This is a guest post by John W. Furst
Did you ever plan to spend a vacation on the Canary Islands? Maybe not, if you are living in the US. The Caribbean Sea is so much closer to you, but they are no match for the diversity of the "Canaries", which are among the most popular destinations for European tourists. A reason to check it out.
Let me tell you my personal story in which Tenerife - the main island of the archipelago - plays an important role. I will not bore you with geographical data. That is something you can lookup in Wikipedia yourself. Let me start giving you a general overview, why you might want to spend your next holiday there.
Tenerife lies about 230 km West off the African coast in the Atlantic Ocean. It is well known for its moderate climate. Some call it the islands with "eternal spring". You can enjoy outdoors activities throughout the year. This includes all sorts of water sports, scuba diving, hiking, paragliding, golf, horse back riding, bicycling, … If you are not so much into physical activity you rent a motorbike and enjoy curvy roads in the mountains or hidden ways to some remote beaches.
The splendid nature of Tenerife is protected by a large National Park around the volcano Mount Teide (3718m) since 1954 and got recently included in the UNESCO List of World Heritage of Nature.
One of the best reasons to come here is the diversity of nature. You find a whole continent mapped to a 2,000 square kilometer small island. From the beaches of Playa de las Americas, to the forests of the Ananga mountains, through the beautiful La Orotava Valley uphill to the plains in the Caldera of Teide to its summit 3,718 meters above sea level.
When I am asked about vacation on Tenerife, I usually recommend one of three regions:
This is where the water sports fans will want to go. It’s a paradise for wind surfers like in El Medano for example. If you just like an easy going beach holiday you could settle for Playa de las America, where you find that plus lots of night life and entertainment. That’s where the ultimate tourist center is located. I’d mostly recommend this for younger people, but seniors have their fun there, too.
The South West:
Going further to the West brings you in smaller cities or villages which are preferred by older tourists and families. You’ll also find very nice beaches there and are much closer to the mountains, where you can enjoy hiking for example. But most tourists don’t get much out of their cars, because they are overwhelmed by the varieties of nature and want to go on and on. The South West offers stunning views of the sister islands La Gomera and La Palma, and transforms quickly from the beach of Puerto de Santiago to the steep of Los Gigantes, where the Teno mountains begin.
I was surprised to find out that there is no water sports in the North except swimming. The North offers paragliding and the beauty of the ever green La Orotava Valley, which has banana fields at sea level and forests up to 2000 m . At its base lies Puerto de la Cruz with the famous beach Playa Jardin and the Loro Parque with its newest attraction, the Orca Show, which is the only show of this kind in Europe and Africa.
Those three regions just happen to be my personal favorites. The East is worth a visit as well, but you have to start somewhere.
I almost forgot a very important tip. Carnival in February is another highlight and one more reason to come there with family and friends. The Spanish Community is very amicable and loves to celebrate and party at any occasion. The Carnival contest in the capital Santa Cruz is as famous as the one in Rio de Janeiro of Brazil. It’s November now, but I am looking already forward to party all night long on the streets and the nice bars here.
In the beginning I mentioned that Tenerife plays an important role in my life. That’s true, because my wife and I have fallen in love with this place. After several vacations here between 2000 and 2004, we finally decided to move her permanently. We picked the green North as our new residence, Playa Jardin is in walking distance, … What else do you need?
When I visited the island the very fist time in 1989 I was impressed already, but I did not plan to move there. I was heading for the big city and moved to New York City two years later. Now in 2007, after having lived in metropolitan areas on two continents I am more than happy to enjoy a "value centered life style" at the South West End of Europe.
Come and visit Tenerife, but be warned, you might fall in love with eventually.
The author John W. Furst usually writes about Business and Personal Development Issues on his E-Biz Booster Blog, which is targeted towards entrepreneurs and managers of Internet related businesses. Thanks for the guest post John!