Luxury Tenerife Holidays
Tenerife - an island guide
Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands, is the biggest island in its group and is a wonderful place to escape for a while. As the best known of the islands, it is popular with visitors from all over the world, but those seeking luxury holidays will find that there are still secluded areas and exclusive resorts to enjoy there.
When to go
Known as the Island of Eternal Spring, Tenerife is a place where the weather is always clement though it varies considerably across the island, with the north being much more humid. There is snow on the mountains in winter even though it’s still warm enough to sunbathe at sea level. The warmest weather occurs between July and September, when it rarely rains. June and October are also pleasant for sun-seekers, especially in the south.
Where to stay
There are several 5-star luxury hotels on Tenerife, including at two coastal locations that are strictly adults only. Most are found outside the city, taking advantage of the island’s spectacular volcanic landscape. There are also several charming small hotels within old buildings in the city.
What to see
Tenerife has a fascinating mixture of natural and cultural curiosities, with a strong sense of fun. These are some of the sights no visitor can afford to miss:
• Museo de la Naturaleza y el hombre - a Santa Cruz museum with fascinating archaeological treasures including mummies created by the island’s original inhabitants, the Guanche.
• Artlandya Doll Museum - a small museum in Santa Barbara de Icod de Los Vinos that hosts a fascinating collection of unusual dolls and information on doll making.
• Siam Park - one of the world’s most popular waterparks, with lots of rides and slides, a wave machine, and a mini waterpark for young children.
• Los Cristianos Monkey Park - an immersive ‘zoo’ where visitors and monkeys sit side-by-side, monkeys climb on visitors, and visitors feed them by hand.
• El Teide - the dormant volcano that dominates the island - for those that don’t want to hike, there’s a cable car to the top. The crater is amazing and the view takes in all of Tenerife.
• La Cueva del Viento, a huge complex of natural caves and lava tubes with guided tours available explaining the science of volcanology and the geological history of the island.
Tenerife has a large number of shopping destinations, with several large malls in Santa Cruz selling international brands. Visitors will also find occasional high-end fashion outlets. In small towns, shops tend to close for siesta but open again later in the day. The special economic status of the Canary Islands means there are also specialist duty-free shops with very low prices, but visitors shopping there should remember that there are restrictions on how much they can take home with them.
Five star holidays deserve luxury dining experiences, and with six Michelin starred restaurants in Santa Cruz, there are plenty to choose from. The city also has a number of delightful small restaurants ideal for intimate dining. Eating freshly caught fish on Tenerife is a must and grilled goat is an appealing specialty, much tastier than it might sound. One delicacy visitors really can’t afford to miss is the local cheese, with several delicious variants available.
Festivals and events
Held in late February or early March, Tenerife’s Carnival has a distinctive twist. Once banned by the Catholic Church, it now gently mocks the church with costumes that can verge on the risqué, but always in a spirit of fun. The main parade ends with the ceremonial burning and burial of a giant papier maché fish.
Hiring a car or motorbike on the island is cheap and easy to organise. There is also a good bus service with a wide network of routes, and travel passes are available to make using it cheaper. There are also taxis but they are expensive to use outside Santa Cruz itself.
To sum up
With exotic natural landscapes and many fascinating places to explore, Tenerife has a great deal to offer. As islands go, it has excellent facilities, and its impressive shops, hotels, and restaurants make it an ideal destination for luxury travel.
Tenerife Essential Facts
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