Even on holiday my internal alarm goes off around the same time, 7am, which, even in summer, means it’s barely light. The Canary Islands, close to the Tropic of Cancer, have more daylight in winter than the UK. In summer we get less, despite being in the same time zone. Midsummer sunrise is around 7 am, so the “crack of dawn” isn’t so terrible.
I love to be up and about, before the day heats up. Why?
1. Dragging myself to work in Puerto Colon years ago, I used to envy the runners I passed. Beaches are great places for running, jogging or speedwalking, but later can be crowded and hot. Around dawn Geranium Walk, the beaches of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas and other beachfront places are busy with keep fit enthusiasts.
2. At the other end of the spectrum, if you’re thinking, “Exercise on holiday? Forget it!” and thoughts run to a yummy breakfast, early also rules. Stepping out of my door in El Médano around 7am, I inhale delicious smells from the pastry shop in the supermarket a block over, and as I trot around town more enticing aromas taunt as I pass different bakeries. I’ve tried all of them. I know which sells my favourite chocolate croissants, which have the best Danish pastries, and which the yummiest rolls – all best whilst newly made. If you’re staying in a hotel, of course, early risers get the freshest pick at the breakfast buffet too.
3. Early is also a great time for people-watchers. When there is a swell, dawn is the best time for surfers, and all around Tenerife local seniors groups are going for their early morning dip or yoga on the beach; in Los Abrigos, Los Cristianos or Las Galletas, fishing boats are unloading their catch and the stalls along the harbour fronts which sell it, are opening up. Up and down the coast in Los Gigantes, Playa San Juan, or any of the towns already mentioned, you’ll see small boats going out to check their cages, freedivers hunting for fish, and at low tide, folk searching the rock pools for bait. Beaches and harbour walls are lined with fishermen, both young and old, lines out in eager anticipation.
4. I promise that it’s well worth getting yourself out of bed early to take any of the excellent outings this island has to offer, whether it’s a jeep safari to the lunar landscape of the Teide National Park or neighbouring island of La Gomera, a boat trip to see the amazing colony of pilot whales which lives in the channel between Tenerife and La Gomera, or to hike the breathtaking Anaga Mountains.
5. If you’re a keen photographer that golden hour light is often elusive in the northern hemisphere, but on the east coast of Tenerife it’s pure magic. There are more photo ops than you can dream of.
6. The hours around dawn are also magical for anyone who enjoys wildlife spotting. At another time, my walk to work along the coast by Golf del Sur yielded sightings of dolphins, egrets, plovers and more.
7. Last but by no means least, there are the sunrises, and at this point I will shut up and let the picture speak its “thousand words.”
Category : about tenerife
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