Insider’s Guide to Tenerife

There are few destinations that cram quite so much tourist-focused sites and activities into one space as Tenerife. Long among the most popular tourist destinations on Europe, the Spanish island has something to offer everyone. From beautiful beaches, charming colonial towns, to sky high mountainscapes, the island is also one of the closes places to Northern Europe that boasts year-long sunshine. Combine all this with the buzzing resort towns of Los Cristianos and Playas de la Americas and you have the recipe for the perfect holiday no matter the season.

But beyond the popular resorts and typical tourist attractions there is a vibrant and colourful island culture waiting to be explored. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to spend your break on the beach, if you want to delve a little deeper you can find the real Tenerife.

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Image by El Coleccionista de Instantes, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY SA 2.0)

Trek through the mountains

Tenerife’s beaches are beautiful but it’s the island’s interior landscape that makes it truly unique. For such a small island Tenerife packs an inordinate amount of fabulous geography within its shores. Obviously the most famous feature is the towering Mount Teide, but on the northern section you’ll find just as much drama.

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Image by True Portraits, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

The Anaga Mountains offer some of the finest mountain trails in the Canary Islands and after a few hours trekking you’ll forget how close you are to the bustle of the resorts. Make your way to the highest peak in the Anaga Mountains, Cruz de Taborno, and gaze out across the island, and make sure you stop by the distinctive formation at Roque de Taborno for some pictures.

Take in the charm of Las Lagunas

The hub of the island may be the capital Santa Cruze de Tenerife, but you’ll find the charms of the real Tenerife by taking a trip inland to La Lagunas. The island’s historical capital, La Lagunas is easily the island’s most attractive town. The colourful colonial-era buildings, narrow streets, and city squares were the model for many New World settlements. The town is now a Unesco World heritage site, and a wonderfully charming place to wander and explore, offering a delightful slice of authentic Tenerife life.

Discover La Orotava Valley

While we all know Tenerife is renowned for its striking lunar-landscape, there are plenty of green stretches like the Corona Forestal Natural Park. But perhaps the most verdant and picturesque is La Orotava Valley. Taking its name from the picture-perfect town of La Orotava, the valley offers lush greenery and tall pine trees. Take a walk through the woodland and enjoy the sights and smells of the island, and then head to La Orotava town for an authentic Canarian dinner once you’re done.

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