An adventure seeker’s guide to Tenerife
The thought of a holiday in Tenerife might immediately prompt images of a one long, lazy beach holiday but – like many other similar destinations – there is another side to this member of the Canary Islands. If you’re looking for a holiday with a taste of adventure and adrenalin, Tenerife has these in abundance.
As an island, one of the major advantages is obvious; the clear blue waters of the surrounding Atlantic Ocean means that Tenerife is a dream location for lovers of watersports and not just diving. ‘Tenerife is not for submariners alone,’ states Adventure on Tenerife. ‘Above the waves, windsurfing, kite surfing, surfing and the more relaxing kayaking are options which, together with deep-sea fishing and sailboat trips, complete a full range of water activities for both experts and beginners alike.’
Nevertheless, the diving is pretty special, not least because of the plethora of wildlife in the sea. In the ocean around Tenerife, divers can swim alongside dolphins and get quite close up to turtles, barracudas and groupers. With diving schools located all over the island, the opportunities to dive beneath the surface and experience Tenerife’s glorious underwater world are extensive. The Costa Adeje coastline is particularly good. The Telegraph also recommends El Medano Beach. At more than a mile long, it’s the perfect sandy stretch for windsurfing and kiteboarding.
If you don’t really have sea legs and would prefer to be active on terra firma then you’ll be spoiled for choice in Tenerife. It’s a great location for athletes looking to test themselves in some challenging terrain with the mountainous roads providing an excellent environment for cyclists, people who enjoy riding atvs, mountain bikers and runners. The high altitude appeals to triathletes – this article describes Tenerife as the ‘perfect location’ for devotees of the discipline, as ‘the finest Spanish and international athletes flock to the Island to negotiate its steep slopes, cycle up to 2,700 metres on Mount Teide and swim through the waves of the Atlantic.’
Mount Teide, of course, looms large on Tenerife. It’s the third highest volcanic structure in the world. The highest point of its peak is by cable car but hikers might be more interested by guided walks up the volcano. Any participants need to have a reasonably high level of fitness, for the climb takes approximately six hours. Aside from that, there are more than 30 hiking trails on Teide with a range of difficulties.
As well as climbing up, there are also chances to go below the surface. Caving in Tenerife is popular with a number of sites – Barranco de Carriza is spectacular, as is the lengthy Barranco del Rio, which starts at an altitude of 2,000m and then involves a series of abseils through ‘beautiful scenery and an abundance of water’. You don’t need to be an expert; two-hour guided tours to Cueva del Viento (Cave of the Wind) are available.
Finally, there’s all the action to be had in the air! This includes paragliding and kitesurfing. All in all, Tenerife has plenty to offer the adventurous traveller and while it can be a beach holiday, it also has everything a destination needs to keep the adrenaline-seeker happy. Go here to start searching for hotels and flights.