By Cortney Fries
Black sand beaches and long, lingering meals of fish fresh from the ocean beckon you to soak up the good life on the Canary Island of Tenerife. Located off the northwest coast of Africa, this Spanish volcanic island rewards visitors with seemingly infinite sunshine and ideal temperatures year round. Explore the largest of the Canary Islands to enjoy all its microclimates, and put your head above the clouds on the tallest peak in Spain.
Volcanic black and golden sand beaches encourage vacationers to wash away stresses in the cool waves. Dip into natural lava swimming pools in Garachico to feel the Atlantic Ocean splash. Trade winds sway palm trees, making the average annual temperature 74 degrees. The atmosphere is serene as people stroll, sun and savor treats like barraquito layered coffee that reveals many delightful surprises like Tenerife itself.
Explore diverse scenery from glossy laurel forests to the lunar-like landscapes surrounding Mount Teide. Spot dolphins and whales in the waters or head underground in Europe’s longest lava tunnel, Cueva del Viento. Vivid, blue skies reveal a dark, twinkly panorama in the night, making Tenerife one of the best places in the world for stargazing. Jupiter’s bright light can even be seen without a telescope.
Spanish cuisine in the Canary Islands is often seasoned with the delicate, salty slices of jamon as well as mojo sauces served at most establishments. Like a special magic, green and red mojo pastes are delicious accompaniments to fresh seafood, wrinkly potatoes and warm, crusty bread.
Whether you’re ready to stretch your legs or want to savor the views from afar, you’ll discover stunning scenery all across the island. Kayak with Teno Activo to the towering cliffs of Los Gigantes and jump into the refreshing, sapphire waters. Take a cable car to the top of Mount Teide and watch white, cotton candy-esque clouds below as you breathe in the crisp mountain air.
One of the most visited national parks in the world, Teide will wow you with characteristics similar to Hawaii, the Grand Canyon and even Mars. Geological wonders like volcanic craters and lava flows are complemented by endemic flora and fauna, such as tall, red bugloss plants that freckle the landscape looking like skinny, evergreen trees with brightly colored blossoms and grassy skirts.
Glide through the treetops at Forestal Park in La Esperanza forest or splash down the water slides at Siam Park, crowned the top water park in the world numerous times by TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards. Fashionistas will find paradise at the Golden Mile shopping and entertainment district.
On the south side of Tenerife you’ll find beaches and resorts like the chic GF Hotel Victoria in Costa Adeje. With awe-inspiring ocean views, GF Victoria boasts amenities such as a rejuvenating spa, simulated surfing, water slides and a glass pool suspended in the air from the roof of the hotel. On the north side of the island, the timeless grace of Hotel Botanico shines along with the magnificent tranquility of the Oriental Spa Garden. Treasure your time on this luxury property with extraordinary views of Mount Teide and the Atlantic Ocean.
Visit your local AAA offie or call 1-800-750-5386.
(Traveler Spring 2021)