Tenerife may be one of the world’s most popular winter sun getaways, but when the novelty of lying half naked on the beach while the folks back home are shivering in their boots wears off, where can you go to see something more than sun, sand, sea and theme parks? Our advice is to sort yourself out some Tenerife car hire and check out these fabulous days out…
1. Teide National Park – if the only place you’ve seen Mount Teide is through the window of your aircraft as you arrive and depart the island, then you’re missing one of the most spectacular landscapes on earth.
2. Masca ““ whatever you’ve read in the brochures or heard from the tour reps, it still won’t prepare you for the wow factor you’ll experience as you enter this lost paradise nestling amongst colossal peaks on the edge of the world.
3. Garachico ““ the little town that fought its way out from under a volcanic eruption to provide amazing rock pools where you can swim with tropical fish, the prettiest plaza on Tenerife and more picturesque scenes than you can point a camera at.
4. La Orotava ““ stretch the thigh muscles on a stroll around Tenerife’s most aristocratic town to uncover stunning island architecture, beautiful parks and gardens and excellent souvenir shopping in the town that gives us streets paved with petals.
5. Candelaria ““ the spiritual heart of the Canary Islands, pilgrims travel on foot and on their knees to worship at the feet of the Black Madonna. Luckily, buses also run from all over the island to transport you to the bronze icons of a forgotten era.
6. Santa Cruz ““ When its streets aren’t filled with the semi-naked women, drag queens and MaquinerÃa bands of Carnaval, they’re home to museums, art galleries, splendid architecture and pretty plazas spread around the island’s best shopping and bordering a busy cruise liner port.
7. Santiago del Teide – travel into the rural heartland for a Tenerife a million miles away from its popular travel brochure image. Riding stables, picnics under the eucalyptus trees, a beautifully restored country house and unspoilt beauty await.
8. La Laguna ““ pack an umbrella and goad the rain gods with a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tenerife’s former capital city. Beautifully restored mansions and monasteries span five centuries and they have one of the best farmer’s markets on the island.
9. Icod de los Vinos ““ with a pedestrianised street lined with pavement cafes and boutiques, a splendid church square and a butterfly farm, there’s more to Icod than just dragon trees, volcanic tubes and Jackass antics.
10. Vilaflor – climb up into the pine forest where thermal spas and fir trees create a landscape more akin to an alpine village than Spain’s highest, and try to resist the urge to yodel.