Tenerife, the largest and most developed of the Canary Islands, attracts ten million visitors every year. Tenerife is best known for its beaches and its nightlife, but there are plenty of other attractions as well, including tropical forests, hiking expeditions around the volcano, and world class dining and shopping in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the island's regional capital.
Tenerife's best known beaches, El Puertito, Playa de los Abriguitos and Playa Grande, are golden stretches of sand in quiet coves, lapped by the turquoise waters of the Atlantic.
Then there are Tenerife's famous black sand beaches like the popular Playa Socorro, on the seaward end of a banana plantation, and Playa de las Arenas near the Buenavista del Norte golf course. Most of the black sand beaches are on the northern and western coasts of the island.
The black sand beaches are formed from volcanic lava, which cools rapidly when it flows into the ocean, forming heavy chunks of black basalt. The sea flings these glassy basalt rocks against heavier granite rocks, breaking them down into sand particles. Black sand is coarser and heavier than white or golden sand, and it retains far more heat. Best not to walk barefoot on black sand, particularly in the summertime, or you can burn the soles of your feet!
Teide National Park features the Teide-Pico Viejo volcano, the highest volcano in the world outside of Hawaii, when measured from its base on the floor of the ocean. Mount Teide is the classic conically shaped stratovolcano, built up from alternating layers of lava, pumice and ossified volcanic ash. Hiking down into the volcanic crater is an experience that many tourists liken to hiking on the moon.
Tenerife also has attractions like water parks and animal sanctuaries. Aqualand is a traditional water park that features dolphin shows several times a day, while Siam Park is a water park with an East Asian theme. Loro Park is a large outdoor aviary featuring hundreds of parrots. The Jungle Park zoo features exotic birds of prey, as well as 500 other species of wild animals.
The Canary Islands is on one of the main migration routes for whales. Over 30 percent of the world's whales pass by Tenerife every year. Book a whale watching expedition and you'll definitely get to see Pilot Whales and bottlenose dolphins galore, and possibly even a Sperm Whale or White Whale!
An all inclusive Tenerife holiday allows you to sample all the best of the many travel experiences that Tenerife has to offer.