Leave the crowded beaches behind and see another side to Tenerife and holiday like a local. If you’re looking for something beyond Tenerife’s nightclubs and water parks, it’s time to discover what else the island has to offer.
Brits flock to Tenerife both in summer and in low season. The popular holiday destination is best known for its touristy resorts such as Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos, but there’s another side to the Canary island – which is where Tenerife locals go on holiday themselves. So take a peek at the secret side of the island and see just what you might be missing out on. Here is our guide on how to holiday like a local in Tenerife.
1. Go hiking
Tenerife is full of varied hiking and rambling trails, ranging from leisurely coastal walks which only take a couple of hours to complete to challenging mountain treks that take several days to follow. If you’re a hiking novice, the Sendero de los Sentidos (Path of the Senses) in the Anaga Rural Park is a great place to start. This route is made up of three 10-40 minute walks which guide you through the lush, laurel forests of the park to discover the fresh smells, earthy colours and magical sounds that hide within.
2. Explore the Lava Tubes
Whilst Mount Teide takes centre stage when it comes to attractions in Tenerife, the Cueva del Viento (Cave of the Wind) in Icod de los Vinos is equally as impressive. This lava tube is the longest in the EU and the fourth longest in the world, stretching over 17km across three levels. Multilingual guided tours take place several times each day, giving you the chance to study the cave’s bizarre lava formations, ancient fossils and volcanic stalactites.
3. Tour a vineyard
With an impressive number of award-winning wines produced in Tenerife, it’s no wonder locals love their vino. If you’d like see what all the fuss is about, sign up for a guided tour at one of the many vineyards on the island, such as the Cooperativa Cumbres de Abona in Arico and Bodega Cueva del Rey in Garachico. The multilingual tours end in generously-portioned wine tastings which are often accompanied with samples of local bread, jams and cheese.
4. Join in with a fiesta
With 14 public holidays and fiestas each year, it’s almost impossible to visit Tenerife when there isn’t a party being thrown. Whilst the biggest fiesta of the year is the annual Santa Cruz carnival in February, there are plenty of smaller fiestas held in various towns and villages throughout the year. Even if you feel you stick out like a sore thumb, the free-flowing drinks, never-ending supply of local food, pounding live music, energetic dancing and friendly party atmosphere will soon get the better of you and you’ll fit in with the locals just fine.
5. Dine on tapas
Although tapas don’t originate in the Canary Islands, they’re one of the most popular local ways to dine out in Tenerife. Most Canarian restaurants on the island serve up their own unique variation of tapas, which means that even if you order the exact same dish from two restaurants, they’ll taste and look different. Papas arrugadas con mojo (salty boiled potatoes with sauce) is the most popular tapas dish, but for something less touristy, try chopitos (tiny whole squid deep-fried) or carne fiesta (spicy pork cooked with herbs and wine).
6. Relax on a secluded beach
Locals generally avoid the over-crowded beaches of the south in favour of more secluded bays, such as Playa Bollullo and the coves around La Tejita. During the summer months, even these beaches can get packed, but because they’re full of Canarians, you get a completely different atmosphere to the beaches in the tourist resorts. With a beachside bar serving ice cold beer, locals playing guitars and salsa-style dancing, a day at a secluded beach can easily turn into a full-blown fiesta.
7. Try stand up paddle boarding
Paddle boarding is the latest water sport to make its mark on the Tenerife sports scene and it’s hugely popular amongst locals. The sport involves standing on a large flat surf board and using a long oar to paddle around – sounds simple enough until you take into consideration the waves which can appear out of nowhere. For a calm experience, try stand up paddle boarding in Los Cristianos, or for something more rough and challenging, you can’t beat El Médano.
The above written by blogger Nicola Quinn was first published by Skyscanner
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