Hi travellers, I have just returned from Tenerife and need to share a few experiences and photographs with you. The island has already started to bloom and smell of spring blossoms. In the southern part there is a beautiful azure sky and lovers of beaches, sun and diving have cause to celebrate. On the other hand, we have had snow on Teide and were awoken by rain on 25 March. This was extremely unusual for this area. Many hotels and resorts had no electricity for two days and rain that would not raise an eyebrow in the Czech Republic caused a calamity on the island. It was the first time I drove through deep puddles in Tenerife with geysers of water spraying from under the car. In the north it was cloudy and ideal for hiking. In a single week we have experienced all four seasons on one island by travelling a few kilometres. Tenerife is a genuinely breath-taking island that offers a wealth of experiences.
We have never seen the peaks of Teide covered in snow with our own eyes, and so we started climbing with the morning cockcrow. At around 1,700 metres above sea level there were still roadblocks. This obstacle could not deter us after seeing the peaks, and so we continued up. Over the following kilometres we did not meet any civilian vehicle, but it was a real relief to pass some local park wardens in yellow jackets who let us continue, and so we did with a light heart. A few minutes later we were overtaken by more enthusiasts wanting to see the snow-dusted peak. The sun slowly came out and the snow on the roads began melting. On Tenerife they have no idea what winter tyres are. After arriving at the foot of Pico del Teide and Roques de García, we had a breath-taking view of the majestic snowy volcano. Even the local TV station had come to broadcast a report from the foot of the volcano. It was a breath-taking yet extremely relaxing feeling of endless space. We would recommend Pico del Teide and some of its attractive hiking routes to anybody who loves mountain hiking. If you want to get to the very peak, we recommend studying the necessary information sufficiently in advance. Access to the peak is subject to certain rules, recommendations and restrictions. The peak of the Pico del Teide volcano is 3,817 m above sea level. It is the highest mountain in the Kingdom of Spain and in all the Atlantic Ocean islands, and the third-largest volcano in the world. It was last active on 18 November 1909. Getting from the coast to the cable car takes (including some stops for photos) just over an hour.
After we returned down, we had the chance to experience the extraordinary atmosphere of the local carnival with the streets crowded with beautiful masks, dancers and musicians playing drums and other instruments. The inviting atmosphere of Tenerife is sure to move you. These grandiose street parties full of extravagant costumes, opulent spectacles, dancers and music rival Rio de Janeiro.
The stunning location in the south of the island in the Corona Forestal Natural Park was created by the greatest of all artists ever to exist – nature itself. The slopes made of many layers of tuff, rock of fine beige-coloured volcanic ash, have been subjected to erosion for thousands of years. This is also the source of its name: Paisaje Lunar (Lunar Landscape). The result is a wonderful phenomenon as if from another planet hidden amongst the highest mountain slopes covered with pine trees. It is formed of a quantity of conical shapes stylised into various bizarrely moulded rock formations. This place is one of the most spectacular corners of Tenerife. The journey begins just above the small town of Vilaflor from the forest resting place called Campamente Madra del Agua, where there is also a bus stop. Vilaflor is, at 1,466 metres above sea level, the highest municipality on the island. If you go by car, you can continue along the mountain road and after around 3.5 km you will reach a junction from where you have to continue on foot.
The route through the rugged landscape follows centuries-old rocky paths in a pine forest and you can frequently enjoy beautiful views into the sloping valley all the way to the Atlantic. On sunny days you can see the southern edge of Las Cañadas del Teide and the mountains of the neighbouring island of Gran Canaria in the distance seem to float in the clouds. After around an hour and a half you will be standing in the middle of fairy tale cliffs of volcanic tuff and you will find yourself catching your breath over the white, bizarrely shaped rock formations. On your way back we recommend taking advantage of the services offered by the Spa Villalba wellness hotel, where the local saunas and relaxation pools will recharge the energy you need to explore the breath-taking island of Tenerife. Just remember that at the weekends this wellness centre, including a Turkish bath, sauna, hot tub and massages together with a sunny terrace for relaxation and a view into the valley, is only for the use of hotel guests.
Barranco del Infierno is a gorge above the town of Adeje in the south of the island of Tenerife. It is a popular hiking path that leads through ravines, at the end of which the highest waterfall - La Cascada - nestles among the cliffs. Access to the gorge is limited to 300 visitors a day and we recommend reserving a place online in advance at https://www.barrancodelinfierno.es. An entrance ticket for a non-resident adult is EUR 8.5, while children aged from 5 to 12 have a 50% discount. Younger children are not allowed in. It is best to depart early in the morning at 8:30, when the trail opens. If you do so, you will see the rays of the rising sun from the tops of the mountains and the slowly fading morning haze flowing between the mighty rocks of the gorge. At this time in the morning there are also more pleasant temperatures and the tourists are just beginning to arrive. At the entrance you will be given a mandatory safety helmet, information about the visitor rules and then depart along the beautiful ravine to the waterfalls. This area is also an important archaeological site, where caves of the original Guanches have been discovered. The largest collections of Guanche mummies were found here, and are currently housed in the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. The route was closed in 2009 after a fatal accident, however it has now been completely reopened. When using it you must comply with the safety rules put in place. The whole tour lasts around 3 hours. The only possible parking is in a steeply sloping street in front of the entrance, where there is a limited number of spaces.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the largest city on the island of Tenerife and the centre of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife metropolitan area, made up of two cities and adjacent areas in the northeast of the island. Over 400,000 people live here and the main part of the area consists of the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and San Cristóbal de La Laguna, to which some additional small towns also belong. These two key cities form a single interconnected urban complex. The city gained the name Santa Cruz, or “Holy Cross”, from the holy cross of the conquistadors and is not only the capital of the island but also its administrative heart and port. It houses, among other things, the northern airport and port, and the Parliament of the Canary Islands which reciprocates with Las Palmas de Grand Canaria once every four years. Near the centre and not far from the port there is a circular square with a fountain – Plaza de Espaňa, the giant Monumento de los Caídos monument, which commemorates the victims of the civil war between 1936 and 1939, and the striking grey Cabildo Insular building that houses the government, the tourist office and the Archaeological Museum. We also recommend visiting the Parque García Sanabria city park, which covers around 67,000 m² and features a wide range of monuments, works of art and fountains. The park is registered on the list of cultural attractions by the Government of the Canary Islands.
One of the most impressive buildings is the auditorium built in the modern Spanish architectural style, which is also the symbol of the capital city of Santa Cruz. This concert hall on the shore of the Atlantic has become an important cultural centre, and imposing images of it feature on almost all postcards of the local metropolis and have even found their way onto postage stamps. The building has two halls for 1,558 and 428 people. The shore immediately alongside the auditorium houses the interesting work Cien caras del Auditorio de Tenerife (100 Faces of the Tenerife Auditorium). This is basically natural stones on the shoreline forming a natural break against the Atlantic waves, decorated with images of important artists, music groups, singers and composers. Here you can find, for example, portraits of Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Luciano Pavarotti, Phil Collins, Madonna, and even Czech greats such as Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček, and even Karel Gott. The beach in San Andrés, called Las Teresitas, is considered a Tenerife classic and without doubt another object of pride for the capital, and was constructed with sand imported directly from the Sahara in 1970. You can also relax at the beautiful and perfectly maintained Parque Marítimo César Manrique outdoor swimming pool located right next to the auditorium. With an area of over 22,000 m² there is a whole range of pools with crystal clear water, sunbathing terraces, relaxation areas and bars offering refreshments. The area is made cosier with palm trees and black volcanic stones and rock gardens. All-day admission for an adult costs only EUR 2.5 and you can also lease a sun lounger for EUR 2.5. There is a car park in front of the entrance and, if needed, there are another two car parks close by over the main road. The city hosts one of the largest carnivals in the world and is a centre for shopping, museums and galleries.