Posted in Europe on June 25, 2013
Tenerife is an island that sometimes gets a reputation as being simply a package holiday destination. You could be forgiven for thinking that the island is simply about getting drunk on the cheap and coming home with a tan, but the truth is that there is a lot more to the island if you simply just step outside of the resorts. In fact, it’s really rather beautiful. In particular, there are many things to do when on holiday in Tenerife that allow you to take in that breath taking beauty.
Visit Mount Teide
Photo Credit; Peter Nijenhuis
Once you get outside some of the (I hate to say it) ugly tourist resorts, Tenerife is really stunning. One such area of natural beauty is Mount Teide. The volcano, Spain’s highest peak, dominates the skyline. It is truly a captivating sight and is a symbolic natural landscape used frequently in iconic local imagery.
Getting there; The easiest way to visit the Mount Teide independently is to take a public bus followed by the cable car. TITSA (local bus company) run a return service once per day from Puerto de La Cruz and Playa de Las Americas to the cable car stop. From there you can take the cable car up to 3,555 metres (almost to the top.) For a single (one-way) adult cable care fare it costs €12.50. For the latest information on timetables/fares for the TITSA bus visit Titsa.com.
To climb the remaining 200 metres (after getting off the cable car) it is required that you attain a free permit beforehand, otherwise you are not allowed to ascend. The main reason for this (I imagine) is to control the number of visitors, with approximately 200 permits per day issued. During peak season you’ll find these book out at least 2 weeks in advance quite easily so it’s advisable to apply for your permit well before you arrive in Tenerife. Permits can be applied for at the Central de Reservas Online, the local government website for such things.
Surfing, Windsurfing, and Kitesurfing
Being an Atlantic Ocean island, water sports inevitably play a big part in why visitors are attracted to Tenerife. The waves here are some of the best you’ll find in Europe! Many Grand Slam contests and competitions have been held here in recent years, so if you’re looking for a place in Europe to learn or experience great waves there really is no better place.
During the winter in Tenerife there are consistently good flying conditions for paragliding. Anytime from October through to March is usually the best time to visit if paragliding is your thing! Good flying sites include Taucho, Ifonche, Jama, Los Pinos, and Tamaimo, but there are many more that I could have listed! The island has many great spots for paragliding and it’s a top adventure activity you can try here.
Watch a Dramatic Canarian Sunset
One thing that you can’t help but admire when you’re in Tenerife are the stunning sunsets. I’m not sure exactly what it is that makes the sky so beautiful here. I imagine it’s island location so close to the equator must make a substantial difference. Clouds seem to swoop in as quickly as they disappear to dramatic effect. Every night I was on the island this was always something I looked forward to seeing, more so than in any other destination I have been to.
Visit the Auditorio de Tenerife
Photo credit; Poco a poco
Arguably Tenerife’s most beautiful building, the Auditorio de Tenerife’s leaf like roof looks somewhat inspired by Sydney’s Opera house. It’s certainly worth a visit to Santa Cruz for.