Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, dominated by the dormant volcano Mount Teide, and I’ve recently been lucky enough to visit. This was my first holiday away from my parents, so I was looking forward to doing things my way. Before I went, I’d been told all about Tenerife holidays and all of the beautiful black sand beaches. But after spending 12 days on the island, I was shocked at the number of things there are to do away from the beaches. If, like me, you want more than just beaches for your holiday, take a look at my top four things to do in Tenerife.
1) Siam Park
I think it would’ve been a crime for me not to have started with the best water park in the world, according to TripAdvisor (and me!). If you’re a thrill seeker looking for an adrenaline rush and want excitement around every corner, then Siam Park is the place for you. If the adrenaline rush isn’t for you then there are lots of relaxed things to do; imagine yourself floating down the Mai Thai Lazy River, soaking up the sun. Out of all of the rides at the park, my personal favourite is the Mekong Rapids; this ride involves sitting in a four-seater rubber ring, where you’ll be thrown around while large surges of water knock you off balance; it’s really fun!
Are you brave enough to take on the 28m Tower of Power, where you can reach speeds of up to 80km per hour? I know I wasn’t!
2) Mount Teide
My visit to Mount Teide is something I’ll never forget and one that I see as a once-in–a-lifetime experience. The mountain offers some amazing views, which is to be expected with its 3,718m tall summit, making this the highest point in Spain. The mountain was easy enough to get to, and just a one-hour coach ride from where I was staying in Puerto de la Cruz. We were given the chance to explore part of the volcano by foot which included two challenging paths and an easier one too so that everyone is able to enjoy the fascinating view. If time is on your side, why not take a ride on the cable car to the top of the mountain and experience the spectacular views from near the summit?
I’d highly recommend Mount Teide to anyone that has a keen interest in scenic views and exploring something out of the ordinary.
3) The festivals
I stayed in the city of Puerto de la Cruz during my stay in Tenerife, and I was lucky to experience the most important festival to take place in the city, the Virgen Del Carmen Festival. The festival sees thousands of people gather onto the fishing docks on the Tuesday before the 16 July, to witness the arrival of the Virgin Carmen statue as she’s carried onto a boat by fisherman, before setting sail around other ports of Tenerife. The crowds wait eagerly for the Virgin to be placed onto the boat safely; if the statue is dropped accidentally into the water, the city is doomed to seven years bad luck. The atmosphere of the festival was electric, with people partying, drinking and just generally having a good time. This is something I think everyone going on holiday to Tenerife should experience.
Mueca is a street art festival that takes place once a year on the streets of Puerto de la Cruz. The people that call the town home would re-paint their homes every year after they were battered and bruised by the sea, and bad weather, over the winter months. They eventually got fed up of repainting their homes, so invited the best graffiti artists from around Europe to come and decorate the walls; they were free to paint whatever they wanted. This year the festival took place between 11 May and 14 May, so, unfortunately I wasn’t there to experience it first hand, but I was lucky enough to see some of the amazing pieces of art that had been created during the four days. My favourite piece was this lifelike painting of a fisherman. The level of detail is something else, especially considering it’s been painted onto a large wall and the scale would also have to be considered; I just think the talent of this artist is incredible.
4) Loro Parque
Loro Parque was without a doubt my favourite experience during my holiday in Tenerife. It was an added bonus that my hotel was just a 15-minute walk to the park. Loro Parque has been rated the best zoo in Europe and finds itself ranked second in the world. The park opened in 1972, where it became home to 150 parrots from all around the world, since then, it’s continued to grow and is now home to 4,000 parrots and lots of other species of animals.
Fun Fact: Loro Parque has the largest population of penguins in the world, outside of the Arctic!
Have you been to Tenerife before? Do you prefer the beaches, or getting out and about to explore? Let me know in the comments below.