Tenerife just makes me think about package holidays and British tourists, which is half true if you head to the South of the island but there are many other parts to explore which feel much more Cultural and Spanish. I stayed in Santa Cruz which is the capital of the canary islands and the main city in the island of Tenerife, the biggest of the 7 canary islands which are located off the coast of west Africa. I ended up staying with a friend in his insect infested flat but I am sure you would find some nicer ‘paid’ accommodation than that. Anyway, sleeping was only a very small part of the weekend and I spent most of it seeing as much of this tropical island as possible in the short space of time, and there was a lot to see!
Tenerife has a very laid back atmosphere, I quite liked the city of Santa Cruz and one noticeable thing was the street cleaners using palm tree leaves to sweep up the dirt. As I said before the north of the island is very different to the south and even the weather varies a lot, especially due to the 7,500m volcano located in the middle of the island, this can cause clouds and rain to often fall in the northern part. But this didn’t stop it being hot enough to spend our time on the beach a couple of days before Christmas 2014!
There are many things to do in Tenerife, depending what exactly you’re looking for. Many people simply go there for a hiking holiday as there are some good tracks among the mountains and nature. But on the other hand (or the other side of the island) there is the touristic holiday area which feels like any British seaside resort but 100 times hotter. However it was nice to go there and relax around Los Cristianos beach. There are also many irish bars and typical British restaurants which was nice to get a touch of home.
La Laguna & Cafè 7– La Laguna is another city (the second most important in Tenerife, and used to be the Capital) just a short tram ride away from the centre of Santa Cruz. It has a lot of students there because of the university so its a good place to go for a night out. We ended up in Cafè 7 which was a really beautiful place with a terrace and amazing cheesecake. They usually have live music there and this time too of course. Really enjoyed some intimate live music for a change.
Santa Cruz– This is where I was staying in the insect ridden house. I didn’t spend so much time around the city but I really enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere, somewhat even more chilled than the rest of Spain. There are plenty of nice bars restaurants and a beach to enjoy.
San Andres Beach– A very short bus ride away you can get away from the noisiness of city life and to this lovely beach. I loved the scenery around here you really feel like you’re on a volcanic island and the sea was very calm.
My favourite part
Teide- last but by no means least: Teide, the Volcano on Tenerife! I loved this so much and still shocked that I was ontop of this snowy mountain in the same day and lying in the sun on the beach. The bus ride up to the top was a little scary but definitely exciting and well worth it! There are different ways to get there depending on where you come from, find out here. We climbed up to the top for at least 1 hour in the bus. Then we got off to find another scary cable car which has some incredible views of the island, and then walked the final parts. We couldn’t actually get right to the peak of the Volcano but it was very exciting to wall around on the volcanic rock. Some people even decide to walk down a part of the way but we were already struggling not to fall over on the pathway. One thing I liked about it was the freedom, we could walk around everywhere and there weren’t too many people. You can see most of the island from there and it really made me feel empowered. I would recommend Teide to anyone, even with waking up at 7am to catch the bus 😉
If you have any other questions about Tenerife that you want to ask me, share a comment!
Remember this is my personal experience and I can only share my own knowledge, but if you have any other ideas or info you would like to do, please enlighten me!