Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands with an area of 2034km² and is located about 290km off the coast of Africa. The island offers a tremendous diversity of landscapes and micro-climates; the green and forested north contrasts with the arid south coast, while the high altitude interior is often compared to the surface of the moon. These factors along with year-round sunshine and a well-developed tourist infrastructure go some to explain why this is the most popular Island in the Canaries, attracting up to 4.5 million visitors per year.
Most people think of the Playa de las Americas resort and its busy nightlife, when they think of Tenerife, but the Island has so much more to offer. Teide, Spain’s highest mountain at 3718m, is often covered in snow while tourists lie on the beach on the south coast. The mountain overlooks the spectacular Cañadas del Teide Caldera – a 17km diameter volcanic crater.
The northern part of the Island with its forests and greenery is in stark contrast to the dry south and offers great hillwalking and spectacular drives. The neighbouring cities of Santa Cruz and La Laguna are full of beautiful colonial buildings as well as paved streets with open air cafes. La Laguna is home to the university of the same name and has been a centre of learning since the early 18th century, while Santa Cruz’s annual Carnival is the second biggest in the world (after Rio de Janeiro).