A lunar landscape of black lava blocks dominated by the summit of Mount Teide, the volcano and the highest mountain in Spain. A windy sea perfect for riding the waves and then some of Europe’s largest caves. That is what Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, has to offer. It is one of the favourite destinations for tourists due to its climate of eternal spring, with temperatures never falling below 20 degrees. The island is a perfect destination for those who love sports, trekking and activities in the water. It can also be targeted as a driving trip but beware that some of the most beautiful routes cannot be accessed by all kinds of cars. In case of a breakdown issue or an accident there’s always www.onlinecarparts.co.uk but it’s best to avoid the damage if possible.
San Andrés, Tenerife
Cavers in the Cueva del Viento
The Cueva del Viento-Sobrado, next to the Teide, is an underground complex and the largest volcanic tunnel of the European Union. The cave is located in the municipality of Icod de los Vinos and was formed by the lava flows of the Pico Viejo 27,000 years ago. The tunnels extend over three floors with a length of 17 km. The tunnels feature fascinating geological formations such as lava cascades, terraces, stalactites and deep cracks. The paths make a labyrinthine network with several branches still unexplored. Here live 190 species of animals underground, with most of being invertebrates. The cave can be visited with guides who accompany groups in two-hour tours in several languages.
Descending into the Cueva del Viento
Medano Beach, for lovers of kite surfing
The southern part of the island is the windiest and suitable for those who love water sports. There are several beaches for surfing and kitesurfing but one of the most popular is that of Medano, where it also holds one of the stages of the world championships in kitesurfing, and where there are schools to learn the sports and shops to rent equipment. The beach can be reached by bus from various points on the island or by car which you can park in the many dedicated spaces. The town of El Medano is a tourist hub, right next to the beach and it is a perfect base for athletes.
Wind Surfing @ El Medano
Teide National Park
The Teide National Park is the symbol of the island. Established in 1954, it is the largest and oldest national park in the Canary Islands and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2007. This vast area covers nearly twenty thousand acres and is geologically formed by two large depressions crowned by Mount Teide, the volcano that touches the 3718 meters. Due to its immense length if you are driving there it is a good idea to keep the water pump of your car in check as it’s more than often that it requires replacement during such long trips.
Teide National Park
Tenerife photos by: geirkristiansen.net., Jack Montgomery, Bobs Images, kirbycolin48, Margo, Just Margo
For more on Tenerife check: Tenerife Travel Guide, The beautiful paradise of the Canary Islands, The magic landscapes of Tenerife
By +Nikos Kontorigas