Tenerife is a place that should be on everyone's bucket list. If you haven't heard of it, and you love exploring new and unique places, you're missing out. The largest island of the Canaries is not your typical island destination, and has something for everyone. It's a place where you can imagine yourself in multiple places around the globe - without even stepping off the island. Picture this: the volcanic landscapes, boardwalks and resorts of Maui, combined with the food, wine, port and Spanish colonial architecture of Barcelona, and the white/black sand beaches of Costa Rica - all on one island! If you're in the process of choosing where your next trip should be and you can't decide, here's why it should be Tenerife.
1). The Diving
The crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean around Tenerife and the Canary Islands are internationally known for their quality and temperatures of 70 degrees. Filled with a rich diversity of marine life, the island is an undersea paradise for experienced or first time divers. Above the waves, there's plenty to do too - you can choose from windsurfing, surfing, kayaking or deep sea fishing.
While many travel to Tenerife to explore its black sand beaches, many also come for birdwatching. The island is home to some rare species because the various habitats and unusual geography. One of these birds is the Blue Chaffinch, which is easily recognizable with its blue feathers and is only found in the mountain forests of the island. While birdwatching in Tenerife you'll also probably be on the lookout for two species of laurel pigeon that live in the forests and the mountains of the island and the Great Grey Shrike, an uncommon bird in the UK but one that lives in Tenerife high on Mt. Teide.
3). #1 Waterpark
Siam Park is one of the biggest and best waterparks in Europe for those seeking an adrenaline rush. So good in fact that it was rated as the #1 waterpark in the world by Trip Advisor in 2016 and 2017. Set in a Thai-themed paradise, the lush, green and tranquil environment makes it great for any ages to enjoy. Thrilling rides like the Tower of Power, The Dragon, and the Mekong Rapids will set your heart racing. If you're in the mood to relax, visit the bars or restaurants on the white sandy beach.
4). Europe's Largest Lava Tube
Maybe you want to travel alone, or maybe you're looking for an interesting and informative trip for the family. Whatever the case, the Wind Cave is a no-brainer if you're looking for a unique and educational activity for the day. Shaped by lava flows from Pico Viejo, part of Mount Teide is The Cueva del Viento. Also known as the Wind Cave, this lava cave is Europe's largest lava tube and the fifth largest in the world. The top four largest are all located in Hawaii.
If you're a wine connoisseur, you'll want to add some vineyards to your trip itinerary to truly experience Tenerife's culture. Luckily for you, Tenerife is internationally recognized for it's wine. The main reason why is because the island grows nine varieties of ungrafted vines that can't be found anywhere else in Spain. Listán Blanco, Malvasiaa, Gual, Albillo Criollo, Vijariego, Moscatel, Marmajuelo and Verdello are the grapes used to make whites, whilst rosés and wines are made mostly of Listán Negro, Negramoll and Tintilla.
6). Black and White Sand Beaches
Featured in CNN, Forbes as a trending beach destination and the Active Times, Tenerife's beaches live up to the hype. But with so many Tenerife beaches (there's 70) how do you narrow down the options? It's all about what you're looking for. If black volcanic sand is what you're seeking, check out the El Bollullo beaches in the north, surrounded by green cliffs and banana plantations. If you're looking for a more traditional beach - you'll want to be in the south in Adeje, which is filled with golden sand beaches. We teamed up with a Tenerife expert and listed our 6 favorite beaches here.
7). 4 Michelin Star Restaurants
And for all you foodies out there, cuisine is another great hallmark of Tenerife's culture. Traditional food in Tenerife is rustic but simple, and the favor combinations and rustic ingredients are worth trying. Spain has 182 Michelin Star restaurants, but Tenerife is the only island in the Canaries with four Michelin Star restaurants. A Michelin Star is received after anonymous restaurant reviewers try different restaurant cuisines and come to a consensus on which restaurants will be awarded the stars. Forget Yelp and Zagat, as you can see, no consumer reviews are used in making the Michelin determination.
8). The World's Best Stargazing
While this bustling Spanish island is widely known for its spectacular beaches and busy nightlife, Tenerife is also considered one of the best places to go stargazing in Europe. In the darkness of the Atlantic Ocean, Tenerife's Mt. Teide, Spain's highest peak, is also one of the few places you can see constellations and different galaxies because of its elevation. With no light pollution and cities vastly spread out, everything is completely lit up and you'll be able to see thousands of stars. If you really want an incredibly unique experience, go up late in the afternoon to Mt. Teide National Park and go to the Parador (a hotel/ restaurant inside the Caldera) to enjoy a memorable five-star dinner from Michelin-awarded chefs. Read more about stargazing and the Sunset and Stars experience here.