By Nancy Todd and Regina Winkle Bryan
The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife, has the highest elevation in the country which is Mount Teide with 3,718 meters above sea level. About 200 small islands dot the coastline. Located 1,000 miles from the Iberian penninular, Tenerife has pine forests, volcanic landscapes, semi-desert areas in the south, and sub topical vegetation. Lots to do on Tenerife and The Scoopometer gives it a 10.
l. Watch whales and dolphins- Ride the waves in a glass bottom catmaran or a 1918 schooner to see these magnificent animals. One third of the world’s whale species swim near the Canaries.
2. Hike on Teide National Park which will burn your thighs as you climb to the giant volcanic crater, the third largest in the world. Bizarre rock formations make for great photo ops and being in awe of mystery of nature.
3. Dive -Over 30 dive sites are along the beautiful coast. Crystal clear, aqua, warm waters await for this meditative experience. Caves, rocky shoals make Tenerife one of the best diving sites in the world.
4. Ride a horse- On a traditional working farm, La Caldera del Rey Riding Stables are close to Playa de Las Americas. Beautiful scenery with 2 to 4 hour rides.
5. Shop the capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz, a gorgeous port city, for chains and local stores including duty free shops. Lovely pearl jewelry. South Tenerife for weekly markets selling madonnas to monkey sculptures.
6. Dance till dawn – Playa de las Americas has dozens of discos and bars and the booty shakin’ starts about midnight. No problem. Sleep on the beach the next day.
7. Meander Masca- travel a skinny, snakey road to this village with a small restaurant. An uncrowded valley for hiking with some of the best views on the island. You can walk to the sea, about a three hour hike. Local history available in the Masca Museum. This village and trip get rave reviews for stunning beauty.
8. Carnival!! -Music, outrageous costumes, and singing wind through the streets in Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz. A giant, boistrous pre-Lent festival closes on Ash Wednesday with the burial of the sardine, El Entierro de la Sardina, a satire of funerals with wailing and bright costumes.
Book flights to Tenerife this Spring to escape the cold!
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