Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and, perhaps, the one most commonly associated with British tourists enjoying cheap holidays in the sun. But cruise passengers know that there is more to Tenerife than just beaches, in fact, the north of the country is a real beauty spot gem with lashings of culture on the side.
The capital of the island (and joint capital of the Canary Islands), Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is the closest city to the cruise terminal and is full of things to do.
The cruise port at Santa Cruz is shaped like a giant ‘U’ and all cruise ships – no matter what size – will be dock here.
The city centre is within walking distance and takes no longer than 25 minutes to reach. Some cruise lines do put on a shuttle bus, while there is a free bus provided by the Tenerife Port Authority to take people to the Plaza de Espana in the centre of town.
There are also plenty of taxis located at the bottom of the port.
NEED TO KNOW
While the south of the island is awash with English-speakers due to the high influx of British partygoers, the north still retains its Spanish identity and so it’s worth brushing up on a few Spanish phrases to make talking with the locals easier.
The El Corte Ingles department store in Santa Cruz has nine floors of shopping, perfect for those tourists hunting a bargain.
The Market of Our Lady of Africa is one of, if not the, most famous market in Tenerife and is well worth a visit to buy some fresh, Spanish tapas.
WHAT WE LOVE
Teide National Park: The Teide National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty which makes for an incredible hike. Guests can explore the volcanic craters and caves, where unique fauna and flora can be found. There is also a cable car ride to the top of the volcano to admire the views from this 3,555m peak.
Whales and dolphins: The oceans surrounding Tenerife are rife with sea life, including more than 28 species of whales and dolphins. There’s plenty of local companies offering boat trips promising an opportunity to catch a glimpse of them.
Museum of Nature and Man: This combination of natural science and man-made structures is comfortably the best museum on the Canary Islands. One of the highlights is the large collection of mummified remains housed in the museum, all of which are preserved to a truly impressive degree. With some great interactive displays for the kids, this is a day out for all the family.
Tito’s Bodeguita: Located off a busy roundabout, the location for this 18th-century country mansion should not put off prospective visitors. There are great gardens in which to enjoy a meal at the attached restaurant, which serves traditional Canarian cuisine. It’s best to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
- Spot wildlife in the oceans surrounding Tenerife
- Visit the leading museum on the Canary Islands
- Natural beauty in abundance at Teide National Park