This is what we sit at our desks dreaming of; a direct fly outta here to sun, sea and sangria. Discover the new Tenerife, a million miles from the high-volume package-holiday destination of old. You’ll now be welcomed with a dose of quaint bustling island life complete with world class eateries, plenty to explore and did we mention it’s all Direct from Jersey!
Rising out of the Atlantic Ocean in volcanic glory and closer to Morocco than mainland Spain, Tenerife is home to hidden bays and busy beaches, quiet villages and bustling towns, one of the world’s largest carnivals and, watching over the island, the highest peak in Spain. The largest of the Canary Islands and dubbed the ‘island of eternal spring’, Tenerife is an island of contrasts and experiences that offers so much more than days by the pool and nights in the club.
Tenerife is home to some of the best winter sunshine in the northern hemisphere. Visitors staying on the island during the winter months can enjoy balmy days close to the beach, admiring snow atop the 3,718 metre peak of Mount Teide whilst sipping a mojito by the pool. The tourist areas lining the island’s southern beaches are naturally bustling and energetic, with a healthy contingent of holidaymakers looking for sun, sea, tasty Spanish food and the occasional night out. However, those willing to venture a little further from the popular areas of Los Cristianos, Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje will be rewarded with a collection of historic, cultural and natural surprises.
Venturing inland, beaches give way to steep hillsides, ravines and picturesque villages, all waiting to be discovered and still relatively untouched by the mass tourism hugging the coastline. A 30 minute drive from Costa Adeje, the small village of Chirche is nestled 800 metres above sea level, gifting visitors panoramic views across the south of the island. The village includes examples of traditional architecture and is dotted with flowerbeds, farming terraces and vineyards; a perfect place to escape the busy beach and relax with the locals for a day.
For braver souls willing to explore the island’s interior, Teide National Park is an unmissable experience. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the park is home to Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain. Active explorers will happily spend six hours negotiating the walking route to the peak, whilst those firmly in holiday mode can reach the area known as the Rambleta, 3,555 metres above sea level, by cable car. From there it’s either a relaxing time taking in the landscape, or a final 200 metre scramble to the very top.
Travelling further, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the island’s capital and, only an hour from the south coast, is home to one of the world’s largest annual carnivals. Taking place during January and February, the ‘Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife’ is widely considered a close second to the world famous carnival in Rio de Janeiro, a fact recognised by the capital’s twinning with the inimitable Brazilian city. The carnival atmosphere dominates the town every night until Ash Wednesday, when revelers celebrate the ‘entierro de la sardina’ – the burial of the sardine – and the festivities are officially over.
Untouched villages, volcanic parks and annual carnivals aside, Tenerife remains a hotspot for the traditional winter sunshine holiday. Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas are full to the brim with hotels, restaurants, theme parks and beaches, offering something for everyone. Families and kids can enjoy tall waterpark slides whilst couples sample the nightlife and relax in some of the island’s best luxury hotels.
If you’re overdue some sunshine and are looking to re-discover one of the gems of the Atlantic, Tenerife can be reached in only four hours, direct from Jersey.