Of the seven Canary Islands of Spain, Tenerife is the largest and most populous. It is also the most populous island of Spain, with 898,680 inhabitants residing on the island’s land area of 2,034.38 square kilometers, making up 43% of the total population of the Canary Islands. Furthermore, Tenerife is also the largest and most populous island in Macaronesia. As a major tourism hub, approximately five million tourists arrive at Tenerife annually. The capital of the island and the seat of the island council is Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
What to see & do
When in the island of Tenerife, don’t miss one of the largest carnivals in the world, the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is a candidate for becoming a World Heritage Site. The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is held every February and is considered as the second most popular and world-renowned carnival, after the one in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The festivities start on the Friday prior to the Carnival and continue until Ash Wednesday when the people of Santa Cruz de Tenerife celebrate the “entierro de la sardina” (burial of the sardine), which marks the end of the Carnival. Tourists who crave for more partying as well as those who have missed the Carnival should not be disheartened as another party will follow the next weekend – the weekend of the piñata.
The city of San Cristobal de La Laguna (or simply La Laguna) has a historical center that was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient and cultural capital of the Canary Islands is home to the legendary house of the specter of Catalina Lercaro, the incorrupt body of Sister Sor Maria de Jesus, and the Christ of La Laguna. The catholic cathedral of Tenerife, the Cathedral of La Laguna, is the symbolic building of the city.
Tenerife’s natural features are also worth noting. The island has the highest elevation of Spain, El Teide, which is also the world’s third largest volcano from its base and also a World Heritage Site. The
Biosphere Reserve Macizo de Anaga can also be found in the island, characterized by humid forests housing native plant species. Macizo de Anaga also has unique archeological finds.
How to get around within Tenerife
To experience the most of Tenerife and to explore the remote areas in the island, the best way to get around is by renting a car. The most important highways in Tenerife are the Autopista del Sur and the Autopista del Norte, running from the metropolitan zone to the south and north, respectively. If opting to go for public transportation, TITSA has routes throughout Tenerife. A tram line is also available, operating between Santa Cruz de Tenerife and La Laguna.
How to get there
Tenerife has two airports: Tenerife North Airport (Los Rodeos) and Tenerife South Airport (Reina Sofia). Both airports have flights between the islands as well as the cities throughout Europe. The airports also serve flights from Caracas, Dakar, and Miami. The island also has two main maritime ports: the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, serving the capitals of the Canary Islands, and the Port of Los Cristianos, serving the island capitals of Santa Cruz de Tenerife province.
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