Tenerife may have a reputation as a bit of a party island thanks to us booze-cruising Brits, but as a matter of fact, the real Tenerife is a tranquil haven, a relaxing idyll that's much more paradise than party hard.
Situated close to the coast of the western Sahara in Africa, this Spanish island (along with its fellow Canaries) is an incredibly exotic location, just about as far south as you can spend a Euro and on almost the same latitude as the Bahamas. If you're in need of a total escape from the daily grind, you couldn't do better than jump on a flight to Tenerife.
So what's so great about the place? Well the chances are, if you're on the lookout for a relaxing holiday, you're probably a bit of a beach bum. Tenerife has all the bases covered. Playa del Roque de las Bodegas offers great views of amazing, jagged cliff tops, Playa del Duque has a luxurious vibe and delightful promenade, Playa La Caleta sparkles beautifully to the south of the island whilst the Playa de Las Americas offers huge stretches of beautiful white sand perfect for beach sports, swimming and water sports. Any fans of geological oddities out there should make a beeline for El Bollullu beach, whose black sands lie to the north of the island.
Speaking of geology, something else which makes the island of Tenerife truly remarkable is its landscape, which was contorted into a series of vast mountains and valleys when the African and American continental plates moved apart millions of years ago. Ceaseless volcanic activity has ensured that the island has never stopped changing, and has transformed certain areas such as the Teide National Park into hauntingly sparse landscapes with a profound, desolate beauty. For some, there's no better way to unwind than to get out there in the great outdoors and experience a totally alien environment away from the crowds. This is a million miles away from that ‘lads on tour' image some people would unfairly taint this beautiful destination with.
Feeling chilled out yet? For the party animals amongst us of course, that's not enough – we want action, vibrancy, life! Gladly, Tenerife has all that in spades. Top events this year include the Arona Jazz Festival on May 18 and Ritmos del Mundo (‘Rhythms of the World') on June 15. Be sure to check the web ahead of booking if you want to catch one of the great fiestas or events that have made this place famous.
Tenerife can be anything from a relaxing haven with beautiful national parks and hotels like Paradise Park Los Cristianos to party central, depending entirely on what you want to get from it. Add it to your list of essential travel destinations this summer.
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