Tenerife is a must-see destination Americans should visit if you love beautiful weather, stunning beaches, adventure and fascinating history.
Located off the northwest coast of Africa, this island is actually part of Spain and Tenerife along with the other Canary Islands is more tropical than any other European location with it's own distinct culture and traditions. Whether you’re looking to get away from the bustle of everyday life, want to discover a unique destination or you simply want to enjoy the black sandy beaches it offers, there’s something on this island for you.
My family visited Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands after a few days sightseeing through Madrid. We were all amazed at the breathtaking views, the tropical feel, fresh food (especially the fish, potato's and bananas) and it's fabulous culture. Funny, because when we checked into the Gran Melia Palacio De Isora, located in Alcala, we were told we were one of three American families that were staying there. It's amazing to hear how few Americans travel to the Canary Islands, or have even ever heard of them. Even for Americans that have travelled Europe, so many say "I never heard of them. Where are they?"
Before I continue, I must say, try to visit mainland Spain before and after your visit to Tenerife. It makes for a much more exciting, wonderful vacation or holiday experience. This wonderful island will never disappoint and you'll be vacationing alongside so many wonderful people from across the pond embracing everything around you: the scenery of Mount Teide, the black sand beaches, the different climates and the incredible food!
When To Visit
Best Time To Visit: March through October. We went in August (hottest month) and had a terrific time!
Mid Winter Months: November through February, the weather is mild and excellent for touring the entire island.
How Long Should You Stay In Tenerife?
My family stayed for 6 days and wished we could have stayed for longer. I recommend 7-10 days to relax, venture out and to explore this island.
Where To Visit
Alcala, Guia De Isora, Ancantilados de Los Gigantes, Playa San Juan
Our resort located, outside Alcala, allowed us the opportunity to walk into the town of Alcala and to Ancantilados de Los Gigantes. We felt very safe, the walk was so cultural and we tasted local cuisine from each town. Fish is superb!
Must Do Things In Tenerife
1. Discover Black Sand Beaches
Beaches on Tenerife are fabulous and the water is beautiful and warm. You have to swim at one of the many black sand beaches along the waterfront. In Tenerife the beaches are surrounded by rocks. Absolutely beautiful!
2. Charter A Sailboat With A Captain For A Day Or Two.
We usually do this on every one of our trips abroad. When you have a private captain (in Europe chartering a boat with a captain, is not as expensive as here in the United States. They'll help you discover the unknown spots many vacationers can't experience. You also get to swim and snorkel near the most magnificent cliffs, and eat freshly caught fish made ceviche style. Fun note: We saw a small tagged turtle swimming near us. It had swam across the Atlantic Ocean...how incredible! Unfortunately I thought I had a photo, but no luck.
3. Paragliding Over Adeje
If you like heights you can take a paragliding adventure over the Adeje coast. This allows you to experience the beauty of this island from above.
4. A Visit To Mount Teide Is A Must.
It is the third highest mountain from sea level in the world, with an active volcano that hasn't erupted since 1909. The landscape makes you feel like you're in a Planet of the Apes movie. One winding road leading up to there takes you through the town of Guia De Isora. A great stop for a quick beef brisket lunch.
5. Dune Buggy Day or Half Day Adventure
Take a dune buggy around the Las Canadas dessert and get up close to this dessert made from layers of ash and view the lava indented strips popping from Mount Teide.
Shopping in local stores was always fun! There is always a special piece you can bring home from one of the unique locally handcraft stores. For all designer shopping we enjoyed the shops at Playa De Los Americas.
How Long Should You Stay In Tenerife?
My family stayed for 6 days and wished we could have stayed for longer. I recommend 7- 10 days to relax and to truly explore and embrace this island.
Where To Stay
I can tell you that the west side of Tenerife is a perfect spot for your destination. Gran Melia Palacio De Isora, is superb resort with every amenity you can imagine. From their luxurious suites, marvelous grounds, the longest salt-water pool in Europe to their dining extravaganzas. But there are so many smaller hotels that I believe you would not be disappointed staying at to enjoy your vacation.
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