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Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, located about 100 km West of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean.
There are several towns and cities on Tenerife, the most notable of which include the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and San Cristóbal de La Laguna, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Climate and Geography
At just under 2034 km2, Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, a volcanic archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa. Although relatively small, Tenerife is geographically diverse. The island’s most prominent geological feature is El Teide, which, at 3718 m, is the third largest volcano in the world (measured from the base) and the highest point in Spain. Because of the great variation in altitude on the island, it is home to six distinct ecological zones. Because of its volcanic heritage the island is host to numerous caves both above and below water, including the Cueva del Viento (Cave of Wind), the longest volcanic tunnel in the European Union. Tenerife’s coastline is mostly rugged and cliffy (and stunning), but there are also plenty of beaches.
Tenerife is called “The Island of Eternal Spring”, and for good reason. Temperatures range from an average of 15°C in the winter to 24°C in the summer. With an average rainfall of only 1mm in July and August, sunny summer days are almost always guaranteed.
Tenerife is the largest and most populous of the Canary Islands. It receives over 5,000,000 visitors annually, and is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world because of the comfortable climate, beaches, caves, and spectacularly diverse geography. Nearly half of the island’s surface is made up of ecological areas that are protected to various degrees, the most famous of which is the Teide National Park, the second most visited national park in the world.
Trade winds and a volcanic coastline make Tenerife ideal for wind and wave sports. There are breaks suitable for all levels of surfers and bodyboarders, and numerous locations for wind and kitesurfing. Beneath the waves, the island’s volcanic geography makes for great scuba and cave diving and the water is always warm (17 – 24°C). El Tiede and the surrounding mountains have trails for hikes and treks of all difficulty levels. The mountains provide launch sites for hang gliders and paragliders, and make a picturesque backdrop for the golf courses. Tenerife, simply put, has almost everything.
- Scuba diving (reef, cave)
- Surfing (all levels)
- Hang gliding
- Hiking/trekking (all levels)
- Mountain climbing
- Mountain Biking (novice to expert)
- Horseback Riding
On a Budget?
- Dorm rooms on Tenerife can be found for as little as $17 USD per person per night and apartments and hotels shared among several people can be slightly cheaper. One of the cheaper places is Albergue Rural Mamio Verde.
More information on Hostels in Tenerife can be found here.
On Tenerife all camping must be done in designated areas. Some central campsites offer spots starting at $12 USD per person per night (but cheaper with more people) and many rural campsites for hikers can be used free of charge if you have a permit.
- Inexpensive restaurants will have breakfast for around $7 USD and lunch and dinner for around $11-13 USD. Drinks in bars will start around $5 USD.
- The Tenerife Tourism Board
- Tenerife Travel Guide on WikiTravel
- Hostels in Tenerife
- Information about Hiking in Tenerife at Tenerife Hiking
- Tenerife holidays from UlookUbook
I like to use World Nomads. It’s not too expensive and signing up is fast and straightforward. They also have pretty good coverage for sports equipment like surf and snowboards, but it varies depending on your country of origin, so be sure double check. You can get a free quote on their website.
Images (in order) courtesy of javiersanp, iansthree, iansthree, goro, juan.aguere, Mataparda, freakyman, freakyman, chris181250, simonglucas, Nyakempanyo, and jockrutherford
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