I think it is safe to say we have been bitten by the Canary Island bug.
We had such a wonderful time in Lanzarote earlier this year that as our plane took off from Arrecife runway all we wanted to do was turn back and stay. At home this beautiful island has cropped up in conversation time and time again, even to the point husband is considering buying his retirement villa out there! But that’s a long way off and a completely different post.
It has also shone a wonderful light on the Canary Islands as a whole, a brand new destination for us and we feel as if we’ve only touched upon it. Having had such a wonderful experience in Lanzarote, we’d like to try another of the islands next time because although there will be similarities amongst them, each island has its own unique character.
I have been reading up about the largest of the Canary Islands – Tenerife with a view to planning a future family trip there. I want to know already what there is to see and do on the island, what to eat and drink and which souvenirs to look out for to add to my collection. Here are a few ideas I’ve stumbled upon.
Things to do in Tenerife
Teide National Park
Mount Teide is a Unesco World Heritage site with a 10-mile-wide volcanic crater which dominates the centre of the island. Having visited the Timanfaya National Park it is only natural to want to continue on the geological exploration of the islands. There is a cable car that takes you up to 1,200m and offers spectacular views. I’d love to do this.
La Laguna was once the capital of Tenerife and is now a Unesco World heritage site with mansions and villas dating back to the 16th, 17th and 18th century. Today the town is full of tapas bars, antique shops and bookstores. How about eating some tapas here?
The village of Masca was cut off from the rest of the island until the 1970’s, it is situated on a plateau in the Teno Mountains and to get there you have to travel along a gravity defying road but when you get there apparently there are some great restaurants and a museum. Maybe just me on this trip.
Garachico was once the wealthiest town in Tenerife but in 1706 an eruption completely engulfed the town. Today it’s where the tourists go to swim in the rock pools in the lava. How I would have loved to swim in Cesar Manrique’s swimming pool!
The waters around Tenerife and it’s neighbour La Gomera are playground to around 28 species of resident and migratory whales and dolphins making it the perfect spot for watching cetaceans in their natural environment. Dad would really enjoy this one.
Siam Park is Tenerife’s biggest theme park, a Thai-themed aquatic playground of water slides and adrenalin-pumping rides. The girls (and dad) would love it!
Cueva del Viento
Cueva del Viento is the largest volcanic tube in the European Union, tunnels running for 11 miles beneath Icod de los Vinos. There are guided tours in English and I bet it’s a fascinating trip.
It’s been a long time since I donned a wetsuit and air tanks. Apparently, Tenerife offers a lot to see underwater too. The best places for diving are Las Galletas, Los Gigantes, Los Cristianos and Puerto de la Cruz.
Cruz del Carmen to Punta del Hidalgo, Anaga Mountains
Maybe one to do without the kids is to follow the trail that leads from the heart of the Mercedes Forest to the coastal resort of Punta del Hidalgo passing through a rainforest that pre dates the Ice Age, a troglodyte hamlet where you can have a meal of local produce in a restaurant in a cave, and hike along craggy paths skirting the deep ravines and rocky pinnacles. No typical tourist attractions to be found, back to nature.
Playa del Duque
The St Tropez of Tenerife, home to Tenerife’s elite, is the sandy beach of Playa del Duque. I’d love to visit for some people watching, some window shopping and a walk along the beach opposite La Gomera.