Spain Guide


Tenerife Canary Islands

Tenerife is the largest of Spain's seven Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean 100 kilometres off the north west coast of Africa. This is one of Europe's most popular winter sun destinations Germans, Brits, the French and Italians flock here for cheap sunshine getaways, particularly during the months of November to February.

The combination of cheap package deals, a wonderful year round climate and an extraordinary landscape of volcanoes, cliffs, lush pastures and black sand beaches make Tenerife a magnet for millions of tourists each year.

The island is part of Spain but its location, 1,350 kilometres south of the Iberian peninsula, gives it a special tropical climate regulated by the Gulf Stream and Trade Winds. It's an island where you can enjoy an eternal warm spring with an average winter temperature of 18C and average summer temperature of 24C.

Tenerife is divided by a mountain range which effectively creates two different climates within a very short distance of each other. The cooler, northern region is a lush, tropical paradise of banana plantations and palm trees. The south is hot and dry with almost desert landscapes.

At the heart of the island lies its major landmark the volcanic crater of Mount Teide which at 3,718 metres is Spain's tallest peak. This is the third tallest volcano in the world (after two in Hawaii).

A trip to the top by cable car, rising above the clouds to marvel at this awe inspiring crater measuring 20 kilometres in diameter, is invariably one of the highlights of everyone's visit to Tenerife.

The Teide has piled up some 12 million cubic metres of volcanic debris into extraordinary formations known as the "Noses of Teide". Christopher Columbus was on the nearby island of Gomera and watched the Teide's last major eruption in 1492 before he continued his voyage to discover America.

Tenerife's tourist resorts are as varied as its landscapes choose your area carefully and you'll find whatever you're looking for. There's the bustling, man made international resort of Playas de las Americas on the west coast (described by some as Blackpool in the sun!) and the old world charm of picturesque Puerto de la Cruz with its quaint streets and historic buildings.

You can bask on beaches of black, volcanic sand or on the golden stretches of sand imported from the Sahara to enhance Tenerife's "touristability".

You can have a Club 18 30 style holiday and party all night or join the "eco tourists" who spend their days exploring the many natural charms of this 2,000 square kilometre island, almost half of which comes under some form of national protection.

There are banana boats, aqua parks, foam parties and entertainment galore. And there are magical discovery trips to see the whales and dolphins which inhabit these waters, the ancient dragon trees which have grown here since the Ice Age and the stunningly beautiful cliffs of Los Gigantes.

All this and much, much more awaits you on the island of Tenerife.