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Travel Tips to Tenerife - More Than Just Beaches

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Famous for beaches and a vibrant nightlife, Tenerife also has much to offer culturally, including 2 UNESCO-listed sites and a biosphere reserve. Mild winters make swimming, sunbathing, hiking, and cycling all-year activities. Tenerife has long been a popular winter destination for water sports, and it is now catching on with golfers too. Hotels vary from luxury and rural retreats, to family-friendly resorts, and boutique hotels.

Best time to travel

 

The hot months of July and August are the busiest on beaches and roads. Flights are at a premium, but being family holiday time, it's often quieter in upmarket bars and eateries. High season begins at Christmas, and continues through to Easter, with an upswing during Carnival week, which is usually in February. The best times to visit Tenerife are May and June, when days are longer and warmer, or in November - though the weather may be less predictable. You can often find special offers on flights during these months.

Not to miss

 

Tenerife's beaches vary in appearance from dark, volcanic rock to sweeps of golden sands. Hotel pools swing from child friendly to sophisticated infinity pools. These are perfect places for winding down, but the island has many other attractions. The Teide National Park, a volcanic panorama of surreal proportions, and the colourful city of La Laguna, are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tenerife hosts a vast range of water parks, hillside villages, museums, and zoos, with local history at every turn.

 

Getting around

 

Tenerife has 2 international airports; Tenerife North (TFN) and Tenerife South (TFS). Both host direct flights to most European countries. Flights from the US or outside Europe generally stopover in Madrid, or at another European hub. Car hire is abundant and reasonably priced, and offers the most convenient way to get around. A good road system links Garachico in the north to Costa Adeje in the southwest. There are excellent bus services throughout the island, with the exception of more remote places.

 

Cuisine

 

Eating out in Tenerife, whether at a swish restaurant or local bar, is a relaxed affair. Local cuisine has its roots in hearty peasant dishes, and is often given a new twist by top local chefs. The old fishing villages have become fish and seafood destinations, with the added charm of dining by the water. Wine making on Tenerife has a long history: After years in the doldrums, it is now winning awards, though wines are rarely exported.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Most Canarian families have members who immigrated to other countries during hard economic times, and this fact makes them very welcoming of strangers and visitors. Although overwhelmingly Catholic, local attitudes to religion are quite casual, and you will not be turned away from visiting churches in skimpy clothing. Kissing on both cheeks, even when introduced for the first time, is the standard greeting. Tipping is at the discretion of the customer, usually 10% if the service has warranted it.

 

Fast facts

 

  • Population: 900000
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  • Spoken languages: Spanish, with English and German at most resort areas
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  • Electrical: 230 volts, 50 Hz, plug type C, F
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  • Phone calling code: +34
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  • Emergency number: Emergency number: 112; Guardia Civil: 062; Police: 091