One of the reasons Tenerife holidays are so popular is that there is just so much variety when it comes to things to see and do. This is an island that caters to its visitors seriously well and I think, when it comes to tourist attractions, there are a couple of options that really stand out.
Beautiful beaches, varied water sports
You’d have to be crazy to come to Tenerife and not spend at least some time lazing around on the beach. What’s nice about the shores here is that there’s loads of variety – everything from black volcanic sands and rock to really fine, golden sand, while there are secluded spots and busy beaches alike.
The main things that’ll dictate where you go are personal questions, like whether you want a large selection of water sports facilities or restaurants, or if you fancy spending some time far away from the crowds.
Of course, there’s a lot of choice and you’re likely to hear about even more options while you’re there, but as a basic guide:
• If you’re after pretty beaches with fine sand, but that still offer plenty to do in the way of activities and places to eat, the shores at Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos are a safe bet.
• Las Teresitas Beach, which is in the north, is excellent for snorkelling. Plus, thanks to its calm, sheltered waters and the fact it is away from the more popular south coast beaches, it is also a quiet option that’s great for couples.
Moving on to the water sports side of things, you’re equally spoilt for choice. Yes, there are a number of great spots for snorkelling, but keen scuba divers will also be in their element thanks to world-class dive sites like Los Gigantes. It’s also worth checking out what kinds of whale and dolphin watching trips are on offer, since Tenerife is situated smack bang on a migration route.
Hiking and cycling adventures
Not all of us are water babies. Personally, I love going to the beach, but let’s just say my skills in the water itself are pretty limited. So, pastimes like hiking and cycling are more my thing.
Home to the wonderful Teide National Park, the island is perfect for these two activities. What’s nice about choosing to cycle and/or hike here is that the landscape is really interesting (so much so that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The main attraction is Mount Teide, a 3,718 m tall dormant volcano. You can hike up here (either on a guided walk or independently), or you can set off to explore some of the park’s lesser-known sites.
Pico Viejo is probably one of the best places to choose, since it was the last volcano to have a serious eruption. Make sure you head to the south side, where you can see the scarred landscape this left behind.
There’s nothing like a good old theme park for a day out, no matter what your age. Tenerife’s are generally water-based (which you’ll probably be thankful for, considering the weather!), and there are two main options:
• Aqualand: This is in Costa Adeje. The key attraction is the dolphin show, but there’s also a decent mix of slides and other rides to get your adrenaline pumping and help you cool off at the same time.
• Siam Park: Near to Playa de las Americas, this park is particularly fun because it’s home to some seriously exciting rides (the Tower of Power, for instance, is a near vertical drop that takes you through an aquarium!), as well as a beach to unwind on, if you fancy something a little more gentle.
As a final tip, if you want to experience some culture – and some pretty major partying – time your trip to coincide with the Santa Cruz Carnaval, which usually runs for three hectic, colourful weeks in February.