The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is the beach-lover’s paradise, but there is so much more to this beautiful island than resorts and sunbathing opportunities. Home to Spain’s tallest peak, Mount Teide, a utopia of tropical jungle and a plethora of fascinating wildlife, Tenerife has it all. But we don’t have all day, so here are the top 5 reasons why you should get yourself out there.
Teide National Park
Photo Credit: Pixabay | Maribu
Often described as a lunar landscape, the Teide National Park needs to be on everyone’s to-do list when visiting Tenerife. Pull yourself away from the beach for a day and gaze in awe upon the incredible Mount Teide volcano. If you’re feeling energetic, you can even climb the mountain to get a fantastic panoramic view of the Park – you may even come across some old ritual sites where the native Guanches people would try to counter the evil spirits they believed were causing the volcanic eruptions.
Photo Credit: Pixabay | Guenther49
If you’d rather keep it simple and avoid the hike, why not take a stroll through the old town of La Orotava. With the Teide looming over it, an omnipresent figure in the clouds, the atmosphere of this town is incomparable. It’s a colonial dwelling of cobblestone streets, beautiful plazas and a maze of winding footpaths that will take you through lush vineyards, banana plantations and pine woods. A great place for a short break and a taste of the real Spanish influence.
Pyramids of Guimar
They are perhaps not as physically impressive as those of Egypt, but the pyramids of Guimar are an interesting historical landmark nonetheless. Their origins and purpose are disputed to this day, some believing them to have simply been the result of the need to remove stones from arable land, others maintaining that they served a greater purpose. Intrigued? Make up your own mind after a visit to the ethnographic park at the site, where you can learn about the pyramids and see them for yourself.
Whales and dolphins
Photo Credit: Frontier 2014
The south coast of Tenerife is a great diving site with an abundance of wildlife living amongst the spectacular coral reefs just offshore. There is one very special reason why many people chose to come here though, and that is the fact that these waters are home to an array of whale and dolphin species that can be spotted almost all year round. From the resident pilot whales to the vast assortment of migrating species including orcas, seeing one of the greats of the Deep Blue is sure to impress even the most cynical traveller.
Photo Credit: Pixabay | Hans
Take a walk through the past in a barely touched oasis where hidden communities still live in caves and age-old goat trails wind up the mountain sides and dip down in to the deep valleys, just as they did long before anyone knew the Canary Islands existed. If you need a moment of silence to collect your thoughts, look no further than this tranquil nirvana where time stands still. A protected area with the most stunning views imaginable, you could (and should) spend days getting lost in this paradise.
Yes, there are also gorgeous beaches and fun water parks, but if you want to get off the beaten track and experience what Tenerife really has to offer, choose a couple of the destinations on the list, pack the essentials and book those plane tickets!