TENERIFE (Canary Islands, Spain)
Do you plan to visit Spanish island Tenerife🌋? Basic information about the island and places I have visited.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ISLAND
Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands, belonging to Spain. It lies about 320 km from Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean. Around 900,000 people live here. The dominant feature of the island is the volcano Pico de Teide with a height of 3780 m above sea level, which is part of the Teide National Park, registered in UNESCO. It is the highest mountain in Spain and the third largest volcano in the world - measuring 7,500 m from the seabed. The north and south of the island differ significantly. The north is humid, with subtropical vegetation, fertile and the south is hot, rocky, arid.
The capital of the Canary Islands is Santa Cruz de Tenerife. There are 2 airports in Tenerife (south and north) and 2 ports. The southern airport (Aeropuerto de Tenerife Sur) is used mainly by foreign tourists, the northern (Aeropuerto de Tenerife Norte) serves mainly for the transfer of goods and as a regional airport.
WHAT TO SEE IN THE NORTH AND INLAND
The center of the island is mountainous, if you are lucky with the weather, you can enjoy beautiful views. Here you can visit the volcano Pico de Teide, the Anaga Mountains, Masca (mountain village) and more. To the north is the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where the most famous tourist sites are the Auditorio de Tenerife (a postmodern-style concert building with a concrete shell in the shape of a bent triangle lying on the Atlantic coast), Plaza de España (the largest square in the Canary Islands, with large artificial lake and political buildings), Parque García Sanabria (a public park in the heart of Santa Cruz, with a huge garden, fountains and various architectural monuments). Another very popular tourist attraction in the north is Loro Park - a zoo with orcas, dolphins, sea lions, aquariums, parrots, gorillas and other species of animals. And the beaches are especially popular Playa de Las Teresitas (artificial beach 1.6 km long, the only one with golden sand on the island, near the village of San Andrés, other beaches in the area have dark to antracite sand).
WHAT TO SEE IN THE SOUTH
The most popular resorts in the south are the Costa Adeje (many different beaches side by side, the largest is Playa de Faňabe, restaurants everywhere and the possibility to rent a parasol or sunbeds, there is little shade on these beaches), Los Cristianos (port, water activities, entertainment), Playa de Las Americas (for couples, many bars, a few kilometers of promenade, Siam Mall), El Medano (very windy here, so there are popular windsurfing and kitesurfing) and Las Galletas (fishing village, diving, quieter place). Los Gigantes is also popular with tourists (giant rocks - cliffs, they can only be reached by sea, the resort of Los Gigantes with black sand is nearby), Paisaje lunar (lunar landscape) or Siam Park (aquapark). (source: Wikipedia.org)
PERSONALLY VISITED PLACES, is it worth it?
"Moon Landscape" is formed by a volcanic eruption, where lava has hardened into distinctive rock formations. The moon didn't quite remind me (not that I was there). However, the walk is beautiful, something different from our nature.
Where is it and how to get there?
If you are coming from the south of the sea, enter Vilaflor (route TF-21). Once you get to it, you go around it on top and go a little further behind it. It is better to drive an off-road car or SUV, which has a raised chassis, because then from this asphalt road you turn right in one of the bends to a dusty forest road (full pink on the map) and follow it for quite a long time, we thought we turned badly. You can also walk directly from Vilaflor along a marked hiking trail (see map), but it is up a steep hill and quite far. At 35 degrees, we preferred to move the drop closer. We left the car at the first crossroads on the map and went up the red-yellow to the rocks, and back down the yellow and then the red-yellow back to the car, a nice circuit. It is about 8 km and 2.5 hours walk through the terrain. If you want to put more into your body, you can make the circuit bigger and go back along the red, which is about 10.5 km. Drinks and snacks take your own, there is nothing anywhere and we hit perhaps the hottest day of the year :)
Wonderful views from a height of 2000 m above sea level to the sea with good visibility, beautiful pine forests, igneous cover (we had the feeling that we are walking along the slag from Nová huť Ostrava haha - joke for Czech people), dusty paths and no one anywhere, but what's more launder. Judge for yourself from the photos.
LORO PARK - buy tickets HERE
Founded in 1972 as a paradise for parrots, in Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island. To this day, the park has undergone a number of changes and has become one of the most respected zoo institutions in the world, thanks to its beauty and absolute respect for nature. The entrance in the style of a Thai village is majestic. The park was also visited by the Thai royal family. The zoo is really beautiful, the paddocks are large, everywhere full of greenery, palm trees and succulents in the style of a botanical garden, one of the few places in Europe where you can see killer whales. If you like to walk all day wet, sit in the splash zone :)) In addition to killer whales, you can admire dolphins, sea lions, penguins, jellyfish, shark tunnel, gorillas, parrots, hippos, otters, lions, jaguars, tigers, red pandas, crocodiles , capybaras, flamingos, giant tortoises and more. But you have to reckon with crowds of people. The show of dolphins and killer whales is almost side by side. Be careful when there is a show so that you don't miss dolphins like us, because the shows took place only twice a day during our visits and the dolphins were almost right after the killer whales. If you go the other way, you won't make it and go completely different, so my advice is: when you're sitting in the killer whale auditorium, then go east to the left, and turn right down the hill, the entrance to the dolphinarium is just below the killer whale. If you go right out, you will get to aquariums with jellyfish, I have not seen so many species anywhere, it was fascinating. You can eat inside the zoo, fast food or self-service restaurant, but it's not the cheapest, a lot of people had backpacks and snacks.
The parking lot is also right next to the zoo for 4 Euros (2021), don't get caught by corner hunters, along the way where there was a huge sign Parking free and they wanted money for us. After an argument that we wouldn't give them anything, that we could read, they told us to leave. No office booth, no ticket, nothing, I think some impostors chose it. So we drove away, and we did well, the official parking of the zoo was closer and even cheaper.
You can buy a ticket for 38 Euros an adult either online or on site. The funny thing was that the queue for tickets on the spot was smaller than for those who bought tickets over the net. If you like aqua parks, you can buy a combo ticket to enter both the zoo and the Siam Park aquapark (in the south of Tenerife), you will save 10 Euros (year 2021). They will take your fingerprint, and in the second park you will then prove yourself with this fingerprint, an interesting system. We then preferred to book entry to Siam via the net, because the number of visitors was limited due to the covid.
SIAM PARK - buy tickets HERE
If we knew the conditions under which entry to this aquapark is allowed, we would not go here. Our mistake, we should have found out properly. The year 2021 and the time of covid - you had to have a veil everywhere, so you are wearing a swimsuit and a veil, please, even in queues for attractions, so then logically you have nowhere to put the veil and rinse it in every pool..and then you put it on the face and you go on, and it's called hygiene?? Disgusting, it pretty much poisoned us. Be it in other circumstances, so the park is quite large, many attractions, both light and hardcore, so everyone can choose according to their taste..or you can just roll on a deck chair on a sandy beach by a huge pool with artificial mega waves .. .prices for food and drink are high again, compared to restaurants on the beaches. We don't have many photos from here, the mobile phones were locked in lockers (you also pay for them), you have nowhere to put them at the attractions. Although the capacity was limited (but we didnt think, because of the crowds), there were really a lot of people and the attractions was waiting for tens of minutes. And we were over a week. It is possible to buy a Fast track and overtake.
PICO DE TEIDE - buy ticket HERE
The active volcano, currently idle, is the highest mountain in Spain (3718 m above sea level) and the third highest volcano in the world, about 7000 m above sea level from the seabed. It occupies almost half the area of the island, crater circumference 48 km. It is part of the national park - Parque nacional del Teide.
There are 4 main roads leading to the top, along which it is possible to reach the caldera at an altitude of 2000 m above sea level. From the south coast you continue uphill along the TF-51 to the town of Vilaflor, here the road changes to TF-21 and stick to it. To the volcano, it's well marked, you should not miss it. From the plateau below Teide you can walk on marked trails or use the cable car, which goes to a height of 3555 m. However, it is necessary to order the ascent, without this permit you will not be allowed to continue. And order quickly, dates are usually filled 1-2 months in advance. Permission is not paid. Order here:
In the top bar, put the burgundy Bookings button, then General Public and Next Step. You can then see the free terms in the table. Unfortunately, you can't guess in advance what the weather will be like, you have to risk it. We were lucky, it was beautiful, we were upstairs in shorts and a T-shirt in June, but it was not hot there, about 17 degrees in the sun. It is good to have quality sturdy shoes, the surface is unpaved and you go up a very steep hill. The ascent from the cable car takes about half an hour. And the views are breathtaking ... you can also smell the pungent sulfur.
Another warning. Cable car tickets can only be bought online, and be sure to buy them in advance, even with limited capacity.
ROQUES DE GARCÍA
Roques de Garcia are volcanic rock formations under the Pico de Teide volcano at an altitude of about 2000 m above sea level. The most famous is Roque Cinchado (God's finger), it reminds me of a huge morel. It is worth stopping here for a while, the formations are really impressive. Parking is right next to the rocks for free. We were there in the late afternoon around 17.30 and there was already a minimum of people. I felt like I was somewhere in Arizona (even though there are sandstones) and not in Spain. Splendor!
It is a small fishing village in the south of the island below the airport. We did not go directly to the village, but a little behind it to the east along Avenida Los Abrigos, to the Piscina Naturales Los Abrigos - a natural pool in the rocks. It is parked by the main road and a short walk down the dirt road to the sea. From the top there is a beautiful view of the place, see one of the photos. However, the place is less accessible, on steeper rocks and there are few places to lie down, so it is more likely to swim and disappear. It was blowing terribly and the waves were so high that we didn't have the courage to climb into the pool so that it wouldn't hit the rock with us, but a few daredevils were found. It was enough for me when I took important photos on the rock by the pool fully dressed, a wave came and I was totally wet :) However..the place is breathtaking. I would not recommend a visit to small children, non-swimmers and people with impaired mobility.
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