Erin finally is spica free and we are now turning our attention to our holiday. We went to Tenerife for the first time last year and are heading back again this summer as it was such a brilliant holiday. Today I bring you a guest post about the beautiful island of Tenerife.
What with the financial climate and its accompanying trend for “staycationing” in the unreliable British climate, it was a relief to find that cheap flights to Tenerife – our family’s sunny favourite – are still quite easily found. We do love Britain, but sometimes you just need to migrate – temporarily, at least – to Southern climes, if you’re going to get enough Vitamin D to last through the summer!
Tucked away from the crowds
Although Tenerife is a popular place, you only have to head inland to find more peaceful accommodation, away from any crowds. This does mean you must travel a little further to reach the beach, but the island isn’t large, and we always hire a car. If you think about it, staying in the middle of an island means you’re closer to all its beaches than if you stayed at just one of them!
Stunning, varied landscape
Tenerife’s interior is ruggedly beautiful, covered in lush green forest, rocky arid desert, and towering ancient peaks. Right in the centre, the Teide National Park protects the world’s third highest volcano – Teide, which is still active, its last eruption in 1909 – and offers profoundly beautiful trekking and hiking. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with diverse plants and an interesting variety of wildlife, and makes for a wonderful day or two wandering in the wilderness.
There’s an eight-minute cable car ride up to the summit, if you don’t fancy the eight-hour challenging trek from the mountain’s foot, but queues can be two hours long during peak season (our tip; get up early), and you need a special (free) pass from the National Park’s office in Santa Cruz if you want to ascend to the very top. It’s also worth being prepared for a spot of altitude sickness once you’re up there. You will be over 3,500 metres up, after all – that’s one tenth of an average passenger jet’s cruising altitude!
Tenerife’s Spanish heritage means you’ll find lots of tapas throughout, varying from so-so in the busiest tourist areas, to excellent the moment you venture up the side streets. Being an island, the seafood here is also fresh and usually delicious. We love being able to share the selection of tasty Spanish dishes amongst the whole family, but don’t worry if any of your brood is stuck in a dietary comfort zone – there are plenty of places selling burgers and chips, too, at least along the south coast.
When we’re feeling especially energetic (or have excess tapas to burn off) we head to the beach for some watersports. Scuba is popular here, but we particularly enjoy wind-surfing at El Medano, a chilled-out little beach town on the island’s southernmost tip.
Head to Tenerife in February (when temperatures range between 14 – 21 degrees Celsius) to experience the world’s second largest Carnival, beaten only by the hugely famous event in Rio de Janeiro. A traditionally Catholic affair, Carnival sees vivid festivities and much up-ending of convention, and takes place before the calm austere period of Lent.
This is a guest post.
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