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Tenerife: The Best Canary Island?

By Josh Hill

Posted: 20th January 2015 15:42

By Josh Hill

The stunning Tenerife in the Canary Islands enjoys year round sunshine, tropical forests, and over 350km of coastline.  Find historic towns and architecture towards the north, as well as the capital city, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.  The majority of tourists flock to the hotter and drier Costa Adeje region in the south, where there are theme parks, water sports, and plenty of nightlife.

This volcanic island is famous for having moon-like landscapes caused by the ancient eruptions of Mount Teide, making areas of the island feel very other-worldly and surreal.  This also makes for fascinating dive sites around the island, with underwater volcanic columns alongside hundreds of species of marine life.  Above the water, there are daily whale-watching excursions to see resident bottlenose dolphins, pilot and sperm whales, as well as over 24 migrating species at various times of the year.

Beaches

Playa Jardin (or Garden Beach) is in the north of the island, close to the tourist resort of Puerto de la Cruz.  It was designed by local artist Cesar Manrique, and the result is a stunning expanse of black volcanic sand fringed by palm trees and botanical gardens containing a vibrant expanse of floral plant life.  It’s popular with both swimmers and surfers, and there are opportunities to try your hand at windsurfing or jet-skiing, or simply spend the day lounging beneath a parasol.

There are sweeping white sand beaches to be found on the island, as well – they are in fact man-made with sand imported from the Sahara desert.  One of the best of these is Playa de Troya in the famous tourist resort of Playa de las Americas.  Alongside the kiosks selling ice cream and drinks, you get can hire boards and wetsuits try your hand at surfing, or grab a ball and get stuck in to some beach volleyball.  There are also a variety of boat trips available, from partying on a pirate ship to an elegant cruise on a catamaran.

Nightlife

As far as nightlife goes, Playa de las Americas is the buzzing epicentre of the island.  The resort is definitely aimed at the European tourist, with British pub grub, pizza bars and fast food aplenty, and hundreds of bars and clubs for after dark.  For all night parties head to the infamous strip, with clubs like Veronica’s, Tramps and Starco’s crammed with tourists revelling in the drunken debauchery till the sun comes up. 

If you’re looking for refreshment with the best view and a laid-back atmosphere, Monkey Beach Club is just a short stroll from your sun lounger on Playa de Troya.  It’s open throughout the day and into the night, offering respite from the sun and classy cocktails till after dark, when the strobe-lit dance floor comes into its own. 

Where to Stay

Tenerife’s primary source of income is from tourism, so as a result there are thousands of places to stay across the island, suiting everyone from the budget traveller to those seeking a little slice of five-star paradise.  Resorts like Playa de las Americas are practically purpose built for tourists, and though it might not be the most ‘genuine’ experience, they’ve got everything you could possibly need while visiting the island, with transport links out of town for when you want to get away from it all.

If you’re staying in las Americas and are planning on partying the night away, hotels like Sol Tenerife are located close to both the beach and the strip, ensuring you won’t miss a second of the action.  For those who prefer a quieter life – or a better night’s sleep – take a look at neighbouring resort Los Cristianos.  Although favoured by a more family-oriented crowd, it’s within walking distance (or a short taxi ride) of Playa de las Americas, so you can party the night away and then sleep soundly, away from the noise of the strip.

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