I love Islands, especially warm tropical Islands that remind me of home (Puerto Rico). There is something about the lifestyle on an island that is more relaxed and carefree than the mainland; and I think as much is true about the Island of Tenerife. I recently spent my Christmas Holiday on the Island of Tenerife and I found a lot to love about this Island.
I arrived on the Island the 24th of December into the southern airport (Tenerife has two Airports). There are many tourist accommodations on the southern part of the Island; but I elected to stay in Santa Cruz, the Capital city of Tenerife. All of my travel, to and from the airport, as well as on the island was done via the public bus system (Titsa). The buses were timely and very convenient, taking you almost anywhere you wanted to go on the island at a fraction of the cost of a taxi. I stayed at the Hotel Atlantico, which was really close to the pier, and in the center of the shopping and Christmas activities. They had a pretty good breakfast; it was affordable and overall I was happy with my stay there.
Tenerife is the biggest of the Canary Islands, it is not overwhelming in size. However, what it lacks in size it makes up for with adventure. I found Tenerife to be an Island devoted to Tourism. Even on Christmas day, many of the attractions and tours were still in full swing for the enjoyment of all tourists. The people are friendly and if you speak English, Spanish, or German you are likely to find most things in an understandable format. If you are wondering what kind of attractions Tenerife has to offer, the better question would be what don't they offer? According to Trip Advisor 2015, Tenerife is the home to the #1 Zoo in Europe: Loro Parque. There are tours for everything from exploring reefs, to whale watching, to hiking up Mount Teide (a local olcano). The island will appeal to those who love gastronomy, with many tours focused on wining and dining on local cuisines. Local specialties focus on 'Bacalao' (Cod Fish) and Rabbit. It also caters to those with more cultured tastes, as they have musicals, and an island orchestra putting on shows in a very impressive auditorium. All throughout December and even well into January cultural events were put on for free on the island. On Christmas night, the orchestra put on a performance for the whole island by the pier in Santa Cruz.
Despite all the aforementioned activities, Tenerife is still a tropical island with the things one might expect from such. There are plenty of beach options for the surfers, and beach lovers. Many of these beaches are man made, some are very secluded, some are within easy reach of the resort areas. There are beaches to fit anyone's mood. They even have a black sand beach in Puerto de la Cruz. Even during the month of December temperatures didn't seem to go below 60F (15C).
From a photographical viewpoint I was enamored. I'm not much of a street photographer but I was tempted by all the interesting sights displayed on the cobblestone streets of Santa Cruz. I will definitely have to come back at a better time of year to explore some of the secluded beaches the island has to offer. Landscape and Travel photographers will love the scenic views as well as the ease of transportation prior to sunrise, in order to get that magnificent sunrise shot. I found that the bus company ran many of the bus lines through out the night, making it easy to get to where I needed to be, although I would recommend bringing a head torch.
If you're interested in my adventures photographing in Tenerife, please check out my video: Here