Tenerife is the largest of Canary islands. Even though it is only 2,000 square kilometres it offers a broad variety of activities, landscapes and sights. If you decide to borrow a car you will soon find out that this island is just a lot more than sunbathing and swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.
The most beautiful beaches of Tenerife
Youngsters and the British usually look for the busy tourist area of Playa Americas and Los Cristianos. Disco and party south is favourite because of the sunny weather. Sometimes it is not raining here for several years while all the clouds are stopped by the 3rd largest volcano on earth – Teide. When you want promenade with lots of shops, bars and discos, popular and beaches crowded beaches with sunshades than South of Tenerife is right choice for you. Check this, if you want to book one of the hotels close to the beach. We liked the Costa del Silencio where you can find awesome cliffs, however this are is not really for kids nor seniors because you have to climb off the water in strong waves.
On the west coast of Tenerife you might enjoy a lovely beach with scorching black sand La Arena by the famous cliffs Los Gigantes. Not only the weather affects the vegetation, beaches but also the lifestyle of the area. The north of the island has much more rains and therefore it is not really a tourist destinations. There is amazing village Garachico with natural swimming pools, but we could not really make any nice photos nor try to swim there because it was cloudy, windy and only 19 degrees. Advantage of visiting Tenerife is that everything is more or less 1 hour driving away. Therefore you can always drive to Las Teresitas which is few kilometres from the capital city Santa Cruz and enjoy a lovely beach with sunny weather every day. If you go with your girlfriend, daughter, mother or wife, stay away from Santa Cruz shopping centres, because they will spend fortune in them. For example El Corte Inglés has one floor only for purses. Santa Cruz is the largest city on island, with lovely green palm parks, floral clock, old narrow streets and unique Auditorium building.
Tenerife sights and interesting places
History lovers should have city of Orotava on their “must-see” list. Lot of interesting buildings with wooden balconies, beautiful streets and green parks and a miniature park “Pueblo Chico” attract visitors from all over the world. If you wander near Puerto de la Cruz or La Laguna you might want to see a thousand years old Drago tree in Icod de los Vinos or you might travel in time in Guimar, where ancient inhabitants built step pyramids similar to those in Mexico, Latin America or Egypt. Famous Norwegian adventurer and traveller Thor Heyerdahl convinced locals that this area on the east coast is not just a simple agriculture complex and built here a museum of Canary history.
If you prefer hiking you might climb the highest peak of Spain (3718 m) and the third largest volcano on Earth – Pico de Teide, which is climbing from the sea bottom unbelievable 7,5 km. There is plenty of nice stone monuments nearby, one of them similar to high heel shoe. On the postcards Teide is usually accompanied by Roque de García. You should park your car near one of the park places on your way down/up to see magnificent view of the surrounding ocean and other Canary islands (Gran Canaria, La Gomera, El Hiero, La Palma) which are visible on sunny days.
If you visit Tenerife with your children and family you must go to amazing Loro Park. Discover parrots, penguins, Bengal tigers, gorillas and water shows of killer whales, intelligent dolphins or smart and funny sea lions. You would be amazed by the shark tunnel, walking below the predators of the sea. I recommend also the tree top walk to see parrots from small distance. We spent more than 8 hours in the park and found out not only awesome animals but also interesting facts about the Loro Park foundation trying to preserve the animal species which are in danger. More than 250 unique animal species disappear every day due to mankind activities, industry and change of climate. The entrance fee is 33€ but you might buy a twin ticket to combine your stay with thematic aqua-land Siam Park. It is one of the largest and most modern water parks in Europe. If you do not know, which part of Tenerife is best for you, here is our small tourist map.