Introducing Tenerife

Introduction.Tenerife is the largest of the Canary islands, of which there are 7 major and 6 Smaller islands.
The westerns Islands of Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro form the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, whilst the eastern Islands of Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura form the province of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The Canary Islands lie between 96 and 304 km (60 -90) Miles off the North West Coast of Africa, but they are a part of Spain.

The island of Tenerife covers an area of 2057 sq km (794 sq miles) and is shaped like an Isosceles triangle with Mount Teide, The Volcano in the centre rising to 3718 m (12,199 ft) with The Caldera de las Canadas,,a gigantic collapsed crater,surrounding the peak.

The population currently stands at approximately 1,000,000 inhabitants, this obviously is not counting the tourists.

Tenerife is fortunate to have warm temperatures all year round, rarely falling below 18 degrees C in the coastal areas, the norm being in the mid 20s, rising to the 30s in the summer months.
Temperatures are on average around  three degrees cooler when going in land away from the coast.
The north side of the Island is cooler than the south.
Rain fall is generally confined to the  winter months October through to March, there is very little and even less on the South Coast, but when it rains it tends to be heavy, it very rarely lasts long and all is normally back to the normal sun the day after, again the north coast getting more rain than the south.

Spanish is the main language on all the Canary Islands, although if you ask a Canarian, they will tell you they speak 'Canarian', which is a version of Spanish.
In the tourist areas you will be understood speaking English or German along with a few other languages.

Being a part of Spain, the currency is the 'Euro' (€).
There are plenty of banks, even away from the tourist areas, all having cash machines, so the normal cards can be used to obtain cash.
Travellers cheques can be used, although they seem to be less popular now.

In Tenerife you drive on the right .
Cars are readily available for hire, you normally get the best deals by booking online before you leave home.
If you need transport form the airport to your accommodation, it's worth considering booking a car from the airport.
All road signs etc., are the same as any other European Country. Speed limits and Alcohol Levels are very similar as well. It is best not to have a drink when you are going to drive, they are very hot on breathalyzing.
Updated Rules of the Road as of December 2009.

Opening Hours
In the tourist areas shops, restaurants etc. are open all day from  9/10am until late.
Offices, Banks and official places open 8/9 am until 1/2pm.
In some areas they still work the siesta hours this being 8am - 1pm then 5pm - 8pm. It all depends on which area you are staying in, just check on arrival.

The Titsa bus service is excellent and covers almost all of the Island, even going up to Mount Teide, the fares are reasonable and  'Bono' cards can be purchased if you intend to make use of the service on a regular basis,    these offer good discounts.
There are ferries to all the other main Canary Islands as well as inter island flights from the north and south airports.
There is a tram service running from Santa Cruz to La Laguna every 3 minutes or so.
Taxi's are always available.

This number will put you in touch with the emergency services, Police, Ambulance and Fire.
There should be someone there who can speak your language.

The health care on the Island is excellent, but you do need insurance, if you qualify for an E111 in your country of residence, you will be able to use it.

There are numerous dentists on the Island, you will be able to find one that speaks your language.
They are all private. So check to see if your holiday insurance covers this.

There are a lot of cafe's and bars even shopping centres with free WiFi connections, some of the cafe's you have to buy a drink and they will give you the password.
There are lots of internet cafe's in all areas.
Mobile phones operators are - Movistar, Vodaphone, Amena.
There are a few phone kiosks with banks of phones in some of the tourist areas, the receptionist puts a line through to a booth and you pay when you have finished the call, they are cheaper and it saves you having to keep feeding change into the payphone.

There are two airports - Tenerife South Airport -  Reina Sofia (TFS)
                                    Tenerife North Airport   -  Los Rodeos (TFN)

There are some very nice 5 Star hotels on the Island for those of you who enjoy a bit of luxury, at certain times of the year they offer some good deals.
All inclusive Hotels are also very popular, plenty of 4,3 and 2 star accommodation is readily available.

Rural Hotels - These tend to be traditional Canarian buildings which have been converted into small hotels, under strict guide lines to keep the character of the buildings and surrounding intact, they are normally found in land away from the coast, ideal for people who want to see the real Tenerife ie. The villages, scenery etc.  

Pensions - These can be found all over the Island, normally the cheaper end of the market, basic, but clean, ideal if you want one night in a place and move onto the next.

There are 8 Blue Flag beaches on Tenerife along with many more superb beaches.Some of them like El Medano are natural black sand, some like Playa de las Teresitas, Santa Cruz were made with imported sand from Africa and others have been created from the sand on the sea bed.

A few of the beaches have been designated as nudist beaches.

In Puerto De La Cruz and Santa Cruz there are superb Lido's.

Best Time to Visit
It is said, that you can find a Fiesta on any day of the year in Tenerife, I don't think that's far from the truth, they love their fiestas and fireworks and the all year round weather doesn't interrupt them too much.
The main ones being:-
  • January -  5th/6th Three Kings processions
  • Feb/Mar - Carnival -  The parade falls on Shrove Tuesday, but that is the last Tuesday of Carnival month. It's the second biggest Carnival, the biggest being Brazil.
  • April - Semaña Santa - Easter Celebrations - Good Friday being the main day when The Easter Story is played out theather style, a famous one being in the town of Adeje.
  • May - May Celebrations - all kinds of activities in the City of Santa Cruz and other towns, to celebrate the coming of Spring.
  • June - Corpus Christi - The Famous Sand Carpets of Oratava and other towns on the Island.
  • July/August - The Main holiday season, all kinds of Fiesta and Events.
All the villages on the Island have their own Fiesta, everyone is always welcome.

Types of Holidays -Tenerife has a lot to offer 
  • You can  just crash out and enjoy the beach and the sun or just lie around the pool, .
  • Explore the Island by car or public transport.
  • Walking holidays are very popular, with many ancient and historic paths to explore.
  • Rock climbing and bouldering.
  • The month of the Carnival.
Main Attractions
Teide National Park
  • Masca the Hidden Village
  • Loro Park
  • Piramides de Guimar
  • 1000 Year Old Dragon Tree in Icod
  • The Old Town of Oratava- Famous for the Corpus Christi Carpets and Wooden Balconies.
  • Vilaflor - Highest Village in Spain


The volcanic history of Tenerife is completed when the eruptions of which we know about are located. The Guanches, the island´s first settlers, would certainly know of other eruptions that are not considered as historic as only those for which a written reference exists are considered as historic eruptions.

The 1704 - 1705 eruption: This eruption, a typical fissure eruption,   occurred through three, clearly distinguishable emission centres: Siete Fuentes, Fasnia and Montaña de Las Arenas, all aligned along a 13-kilometre long fracture.

The Garachico eruption (1706): On the 5th of May, 1706, about 8 kilometres south of the town of Garachico, Montaña Negra came to life in an eruption that lasted nine days. Of all the historical eruptions in Tenerife, this is the only single point one and also, the only one that has caused considerable material damage.

The Chahorra eruption (1798): This is the only historical eruption that has occurred within the boundaries of what is now the Teide national park. The eruption started on the slopes of Pico Viejo, on the 9th of June, 1798 and continued until the 8th of September of the same year. This is the longest-lasting of all the historical eruptions that have happened in Tenerife.

The Chinyero eruption (1909): The last eruption to have occurred in Tenerife was the Chinyero eruption. It started on the 18th of November, lasting 10 days. The original nine mouths of the volcano were later reduced to three main ones.

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A Sunday Morning in Tenerife

Up on Sunday morning, quick cup of tea and then out to the Agriculture Market in Guimar Town, it's open every Sunday morning, always lively plenty of stalls full of fresh veggies straight from the fields, the prices are fantastic, the picture is just a sample of what we bought for 10€, can't be bad, it's a great atmosphere there everyone is  friendly and ready to explain the different fruits and veggies ( and there are some very different ones ) they will even explain how to prepare and cook them if you need to know.

Then a walk through Guimar Town, there was a Tapa's route in the Town, so we couldn't resist stopping for a coffee , read the menu's and decided that we must get back there one evening !!!

Driving along the TF1 on the way home, had to call into of the coastal villages and take this photo of one of the tall ships we noticed sailing by , we had noticed when we were in Santa Cruz earlier in the week that there where a few Tall Ships gathering there waiting for the trade winds, there was one very old one in dry dock having some work done it that looked really interesting. 

Just a normal Sunday Morning in Tenerife.

Arico, a municipal on the South East of Tenerife, stretching from the coast to the mountainous forest.

In past years not really known as a tourist destination, but in recent years is has been enjoyed by many visitors for it's rural hotels, rock climbing and hiking routes.

There is lots to explore, the municipal has for many years been very well know among climbers for the level of difficulty offered to them and in the past five or six years the walking paths have been very well marked out for the walkers and hikers enabling them to see interesting historic villages and beautiful scenery, which would otherwise be missed.
As well as the leisure activities, there are plenty of options for the less energetic among us. The historic Villages of Arico Nuevo and Icor are easily accessible by car along the via the TF28 ,  by taking the the turn to El Bueno and following the road upwards to will come to  'Finca El Helecho'    a working Finca (Farm) demonstrating how the land was farmed originally and typical breeds of farm animals which used to be plentiful on the islands, well worth a visit.

Arico is also well know for it's Honey making bees, which can be found in the same area.  Arico municipal dates back to the Original Guanches and because if this there is a lot of history and places of interest to be found, original crafts such as  Stone Masonry, carpentry, glass work and much more has been passed down from generation to generation. The same also applies food production, Arico has won many  International Awards for it's cheeses and wines, add to that Honey and Breads of the zone, it's a place not to be missed. Why not take the opportunity to explore the Municipal during the month of November whilst the ' Jornadas De La Meil'  is taking place, where you can enjoy the local cuisine.


Arico Tourist Site -  

 ' Jornadas De La Meil'   -

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San Miguel de Abona

The Borough of San Miguel De Abona dates back to the Guanches of the Menceyato and has recently been declared 'Property of Cultural Interest' in the Historic group category, it is one of the best preserved throughout the South of the island of Tenerife.

 The Borough covers a vast area from Vilaflor to the coast. The old town itself is well worth while spending a little while walking around it , click here for a walking map of the town, which has all the interesting places and building marked.

This is a town that always has a lot going on, keeping the old traditions and customs going.

Outside of the town itself , there is lots more to explore, the scenery is fantastic with plenty of marked out routes for you to walk or just to drive along the little roads and take it all in, there are plenty of stopping places where you can stop and look at the views.

Down on the coast you will find the 'Marina San Miguel, along with Golf Courses and  a little inland there is the commercial zone where you will find, on certain days the Agricultral Market, here you can buy all your fresh veg which has been grown in the area.

As you can see there is plenty to explore in this Municipal, so allow plenty of time

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