With its historic towns, bustling bars and natural beauty, the Spanish island of Tenerife offers something for people of all ages.
Situated close to the coast of Africa, the largest of the Canary Islands enjoys sunshine all year round and attracts more than five million tourists per annum. In addition to the good weather, holidays to Tenerife appeal because of their diversity. Young thrill-seekers will be drawn to the 24-hour hedonism of Playa de Las Americas, while more mature travelers will likely prefer the relaxed vibe of nearby Los Cristianos or the history of Santa Cruz, the island’s capital.
Relaxing by the sea is a favorite pastime for many visitors, and Tenerife has some fabulous beaches. As the island is sculpted from volcanic rock, all of its beaches are man-made with much of the sand imported from the Sahara Desert. During the 1980s and 90s, many of Tenerife’s coastal spots were transformed with the finest golden sands imaginable to create perfect beaches for relaxing and sunbathing.
Good beaches are spread across the whole island, but the ones that get particularly rave reviews include Playa Del Duque in Costa Adeja, Playa De Las Vistas in Los Cristianos and El Bollullo at Puerto de la Cruz.
But no holiday to Tenerife would be complete without a trip to the top of Mount Teide. The island’s biggest tourist attraction is also Spain’s largest mountain. Now confirmed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the mountain and its surrounding national park are visited by an estimated 2.8 million people each year.
Reaching the summit takes just eight minutes by cable car, but the more adventurous can strap on hiking boots and enjoy a healthy five-hour climb with stunning views. One thing to be prepared for when visiting the Teide is the drop in temperature. The island’s coastline basks in temperatures often exceeding 90ºC, but the top of the mountain is so high above sea level that it’s often capped with snow (so it gets pretty chilly up there!).
Animal lovers are sure to enjoy a trip to Tenerife as there are a number of zoos. In the north of the island, tourists are treated to the 13.5-hectare Loro Parque where they can see live shows involving parrots, bottle-nose dolphins and killer whales. The south, not to be outdone, has something similar at Jungle Park. Why not pay a visit to both and compare which is the best?
Water parks are also fantastic places to spend an afternoon, or even a day, if you fancy having a splash or simply just cooling off. The two main ones on the island are Siam Park and Aqualand. Both are situated close to Costa Adeje, and each have differing themes. Siam Park has a Thai feel and is filled with big slides and fun water rides, while Aqualand is slightly smaller but boasts an excellent Dolphinarium which features daily shows.
As you can probably tell, holidays to Tenerife provide something for everyone. Maybe you can go there and see what it provides for you. Are you ready to take on the Teide?