Tenerife is the biggest of the Spanish Canary Islands, which lie off the coast of West Africa. The island is dominated by Mount Teide, which is Spain’s tallest mountain and one of the world’s largest volcanoes. Best known for its spectacular pre-Lent Carnival season and magnificent sandy beaches, Tenerife also offers immense natural beauty, plenty of interesting things to explore, and many quiet spaces to relax, slow down and gently rejuvenate.
1. Majestic beaches
To enjoy some calm away from the busier stretches try these:
Playa Jardin – Overlooking the Puerto de la Cruz playa, this is an oasis of flowers and vegetation to lift the senses
Playa Bollullo – Take a slow walk along a coastal path from Puerto de la Cruz to this delightful, secluded beach
Playa de Abama – Situated below the Abama Golf & Spa resort, you can hike around the surrounding area of this gorgeous sandy beach
2. La Orotava
This is the original old town centre, which retains 12 original Canarian mansions with elaborate wooden balconies and beautiful, well-kept gardens. Take in the scent of over 3,000 plant varieties at the small Hijuela del Botánico garden nearby, whilst watching the birds and butterflies.
3. Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre
One of the best museums in the Canary Islands, this houses an interesting combination of natural science and archaeology. Explore a wide variety of exhibits including local geology and wildlife, and objects dating back to pre-Hispanic periods in the Canary Islands’ history.
4. Parque Garcia Sanabría
Image by Joel Palma used under the Creative Commons license.
A charming city park space filled with a variety of exotic trees and flowers. Water features are also artfully dotted around to help keep you cool. Have a picnic, read a book, or simply lie back and day-dream.
5. Teide National Park
Take a cable car up to the peak of Mount Teide to enjoy superb views over the island. On clear days you can also see the neighboring islands of La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro far out at sea. Take a breath and absorb the views, or head out on a leisurely hike around the expansive surrounding parkland.
6. Botanical Gardens
Tenerife has a number of gardens, with some world-class collections of plants and flowers to enjoy, including:
Jardín Botánico – Created in 1788, this well-established garden houses plant varieties from all over the world, including exquisitely fragranced roses.
Sitio Litre Garden – See the town’s oldest dragon tree and visit their impressive orchid collection.
Risco Belle Aquatic Gardens – A lush, tropical sanctuary in the centre of Parque Taoro.
7. Roques de García
These are intriguing volcanic rock pillars which have been given names like “the Cathedral” and “the Finger of God”. Marvel at the workings of nature and Earth as you take in these ancient formations, worn away by wind, water and time.
With regular flights to Tenerife from the US available, perhaps it’s time you visited this beautiful island, and recharge yourself by soaking up its healing energies.
Image by Rick Ligthelm used under the Creative Commons license.