Tenerife is the big brother of the Canary Islands, the archipelago's largest, best-known and most visited island. There are attractions aplenty, from the sunny Tenerife weather and 350 kilometres of beaches, to the island's dramatic volcanic interior that rises to the craggy lunar-like summit of 3,718-metre Mount Teide.
Spain's highest peak, El Teide presents a decent challenge even for serious hikers and is well worth setting aside a day to walk to the top or to visit the mountain as part of a guided island tour or independently in a hire car. There's good walking to be had in the surrounding Teide National Park and elsewhere on the island, so packing some sturdy footwear as well as flip-flops or beach shoes is highly recommended when planning a Tenerife holiday.
The capital and port, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is a working city with an authentic Spanish feel, free of tourists in the most part. Many of those that do make their way from the beach resorts do so for the Tenerife Carnival, an enormous and happy fiesta full of colour costumes, energetic samba dancing and noise that is often referred to as the world's second-best carnival, after Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Tenerife's longstanding popularity as a fly-and-flop destination means that there are often travel deals to be had, incorporating flights and accommodation to suit all budgets. Cheap flights and low cost holidays are prevalent, and in the peak season holidaymakers from across Europe cram the purpose-built coastal resorts of Los Cristianos, Costa Adeje and Playa de Las Américas - where neon-lit nightlife and sunburned northern-Europeans abound. But travel outside the main summer season or choose a hotel a little way away from the others and even these traditionally busy areas can provide a calming escape.
Top places to stay in Tenerife
Considered to be among the best resorts on Tenerife, this Leading Hotel of the World is a favourite among repeat holidaymakers. It’s been modelled on a typical Canaries’ village, complete with next-door beach, bell tower and staff in traditional clothing.
Tear yourself away from the next-door beach to enjoy the gourmet dining, indulgent spa treatments and poolside relaxation of this luxury property on Tenerife's sun-drenched southwestern coast.
Hotel Botanico is located in Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife, and is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. The hotel is surrounded by sub-tropical gardens, and the Puerto de la Cruz botanical gardens are nearby. The picturesque old town is just a few minutes away with the hotel's shuttle.
RedLevel at the Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora on the Spanish Island of Tenerife is a new concept in luxury and personalised service. This adult-only hotel within a hotel has a dedicated check in, seperate pool and smaller, more personal dining space. Guests can use the main hotel's facilities but wit…
Where to go in Tenerife
Puerto de la Cruz is one of the main resorts on the northern coast of Tenerife and has remained a favourite Canary Islands holiday choice for several decades. Unlike some of the purpose-built resorts elsewhere on the island it has retained plenty of its original charm, especially in the cobbled lan…
Costa Adeje attempts to meet the happy medium between bustling and secluded and on the whole does it fairly well. It's located in the southwest corner of Tenerife, a few miles from the busy resort of Playa de Las Américas and the less frenetic Los Cristianos, and the island's highest point, Mount T…
Contrary to popular belief, Tenerife isn't all package holidays and poolside cocktails – unless you want it to be. Wexas' tailor-made travel specialist Maisie Bamford fills us in on her latest trip to the sun-soaked Spanish island.
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