Rising above the rest of the Canary Islands is the boisterous Tenerife. With almost a million inhabitants over two thousand square miles, it steals the spot as the largest and most populated of the archipelago islands. Served by two airports, it accommodates an annual five million tourists and with good reason! With three UNESCO recognized World Heritage Sites and a Biosphere Reserve – Teide National Park, the city of La Laguna and the massif Macizo de Anaga respectively – the island is a trove of rich culture and home to the largest number of endemic species in Europe.
With dormant volcano Mt. Teide dominating the skyline and lush greens trailing from peak to rugged coastline, the dynamic topography offers a plethora of outdoor activities and natural entertainments. Choose between hiking Teide or conquer it by a cable car, or more leisurely walks within Loro Park. Admire the solid silhouette of the centuries-old dracaena tree El Drago Milenario, or visit sandy reserve Special Nature Reserve Mountain. If you prefer man-made attractions, Siam Park, Lago Martianez and Aqualand Costa Adeje are prepared to wow you with thrilling rides and artificial lake sets.
Historical sites are abundant. Explore the Pyramids of Guimar and the mystical underground lava tube network of Cueva del Viento. Folk art and souvenir shops are housed in the historical 1632 building called Casa de los Balcones, a study in older architecture. For more educated tours, the Museum of Nature and Man will take you to the beginning of the islands’ natural history, complete with mummified displays and Guanche artefacts.
Still not convinced? Search up “beaches in Tenerife” and the sizeable collection will stun you. From small towns with surf-ready shores to serene beaches or rowdy night-club lined strips, Tenerife has got you covered. What you absolutely cannot miss however, is the massive Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in February. Expect tantalizing festivities including a grand parade and exuberant dancing; lose yourself in the passionate Spanish celebrations.