Tenerife is the biggest island of the Canary Islands, a group of islands in the Atlantic ocean belonging to Spain, 200 km of the coast of Morocco and the western Sahara. Just like the neighbouring islands it has a vulcanic origin. The biggest vulcano of the island is El Teide, which is the highest mountain on Spanish ground with 3718 meter. For the people on the island carnival is a very important day. The same with the “Romeria” (freely translated “harvest home”), with its Baile de Mago, or peasant dance. The “Romeria” is mostly celebrated in the north of the island, amongst young and old in tranditional outfit.
Things to see
- El Teide
- The pyramids of Güímar on the east coast
- Loro Parque in Punta Brava, Puerto de la Cruz, a big themepark with animal shows.
- Siam Park, a big waterpark
The south west is mostly visited by tourists. Here you can also find the most accomodations. Puerto de la Cruz on the north coast is an important beach place. Tenerife has two modern international airports (Tenerife North and South) which connect the island with several cities in Europe. From the Netherlands or Belgium it’s a 4.5 hours flight to Tenerife or one of the other Canary Islands. Tenerife has a modern road infrastructure. Two highways connect north and south and busses reach every point of the island.
Hiking is very popular on the Canary Islands. Tenerife has hundreds marked hiking routers which you can do on your own or guided. Vilaflor (1500 m high) offers great possibilities for hiking. Almost half of the island is protected nature, like the national park of the Teide, the pinewood of La Esperanza and the Anaga mountains. In Anaga a part of the wood has laurel oaks. The Laurisilva is a wood mostly containing laurel-like trees and ferns. Those plants disappeared during the Tertiary from the Mediterranean basin and are now only found in Macaronesia, to which also the Canary Islands belong.
Dolphines and whales
In the strip separating Tenerife from la Gomerat, a colony of tropical calderones and also dophins and other cetaceans live. Daily boats leave from the ports of Los Cristianos, Puerto Colon and Puerto Santiago (all in the south) to watch those animals. Frequently those boats can come as close as a few meters to the animals.
The kitchen has a lot to offer in Tenerife, especially in the touristic areas. Amongst the local specialties you find the papas arrugadas, de mojos rojo en verde (sauces of peppers and coriander), different kinds of honey and seafood. The most import product from the Canary kitchen is gofio. This includes roasted wheat flour. In Tenerife there exists a big cheese tradition originating from the local people, who were dependent on goats and sheeps for most of their food.