Keeping up with the Canarians
Time in Tenerife
Tenerife is known as 'The Island of Eternal Spring’ because its weather is balmy all year round. From March to May is no exception. With an average daily temperature of 20°C, it's lovely to be outside in Tenerife in spring. March and April are often the cheapest months to visit Tenerife, as they are sandwiched between two peak seasons. Spring is the time of Semana Santa, the holy week leading up to Easter, when there are solemn street processions – including a completely silent candlelit procession in La Laguna. For a walk with a little more levity, in late May hikers flock to Tenerife’s many trails, thanks to the Tenerife Walking Festival.
The summer is a busy tourist season for Tenerife, great if you want full bars and nightclubs. With an average daily temperature of 25°C summer in Tenerife isn’t nearly as hot as the Sahara, with which it shares its latitude, or even parts of Europe. It is, however, dry and sunny – perfect weather for a beach holiday, and rainfall is restricted to the mountains. Mount Teide National Park has no shade, so protect your skin if your planning to hike its high-altitude routes. The north of the island is generally less hot than the south, should you need to escape the sun for a couple of days.
With an average daily temperature of 23°C in autumn, Tenerife’s great weather continues into September and October; it only really takes a turn for the worse in November, which is cooler and sees a few more rainy days. November is a shoulder season for Tenerife, and there are fewer visitors than in the summer and winter. It’s not all bad, though – the islands many vineyards start selling their first wines of the season from the end of the month.
Tenerife is a great destination for those seeking winter sun, and the resorts are buzzing. With an average daily temperature of 19°C it’s significantly warmer than most of continental Europe. Whilst winter has the most chance of precipitation, showers are infrequent in the south of the island. However, you should bring a jacket or umbrella just in case. Carnival, one of the world’s largest winter carnivals, comes to Tenerife around February and takes place over 12 days in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. One of the oddest part of the celebrations is the so called ‘funeral of the sardine’, but you shouldn’t miss the pageantry of the main parade.
If you are travelling on a European Union passport, then you currently do not need a visa to visit Tenerife. Tenerife is recognised as Spanish territory, and therefore travel restrictions are the same as they are on mainland Spain.
Tenerife South Airport (TFS) is just ten minutes’ drive from the famous Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje on the south coast of the island. It lies 63km south of the capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Arrange a taxi from the main airport arrivals concourse or book a transfer. Alternatively, book a hire car with British Airways, and pick up your wheels at the airport. Bus 711 links the airport to Santa Cruz and Costa Adeje, and runs through the night.
Discover Tenerife by road, from the charming traditional towns to the switchback mountain road that leads to Masca. Tenerife is rewarding to drive – you can get from the south to the north of the island in under two hours. A motorway along the coast links Costa Adeje to Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Puerto de la Cruz. As in Spain, you’ll drive on the right. Load up a map and go hunting for some spectacular scenery.
Tenerife’s main service is the TITSA buses – these green buses run around the island and are great for visiting the main towns. If you’re planning to make a few journeys, then buy yourself a Bono Card from a Tabac, bus station, or at your hotel. This allows you cheaper travel. Their website is easy to use and has detailed maps of every stop each bus makes. If you’re visiting Santa Cruz, use the ‘Hop on Hop off’ bus to explore the main sights with ease.
Squeeze into your lycra: Tenerife is fantastic for cycling. Mount Teide National Park has a notorious road that takes you from 0m above sea level to 2,200m up. The hiking is a little more relaxing. Outside of the mountain's national park you can try the steep walking paths that wind out of the village of Masca, or go off into the ancient laurel forests of the Anaga Mountains. This small island has trails for days.
Tipping is by no means mandatory in Spain. A tip of 10% is appreciated in restaurants, but it isn't expected, especially outside of tourist areas.
You can tip your taxi driver by rounding up your bill at the end of the journey. If you've had help with bags at the airport, then consider adding a little more. Tipping is not mandatory, but is always appreciated.
Consider tipping your hotel staff if they've been helpful during your trip. Though tipping is not expected, it's always appreciated.
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