Travel Tip 2018: Tenerife beyond the resorts

Travel Tip 2018: Tenerife beyond the resorts

What are the most attractive travel destinations for 2018? The German travel blog Choices of Life has called for a blog parade dealing with this question. For this year I recommend you to explore the much underrated Canary Island Tenerife individually. You will find out why in the following text.

Tenerife: first impression – mixed emotions

In my fantasy, the Canary Islands were too conventional, hardly exotic and maybe not warm enough for a winter escape. But I set my prejudices aside and gave the Canary Islands and Tenerife a chance. I finally have to say: I was excited about Tenerife. It was just great to feel sunshine after flying less than six hours from Germany.

At first sight, after landing at Tenerife South Airport, I didn´t see anything especially beautiful. There were mountains at the coast and in some places, such as Los Christianos, plenty of dull hotels and apartment buildings. However, it is important to me not to look superficially at places and appreciate the positive, rather than looking for deficits. With this mindset I found some beautiful aspects soon. I loved to find many palm trees planted in this city (this is still a new development) and I also found the barren landscape with the mountains interesting, because I always felt attracted to deserts. The landscape looked especially nice seen from the sea in the morning light.

Los Christianos seen from the ocean
Los Christianos seen from the ocean

A second view of Tenerife: fantastic for individual travelers

In Tenerife, it is important to leave the coast and its all-inclusive Resorts behind. The traveller who steps out to discover more will be rewarded. Not only did I find places that were “very nice”, but also those, which really took my breath away. We travelled Tenerife by rental car, which is reasonably priced on the island. But you can also get to the remote places by public transport. The landscapes of the island, which is modest in size despite being the largest Canary island, are extremely diverse due to different climate zones. The scenic beauty and rich variety of sights makes Tenerife an attractive destination for hikers. On the one hand, there is the Teide National Park. The still active volcano Teide is about 3,700 m high. You can reach up to about 2,500 m altitude by car. The road TF-21, which leads across the national park, offers an impressive road trip with numerous viewpoints and photo spots to individual travelers. On the other hand, the green north coast with the Teno and the Anaga Mountains is very appealing.

Tenerife individually: charming towns and villages 

Even before my visit to Tenerife I knew that I would find bright and colorful architecture there. But I was surprised by the many different places where you can see it.The historic centre of the university city of La Laguna is like a museum and listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the beautiful old colonial buildings you can find interesting restaurants and bars, everything with a youthful vibe because of the many students. But also the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife contains some treasures. Despite its large malls and its ferry port the island’s capital has many inviting corners, where you can stroll and enjoy. So you can saunter under palm trees, enjoy good food on squares with shady trees or admire the colonial architecture. And then there’s the street art. I saw impressive examples of this in Santa Cruz and in Puerto de la Cruz. In Puerto de la Cruz you will find street art in the charming fishing district of Ranilla, which was irresistibly atmospheric for me with its colorful houses, cafes and restaurants. We stayed overnight in El Médano in the south of the island most of the time. The little surf city is not really pretty, but still attractive. In addition to the permanent sunshine the south has to offer, the city impresses with a cosmopolitan boho flair, which expresses itself in creative-artistic cafés and in a lot of joy of living. We experienced this for example on New Year’s Eve while dancing salsa and merengue with a crowd on the main square. We can recommend El Médano as a base in Tenerife. In addition to interesting cities, Tenerife also has pretty villages like Garachico and Masca, one surrounded by high waves and the other by steep rocks and many palm trees.

Bridge with street art in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Street Art in Tenerife’s capital
Hotel in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Magnificent architecture in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Beaches: variety for every taste

Of course, most visitors come to the island because of the beaches. The usual tourist beaches are as you might imagine: rows of umbrellas and good infrastructure. But beaches in Tenerife can be so much more than this. Travelling in Tenerife individually also means to discover many different beaches. Kite and windsurfers find happiness at the almost stormy beach of El Médano. If you want to feel like chilling at a Caribbean beach or taking a walk in the Sahara (the beach is made up of raised Sahara sand), you are advised to go to the palm-fringed Playa de las Teresitas. And then there are the natural quiet beaches, where usually waves and impressive rocks make the picture perfect. These are my personal favorites, especially Playa Roque de las Bodegas, where I felt like in a dream world thanks to the mysterious foggy light of North Tenerife.

Roque de Bodegas beach
Dreamlike beach: Roque de las Bodegas

If you liked my blog post, you might also be interested in my article on a little timeout on  La Gomera island (Canary Islands).

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Tenerife beyond the resorts

This post is also available in de_DE.

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