Story by: Jenny, Jacksonville, USA
Published: September 9th 2017
Our trip to the Canary Islands started with no less than Tenerife, the biggest of all 7 sister islands. Tenerife had a huge variety of activities and diversions to offer; no matter how long you stay, you'll always have new places to visit. This Atlantic isle has a considerable amount of beaches (just like all of its sister isles pretty much).
On the north of the island, we went to the Las Teresitas beach; an artificial beach made with sand shipped from the Sahara Desert in Africa. The thin and light sand of the Sahara does look very good, but it can be a problem during windy days, as the wind lifts a lot of this sand.
On the other hand, the native beaches in Tenerife are made of volcanic sand, with a charcoal color rather than Sahara's light one. Despite Las Teresitas' better-looking sand, most locals told us they prefer volcanic sand beaches. We personally found Las Teresitas to be a great beach to spend the day at if there's no wind. The weather forecast is your best friend, as a windy day might be annoying due to the sand.
Certain coasts, such as the south-eastern one, count with optimal winds for water sports such as kitesurf, windsurf, and so on. I personally wanted to try some at one of the rentals, but the side of the coast we visited had strong winds (which are not appropriate for beginners).
The sports are widely practiced by tourists and locals from the area. Other coasts are ideal for bodysurfing, too.
The island also counts with very varied mountains, trails, hikes, and precipices. We visited multiple mountain sports centers, which go from recreational hiking, to mountain biking, rappel, descends, and such. We signed up for a recreational hiking (“senderismo” in Spanish) trip, which consisted of 3 hours of hiking, and the ending point was a beach. It was awesome.
The highest point of Tenerife is El Teide, a volcano with an elevation of 3,718m (~12,000ft), which also happens to be the highest point of Spain. Although it wasn't allowed to camp there, we went up one day after lunch until noon, and the view was gorgeous. At some point you're above some low clouds, and it's just fascinating.
We visited multiple parks in Tenerife. Although they're not as big as those in the capital, they're still a very peaceful environment. I decided to visit a nearby park that counted with skating installations as well as an urban calisthenics park. These two are found in the Parque La Granja.
Also in the locality of Santa Cruz, the north-eastern section and capital of the island, the Parque García Sanabria is another great destination. It's similar in size to the Parque La Granja, except it's a little smaller. We really enjoyed it, regardless. The weather was perfect for a day at the park.
There's also a variety of squares, we visited mostly those on north side of the island. The squares are very attractive, our favorite being Plaza de España (Spain Square), in Santa Cruz, which had a nice decorative pond.
As for the south of the island, the environment was more desert-like, unlike the greener north. We saw a much larger number of tourists in the south. We visited Adeje, and saw some of the biggest hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, and beaches in the isle.
But we wouldn't leave without some amusement, of course. The isle has two very-known parks that are greatly advertised: Loro Parque and Siam Park. Loro Parque (Parrot Park) is an amusement zoo with German roots; we interacted with a large (and I mean a -large-) amount of species. We attended to a variety of exhibitions with parrots, orcas, seadogs, dolphins, and very creative shows. No wonder the park was rated #1 of the world on 2015 by Trip Advisor.
Siam Park, on the other hand, is a water amusement park. Siam Park features a summer activity called Siam Night, which opens at night and includes additional activities.