Tenerife

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Image used under Creative Commons from Ian Palmer

The Canary Islands have long been a favourite destination with Irish holidaymakers, and Tenerife is chief among the hotspots for those seeking a sun-kissed break away from it all.

There’s much to look forward to after just a four-hour flight from Shannon to the island’s airport in the South. And as Tenerife is officially a Spanish region, and therefore part of the EU, there’s no need for inconvenient visits to the currency exchange desk either.

Bus route 343 offers a non-stop service from the island’s south airport to the north airport. The journey takes about an hour and costs just under €10 per person. This is probably a good option for anyone travelling to a resort in the north. For those with a shorter commute on arrival, a 40km journey by taxi for up to four passengers costs €43, while a 20km trip will set you back €25. Transfers can be booked online at a fixed price in advance.

Accommodation

Depending on your budget, you can fork out for five-star luxury or choose to spend your cash on something other than a salubrious roof over your head. Self-catering and studio apartments by the sea are widely available, as are fabulous artisan and charming country villas and houses. The selection is wide and varied but it’s advisable to reserve your spot well ahead of your stay.

Bathe or climb?

Once they’ve settled in, most visitors make a beeline for the sand – 70km of spectacular beaches make the decision of what to do first a straightforward one. However, there’s much more to Tenerife’s coastline than one might expect. Often rugged in areas, it makes for fantastic trekking. In fact, there are roughly 600 miles of trails that snake through rich forest and around mountainous and volcanic peaks. The best routes are probably found in Teno and Anaga rural parks.

Dining

After a hard day on the sun lounger or on your feet, there’s a myriad of dining options available. Being the largest and most populous of the Canary Islands, it’s no surprise that Tenerife leads the way in culinary innovation.

Traditional restaurants, along with fine dining and no frills options all sit easily together. What’s more impressive is that even most of the less expensive eateries are stylishly decked out, belying the more frugal gastro options on offer. If eating until you’re fit to burst is your thing, you’ll be delighted to know that your wallet won’t suffer a similar fate!

That’s entertainment

It’ll come as no surprise that tourism is the main economic driver of Tenerife, and so equally, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of activities to match. From submarine safaris to horse riding through the island’s mystic woodlands, there’s plenty to keep the whole family on its toes. Siam Park, Tenerife’s water theme park, is well worth a visit, although at €25 per adult and €16 per child (3-11 years), it can be costly day out. Two-day and four-day tickets offer better value if you plan on coming back more than once but either way, there’s no harm in splashing out in more ways than one while you’re away.

Five for free

  • Visit the Volcano

    Teide National Park is quite literally Tenerife’s and Spain’s undisputed hotbed of activity. The dormant Mount Teide is the central attraction and is Spain’s highest peak standing 3,720 metres above sea level. You can pay for a cable car ride but hiking up the terrain for panoramic views of the island won’t cost you a cent.

    Image used under Creative Commons from gnuckx

    Visit the Volcano
  • Come for Carnival

    If you’re visiting in February or March, time your stay to coincide with Tenerife’s Carnival. Each town puts on free flamboyant parades and round-the-clock parties, so it’s not for the fainthearted. Full of fun, colour and boundless energy, Carnival in Tenerife is a spectacle not to be missed.

    Image used under Creative Commons from cortto

    Carnival
  • Find yourself at a Fiesta

    If you can’t make the trip for Carnival, it’s likely that you’ll come across a Fiesta or two during your stay. The locals usually put on a spread of local dishes while free concerts and gigs are the norm as part of the celebrations.

    Image used under Creative Commons from Jose Mesa

    Fiestas de San Pedro
  • Sun, sea and sand soaking

    The main reason for visitors to focus their attention on Tenerife is the magnificent weather, which is pretty much guaranteed all year round. If your hotel doesn’t have a private beach, you’ll still find plenty of free sunbathing areas to while the sun-soaked days away.

    Image used under Creative Commons from Tony Hisgett

    Sun, sea and sand soaking
  • Sightsee for free

    A trip to the north of the island to the capital Santa Cruz is where culture vultures should venture for their fill. The Museum of Man and Nature is particularly captivating – it provides remarkable insights into the original Canary islanders, the Guanche people, who were the first settlers here. Most publicly-owned galleries and museums are free on Sundays so you can give your bank account and the beach a break.

    Image used under Creative Commons from Zuzanna Neziri

    Sightsee for free
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