Falcon’s Guide to Terrific Tenerife
Hovering off the west coast of Africa, the Canaries are a popular holiday destination with Irish holdaymakers all year round thanks to the warm and balmy climate that exists even during the winter months. But there’s more to these islands than their near-constant sunshine (although that certainly is a boon!). Steeped in history and boasting some of the most spectacular scenery on Earth, the Canary Isles draw in millions of tourists year after year.
The largest and most populous of these is Tenerife, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Tenerife has a high volume of annual visitors, and it isn’t difficult to see why – with lively resorts, mighty volcanoes and charming little mountain villages, this absolute gem of an island truly does have something to cater to all tastes.
Read on to discover the things we love most about Tenerife…
Mount Teide National Park
The island itself is a thing of beauty – warm beaches and dry mountains in the south combine with green and lush fertile valleys to the north, and right in the middle of it all is the majestic Mount Teide, a volcano whose snow-topped peak is the highest point not only in the Canaries, but the whole of Spain.
The volcano and its surrounding area make up the beautiful Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of 18,990 hectares of stunning natural scenery. You can quite easily spend an entire day hiking around this breath taking site, taking in its unique rock formations and distinct plants and flowers.
If you get a kick out of exploring gorgeous scenery like that found in Teide National Park, then you should also check out the little village of Masca, a charming settlement tucked into the Teno Mountains at the northwest corner of the island. The lovely village offers some spectacular views of the mountains, and has lots of little coffee shops where you can grab a snack and gaze out at the stunning scenery.
The more energetic among you may want to use the small town as a base for a hike down the Masca gorge, which is a lovely three hour walk through the Teno Mountains. It’s a beautiful but moderately challenging route, which shouldn’t be tackled without supportive footwear. The meandering footway takes you down the gorge to the island’s coastline, where you can pre-book a boat that will be waiting to take you back to civilisation.
Playa de las Americas
With hotter temperatures and lovely long stretches of sand, most of the popular resorts, including Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos, are clustered around the southern coast.
Playa de las Americas is a firm favourite with revellers, who come here from all over Europe to experience the resort’s exciting party scene. The long beach is great for sun worshippers, and there are lots of opportunities for water sports such as windsurfing. Playa de las Americas is also the home of the world-famous Siam Park, one of the best water parks in the Mediterranean.
Just to the south of Playa de las Americas lies the resort of Los Cristianos. Kind of like the shy older sister, this town is perfect for those who would like to retreat to a quieter resort at the end of the day. Once a prominent fishing village, Los Cristianos now has a wealth of restaurants and bars, and the harbour is a great base for going whale or dolphin spotting!
With hiking, sunbathing, hot clubs and water sports, Tenerife really does have a host of activities for different age groups and those with a variety of interests. If you like the look of this gem in the Canaries, then check out our top deals for departures in 2014.
Have you been to Tenerife? What are your top tips? Share them with us in the comments below!