If you live anywhere long enough, you begin to take it for granted, even if you live on an island like Tenerife. Perhaps it’s part of the expat psyche to wonder if life might be better elsewhere. For someone looking to holiday in the Canary Islands, the questions are much the same as the ones I ask myself from time to time.
Fact: there’s nowhere with this year-round climate so convenient to get to. So, my question was: is this the best island? There are eight inhabited islands; do they have anything Tenerife doesn’t?
1. Lanzarote: with dramatic, volcanic scenery, modern resorts with great hotels and restaurants, and a lively, sporty vibe. Well, no Ironman, but Tenerife has sports aplenty, no landscape is more dramatic than Teide National Park, and Costa Adeje’s hotels and resorts are world-beaters. What Lanzarote lacks is variety of scenery. No shady forest, to stroll and escape the noonday sun.
2. Fuerteventura: the island’s claim to fame is its endless, white beaches. Stiff breezes make it Europe’s windsurf capital, and breakers foaming out of turquoise water on the other side of the island attract surfers. Inland, red, volcanic landscapes will amaze you. Admittedly, Tenerife doesn’t have as many long beaches, but El Médano, La Tejita and Las Teresitas can compare, and, like Lanzarote, there is lack of variety.
3. El Hierro, La Graciosa and La Gomera: the three smallest islands, and maybe that says it all. El Hierro the most environmentally friendly, La Gomera, the island many call “magical”, and La Graciosa, basically one, long beach. All described as tranquil. If you want to disconnect from the world, then these are the islands for you, but tranquillity comes at a price. None has much nightlife. Perhaps you don’t long for the bright lights of Playa de las Americas, but do like to linger over a meal or that last, late drink in a bar? Forget it! Before midnight everyone is tucked up in bed.
4. La Palma: of all the other islands, La Palma is perhaps the most similar to Tenerife. It has dramatic scenery, mysterious forests, coastal badlands and recently created resorts – on a smaller scale, which give it a distinctly provincial feel. The nightlife doesn’t really swing, and there is no shopping to speak of. For me the main problem in La Palma is getting around. I like to get out and sightsee (and there is plenty to see), but it is the world’s steepest island, and exploring it means driving up, down and around, mainly on narrow roads.
5. Gran Canaria: Maybe the only island that can give Tenerife real competition is its old rival. Gran Canaria has great beaches, lively bars and restaurants in the resorts, and excellent shopping, but even so – it lacks those landscapes Tenerife offers, nothing quite so dramatic as the Paisaje Lunar or as lush as the Anaga forests.
Result of my wee investigation? Let me list what Tenerife is for me: lush forest; world-class accommodation – from 5-star hotels to rural; beaches – from spectacular to secluded; from Santa Cruz to Costa Adeje there is great shopping even in villages like Icod de los Vinos; breathtaking volcanic landscapes; international and traditional eateries; and facilities for all sorts of sports. Why would I want to be anywhere else?
Category : about tenerife
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