Canaria Islands, Tenerife – European Pearl in the Ocean
If you are thinking about this year's holiday, be sure not to forget the Canary Islands in your choice. Although geographically a part of the African continent, it belongs to Spain. Tenerife is their largest island and attracts not only the tranquil atmosphere, but also the more demanding tourists for its unique beauty of volcanic nature.
The island is very civilized, you can speak almost anywhere in English or Spanish. The euro is paid here and the prices in the shops are fairly acceptable. Medical assistance is also available - it is enough to submit a European health insurance card to basic treatment (even at the emergency room). In the restaurants you can taste typical specialties such as tapas, paella, canarian mojo sauces or potato tortilla. The roads are very good and you can get to the north and south of the island within two hours.
Generally, an island can be divided into three distinct areas. South is very touristy, full of hotels, beautiful sand and warm weather. Some places are right here for surfers who can also visit the surfing school.
North of the island is no longer so touristy, but the better it is to see the true face of Tenerife. There is the capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where the seat of the Canary Islands is located. Just outside the city you can take a trip to the artificially created Playa de Las Teresitas Beach, where fine sand from the Sahara was imported. Just get on the local bus and in a few minutes you'll be there. Other beaches are known for black volcanic sand. The weather is windy and wetter, but you can sunbathe in the autumn, only the ocean is a bit colder. Not far from the capital is the university city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, which is a cultural and historical gem of the island (since 1999 it is rightly registered in the UNESCO list).
In addition to cultural enjoyment, you will also enjoy nature as nearly 50% of the area is covered by protected areas. And nature is typical of the third, inner part of the island. The most famous natural area is the Teide National Park with an area of less than 190 km2, dominated by the still active volcano Pico del Teide. This volcano is also the highest point of Spain (3,718 m asl).
GPS: (airport) 28°29'06.2"N 16°20'35.8"W
Text and photos: Šárka Hylmarová
The Masca canyon is one of the places in Tenerife where you believe you have returned to the Mesozoic and that a lost dinosaur must peek at you from behind the rock.
It is not easy to get to the top of the Pico del Teide volcano. You have to get permission, which is free, but I recommend to apply for it at least a few weeks in advance. The reason is the limited capacity of 200 people per day. But we got to the top of the crater differently.
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The most impressive place we have seen in Tenerife is the dormant volcano Pico del Teide. It rises from the center of the island to the clouds up to 3 718 m above sea level, making it the highest point of both Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. If we measure it from the ocean floor, it is even the third highest volcano in the world. The volcano is also a national park with the surrounding countryside and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the northern part of Tenerife, there is a peaceful town of Puerto de la Cruz. It originated from a former fishing settlement and later became a major port city. Today, its main economic activity is tourism, so there is a large number of hotels. After all, you can find nice apartments for a very reasonable price. In combination with reliable public transport, you do not have to pay to travel agency for services at your vacation.
If you go to Tenerife and want to know its history, don't miss out on its second largest city, La Lagune, with the official name of San Cristóbal de La Laguna. You can get there very quickly from the capital Santa Cruz, as the two cities are connected by tram. You can get there by direct bus service from Puerta de la Cruz.
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