What to see in Tenerife
Tenerife is the pearl of the Canary Archipelago. Always warm and mild climate, colorful volcanic beaches, unique nature with relict forests and moonlit landscapes, the largest water park in Europe and many other attractions – all this attracts hundreds of tourists here.
Top 10 Tenerife Attractions
The main natural attraction of the island, it is also the highest peak in Spain – the Teide volcano. It is a daughter crater of a much grander volcano, the eruption of which formed the island itself 150 thousand years ago. The height of Teide is 3718 m. Almost its entire territory is declared a national park. He erupted for the last time in 1909.
A cableway leads to the top from the middle of the slope, which ends with an observation deck from which all the Canary Islands are visible, except for the three farthest. But you can climb to the top on your own – several tracking routes have been laid along the caldera of the previous mega-volcano and the Teide National Park. There is a tourist base Altavista and several places for spending the night with equipped bonfires.
Walking along these paths, you can see the remains of the 1909 eruption: burnt sections of forest covered with frozen lava, fragments of black volcanic rock. Here and there along the slopes there are places of sulfur emission. It was here that once filmed “Million years BC”, 1966.
The relic forest Anaga
Humid subtropical forests are the oldest on the planet. Once they covered almost all of the land, but now, due to climate change and human activities, they literally left a few pieces. There are many endemic plants in Tenerife, that is, those that can only be found on this island, and most of them grow just in Anaga Park. Only here you can meet the thickets of the Canary laurel and Canary pine, and see the forest as it was how many millions of years ago.
The park has landscaped ecological trails, which are comfortable wooden flooring, there are several viewing platforms, signs, maps and information posters. The height of the mountain is 1004 m, which is not so much compared to Teide, but it can still be windy and cold on the observation decks even on the hottest day. There are no wild animals and snakes in Tenerife, but lizards and beautiful parrots can meet along the way.
The “lunar landscape” of conical white rocks is located on one of the edges of the huge caldera of the former stratovolcano. They are composed of light volcanic rock, tuff, and are very different from the surrounding dark landscape, covered with pumice and lava. White formations resemble either fantastic castles or termite mounds, and literally “glow” in sunny weather.
You can get here only on foot, so this is a place for lovers of tracking: several routes lead here and they are all marked and marked with signs. The longest and most beautiful of them leads from the village of Vilaflor, its length is 9 km. The shortest – 2.2 kilometers, this is the minimum distance from the road along which a car can drive.
The second most famous attraction of Tenerife is Loro Park on the slopes of Teide, the road leads to it along a mountain serpentine, and it offers stunning views. The park was founded in 1972 by businessman Wolfgang Kiesling as a parrot park. Now it is the largest entertainment and environmental center, decorated in an Asian style. There is a pond with ornamental carps, an oceanarium in which there is a glass tunnel with sharks, a mini zoo, an orchid garden, a museum of porcelain parrots.
The park regularly hosts short shows of 20 minutes each, which is included in the price. This is a show of parrots, killer whales, fur seals and dolphins. They pass at different ends of the park according to their schedule. There is a huge snow-covered penguinarium – its snow installation produces 12 tons of snow daily! There is an aviary with gorillas, big cats and much more. Here 350 species of birds and the park is doing a lot of work to restore the population of rare species.
Ethnographic Park “Guimar Pyramids”
Once upon a time, Tenerife was settled by the Guanches, who, with the arrival of the Spaniards, were almost exterminated and assimilated. Now a large ethnographic park dedicated to their history and culture has been created on the island.
It was opened in 1998 at the initiative of the famous traveler Tour Heyerdahl around the most mysterious artifact of Tenerife – six step pyramids. No one knows when they were created and what they were intended for. Excavations around them yielded several objects relating specifically to the culture of the Guanches and dating from the 10th century A.D. Some associate these pyramids with similar structures in Mesoamerica built by the Mayans and the Aztecs.
The pyramids are composed of lava pieces, strictly oriented to the cardinal. Stairs are laid along their western slope, which accurately indicate the position of the sun during the winter solstice.