Tenerife enjoys the year-round sunshine, fine sands and warm seas you might expect from an island off the West African coast. An essential stop-off for any Canary Island cruise, the largest of the group has plenty to tempt you off the boat, from watersports to whale-watching, inland hikes to wildlife theme parks. The accessible size of the island renders most destinations manageable in a day, so it only remains to make your choice.
Shore excursions on Tenerife can be as action-packed or as serene as you wish. Most ships will set down in the main port and capital Santa Cruz, at the island’s north-eastern tip, which is worth a stroll around itself for its genuine Spanish flavour and old-world atmosphere. If you simply want your pick of the best beaches, opt for a transfer to nearby Las Teresitas or travel south to the popular resort Playa de Las Americas.
You could try sightseeing and craft-shopping in some of the more picturesque locations such as La Laguna, the old, UNESCO-awarded capital in the Augere Valley.
You would be wise to explore some of Tenerife’s natural beauty whilst here and the pine forest of Ezperanza is not only a good choice for a walking excursion but contains points of interest like the fascinating stepped pyramids at Guimar. For a more adventurous trip, head north to see the Anaga Mountains, the sweeping views from El Bailadero look out over quiet fishing villages, perfect for a taste of true Canarian life. You might wish to take a drive or go for a day hike in the Las Canadas National Park, home to the towering Pico de Teide and some impressive geographical landscape.
Action And Adventure
Thrill-seekers will be happy with the range of activities available off and on the coast. Travel to Los Gigantes, the incredible cliffs of the North-West, where you can dive amongst the spectacular underwater scenery or go in search of dolphins out in the bay. The island’s theme parks also cater for kids and adults with the aquatic attractions of Siam Park and the astounding parrot species at Loro Park, not to mention sea-lions, whales and penguins. There are plenty of other activities at places like Puerto Colon, where you can have a go at parascending, deep-sea fishing or jet-skiing.
There is never a danger of running out of ideas here, what with alternative attractions such as the vineyards of Arafo and sampling some of the home-grown wine stock. Get away from the crowds and find peace at the Orchids Gardens near the old seaside town of Puerto de la Cruz, or there are even natural lava pools in Garachico village and you could easily combine a trip here with a sightseeing tour of the nearby Orotava Valley.
Whatever you decide, it is not difficult to make the most of your stop at Tenerife, how ever brief. There is much more to explore than the club-lined resorts of the south and, making Santa Cruz your base for the day, you will have ideal access to some of the natural and cultural highlights of this diverse and surprising Canarian island.