Many visitors backpacking Tenerife will not stray farther than the golden sands of Playa de las Americas or the numerous water parks and family attractions that are scattered across the island. While they will no doubt enjoy their holidays, they will be missing out on some of the most wonderful and magical attractions that make Tenerife the most fascinating islands in the Canaries.
People backpacking in Tenerife will find that if they stray just a little off the beaten path, the island has plenty to reward them with. The best thing about this is that it can all be done with just a little amount of money.
Despite its initial appearance as a developed island with plenty of modern resorts, Tenerife is in fact a nature-lover’s paradise with plenty of opportunities to spot rare flora and fauna.
Know Before You Go
- Tenerife is the largest city in Spain’s Canary Islands.
- Easter is a very busy time to go backpacking in Tenerife.
- Tenerife is outside the VAT area, so alcohol and tobacco are cheaper than usual.
- The island is home to Spain’s highest point: Mount Teide, a dormant volcano with crater at 12,981 feet (3,718 meters). A record number of visitors come to see what NASA calls the earth’s third-tallest volcanic structure.
Airports on Tenerife
Tenerife is home to two airports: TFS — Tenerife South (Reina Sofia) and TFN — Tenerife North (Los Rodeos).
Los Gigantes in Tenerife
At Los Gigantes, numerous boat trips allow visitors a chance to see and sail alongside one of the resident schools of dolphins that live out in the bay. For the most intimate experience, choose a smaller boat or even consider chartering a vessel to really get up close to these beautiful, friendly creatures.
Back on land, the island’s verdant, exotic gardens provide magical spaces to relax and unwind that feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of the busy resorts. Puerto de la Cruz’s Botanical Gardens showcases flowers from Spanish colonies across the world, while the Jardines de Atlantico outside Los Cristianos teaches visitors the history of the island’s banana plantations.
Mount Teide on Tenerife
Although the often snow-capped peak of Mount Teide is a constant presence on Tenerife, visible across the island only a few visitors explore the national park that encompasses this dramatic volcanic landscape. Criss-crossed with hiking trails suitable for all abilities as well as mountain biking and climbing routes, the national park is a haven for everyone from thrill-seekers to leisurely walkers.
Visitors will find themselves staring as the eerie rock formations that were created when the Mount Teide volcano erupted and surprisingly discover beautiful landscapes featuring fields of wild flowers, thick forests and a wide variety of plant and animal life.
For a real “hidden” Tenerife experience, visitors should catch a boat to nearby La Gomera where they will find a relaxed, rural island that’s gone largely unchanged for hundreds of years. Here you can explore the exotic gardens and verdant landscapes of the Garajonay National Park, swim beneath crystal clear waterfalls or make friends in unspoiled rural villages.
Although tourism is starting to encroach on the island and it now offers a handful of hotels and restaurants, a quick walk or cycle in any direction will soon find you in the middle of glorious, beautiful nowhere. Tenerife really is an amazing destination with many undiscovered natural beauties, it’s also a great place to start out if you’re on your first back packing adventure due to the friendly culture and little amount of money need to travel around the island.
About the Author:
Alex Sebuliba is a travel enthusiast and likes to document the non-typical backpacker destinations. Having visited many countries, but only as a holiday experience, he has decided to start his first solo travel in August 2011. He went backpacking in Tenerife.