The Canary Islands, informally known as the Canaries, is an autonomous community of Spain. This archipelago is becoming increasingly attractive to tourists, who are gradually moving away from the tedious resorts in central Europe and looking for something more exotic and exciting. The Canaries offer just that, having stunning wild beaches, tropical climate and magnificent and unusual landscapes. Every year, millions of travellers flock to the Canary Islands to admire the natural beauty of the islands, as well as emerge in the culture and history here.
The Canaries consists of a total of eight main islands: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa and a multitude of smaller islands and islets. Amongst them, Tenerife is the largest island. The island is fascinating at any time of the year, with its beautiful landscapes and attraction, exciting history, and Spanish and Canarian cuisine to enjoy. Here are some of the must-sees during your excursion in Tenerife:
El Teide is Spain’s highest mountain peak, and the world third highest volcanic structure in the world at over 3700 meters from sea level. This giant can be seen from almost anywhere on Tenerife. The area surrounding this mountain is a national park with the same name (Teide National Park), littered with hiking trails and beautiful sights with diverse fauna and flora that are a treat for any nature lover. The park was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007. On the higher part of the mountain, trail farers can admire a beautiful panorama view of the island, with its vast volcanic rock formations and various landscapes.
The mountain also plays a big part in the history and culture of the island. According to the belief of Canarians, the Guayota (the devil, basically) lives in this mountain. Once he kidnapped the god Magec, the sun god, and imprisoned him down the Teide. The Canarian locals, the Guanches, prayed to their supreme god Achamán, who then fought Guayota and won, rescuing Magec and sealed the crater. Some say that the plug that Achamán put in is the last cone on Teide, at the very top of the volcano.
La Otorava is a large settlement on the island, near the north coast and in the valley of the same name. The town was listed as one of the most important historical sights in Spain and for good reasons.
This historical town is characterized by numerous stylish and historic-looking houses. The houses are diverse in structure and colours which are intensified by the bright and warm sunlight of the island, forming an eye-pleasing contrast and giving the town a unique charm of its own. This enchanting city is assured to mesmerize you with its magnificent churches, chapel and monastery, coupled with its green palm trees and botanical garden. Compare to more modern cities on the island, such as the university town of La Laguna, La Otorava’s charm is much more subtle and modest, bringing its visitors a feeling of peace and serenity.
Puerto de la Cruz
Even though Puerto de la Cruz is the smallest municipality in Tenerife, it is one of the biggest touristic centres on the island due to its wonderful climate and a long coastline. The town spans the coastal front of the valley Otorava and is the perfect location for a leisurely walk.
In the 19th century, this seaside town was recommended as an ideal retreat by the British Medical Society. This seaside town has been growing its reputation amongst tourists worldwide ever since as a destination of recuperation. Despite being one of the most touristic locations on the island, the intrinsic feel of a fishing village in the rural side of Tenerife is not lost over time. With its flower garden, beautiful beaches with black volcanic sand in the shadow of Mount Teide, seaside shopping quarter, Puerto de la Cruz offer an almost therapeutic experience for visitors who come to this part of the island.
If you are still considering the next destination for your summer cruise, take Tenerife into your consideration. There would be hardly a place where you would rather be than this tropical heaven.