Not just about sunbathing and sangria, the biggest Canary Island throws a lot more into the mix…
Tenerife has always been a crowd-pleaser. It might have something to do with its guaranteed year-round sunshine and the fact there’s so much more to do besides being horizontal on a sun lounger. It’s definitely an island with a split personality. On one hand, you can enjoy the peace and quiet of its whitewashed villages, lunar landscapes, and – depending on where you stay – either ebony or ivory sandy stretches. Or, if action-packed days out and buzzing nightlife are more your scene, then Tenerife will be the hostess with the most-ess. We promise you won’t be bored for one moment. But what should be top of your to-do list? Here we count down the best of the best activities on this volcanic isle…
1) Knock-out Beaches
If it’s vast golden beaches you’re after, and plenty of them, you’ve come to the right Canary. And it’s not just any sand. Oh no. These M&S-quality grains were specially shipped in from the Sahara. Let’s face it, there was probably enough to spare. Alternatively, you’ll find loads of black-sand coves away from the big towns, if you prefer your coastlines dark and brooding.
2) Teide National Park
Holidays aren’t necessarily a time to kick back and do absolutely zilch. Believe it or not, some people like to pack their trainers along with their flip-flops, so they can work up a sweat on trails, rather than next to the pool. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a more of a relaxed ambler, the sci-fi-esque terrain of Mount Teide National Park caters for walkers of all levels. Or, if that sounds too much like hard work, hop on the cable car instead – you’ll be zipped to the summit of Mount Teide, where your camera will be working overtime.
3) Whale watching
It’s not just on dry land where the action takes place in Tenerife. Take a cruise on a catamaran, and keep your eyes peeled for the resident population of pilot whales… one of the many species who skim the shores. And they’re not the only watery wildlife you’ll spot. Don’t even think about flying home without catching a glimpse of bottlenose dolphins. The boat trip from Playa de la Vistas is proof you don’t need a long-haul flight to come face-to-face with some of nature’s more exotic characters.
4) Lido – Lago de Martianez
If ‘lido’ brings up images of your local, and pretty grotty, outdoor pool, think again. Puerto de la Cruz’s stylish open-air sanctuary features pools, fountains and waterfalls, all wrapped up in tropical gardens. It was designed by the man synonymous with Canarian art and architecture, Cesar Manrique, so you could say it’s the lazy way of experiencing a bit of island culture. Don’t forget your sunnies – the cobalt water is dazzling stuff.
5) Siam Park
We get the feeling even the bravest of folk would still get a dose of the butterflies at the top of the Tower of Power waterslide in Siam Park. It’s a monster. And that’s all before you reach the bottom and shoot through an aquarium full of sharks. That’s right. Actual sharks. Not one for the faint of heart, to put it mildly. Thankfully, to calm your nerves, you can take a trip around the world’s longest lazy river, where we can assure you there are definitely no sea creatures lurking.
What are your favourite things to do in Tenerife?