The mere mention of the words "Canary Islands" is enough to evoke utopian visions of pristine coastline, shiny resorts and bronzed sun-worshippers. Spain's enviable Atlantic archipelago off the coast of Africa is one of the ultimate vacation destinations in the world.
With the ideal climate and geography for tourism, in traditional beach escape terms at least, Tenerife is the island of record in the Canary chain. At over 2,000 km² and with a population that hovers above 800,000, the island of volcanic origin offers the ultimate in vacation comfort and luxury to fortunate visitors who can afford it.
Tenerife Island History
- Güimar Black Pyramids – These mysterious stone structures are thought to have been made by ancient inhabitants.
- Church of the Conception of La Laguna – One of the most important churches in the Canary Islands.
- Arona – The archaeological sites in this area show ancient engravings and cave paintings from the Gaunche era.
- Church of the Immaculate Conception – Contains the cross that gave rise to the founding of Santa Cruz.
- Cueva de Achbinico (Cave of San Bas) – A pilgrimage site possibly dating back more than 3,000 years ago and the first Christian sanctuary on Tenerife Island.
Tenerife Island Art & Culture
- Auditorio de Tenerife Adan Martin – A wonderful modern auditorium designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava Valls.
- Tenerife Espacio de las Artes – An incredible exhibition centre and home to an art gallery, library and photography centre.
- El Castillo Los Realejos – A real-life castle-museum in which patrons can enjoy classical music concerts and other events.
- Plaza del Charco – A lovely town square in Tenerife Island dotted with local cafes and restaurants.
- Carnival – The Carnival in Santa Cruz on Tenerife Island is the second largest in the world after Rio de Janeiro and is held each year at the end of February.
Tenerife Island Shopping
- Centro Comercial Plaza del Duque – A mall with luxury shops in the heart of Tenerife Island.
- El Corte Ingles – A department store in a chain of many across Spain offers seven floors of shopping.
- Torviscas Market – Open on Saturdays, this is one of the biggest markets in Tenerife and a place to find great bargains on clothing, books and souvenirs.
- Los Cristionos – Open on Sundays, the other biggest market in Tenerife offers similar wares to Torviscas.
- Mercado Nuestra Senora de Africa – More than 300 stalls selling fresh produce fill this popular market in Santa Cruz.
Gay & Lesbian Tenerife Island
- Punto Zero Club – One of the biggest and busiest clubs, open nightly from 10 pm to 6 am.
- Chaplin’s Bar – A popular place to go, with occasional drag cabaret shows on Thursday evenings.
- Gemini’s Bar – A great place for dancing and occasional cabaret shows.
- Playaflor Bar – This Moroccan-style lounge offers a place to chill and an outside terrace.
- Los Cristianos – A popular beach for nude sunbathing and cruising on the east side.
Tenerife Island Outdoor
- Garajonay National Park – This lush rainforest boasts trails for walking and hiking.
- Loro Parque – A well-known park featuring hundreds of beautifully coloured parrots and tropical birds.
- Teide National Park – Home to unique, famous rock formations and the third-largest volcano worldwide.
- Acantilados de los Gigantes – These stunning seaside cliffs offer great hiking trails with amazing views.
- Cueva de los Verdes – The large caves are said to have given refuge to pirates in the days of yore, but now make for a great place to explore.
Tenerife Island Sport
- Scuba dive among dolphins, turtles and whales in more than 30 areas for diving, including Las Galletas.
- Surf in amazing conditions along almost the entire coastline of Tenerife Island.
- Watch traditional island sports such as bola canaria at the Torneo de Envite, held from late April through early May in the town of Tegueste.
- Golf at one of the nine beautifully maintained golf courses on the island, such as Real Club de Golf de Tenerife.
- Windsurf or kitesurf at Playa del Socorro in Los Realejos.
Home to some of the most stellar coastline in the world, the prospect of a perfect beach is by far the most popular lure for tourists to Tenerife. From nudist areas to family-centric fun and water sports, the island has it all. The most popular and scenic beaches are Los Cristianos, Las Américas, El Bullullo and Martiánez.Museo de Bellas Artes
With over 200,000 people, the capital city of Santa Cruz has many superb attractions, architectural sites and cultural landmarks. The Municipal Museum of Fine Arts has an excellent collection of European art by any measure, not simply by Canary Islands standards.Palmetum of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The exotic botanical gardens of Tenerife sits on a former landfill. With help from the European Union, the site now contains a beautiful collection of endemic plant life, waterfalls, ponds and streams.La Laguna
A lively student town, with 130,000 people, eclectic La Laguna has wonderful 15th century architecture and a frenetic club scene.San Andrés
The historic area of San Andrés is just outside Santa Cruz de Tenerife and offers notable seafood restaurants a popular beach in Playa de la Teresitas.La Orotava
A colonial town with splendid ancient monuments, from Plaza Constitución to the Iglesia de San Agustin, La Orotava is one of the most picturesque spots in the Canary Islands.
EventsFestival de Música de Canarias
This superlative tribute to classical music takes place in January and February and draws orchestras from around Europe to the Auditorio de Tenerife in Santa Cruz.Carnivals
Carnival season is vital to the cultural fabric of Spain and that spirit translates to the Canary Islands. The decadent celebrations that lead up to Lent electrify towns all over Tenerife, with parades, costumes, special foods, music and dance recitals.Festival Internacional Canarias Jazz and Mas Heineken
The three-week jazz party in July is a popular Tenerife staple, with dozens of acts from around the world in attendance.
Tenerife is a vacation hotspot precisely because of idyllic climactic conditions. The weather could hardly be any more perfect, with balmy temperatures that hold steady for much of the year, especially on the coast. The only season in Tenerife is "gorgeous", with abundant sunshine and minimal rain. The "cold" months of January and February see temperatures between 15°C and 21°C , while the low and high in August is 22°C and 30°C.
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