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Travel to Tenerife: Canary Islands

Updated on July 13, 2016
stephhicks68 profile image

Stephanie loves to travel. She has written numerous articles with tips, photographs, and information on places to visit.

Try Tenerife for an Exotic, Unusual Vacation

Looking for an exotic, unusual travel destination? Consider traveling to Tenerife. Off the western coast of Africa, this Spanish island contains plenty of culture and sunshine to fulfill all your vacation dreams.

Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands. Lest you think its sounds too far to visit, consider that flights are a mere 4-6 hours from Europe. Visiting Tenerife is one way to both explore Europe and enjoy that exotic island vacation about which you've been dreaming. In fact, I love it so much, I've included it in my 12 Best European Islands for Vacation hub!

Even though Tenerife is a Spanish territory, Spain's influence is fleeting, at best. Tenerife is its own autonomous region. Traditions and culture on the island showcase a variety of European influences. In many ways, Tenerife is a European melting pot!

If you want to experience one of Spain's wackiest festivals, the Burial of the Sardine, book your ticket now. The celebration, which coincides with Mardi Gras, is an unusual take on the annual pre-Lenten tradition. Where else do you parade a dead fish through town on a throne?

Exotic, beautiful Tenerife
Exotic, beautiful Tenerife

Where is Tenerife?

Tenerife, also known as "the Island of Eternal Spring," is located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of the northern African continent. Its location is horizontal with the border between Morocco and Western Sahara. Its time zone is set to UTC (coordinated universal time), the same zone as the UK, Ireland and Portugal, except for during summer months when an hour is added.

The island is a little over 785 square miles in size and his home to close to 900,000 inhabitants (overall, the Canary Islands host over 2 million inhabitants). Tenerife is within 100 miles off the coast of Africa. The capital is Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Its located within a sub-tropical region, with a hot climate during summer and warm during winter. Any time of the year, Tenerife's gorgeous landscapes and temperate weather makes it a perfect destination for your holiday travels. The average annual temperatures in Tenerife are between 15C in winter and 24C in summer.

Map of Tenerife
Map of Tenerife

Quick Facts About Tenerife

  • Tenerife is the largest of seven Canary Islands off the coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean
  • Its population is approximately 900,000
  • 5 million tourists visit Tenerife annually
  • The island is about 2035 square kilometers in size
  • There are two major International airports
  • Tenerife is home to one of the world's largest carnivals: the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • The island includes the highest elevation in Spain -- the 3rd largest volcano in the world: El Teide.
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of the island, as well as of the autonomous community of Canary Islands

What are the Canary Islands?

The Canary Islands are an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean ranging from 70-100 miles off the western coast of Africa. They consist of the Spanish provinces of Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in addition to the insular councils of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera, and Ferro.

Since 1982, the community has been autonomous.

In case you were wondering, the Canary Islands are not named after the golden-hued bird. Rather, the name comes from the latin term, Insula Canaria , which means Island of the Dogs. When ancient Romans first discovered the isles, there was a hearty population of wild, fierce dogs. The name was applied then, and has stuck through thousands of years.

According to Wikipedia, the sea currents that depart from Canary's coasts used to lead ships away to America.

But you'll want to stay!

A beach on Tenerife
A beach on Tenerife

Inspiration to Travel to Tenerife

Best Sights of Tenerife

There is so much to see when you visit Tenerife, you'll want to plan things out before you travel. In order to maximize your trip, consider these best sights so that you can be sure to hit the highlights of Tenerife and still have time to relax!

In Puerto de la Cruz, the second largest city on the island for tourists, head to El Puerto for spa treatments and relaxation. Accommodations are more like apartments than hotel rooms, so you should feel even more at home. When you venture out in the evening, take a stroll through the streets near the Plaza del Charco and select one of the many open air restaurants at which to enjoy a leisurely meal. With the temperate climate, dining al fresco is enjoyable year round.

Other top picks for tourists to Tenerife include:

  • Teide National Park
  • The Cliffs of Los Gigantes (the Giants)
  • Beaches - black sand, volcanic beaches!
  • La Orotava
  • Lunar Landscape (natural rock formations create a lunar landscape that really make you feel as though you are walking on the moon)
  • Pyramids at Guimar
  • Anaga Mountains (bring your camera to capture the amazing botanical samples among the most beautiful of all the Canary Islands)
  • AquaPark
  • Los Cristianos - a popular, well-known resort on the island
  • La Laguna
  • Masca
  • Loro Park (botanical gardens)

Lovely Tenerife (image by Lynn Behr)
Lovely Tenerife (image by Lynn Behr)

Siam Park in Tenerife

How soon can you get to Tenerife?
How soon can you get to Tenerife?

Tourism to Support Tenerife

Given the limited resources on the island of Tenerife, its not surprising to learn that tourism is the main industry. And it's a good thing for many reasons. The Canary Islands are a major tourist destination worldwide, drawing more than 9 million visitors each year!

Many tourists come from the UK and Germany. Other European countries (the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, France, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland) also send thousands of visitors annually to Tenerife.

Lest you worry about the impact of all these visitors on beautiful Tenerife, recent legislation prohibits additional hotel development unless they are 5-star quality or above, and include unique services such as golf courses or other facilities.

Guess that isn't going to help lower vacation prices any time soon!

Fortunately, there is ample natural beauty on Tenerife. When you climb into the amazing mountains to take in the vistas, you might just forget you're visiting one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world!

Tenerife: Part of the Canary Islands

© 2010 Stephanie Hicks


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Steph, There are so many beautiful places on this planet. You've shown that some are in our "backyard", such as the paradise of Bend, Oregon, while others are far away, such as the Canary Islands. You've presented a very nice travelogue, which succeeds in making your readers want to be transported to Tenerife immediately, if not sooner! Me too, I'm putting this on my Must-See list with my lottery jackpot winnings!:-)

    • soaps profile image


      8 years ago

      Very nice I really like this hub

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Simon - that is really great! I love it when a vacation spot is so amazing that you want to go back. Best, Steph

    • simon64 profile image


      8 years ago from UK

      Great Hub. We was in Tenerife about a month ago, staying near Los Cristianos. My wife enjoyed it so much we're planning on visiting again later in the year.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm still lerning about Tenerife for my day job as a Travel writer. I've been to the island twice but unfortunately in my younger days so saw no more of the island than Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos. After reading articles like these I'm really ooking forward to visiting this year for a "proper" look at what is available, its obvious there is loads more on offer than drink and nightclubs!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks eTenerife! So nice to hear from a local! Best to you, Steph

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have lived on Tenerife for over 10 years and had my two babies here. After all this time I am still just a beginner. There is so much to see and do. Congratulations on the lovely hub.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Yes, you're right traveluxe! The Burial of the Sardine sounds like a fun, bizarre festival in Tenerife! Cheers, Stephanie

    • traveluxe profile image


      9 years ago from Barcelona

      Another good reason to visit Tenerife: Santa Cruz de Tenerife offers the largest and most extravagant Carnival in Spain. As the capital of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is an enormous party filled with extraordinary costumes, fabulous dancing, sensational parades and an overall unforgettable party.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you Bard! That means a lot coming from you! (I linked to one of your hubs in this one too) :)

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 

      9 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Excellent hub and that comes from a hubber who lives on the island!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks SiverGenes - you are right! So many amazing and beautiful places in the world. The Canary Islands are a special place. Cheers, Steph

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Wow - there are so many places I'd like to see and now this is one of them. I really enjoyed the videos, too. Thank you! :)

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      You and me both, nifty! A trip to the Canary Islands sounds so exotic and fun!

    • nifty@50 profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub! One more for the bucket list!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Yes, the Canary Islands are a truly magical place. Tenerife has some interesting sights, traditions and festivals. I'd love to go someday too!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Amazingly beautiful place. Thanks for sharing!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you Prasetio! The pictures of Tenerife and the Canary Islands simply do not match the incredible beauty in real life. I hope you get to visit someday!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Unbelievable, this island was beautiful. The water so blue. Until I can't blink my eyes. I really enjoy all information about Canary Island. I learn much from this hub. I'll go to this island someday. Thumbs up for you. I don't hesitate to rate this Up.


    • profile image

      villas espagne 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for beautiful pics....First one is really amazing....Anyone in search of rental villas, get here...

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you creativeone! I love writing about exciting travel sites like Tenerife. :)

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      9 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you for a very beautiful and exciting hub. Thank you for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • profile image

      Europe Traveler 

      9 years ago

      Tenerife is a great blend of European influences. Super place to visit for sun, fun and fun carnivals. Love that it made this list too:

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Robie - between the culture, the natural beauty and the beaches, Tenerife is a marvelous place for a vacation. Let me know when you book your flight....

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      FindMyTeenFashion - that is exactly what I will do when I win the lottery! Plan an exotic vacation to Tenerife and probably some other wonderful European Islands. :)

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      9 years ago from Central New Jersey

      I've always been fascinated by the Canary Islands and would really love to visit Tenerife.

    • FindMyTeenFashion profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm planning to win the lottery and get to this place!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Great perspective there Lilly! I'm with you - either I become a famous writer or win the lottery. I'm not picky.... how ever I can get to Tenerife works for me. :)

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      9 years ago from Central Oregon

      I guess I will have to become a famous writer, so that I may travel to this place as well...Another place to see before i die...Beautiful.


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