The Canary Island of Tenerife
Throughout the year, but particularly in winter when it is chilly and frosty in Northern Europe, holidaymakers pilgrimage to the beaches of Tenerife, the island of eternal spring. Average temperatures lie pleasantly between 20 and 29 degrees all year round here, thanks to the southerly location and favourable weather conditions.
Tenerife is part of Spain, and lies about 250 kilometres off the west coast of Africa and around 1300 kilometres from the European continent. It is the largest of the Canary Islands, extending over a length of 80 kilometres and a width of up to 50 kilometres, and with just over 900,000 inhabitants, known as Tinerfeños, it also has the largest population. The capital is Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is in the north of this volcanic island.
Tenerife's ports gained strategic and economic importance due to the Canary Islands' convenient location on the sea route between Europe and America. In the past many ships stopped off here before crossing the Atlantic, and even now many still continue to do so. As a result it has become an important trading centre and Santa Cruz is one of the largest ports in Spain. Alongside tourism, the export of bananas, tomatoes, wine and potatoes is the main source of income for Tenerife today. Canarian potatoes are prepared as papas arrugadas and, together with the fresh Atlantic fish, form an important and delicious part of typical Canarian cuisine.
Tenerife has two climates. In the north, the trade winds bring moist air, creating favourable conditions for the lush green vegetation, amongst which large forests have also grown up. The Canarian dragon tree, which can grow up to twenty feet tall, is also native to this area, the most famous specimen being in Icod de los Vinos. In the south, by contrast, the sun shines almost constantly, because this region is largely sheltered from rain-bearing winds by Mount Teide. Situated in the centre of the island, this volcano rises an impressive 3718 metres above sea level, making it the highest mountain in Spain. Even in spring there is still lying snow up there and you can get almost all the way to the summit by cable car or on foot.
The best way to get to Tenerife is by plane. There are daily direct flights from many European cities to one of the two airports. The northern airport at Santa Cruz is mainly used for Spanish domestic flights whereas passengers from the rest of Europe generally arrive at Tenerife Sur Airport in the south of the island near El Médano, not far from Tenerife's most popular beaches. However you can also reach the island by ship or catch a ferry from one of the neighbouring islands.
About the beaches
Tenerife's coastline, which is approximately 360 kilometres long, offers a range of landscapes that could hardly be more diverse, and a total of 52 beaches that vary widely in character. Many, but by no means all of them, consist of the fine, black volcanic sand that is typical of Tenerife.
The south-west of the island, with the resorts of Los Cristianos, Playa de las Américas and Costa Adeje, is a beach region that is well developed for tourists and has kilometres of fine sandy beaches and excellent infrastructure, as well as a huge selection of hotels, leisure and water sports activities and a wide range of international fare alongside the typical Canarian cuisine. A long beach promenade links the eleven beaches, which between them attract the largest number of beach-goers in Tenerife by a long way. No wish remains unfulfilled here.
Further to the west the cliffs of Los Gigantes, which rise majestically from the sea to a height of up to 500 metres, provide a wonderful backdrop which you can explore by boat or on jet skis. To the south of these gigantic rocks, which even from afar adorn the horizon impressively, lie a few very comfortable beaches.
The region around El Médano on the south-east coast is dominated by kite surfers and windsurfers, who find the conditions here fantastic, and particularly in the north, there are wonderful surf spots to be found in front of rocky and stony natural landscapes.
"Great relaxation at a high-class level"
"Ideal conditions for an eventful day at the beach"
"Everything you could wish for"
"A lively swimming bay with a lot to do for young and old"
"Spacious, sandy beach with numerous leisure activities"
"Convivial bathing bay with a wide variety of restaurants and water sports"
"Decent swimming beach with lot of space for everyone"
"The best beach for surfers in the south of Tenerife"
"An absolute paradise for kite-surfers and windsurfers"
"Majestic atmosphere at the foot of the rock giants of Los Gigantes"
"An all-round very enjoyable beach experience!"
"Relaxed fun at the beach under palm trees"
"Outdoor pool and beach next to each other"
"Popular beach with everything you need"
"Small beach with all the convenience needed"
"Exclusive swimming experience, not only open to 5-star holidaymakers"
"A small beach with a big name"
"Large beach area with an enchanting landscaped garden"
"Lots of relaxation in the middle of a tourist hotspot"
"A princess among the beaches"