Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. For guests awaits powdery sand from the Sahara, the possibility of watching dolphins, a trip to a stratovolcano, as well as juicy fruits and aromatic spices.
Well, winter seems like it doesn’t want to leave Europe. The society has divided into those, who are just ecstatic that they can finally go skiing, or simply mold a snowman with the whole family, and those, who fantasize about holidays in hot countries. The latter can move in their minds to sunny Spain to find on the beach of Tenerife. In January, the temperature at the largest of the Canary Islands reaches about 20 degrees, so instead of a tiring heat there’s only a pleasant warmth.
Although the island, in geographical terms, is located in Africa, it’s an integral part of Spain. You pay there in euros, and among the languages in which you can communicate there’s both Spanish, English, and German.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The largest city and also the capital of the island is Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It is the second-largest center of the Canary Islands, right after Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. One of the main attractions of the area is Playa de las Teresitas, a beach located in San Andres, considered by many as the most beautiful on the island. It looks like a Caribbean beach, and it was created form over 4 million bags of sand imported from the Sahara.
Another place that is worth seeing, is a reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, called Auditorio de Tenerife. This large building in a fancy shape is a symbol of the city, that attracts visitors with pure white color, clearly distinguishable against the background of blue sky.
It’s definitely worth to go to Mercado de Africa – a pink market hall in the Moorish style. After crossing the main gate you’ll feel intoxicated with wonderful mixture of aromas floating over the stalls of spices, fruits, vegetables and sweets. You can continue your shopping on Calle Castillo, a street full of shops and boutiques from popular global brands.
In Tenerife there are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of them is the historic town of La Laguna, while the second is a stratovolcano Mount Teide, which is a part of Teide National Park. To a height of about 2,000 m you can go by car or bus from Santa Cruz and Perto de la Cruz. Later, you can go up via the trail number 9, which leads to the upper station of the lift, or the trail number 7, leading to the shelter.
During our trip we will be able to enjoy a truly lunar landscapes, which change gently into areas covered with solidified lava, through those straight out of the Wild West, and finally to those sprinkled with snow.
In turn, La Laguna is one of the oldest cities on Tenerife. It has also the oldest church on the island - Iglesia de la Concepción, as well as a few other pearls of sacred architecture. You can visit Iglesia de San Miguel de las Victorias, which houses the Gothic sculpture made of wood, as well as see the beautiful paintings in the seventeenth-century Iglesia de Santo Domingo. An unforgettable experience will also be a walk in the old district - the narrow streets are full of charming, richly decorated houses.
A meeting with nature
Nature lovers will surely visit the south-west coast of Tenerife. Dolphins and pilot whales swim so close to shore that the site was included in the most important European spots, where you can watch whale species.
In Santa Cruz it’s worth to visit Parque Garcia Sanabria, a park with extremely rich flora and stone benches decorated with pottery scattered here and there.
Another attraction is Loro Parque, a zoo combined with a beautiful park. It is the largest private zoo in Europe. There we'll see giant tortoises, chimpanzees, jaguars, as well as killer whales, flamingos and several thousand parrots. There’s also the world's largest aquarium - "OrcaOcean" having an underwater glass tunnel, thanks to which you can wander through the pool with the sharks to the jungle with gorillas, bats caves and other premises of the zoo inhabitants.
As you can see, Tenerife offers not only great beaches and sun. If someone dreams of the escape from cold and snow, this island is a perfect place for a winter-summer holiday.