The largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, Tenerife has an impressive mashup of personalities. The southwestern coast sparkles with fancy shopping malls, a zesty club scene, mega-resorts and restaurants galore. The more mellow North, meanwhile, is a collection of quaint fishing communities, vineyards, gardens, banana plantations, boardwalks and “secret” beaches. Then there’s Teide National Park, a downright otherworldly expanse home to ancient forests and Spain’s tallest mountain.
Throw some dolphins, whales and ultra-blue water in there for good measure, and there’s nothing this place doesn’t have.
Europeans, especially Brits, have long considered Tenerife a go-to party destination, and millions of visitors hit the resorts every year. But it appears the rest of the world is starting to catch on: Tenerife was the second-most trending destination on Pinterest between October and December last year, a spokeswoman told HuffPost. The platform recently analyzed pin counts and words in captions to try to determine what sites are of apparent interest to travelers in 2017, and Tenerife was among the top.
Each of Tenerife’s major regions has a distinct personality: Spring break types should head straight to Playa de Las Américas, where shops, restaurant and nightclubs line the beach. Just a few minutes away is Los Cristianos, a quieter village where calmer vacationers can catch their breath by the pool.
Puerto de la Cruz might be the island’s best-kept secret, boasting the feel of a fishing village with cobbled streets, a harbor, hidden grottos and shady plazas. Explore the colonial homes in the city’s Old Town, or kick back in the botanical gardens.
Daredevils should make a pit stop at El Teide, a volcano and the highest peak in Spain within a national park that’s a UNESCO world heritage site. You can hike five strenuous hours to the top or chill out in a cable car with incredible views. Back at sea level, surfing is prime all over the island, and delicious local treats and farmers markets are ready to fuel a day of activities.
To get to Tenerife, hop a flight to the island’s main airport, Tenerife South, from which you can bus or taxi or rent a car. From five-star to small and family-run, there are plenty of hotel options alongside the usual hostels and beachfront home rentals you find in such a place. Weather is almost always pleasant, but visiting in the fall or spring will help you avoid crowds, according to USA Today.
We can’t wait to get there.