Our blog post series “What we love about Tenerife” – Part 12: Denise
My beloved Tenerife…how can I sum up in a few words what defines the character of this island and what fascinates me the most: variety, contrariness and contrast? At first this may sound strange, but I will try to explain…
Where else is it possible to dive with turtles and giant stingrays and then, an hour later, drive for an hour and build a snowman on a the side of a 3,817 m high extinct volcano? To surf some of the best waves in Europe and afterwards have a relaxing stroll in the exotic laurel forests? To meet, in an area of no more than 2,000 sq km, people from over 150 countries and experience 7 different microclimates? Where else did anybody have the idea of over salting potatoes and calling it a national dish?
Exactly – All these things are only possible in Tenerife.
Originally I had planned to stay for only 6 months to do an internship. I wanted to improve my Spanish, to surf, to discover the island, get to know new people and then to move on to new experiences. But I ended up staying here, as many who set foot on the island do – the moving on failed, and now I’ve been here for almost 3 years. The quality of life is so good, that other places in the world suddenly lose their attraction. Here you have just about everything you need!
The weather on Tenerife is – especially for long suffering North Europeans – almost perfect throughout the year. The landscape, from the green north, over the volcanic moon landscapes in the centre, down to the rugged south, is unique. The Tinerfeños win you over with their open, friendly, personalities. The tasty food, coming from various countries makes it hard, in a positive way, to work on your bikini shape. And even that can be compensated by numerous exciting sport activities such as swimming, diving, paragliding, hiking, surfing, dancing through the night in one of the many salsa-clubs etc…
It is hard to decide on one highlight of the island, but if I had to, I would say it is the Teide. The bizarre, gigantic rock formations of this nearly 4 thousand metre high volcano attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. There are also a few days every year in winter when there are huge queues of people decending on the Teide National Park to play in the snow. You even put up with 5 hour traffic jams (and yes, I’m talking from my own experience). During weekends you can enjoy yourself watching how the Tinerfeños cram their whole household, plus the family, in their cars and drive to one of the popular barbecue spots in the pine forests in the foothills of the mountain. The volcano was even a location for the shooting of the new film version of “Clash of the Titans” and “Fast and Furious 6”, which I often mention proudly to every one who doesn’t know about it.
On good days the Teide affords you a fantastic view on the other Canarian Islands and, even if the weather is not so good, you can at least say you have walked through the clouds. Many spend a night on the extinct volcano and get up in the early morning to face the exhausting climb to the top and watch the most spectacular sun rise of their life and see the longest shadow on earth. Or you can do as I did this summer with some of my friends: you wait until the next lunar eclipse, take blankets and food with you, start at night in a autocade to the Teide, sit down on the warm rocks and tip your head back. I´ve never seen anything like it before; a breathtaking view of millions of twinkling stars! At that moment there was nothing better on earth than sitting on a 2,000m high volcano witnessing this natural spectacle while talking about the constellations with my lovely new Spanish friends.
But now enough descriptions – Come to Tenerife and experience it yourself!:-)