Let’s be honest. Until last year, I had no clue that such a place exists on earth. Sure, I had heard about Canary Islands, but had never thought of exploring more until few of our friends traveled here. The idea of a beach vacation and warm weather enticed us enough to plan a vacation and let me tell you, it was so worth it! Tenerife, definitely felt like the charm of Canary Islands and here is why..
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The Spanish Canary Islands is made up of 7 volcanic islands, off the coast of northwestern Africa i.e. the Sahara desert in Morocco. The 7 islands are – Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, El Hierro, and La Palma and out of these Tenerife and Lanzarote are the popular ones. These islands are very popular among the Brits and Irish folks. They fly to Canaries year on year to sunbathe in the warm weather (can’t blame them for craving for some sun!).
Tenerife is the largest of these islands and is dominated by El Tiede (a dormant volcano) at the heart of the island. The landscape changes drastically between the south and the north and there is a lot more you can do here in addition to of course beaches.
How to Travel to Tenerife & other Canary Islands:
To our surprise, it’s fairy easy to travel to any of these islands. All of them have an airport and you can directly fly to Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and La Palma from an international destination. For other two islands, there are inter-island hoping flights and boats available. From Spain, Ireland and UK, the frequency and connection to these islands are very good, and I am sure that would be the case from other European countries.
Also, it is highly recommended that you rent a car in Tenerife. Public transportation isn’t great and if you want to explore other parts of the island car is your best bet. Car rentals are pretty reasonable as well, so it’s totally worth it.
Where to Stay in Tenerife:
Two of the popular locations to stay are the beach resorts in the south and the rain forest BnBs in the north. We stayed in South Tenerife, just 10 mins drive from the airport. Our resort Santa Barbara Golf and Ocean Club By Diamond Resorts had the most amazing facilities including a heated swimming pool. It’s very expensive to maintain a heated pool, so loads of countries in Europe don’t offer this facility. It definitely felt like a luxury considering the cold winds.
- About a day trip to this super cute town in Spain which can be reached in 30 mins from Madrid
- Other island holidays in Greece like Mykonos, Santorini
- Beach vacation in Amalfi coast and day trips to Positano and Capri
- Holiday in the southern hemisphere which includes the most amazing trip Cairns, Australia
Things to do in Tenerife:
The highlight of Tenerife is this dormant volcano and the national park. As you drive towards El Teide, the landscape changes every few kilometers and before you know, you would have entered Mars. It’s so unique, and vast that you wouldn’t believe your eyes. For sure this place makes Tenerife the charm of Canary Islands.
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In real life, I am slowly graduating from cactus / succulents.. I now have 25 plants living and thriving at home and I am slowly adding more.. It's like an addiction, to be honest. The more they live and grow the more I want to care for them. . I told Raga that our house would be a living jungle soon and he no objections as long as he is not on watering duties 😂😂 Most of my plants are easy to maintain and care for with medium to low water requirements. This is perfect if we are away traveling for a while.. . This is huge, considering how bad I have been taking care of my plants in the past and how many of them I have already killed🤭🤭Also, just to note house plants are not cheap, so it's definitely an investment you would want to carry on for years.. . Do you guys have any tips? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #tenerife #plantlady #crazyplantlady #spain🇪🇸 #canaries #truestory #spain #allaboutthatplantlife #sheisnotlost #travel #aroundtheworld #adventureisoutthere #destinations #life #afternoonshot #photooftheday #picoftheday #destinations #plants #girlslovetravel #wearetravelgirls #indiantraveller #indiantravelblogger #spain_vacations #vacation #throwback #happiness #wanderlust #wanderer #travelgirl
You can do lots of hiking in the Nation Park and the hike up / cable car up El Teide is the most popular one. You can hike till the crater but remember that you will need a permit to do so and it get’s booked a few months in advance. However, you can get to the view point on the top i.e. the cable car upper station by either hiking up or taking a cable car. The cable car costs 27 Euro per person and can be bought on the day by standing in a queue. On a clear day, you can see other Canary Islands from the top. If you are not affected by altitude sickness, consider walking on route 11 and 12 for some pretty stunning view points.
Tenerife in one of the very few places in the world famous for star and milky way gazing due to it’s clear skies. If you time your travel properly you will be able to amazed by the natural wonder our earth offers. El Teide national park is the best place in Tenerife for star gazing as it’s away from all light sources. For more information read Volcano Teide experience article. Just make sure you travel during no moon phase of the month.
You would easily spend an entire day at the national park, so plan accordingly.
Parque Rural de Anaga and Las Vueltas de Taganana hiking
Anaga national park is the popular rain forest in the north east of the island. Ideal visit to the rain forest should start by visiting the tourist center at Cruz del Carmen, on the TF-1 road. There is a short hike within the rain forest and you will feel really calm inside as you walk in between the trees and hear the birds cripping. If you are up for something more intense, do the Las Vueltas de Taganana hike to enjoy the lush forest and some stunning views.
How cool is this presence of a rain forest on a volcanic island. Nature and it’s wonders never ceases to amaze me. Anaga National Park is another location that makes Tenerife the charm of Canary Islands.
Playa de Las Teresitas
The golden sand at Playa de Las Teresitas is the perfect definition of a island vacation. Tenerife being a very rocky and volcanic island, the sand on this beach was imported from Sahara desert. You can rent one of the sunbeds for 4 euro per person. The weather is pretty warm in winter and spring. However, the water is very cold and not ideal for swimming. This place is perfect for a summer beach vacation.
The beach is close to Anaga national park and you can easily combine both these spots in one day. Also don’t forget to drive up the hill to the famous view point of Playa de Las Teresitas. The view during sunset is super stunning from there.
Los Cristianos is another very famous spot in Tenerife. You will find loads of beach resorts, cafes, pubs & restaurants and beautiful beaches in this area. Again, there are plenty of sunbeds you can rent here. In addition, you can also chose to do some of the excursions like whale watching, scuba diving etc. This can bebooking at one of the numerous agents in Los Cristianos.
Masca is a small mountain village in the northwestern part of the island. The drive to this village is stunning and so is the view. However, the drive can get a bit tricky considering the narrow hairpin bends.
Los Gigantes is the resort town in Tenerife and a super stunning place for those fancy Instagram photos. The rock formation is really unique and gives a very different look to the town. There are a lot of small shops and cafes here, if you fancy some shopping or dinner. Los Gigantes and Masca are very close in proximity and can be combined in one day.
We suggest going to Los Gigantes during sunset to get some super amazing shots. Again, we believe this is another location which makes Tenerife the charm of Canary Islands.