1. Teide National Park
The glorious Teide National Park spreads across an enormous section of central Tenerife and boasts the Volcan El Teide - an active volcano - right at its heart. Hardier visitors can witness the incredible power of nature by taking the five-hour hike to the mountain’s summit, though it’s also accessible via an exhilarating jeep safari tour or by cable car. The park features a remarkable collection of flora and fauna, and, surprisingly, is often used to test scientific equipment to be used on Mars, due to their strange geological similarities. The fascinating Teide Observatory continues the astronomical theme of the area - perched on side of the mountain.
Take the plunge - whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or just out to test yourself, there are scores of opportunities to explore the oceans around Tenerife, whether you choose to take a thrilling catamaran trip, search for the majestic creatures of the deep on a whale or dolphin watching tour, go on an extreme jet-ski safari or plunge into the stunning depths of the ocean during a snorkelling or scuba-diving session, there are wild and wonderful options galore available at innumerable points around the island’s coastline!
3. Loro Parque
A hugely popular zoo and animal sanctuary, Loro Parque is situated in Puerto de la Cruz on the North coast of the island and is particularly famous for the work it has done towards the conservation of various species of parrot (“Loro” is the Spanish word for parrot). The attraction also features big cats and other large mammals, and a wide variety of sea life, including orca whales and dolphins. Visitors can explore the park under their own steam, or book a “Discovery Tour” of around an hour and three quarters which can be delivered in a number of languages, including English.
4. Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre
The name of this fascinating establishment translates as “Museum of Nature and Man”, and its exhibits focus on the geology, geography, fauna and anthropology of the Canary Islands. Seated on the Eastern coastline of Tenerife within the city of San Cristóbal de la Lagune, the museum features a beautiful open courtyard and a restaurant,and tells the tale of Earth’s natural and early human history, and the birth and growth of the Canaries.
5. Mercado Municipal Nuestra Señora de África
A thriving market in Santa Cruz de Tenerife dating back to the 19th century, there is very little that you can’t buy at the mercado. The Recova, a stunning honey-coloured neo colonial building over two floors, is home to a great number of fresh food stalls and excellent eateries. There is also a modern mall building featuring more than 40 shops, two great cafés and an oriental buffet.
Photos by bjoern via Flickr Creative Commons