Tenerife: Something For Everyone
I’m so happy to introduce my first guest post on Christine|in|Spain today from Katherina of 100 Miles Highway. Katherina is a native of the Canary Islands, hailing from Tenerife. Though Tenerife is famous for its decadent Carnavale celebrations, Katherina explains that there is much more to her home than sun and fun. Read on to learn more! Be sure to follow Katherina on Twitter @100mileshighway and on her Facebook fanpage. If you’re interested in guest posting, e-mail me through the contact page located on the sidebar.
Whenever I proudly tell someone about mi tierra, they look at me with excitement and curiosity. After all, growing up in the Canary Islands is not something you get to hear a lot; at least not outside of the archipelago itself. This may be because in all 7 of the islands, there are only around 2 million inhabitants. Tenerife is the biggest, housing 43% of the total population—and this is where I come from!
As a kid, I remember sitting for two hours in the car, driving to the south of Tenerife for a weekend, staring outside the window and thinking who would ever want to live in this deserted place with only a few small touristy clusters next to the sea. Things have changed since then. In little more than 15 years, the south of the island, with its smooth weather conditions and numerous beaches, has turned into the main tourist attraction, drawing in more than 12 million tourists every year. However, I have the impression that the island is often put into the category of “sun and party holidays” which turns off many travelers seeking something different.
There’s so much more to the island besides sun, beaches and parties.
Tenerife is the third largest volcanic island worldwide. As such, its dramatic landscape is one of its most valuable assets, and it’s best appreciated in remote areas that are only reached by foot.
Walk down one of its many ravines or outline the northern coastline to appreciate its unique flora and intriguing rock formations.
Hike Afur to Taganana
Make your way through the Teide National Park, surrounding the island’s sleeping volcano, to view the lunar-like landscape used in the movie Clash of the Titans (2010) and One Million Years BC (1966).
Teide National Park
Hide away on your almost private black sand beach; enjoy the peacefulness of not being disturbed by hat and jewelry sellers. Get hypnotized by the waves crashing against the rocks.
Tenerife also offers something for every foodie. Every town along the coast offers fresh fish for affordable prices. As a side dish, ask for black potatoes, called papas arrugadas, with mojo (a local sauce). Roasted goat cheese is a common starter. For an authentic taste of Tenerife’s culinary wonders, you should drive to one of the many Guachinches throughout the island. These are no-frills restaurants held in garages, back gardens or sheds, offering home-cooked food and wine from the owner’s harvest. Menus vary across each Guachinche, but a very common dish is ropa vieja, a plate combining chickpeas, beef and chicken, together with herbs and some vegetables.
I grew up visiting these places and eating this food, and I must admit, I didn’t learn to appreciate it until I left it. I used to complain that there was nothing to do. Now, every time I’m back for a few days, I can’t get enough of it! For being such a small island, Tenerife has a big advantage – it offers something for every kind of traveler and all of it is a short drive or bus ride away.