Living in Brussels, one of the best decisions I made was to cut each winter with some sunny destination by the sea – just to recharge, enjoy the nice weather in a beautiful colourful nature and basically lead a happier and healthier life. To do so, living in Europe, one of the most popular and best destinations to choose are most certainly the Canary islands and one of the most interesting ones to visit is for sure Tenerife, also known as the island of eternal spring.
With this volcanic island being the largest and most-populated one of the eight Canary Islands and one of the most popular tourist spots, it is packed with different tourist attractions and parks. However, this doesn’t diminish the beauty of the nature of the island and, since I am increasingly becoming more of a nature person, here are some of the recommendations of what to visit while there.
Might come as a surprise, but one of the first things I was totally thrilled by was the amazing accommodation we chose close to the South Tenerife Airport where we landed – Casas Bioclimaticas. Located in ITER, the research centre, the modern designed spacious and cozy villas are right on the coast with beautiful garden or sea views. They are completely self sufficiant with the power supply producing zero CO2 emissions so they are a perfect choice for anyone who likes sustainable travel. Best of all, the complex is located right by the field of electric windmills, those gentle giants, giving a very sci-fi feel to it. Perfect choice if you want to relax and enjoy in an isolated space, provided you don’t mind an occasional plane flying by.
Right close to Casas Bioclimaticas is El Medano, a small city that will take your breath away – well, maybe not the city itself but rather the beach. Known for very strong winds, El Medano is the centre for windsurfing/kitesurfing activities which attracts these adventurous people from all over the world. Just watching them ride the waves , working together with the wind has a sort of a meditative quality but if brave enough you can definitely try to do it yourself as well. With El Medano being situated between the largest natural beaches of Tenerife, the Playa Grande and the Playa La Renita, and with the volcanic La Montaña Roja (The Red Mountain) in between, a protected natural reserve, it is really a beautiful place to relax and enjoy.
The thing that is really a must-do in Tenerife is going to the Mount Teide National Park, located in the centre of the island and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007. The landscape is dominated by Mount Teide, the third highest volcanic structure in the world, with a height of 3 718 m.
You will be completely mesmerised by the landscape of the entire Mount Teide National Park – unique collage of volcanoes and craters, rivers of petrified lavas, rocks and sand of the most beautiful shades of earthly colours with some of the vegetation coming through.
To reach the top of the Mount Teide we took an interesting ride with cable car which to be taken away by the view – endless fields of volcanic landscape and the view reaching as far as the sea.
One of the most beautiful adventures that you can take is definitively visit the picturesque Masca village located in the Macizo de Teno mountains. Known as the prettiest village of Tenerife, its superb and very unique, isolated location between the mountains with the sea view is also probably one of the reasons for many legends and tales around the village, some even connected to magic and witchcraft.
While some people take tours, others go to Masca by car but to drive yourself could be somewhat of an adventure – even the most skilled and experienced drivers are not sure to handle the long, steep, winding road leading up to the village so I would definitely recommend public transport – you can easily hop on a bus driven by a skilled local. When there, you will be taken aback by the charm of the village itself as well as the view – the steep sides of the mountains frame the La Gomera in the V between the the ravine walls.
If you have some time, taking a stroll from the village down to the ocean through the gorge is definitely one of the most beautiful walks, past the palm trees, jade pools and sprinkling water where you can immerse yourself in nature and enjoy it every step of the way.