Thinking of Flying to Tenerife to Escape the Snow…?

Fri, December 3rd, 2010 - By Andrea Montgomery

Anyone flying to Tenerife in the hopes of escaping the snow is going to be in for a bit of a shock. Looking out over the wings as their aircraft begins its descent, what they’re most likely to see is…snow.

Heavy rains over the last weekend of November have left Mount Teide icing sugar coated in a glistening blanket of snow.

I can never get used to living in a place where I can be lying on the beach in Playa de Las Américas or Puerto de la Cruz beneath a cloudless sky, sweltering in the sun and wondering if it’s time to get a beer yet and then I can look up and see a snow covered mountain in what feels like touching distance.

I think it must be because, as a Brit, I simply have never experienced such vast differences in height within a short distance. Tenerife is just 56km by 86 km rising to 3718 metres above sea level – that’s one of the greatest ratios of land mass to height on the planet.
In practical terms it means that in winter you can travel from 20 + degrees on the beach to – 2/3 degrees in Teide National Park in under 2 hours.

There’s no guarantee that Teide will be wearing her winter cloak in time to provide a white Christmas on the island every year, but what is guaranteed is that the first Sunday after the snows arrive, Teide National Park will look like Oxford Street at the start of the January sales.
Every family on the island who has the time and the means to get there will be heading up to the crater to make the most of their short lived opportunity to frolic in the white stuff.

The one and only road that traverses the crater will be chock-a-block, bumper to bumper with 4X4s packed to capacity with mum, dad, kids, grannie, granddad, cousins, aunts, uncles and the dog. When the traffic grinds to a complete standstill, as it inevitably will, vehicles will be abandoned while their contents spill out into the white landscape clutching body boards, trays, flattened cardboard boxes and anything else they managed to grab on the way out that would act as a sledge.

When the fun quota is exhausted, the rear of the 4X4 will be thrown open to reveal a picnic the size of your average hotel buffet and the family will enjoy their al fresco lunch in a winter wonderland.

For some younger elements of the island, a trip to the snow clad mountain simply wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory souvenir.
As the car is about to set off homeward, a snowman is hastily constructed on the bonnet and the car is then driven at break neck speed to get back to the coast before it’s fully melted.

This is not a practice that I can honestly say should be encouraged, not least because driving the road down from Teide requires concentration at the best of times which can’t possibly be enhanced by the presence of a snowman obscuring the view and a clock ticking.
But I have to admit – the looks on the faces of holidaymakers as a car drives past the beach with half a snowman on its bonnet is nothing short of priceless.

Posted : Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at 1:09 pm
Category : things to do
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One Response to “Thinking of Flying to Tenerife to Escape the Snow…?”

  1. […] most holidaymakers who are hoping to escape the snow, Bing’s dream is unlikely ever to come true on Tenerife, unless you count the peak of Mount […]

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