Hotels in Tenerife, Canary Islands
More than a thousand kilometres off the southwest coast of Spain (to which it politically belongs) but only a third of that distance from the northwest coast of Africa, Tenerife is the most populous of the Canary Islands, and the most visited by tourists every year. As a highly developed tourist destination looking as legendary as the fabled Atlantis, the largest island of the “Canarias” offers visitors with a smorgasbord of apartments in Tenerife and all inclusive hotels in Tenerife, Spain and a potpourri of experiences, delighting sun-seekers, scuba divers, party animals, mountaineers, naturalists, astro-tourists and virtually everyone in between.
Where to stay in Tenerife
Tenerife is the political seat and economic centre of the Canarias (which means ’dogs’ and not Spanish for canary birds). The Canarian parliament is found in the island’s capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, otherwise popular for its salsa beats come Tenerife Carnival in February, second only in flamboyance to Rio de Janeiro’s. Once a sleepy fishing town, Tenerife succumbed to the promise of tourism with the popularity of commercial flights in the 1960s. The majority of more than 10 million tourists a year head down to Playa de las Americas Tenerife where the most developed tourist facilities and beach resorts in Tenerife can be found.
Outside of Playa de las Americas, the best hotels in Tenerife, Canary Islands are sprinkled between the coasts of Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos where the five-star Mediterranean Palace Tenerife Hotel is located. All three south coast destinations are the most crowded and party-rowdiest. To get some breathing space, enjoy outstanding scenery, and immerse in colonial history at heritage sites, head north and book a retreat space in charming rural villas in Tenerife at La Orotava, or in beach view hotels at nearby Puerto de la Cruz Tenerife.
Things to do in Tenerife
Beyond the posh interiors and glittering facades of 5 star hotels in Tenerife, Spain favored by the European jetset, there lies the recently recognized Starlight Reserve within the park grounds of Spain’s tallest volcano, Pico del Teide. Due to the volcano’s altitude at more than 3,000 metres above sea level, pristine night sky condition and low light pollution, Teide’s dormant caldera is home to a world-class observatory. The Milky Way is most stunning here, even with unassisted vision.
Less than 20 kilometres from the volcano are some of the cheapest accommodation in Tenerife. In the least spoilt coastal town of Garachico, 50 kilometres west of the capital, there are a handful of apartments to rent in Tenerife should you choose to linger and take a dip in one of its many lava rock pools, or simply experience a more ‘authentic’ Canarian holiday. Speaking of accolades, make room in your trip for a leisurely walk about UNESCO-listed San Cristobal de la Laguna, Tenerife’s former capital, and the city template for later colonial cities in the Americas like Havana.
If you prefer to burn more calories and cover more mileage without compromising on scenery, rent a mountain bike in El Medano, east of Los Cristianos and Las Americas, where affordable hotels in Tenerife are more common, and follow the mountain-hugging highway to Los Gigantes, the mighty cliffs of Masca; Tour de France champions make Tenerife their winter training grounds. While there, you may want to join whale and dolphin cruises off the coast of Los Gigantes if you prefer not to suit up for underwater excursions.