Island Living, Tenerife
10 million tourists a year must mean this island in the Atlantic has a lot to offer. The largest of the Canaries, Tenerife was once viewed as just a beach destination popular with boozy Brits and erred on the side of sleazy. But people are finally seeing the B-side to this island gem.
Beaches vary from rocky and rugged, to dark sands and rock pools to shimmering white and calm. The sea teems with life, both under the surface – fish are plentiful – but also cruising on the water are windsurfers, kite-surfing boards, sailing dingys, jet skis and luxury yachts. But this you probably know already.
What you might not have fathomed is what goes on inland. Tenerife is home to Spain’s tallest peak, an inactive volcano 3718m high called the Pico del Teide. The surrounding landscape, which is now a national park, is what you would imagine the surface of the moon to look like. Previous volcanic eruptions mean the earth is dramatic and mesmerizing. Rock formations and colours are intense and it makes for perfect walking and hiking. You can, if you are fit enough, hike to the peak, however if you aren’t the next Ranulph Fiennes, there is a cable car that ascends to the summit.
If you are into your hiking and biking however, one of the most beautiful places to do so is around the village of Masca perched high in the Teno Mountains. Deep ravines meet lush and colourful plants and flowers and because the road is steep and winding – beware two-wheeled travellers – it has remained largely untouched. One of the best walking tracks takes you along a three-hour route to the Bay of Masca. The views and simply stunning and the best thing is you are always walking downhill.
There is a lot more to Tenerife than meets the tourist eye, and if you decide to live on the island, you will have plenty of time to explore it all at your leisure. Thanks to the island’s mass tourism, getting a job isn’t difficult and the cost of living is cheaper than mainland Spain.
If you want to check out the largest of the canaries this summer then take a look at the Monarch website, they’re a low-cost airline that offer cheap flights to Tenerife from only £57 one-way.