1960s, which brought industry and millions of tourists each year.
Over the decades this has led to many complexes and houses being built, making parts of the island highly urbanized. While part of the EU for political purposes, the island remains outside its customs and VAT area, making high tax goods such as tobacco and alcohol cheaper than elsewhere in Europe.
Many of the young tourists hang out on the south of the island with older and family tourists choosing Puerto de La Cruz and its environs.
On the south side there is consistent summer, little to no wind, and pretty much perfect beach-weather for much of the year though there have been rare instances of cool to cold weather in the Jan-Feb period.
Also expect some very wet days for that time of year though most days will still be sunny. There are plenty of hotels, activities and British food and drink.
On the north side of the island you will find more green and vibrant local culture. There is a more Spanish year-round springtime feel. The weather fluctuates a bit more here, but is also mostly pleasant though not as hot as the south.
In between the north and south of the island sits Spain's tallest peak, the barely dormant volcano El Teide 3718m above sea level. Tours previously allowed people into the crater, but tourists are no longer allowed into the crater for safety reasons.
The local currency is the Euro and most places accept credit or debit cards, which require a chip and PIN. There are many exchange bureaus in the main tourist resorts but not in the Spanish places like Santa Cruz.
The native language is Spanish. In the south English is spoken by everyone with German and Italian common too, but in the north English is spoken by fewer. No big problem should be anticipated regarding communication, though.
At the Don Quijote Spanish school in Tenerife you can take 4-6 hours of courses a day. All courses including beginner courses are taught entirely in Spanish.
As an island the usual way to arrive is by air. There are two airports, Tenerife South - Reina Sofia near Los Cristianos and Tenerife North - Los Rodeos by La Laguna. There are several buses connecting the airport to the main cities; for smaller cities, expect to have to make bus changes.
They stop around midnight and start again around 5-6AM.
Trasmediterranea run a weekly ferry from Cadiz in Spain which takes two days.
There are also ferries to the other Canary Islands, going to Gran Canaria from Santa Cruz de Tenerife about €80 return and La Gomera from Los Cristianos.
A hire car is the best option for discovering the remote regions. There is a wide selection of companies, ranging from budget to premium. When choosing one of the cheapest companies like Goldcar, make sure to understand the terms & conditions, since there may be hidden fees or tricks.
Such as petrol refill fee at the time of return, or mandatory insurance to be paid at pickup.
If you only own a debit card not credit card, for example autoreisen allows rent without deposit because the car is almost fully insured and thus a bit more expensive. The car return is then as simple as dropping the keys at the office.
TITSA buses cover most of the island and the buses are fairly frequent. A BONO travel card is a good idea if you intend to spend some time travelling on the buses as they can save 50-70% on journey costs.
Only one card is needed by any number in a group and can be bought at bus stations as well as some tobacconists.
Beware of the morning 7-8am traffic jams on the highway in the direction of Santa Cruz. A tram line operates between Santa Cruz and La Laguna; the BONO card is valid there.
You can also prebook an airport transfer with Tenerife Airport Transfers who possess a wide range of vehicles such as shuttle buses, minibus, limousines and coaches.
The roads are in good shape, also the ones in the mountains but especially on roads carved into mountain there may be rocks fallen on the road. The highways around the island are free, but limited to 120 km/h. Regular roads range from normal to twisty and narrow roads in Anaga, or around Santiago del Teide.
Tenerife is building many new roads including some major routes. While not very accurate in the past, as of 2013, TomTom maps now cover the majority of the island and have many points of interest.
Garmin used to be not accurate as well, current status unknown. Openstreetmap project provides fairly complete maps of the islands roads, hiking trails and other points of interest.
El Teide, from the car park, tourists can take the 10 minute cable lift to 3550 m 27€ per person/return. Return ticket is valid for 1 hour, if you miss it you will have to pay additional 12.50€ to go back down. However this limitation does not seem to be enforced very strictly.
To climb to the summit the uppermost 168 m special permission is essential by request to the National Park Office in Santa Cruz. From the top there is an amazing view all over the island.
At 3718 m (12,198 ft) El Teide is the highest mountain in Spain. The rapid ascent by cable car can lead to altitude sickness, in even the strongest climbers. If symptoms start to manifest you should descend immediately, note that at peak times the wait for the cable car descent can be over an hour.
At the summit, strong winds are not uncommon which significantly reduces temperatures. Irrespective of temperatures on the beaches, a trip to Teide or even just the National Park can be very cold, with snow at the peak common until typically March/April on average.
In winter expect a few feet of snow and ice, and strong winds so prepare accordingly. Details on what to expect can be found at Altitude sickness#How high is high.
Parque Rural de Anaga, Fantastic place to go hiking. There are some routes that you can do. In Cruz del Carmen you can find the visitor's center where you can get information about the park.
Don't forget go to the Pico del Ingles viewpoint where you can see a beautiful view of the island, if the weather is good. From La Laguna you only need fifteen minutes in car to arrive. Other places are Taganana, Roque las Bodegas, Almaciga the black sand beaches.
There are some wonderful drives all around the island. There are long winding mountain roads with breathtaking scenery but they might be a challenging for less skilled drivers.
Popular destination is Masca village located about 1 hour drive north of Los Gigantes, parking spaces are very limited. For those who do not rent/own a car in most resorts there are companies organizing coach trips there.
One of the biggest lava cave systems in the world, accessible from Icod de los Vinos. Long trousers and good boots are required.
Teide Observatory, one of the best spots in the world to observe sky provides guided visits.
Santa Cruz has a number of museums and an art gallery. Also a space museum and planetarium on a small scale near La Laguna.
In February there is a huge fancy dress parade by locals which is said to be third in size after Rio and Notting Hill carnivals.
Visit the beautiful old towns of La Orotava and San Cristobal de La Laguna, the latter being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visit the world class botanical garden just above Puerto de la Cruz.
Tenerife is a favoured destination for scuba divers, with numerous dive operations of all qualities and nationalities. The waters round the island are diveable throughout the year, with the temperature varying between 18 degrees in January to around 25-26 degrees in August.
Go around the harbour wall in Puerto de la Cruz for fantastic volcanic rock formations, or feed the stringrays at Las Galletas for something a bit different.
Water sports are available in the south including surfing, wind surfing, speed boat parascending and jet-ski. Nowhere seems to rent canoes.
Of course, many visitors just want to spend their time on a beach or by the hotel swimming pool. Playa Americas beach is black volcanic sand, but Los Cristianos is yellow imported sand. The black sand feels the same as the yellow, but can be much hotter when sunny and is not as pleasing to look at to many.
Beaches often have sun-loungers with parasols available to hire for the day, but if you are doing this for a few days it is probably better to just buy a parasol and some beach mats.
Tenerife Fishing With over 400 species of fish and over 50 world records, Tenerife offers some of the very best fishing around. You are able to fish all year catching a variety of fish from Blue Marlin, Shark, Tuna, Wahoo, Amberjack and many bottom feeding fish including giant Rays.
Marlin fishing is considered to be one of the biggest feats in sport fishing. The Blue Marlin, regarded as the King of Fish, is the largest of all the Marlins and landing a Blue Marlin is considered to be the highest achievement of a big game fishing angler.
Anglers from all around the world go looking for these magnificent creatures so that they can add the most precious feather to their cap. The largest ever caught in Canarian waters weighed in at over half a ton (537,5kg)
Tenerife is an excellent destination for hiking. There are routes for anyone, from leisurely one hour strolls to extremely strenuous full day hikes in demanding terrain with either a huge ascent, descent or both.
There are several books describing hiking routes, such as two Landscapes of Tenerife books from Sunflower Books, one covering the northern side and the other covering the southern side.
It's a good idea to get a guide book before you go to Tenerife, as they might be difficult to find there.
These are the most interesting hikes:
El Teide. Alongside the cablecar, a hike is possible a well. The ascent by foot starts at the base of the Montaña Blanca, at an altitude of 2200 m with very limited parking. Don't underestimate the short walk as the gradient and low oxygen levels make it challenging even for experienced walkers.
After a relatively gentle start up a 4x4 track for around 4 km, you begin the steep and spectacular climb, ascending 530 m in just over 1.5 km, when you will reach the recently rebuilt Altavista Refuge (3270 m).
This offers climbers a bed for a maximum of a night and kitchen facilities. After a further kilometer and 250 m ascent, the path joins another leading to La Fortaleza viewpoint, which follows the contour around El Teide to the cable lift.
If required for descent, always check if the cable lift is operational before you set off, as it does not run in poor weather conditions and closes without warning. You should allow 6-8 hours for an ascent and descent on foot.
Accessing top of the mountain requires a free permit, book early, it's often full months beforehand, unless you visit outside the regular hours before or after the cablecar operates. Also the Altavista Refuge has limited space and requires a reservation.
Pico Viejo, a moderately demanding hike, hiking boots recommended, it is possible from El Teide. One reasonable itinerary is leaving car at Boca Tauce interesection of TF-21 and TF-38, taking bus line 342 from there to the cablecar, going up and then just descending via Pico Viejo, Narices del Teide and back to Boca Tauce.
It takes around 5-6 hours from the top to bottom.
Masca valley. Probably the most popular and somewhat crowded, compared to other Tenerife treks path. Starting at Masca valley, going down all the way to a beach, inbetween massive cliffs. Check Los_Gigantes for access info. Taking the hike uphill requires at least water supplies, in case of high temperatures.
Barranco del Infierno or Hell's Ravine, close to Adeje popular with hikers, you need to book to go on the walk. There is little to see but vegetation on this walk and a tiny waterfall at its end.
The most western point is Punta de Teno with excellent views. The road to that point was been damaged but is now passable again. On Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays however, the road is not open to the public between 10 AM and 5 PM.
Instead there is the new bus line 369 departing every hours from several stops in Buenavista del Norte at 1€ per ride. Even if you don't plan to hike, hanging out around the lighthouse is already worth it.
Roque del Conde, one of the most prominent mountains on the south coast. A few hours hike from the nearby Arona village goes through a relatively big canyon of Barranco del Rey and at top provides good views to all sides unless mist builds up.
Anaga provides wide variety of hikes. While the park itself is relatively small, the roads are very winding - multiply the time navigation suggests by factor of 2.
Road from La Laguna to Chamorga takes approx. 1:45 - 2 hours. Hiking is possible in many places, however some of them may require permit to enter. A very incomplete list of treks follows:
Chamorga - Roque Bormejo. A round trip starts at a picturesque village of Chamorga, goes through mountains, along the shore with grand views, a lighthouse Faro de Anaga, Roque Bormejo village and back up through a valley Camino de Roque Bormejo.
A relaxing walk almost flat road to Cabezo del Tejo viewpoint, through an often misty forest.
Roque de Taborno or Matterhorn of Tenerife, a few hours trek around a picturesque mountain. The path crosses a cliff for a few meters, beware if you are easily scared of hights.
Tenerife attracts a large number of cyclists all year around. Whether mountain biking, roadbiking or riding an electric bike, Tenerife has plenty of beautiful roads and dirt tracks. If you want to avoid the hassle of bringing your own bike, you can rent bikes on the island, for example in Las Americas or El Medano.
Cycling is hard to do casually, the coastal roads are busy and there is little room for bikes except often in the gutter. However if you like cycling up hills there are plenty of steep roads to climb as soon as you leave the coastline.
For those less fit, one tour company offers a car trip to the top of El Teide with a cycle down, no pedaling required.
The island is quickly becoming an important winter destination for cross-country and enduro mountain biking, as on average it enjoys sunny skies and warm temperatures when Europe's bike resorts are covered in mud and snow.
Exploring the island on a mountain bike is a rewarding experience, thanks to the great diversity of terrain, vegetation and elevation.
Little compares to a descent through lava fields and Canary pines to the beach in time to sip a beer at sunset. Guiding businesses will take you safely on Tenerife's best trails.
Club Activo Cycling, Hotel Las Dalias, s/n, 38660 Adeje, Gran Bretaña nº 1 Costa Adeje. Guided cycling tours in Tenerife South.
Galatea Sailing, Puerto Colon, s/n, 38660 Adeje, Dock 3 Costa Adeje. Sailing excursions and private Charter in Tenerife South
Eden Catamaran, CC Puerto Colon, local 129C Costa Adeje. Offers whale and dolphin watching trips.
Bike Point Tenerife, Avda.Quinto Centenario s/n, Edificio las terrazas, 38660 Las Americas, Tenerife Opposite of the police station in Las Americas, Magma and bus station. Bike Point Tenerife- Rental, Biketours & Shop
Bike Point Tenerife, Avda.Quinto Centenario s/n, Edificio las terrazas,38660 Las Americas, Opposite of the police station Las Americas, bus station and Magma. Biketours, Rental & Shop in Las Americas and El Medano
Fluyendo Tenerife, All Mountain/XC MTB guided excursions in Tenerife. Enduro/XC guided rides. Logistic support for photoshooting. One-day or multi-day packages to explore every corner of the island during your vacation.
Tenerife Swim. For private swim tuition and personal training across Tenerife.
Hybrid BIKES, ELECTRIC bikes Tenerife, Tenerife South. Rentals of e-bikes, electric mountain bikes, with mountain gears & powerful 20Ah battery. Rent-a-bike service includes delivery to the hotel.
Loro Parque Zoo is in just outside the northern city of Puerto de la Cruz, which is an animal protection foundation as well as a huge animal park.
Jungle Park close to the area of Los Cristianos is well worth a visit, the bird of prey show is a must. There are free bus links to the park, but getting on one to get back is not much fun.
Siam Park which is a water park in Costa Adeje created by the owners of Loro Parque, 2 metre high artificial waves, several cafes/bars.
You'll also find the Aqualand water park in Costa Adeje.
You will find many local shops selling excursions to these parks.
Go-karts and motor bikes are raced in the main track and two sizes of cart on the kit track. Located close to Playa de las Américas free bus service from and back to your hotel.
In Playa de las Américas, there are many shopping centres, such as the Safari Centre and the Siam Mall, which have many familiar clothes shops and restaurants.
Santa Cruz has a big market by the station on Sunday mornings, and a local picturesque market Mercado Municipal Nuestra Senora de Africa open daily until 14:30. Las Americas has one Thursday and Saturday and Los Cristianos on Sundays.
There are weekly markets in Las Américas and Los Cristianos, as well as some other little villages. They sell a wide range of souvenirs, but beware of pickpockets as they like to take advantage of the crowded areas.
On the highstreet in Santa Cruz, you can also find many big brands, sometimes at a slightly lower price than in the tourist areas.
Fish is a large part of the local diet with restaurants that allow you to choose a fish from their selection often hand caught, which they will cook for you. Black potatoes called papas arrugadas are served unpeeled and covered in rock salt, ready to be dipped into a local sauce.
As in the rest of Spain, tapas are eaten a lot with local specialties including garlic sauces, refried beans and squid. Typical Spanish meals such as tortilla or potato omelette and paella a rice dish with seafood are common too.
The south is full of plenty of junk food restaurants with hamburgers, pizza, chips, etc. There are 15 McDonald's including some on the beaches. Also note that in touristic hotspots such as Playa de las Americas, menus are available in numerous languages ranging from English, German, Russian and some Scandinavian languages, making it very easy to choose even if you are not familiar with the local dishes' names or don't understand Spanish.
Lots of Chinese Restaurants are also available in Tenerife. You can eat as much as you can from a buffet, paying fixed price like 6€ or 6.50€, lets say the price is different according to the variety of food.
In the tourist spots, there are also many up-market restaurants, such as the Thai Botanico and Bianco's in Playa de las Americas.
However, for those who want a taste of the culture, there are also lots of traditional Canarian restaurants, like Meson Era las Mozas which some people call the courtyard in Valle San Lorenzo about 15€ in a taxi from Los Cristianos and El Cordero in Guargacho.
They both do a variety of meats cooked on the barbecue, sometimes doing quite large portions.
Tenerife also has a reputation for the booze scene, with Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos providing ample locations for those that enjoy 24 hour clubbing & drinking. The drinks available are the same as the rest of Europe predominantly British.
Barraquito, also called barraco, is a coffee specialty from the Canary Islands and particularly popular on Tenerife but also on La Palma.
Ron Miel, in English is Honey Rum, is a rum made with Honey that is fantastic served over ice. In some more local parts of the island it may be served as a thank you for eating in a restaurant.
Wine. There are a great variety of local wines. Malmsey or Malavasias, red wines, fruity wine.
Tenerife is generally a safe place to visit but, as always, beware of pickpockets. Walking alone late at night is not advisable, as there are a sizeable number of illegal immigrants and local youths who have been known to take advantage of the lone late night reveller.
Taxis are widely available, and not too badly priced though a taxi from the southern airport to Puerto Cruz is very expensive.
The local police take a dim view of any form of trouble, and will arrest not just the culprits but anyone they suspect was involved. This will involve at least a 24-hour stay in the local jail and usually a fine, but it will not be a life scarring experience.
They will also arrest anyone who tries to sleep on a beach at night. Local law enforcement police and Guardia Civil are known to be very heavy handed, and physical violence towards suspected troublemakers is common.
Take note that when walking through Playas De Las Americas there are a lot of clubs and accompanying drunkenness in the night hours.
There are no scorpions or snakes to worry about. Mosquitoes can bite at night, especially away from the coast, but they do not carry malaria.
Do not take electrical items, credit cards or large amounts of cash to the beach if you plan to leave your goods unattended while swimming.
The sun is extremely strong this close to the equator, so use plenty of high factor sun cream and do not sunbathe between midday and three o'clock, this is when the beaches are busiest anyway.
Many, shops on the island selling electrical and optical goods as well as cameras. You may think you are getting a bargain from these smooth talking salesmen but you aren't. You will overpay for something you could buy cheaper at home and even cheaper off eBay.
Your goods may be faulty. Your guarantee will probably be worthless. Your video camera may be SECAM which means a B&W picture in the UK (PAL). These shops are everywhere in the tourist areas and so many people have been cheated by them for so many years.
Beware of places that sell video games, mainly for the Nintendo Game Boy or DS as they are usually bootlegs.
If you are holidaying in Tenerife you are probably going to be approached by scratchcard touts whose main aim is to part you with several thousand pounds for worthless contracts for time share apartments.
This view is backed up by the UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) who suggest that every year 400,000 UK consumers fall victim to these scams in destinations such as Tenerife, the Costa del Sol and Gran Canaria.
On average each victim loses more than £3,000. These people usually seek for tourists on the road, by checking if your rental car has a sticker for a car rental company on them, before asking if you're English, then taking you to their timeshare club if you say you are.
Another tactic is standing out on the road in popular villa based areas, stopping passers-by. In both circumstances, a polite No thank you or walking away simply stops them bothering you.
Waiting outside boating docks where popular tourist boat rides settle is occasional.
Bogus scratchcard touts offer cards that will always be a winner, but to collect their prize, people need to attend a lengthy presentation and are persuaded into signing a contract for an exclusive club on the basis of false claims as to the price, range and quality of holidays available.
The OFT's is advising people to ask three simple questions: can you take away the contract to consider at your leisure? Is everything you were promised in the presentation in the contract? Do you know exactly what you are getting for your money? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then simply walk away.
The other main irritant on Tenerife are the Lookey Lookey men who try to sell you sunglasses, watches, jewellery and other cheap knick-knacks known as Lucky Luckies. They are quite harmless and generally don´t mean to cause trouble, they are just trying to make a living, but a firm NO generally works.
Some car rental companies like Goldcar charges extra money in Airport from your credit card. Always ask them how much they'll refund after you drop the car back. Read carefully about rental policy. There're a lot of reviews about latter on the Internet. Losing of vigilance may make big dark spot in your holiday.
Tenerife is the island of eternal spring and the weather is beautiful all year round. Generally speaking, the weather is sunnier in the south and rather cloudy in the north. A typical Canarian climatic phenomenon is calima, a strong wind carrying sand and dust from the African Sahara.
Calima can cause allergies and respiratory problems so it is recommended to monitor the weather and especially the wind direction with an application available on Google Play to be updated in real time. The sea water temperature is usually between 66 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, making swimming pleasant.
For people who want to climb the Teide peak or plan to spend the night there, it is strongly recommended to pack warm clothes, as it is often less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit at the top.