tenerife-island-eternal-spring-panorama

Tenerife – the Island of Eternal Spring

After having spent a whole day in Bergamo and an afternoon in Valencia, which turned out to be both amazing pieces of experience, we finally reached our destination – Tenerife – where we spent more than 10 days, working on a project and, indubitably, exploring the beauties of the so-called Island of Eternal Spring.

Some Information about the Canary Islands

The flight from Valencia to the largest of the Canary Islands took around 3 hours. All of the Canary Islands are being washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Morocco.

Some of them, such as Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, are somewhat desert or semi-desert. The island of Gran Canaria boasts a very diverse scenery, such as Roque Nublo and Maspalomas. The moist and warm Gulf Stream influences the climate of La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro.

Tenerife, our destination, is even more fascinating. The lush vegetation in its northern part is due to the effects of the humid Atlantic winds, while the southern part of the volcanic island is predominantly arid.

I can go on, but first things first.

Arrival and First Impression of Tenerife

We are welcomed by a marvellous weather – a plenty of sunshine and around 25 C (77 F). Tenerife, which is only 2,034 km2 (785 mi2), has two airports. Our flight landed at the one in the southern part of the island. We needed to reach a place, called El Bolico, which is located less than 50 km (31 mi) from the airport. The thing that made our reaching there impossible is called El Teide, the highest peak on Tenerife, and Spain, respectively.

Therefore, we had to pass through the island’s capital – Santa Cruz de Tenerife – and then continue to El Bolico which took more than 5 hours. I was particularly astonished by the vast highways and, more specifically, the plantain plantations which were omnipresent on the island.

After reaching the capital, which is a cosy town of around 200,000 people, we changed the bus and hurried to Buenavista. Our hosts had been waiting for us there to take us to the El Bolico hut in the mountains, where we spent the next several days working on an environmental project, and, of course, exploring the drop-dead gorgeous beauties on the island.

After two more hours of meandering around bananas, breath-taking crags, and stupefying ocean views, we reached the point where the organisers had been patiently waiting for our bus.

Jack, a British guy, put all our belongings, started off the engine, and slowly drove to our destination. Arriving at the hut was accompanied by a couple of surprises – both pleasant and unpleasant.

The not so pleasant was that some of the participants could not speak English (which was good for me as I had a chance to practise my French and Spanish skills, but not so good for the other participants). The pleasant news was that there were people from five European countries – Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Portugal, and Spain (our hosts) – who were all awesome people, coming from various backgrounds, speaking different languages, and united around one thing – raising environmental awareness.

To be honest, we only spent a couple of days talking about the Aarhus Convention (which was the cornerstone of our project) and focussed on getting to know each other and discovering the pants-dropping beauties of Tenerife.

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, El Bolico, Gorgeous, Verdant Vegetation
The vegetation all over the island is verdant.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, El Bolico, the Path to Infinity
The path to infinity.

 

Masca

During some of the days, we had an amazing weather, but there were also others when it rained and it was cold and humid (remember, we were in a hut in the mountains).

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Rainy Day, El Bolico, Buenavista
Rainy day at El Bolico.

In the beginning of our second week, we embarked on a journey to the tiny mountain village of Masca which was in the close vicinity of Buenavista. Situated at the foot of Macizo de Teno Mountains in the north-western part of the Island of Eternal Spring, Masca is a petite village which is quite challenging to reach.

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Going to Masca Village, Buenavista
On our way to Masca.

Nevertheless, the road, leading to Masca, passes through verdant scenery and a staggering mountainous region which is all very well worth the drive through the narrow roads with hairpin curves. The village with its not more than 50 houses, scattered around the breath-taking ridges and flabbergasting rock formations, is a dream destination for avid photographers.

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Photographer in Action
Photographer in action.

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Tenerife - the Island of Eternal Spring, Masca, Buenavista, Pinterest Image 2

Since back then, in 2011, my photographic skills were not at their peak (neither they are now), I just took some mediocre ones. Despite that, the mesmerising beauty of the place can be easily seen and fallen in love with.

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Entering Masca Village, Buenavista
Around Masca.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Eternal Svet, Masca Village, Buenavista
Svet in Masca with a gorgeous background.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Protected Region, Masca, Buenavista
The hike from Masca to the Bay of Masca goes through a protected region.

From Masca, we started a long descent to the tiny Masca Bay which is presumed to have been a hideaway for pirates. The strenuous hike down to the bay takes around three hours. We did it for around four since we frequently stopped to shoot the gorgeous ambience around.

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Masca Hike, Buenavista, Steel Ropes
The path has steel ropes to support hikers as it is quite steep.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Hike to Masca Bay, Buenavista
We were constantly wow-ing at the staggering scenery.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Masca Bay, Gorgeous Cliffs, Pirates Hideaway
Bay of Masca – a hideaway for pirates in the past.

Be informed that when you reach the bay, you will either have to go back to Masca (which takes twice as much) or embark on a boat to the nearby town of Los Gigantes.

Los Gigantes, Tenerife

We did the second. Our hosts had informed the ship in advance because we were a very large group.

Important: If you are heading down to the bay and you are also travelling en masse, it is better to call and arrange your trip beforehand.

On the west coast of Tenerife, one can marvel at the astounding Los Gigantes (“The Giants” from Spanish). From a height between 300 to 600 metres (984 to 1969 ft), gigantic (hence the name) cliffs plunge into the cold waters of the Atlantic. Don’t be misled – the waters of the ocean here are not as warm as those around Miami.

The boat ride from the Bay of Masca to Los Gigantes took around half an hour. Boy, was I left speechless? Take a look.

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, On the Way to Los Gigantes from Masca Bay, Buenavista
Svet on the way from Masca Bay to Los Gigantes.

The small coastal town is generously dotted with colourful houses as if carved into the awe-inspiring cliffs and mountains just over the elegant marina. It is filled with small, but luxurious, yachts in waters which are teeming with fish – which can be savoured in the many restaurants scattered around the coast.

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Los Gigantes, Stupefying View of the Cliffs
A view of “The Giants” from the town.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Enormous Cactus, Los Gigantes
Look at me so thorny.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Verdant Plants
No wonder why Tenerife is called the Island of Eternal Spring.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Svet Showing Tenerife
Svet showing Tenerife.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Los Gigantes, Mesmerising View
A mesmerising vista from Los Gigantes towards the ocean.

Los Gigantes is also reputed for having the highest amount of hours of sunshine. The Mirador Archipenque offers the best view of the magnificent cliffs. At sunset, photographers will most certainly climax, admiring the sun’s rays painting a drop-dead gorgeous scene on the looming cliffs and the crystal-clear water.

Parque Nacional del Teide

Tenerife is not only a volcanic island with a marvellous weather all-year-round. It is also a home to the highest peak of Spain – El Teide. With a height of 3,718 metres (12,198 ft), it has a permanent snow cap and is daintily rising in the middle of the island. The volcano is still active (1909 saw its last eruption) and coupled with its surroundings it forms Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide).

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Rosetta Stone
On our way to the park, we came across a Rosetta Stone. Learn more about it in this article (look at #8)

This is what we visited next. Pronounced a UNESCO Heritage Site and receiving more than 3 million visitors on a yearly basis, the Teide National Park is the most visited national park not only in Spain but also in Europe (it takes the eighth place worldwide). The park is also a proud owner of a grand international astronomical observatory.

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Parque Nacional del Teide, Pico del Teide in the Distance
Pico del Teide can be seen in the distance.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Parque Nacional del Teide, Close Shot of Pico del Teide,
Close shot of El Teide.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Teide National Park, Information Centre
The information centre.

What few people know is that it is possible to explore Teide’s secrets in the subterranean galleries that have been formed by the recent volcano eruptions. Probably that is why, despite there are around 300 volcanoes which can be observed, Tenerife is also known as “The Island of Hidden Volcanoes”.

We did not have time to climb the peak, and I am sure it requires quite a lot of effort and, most importantly, proper equipment (which we did not possess). However, after entering the park, which covers around 19,000 hectares, one can go to a height of around 2,000 metres (~6,560 ft) and admire the surroundings from there. Check out the photos I took from that point.

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, National Park del Teide, Volcanoes, Clear Sky
Volcanoes were all around me.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Parque Nacional del Teide, El Teide, Mesmerising Park View
El Teide in the distance.

Santa Cruz and El Medano

On the penultimate day, we passed through Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital city, where we had a delectable lunch – seafood soup and pulpo a la gallega (Galician-style octopus). The meal was so delicious, I forgot to take a photo of it (yes, sometimes happens). Therefore, I just downloaded an image from Wikimedia to showcase its beauty.

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, Pulpo a la gallega, Galician Octopus, Wikimedia
Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician Style Octopus). Image Credit: Wikimedia

After that, we headed to El Medano, a small village very close to the airport where we spent our last day going to the beach and exploring the culinary chef-d’œuvres of Tenerife.

This time, I remembered to take a photo of our small group and the palatable dinner we had for less than 50 euros for 5 persons (Attention: this was in 2011, prices might have increased dramatically since then).

Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, El Medano, Gold, Volcanic Beach
This volcanic sand looks like gold, doesn’t it?
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, El Medano Village View, Sunny Day
View of El Medano.
Tenerife, the Island of Eternal Spring, El Medano, Dinner Time, Groupie
Our group consisted of four guys, including me, and a girl whom you know from the story about Bergamo – Paulina.

 

As a conclusion, I have compiled a small list of useful tips for visiting Tenerife.

TIPS:

  • Tenerife is known as the Island of Eternal Spring, because its subtropical temperatures in summer vary from 24-28 C, and 20-22 in winter. Isn’t that simply glorious? Therefore, visiting the largest Canary Island can be done at any time during the year.
  • If you plan to visit the Bay of Masca, make sure you arrive early in the mountainous village because the hike is tiring and time-consuming. Also, the area from the town to the bay is protected.
  • The Mirador Archipenque offers the best view of the magnificent cliffs of Los Gigantes.
  • Visit the subterranean galleries of El Teide if you happen to have more time when in Teide National Park.
  • The waters of the Atlantic Ocean around the island vary from lukewarm to cold – keep that in mind if you prefer warm waters.

Have you set your feet on the Island of Hidden Volcanoes? Were you enthralled by its beauty?

Tenerife - the Island of Eternal Spring, Masca, Pinterest Image, Gorgeous Palm

12 comments on “Tenerife – the Island of Eternal Spring

  1. *Nina Zara* (@Safari_junkie_)

    Great post. Will forward it to my sis, she is seriously thinking to move to Tenerife.

    • Svet

      Hey, Nina, thanks so much. Tenerife really is a heavenly place. Plus, the prices there are quite affordable for a touristy island. 🙂

  2. Chantell

    Wow what a really detailed post! I don’t know much about the Canary Islands so I appreciated reading some of the different places and activities you did. Also seeing a big map of the islands helped too. Parque Nacional del Teid looks particularly interesting – that would be fun to check out for sure 🙂

    • Svet

      Hey, Chantell, thanks for your kind words! I really put a lot of efforts constructing this article because it was a trip I did 5 years ago. That’s why I have not put any current advice (since prices and things might have changed), but just general recommendations 🙂

      Parque Nacional del Teide is really a beautiful place, but we only had some time to explore it. Yes, the majority of people have heard of the Canary Islands, but know nothing more than just probably their location or that they belong to Spain.

      Glad you liked it!

  3. Natasha G

    Great post! The national park looks awesome. It sounds like despite some rain, humidity, and language barriers — it was a great trip!

    • Svet

      Thank you very much, Natasha. It was indeed an awesome, unforgettable trip. I know speak Spanish quite well, so I might need to go back :))

  4. marie

    You have shown us some lovely countryside away from the tourist hotspots. It looks beautiful, thank you.

  5. Christina

    Tenerife looks like a great spot to escape for good food, lovely views and somewhere to de-stress. Nice post.

    • Svet

      Yes, it is. Good food comes in abundance and is quite delicious and affordable. Thanks for reading, Christina 🙂

  6. gunameldere

    Thank you for great story, beautiful photos! Pinned for later, as I haven’t been there yet.

    • Svet

      You are so welcome, dear Guna! The place is gorgeous so it’s fairly easy to take beautiful photos! 🙂 You should go there!

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