The mere mention of Tenerife to those who know its history, will normally engender thoughts of British holidaymakers supping copious amounts of lager, while eating good old fry ups and reading The Sun newspaper as they gradually begin to resemble red lobsters.
The southern part of the island where the main resorts of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas are situated, are the likely locations where you would envisage such things to take place. Most Tenerife travel guides and tour operators seem to have omitted many of the minor but still important attractions on the island, so it’s up to the individual to make the effort and explore other locations by adding them in their holiday itinerary.
Did you know that Tenerife produces good quality wines and there is a location on the island for skiing and snowboarding during the colder months? Yet, the golden sandy beaches are less than an hour away by car.
The above examples are just some of the many things that the island offers, examples that many never get to explore or experience. There is a different side of Tenerife that is just a short drive away and it is in the North of the island, close to where the original tourist resort of Puerto de la Cruz is situated.
The Tenerife that I know, is one of small family run restaurants where fry ups are not on the menu and close knit communities work together to help each other. Where friendships last a lifetime and family bonds grow ever stronger.
Away from the dry and arid concrete jungles of the South, the North offers lush vegetation where banana plantations sprout up on the sides of forest hugging roads that lead to some of the most spectacular hiking trails in of all Europe. With as many as twelve microclimates in such a small area, is it any wonder that climatic changes can take place quite dramatically in the blink of an eye.
Some of the locations can take on an otherworldly appearance. Adding uncanny looking lunar landscapes to this formula, it’s hardly surprising that there have been many claims of UFO sightings in this region, specifically around the base of the Teide volcano where the lunar experience is at its most prominent.
The days in this region are much milder and mistier which is why it is home to most of the agriculture on the island owing to the more favourable conditions.
Being descendants of the original inhabitants known as the Guanche, it’s not hard to see why the locals have a knack for agriculture because their forefathers were also known as very good agriculturalists as well as warriors.
Exploring this region of the island, you soon start to feel an affinity for its people and culture and because much of the Western ideals have been ignored, it leaves a certain purity that makes it so unique. From the cobbled streets of La Orotava and its vineyards, to the town of Garachico and its inspirational architecture of a bygone era, you are never short of picturesque and quaint sights.
For those planning a visit to the island, I recommend you immerse yourself in what the North of the island can offer you and make your trip a truly memorable one.