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Found off the coast of Morocco, the Spanish island of Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. Nicknamed the "Island of Eternal Spring," the island stands at the same latitude as the Sahara Desert and boasts a warm tropical climate that draws millions of sun seekers each year to its Atlantic beaches. Hiking enthusiasts also come to trek the volcanic landscape of UNESCO-listed Teide National Park, which centers around Spain's tallest peak, Mount Teide. In the island's bustling cities and quaint towns, stunning Spanish architecture reflects Tenerife's colonial past, while an abundance of restaurants, shopping areas, and festivals like Carnival bear witness to a lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Whether you're seeking outdoor recreation or wondering where to find the party, Tenerife offers sights and activities for everyone.
Stretching about 60 miles (97 km) in length, Tenerife offers a wealth of cities and resort towns to serve as your home base but is also small enough for easy day trips around the island. In the north, activity centers around the capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and its charming neighbor, San Cristóbal de La Laguna. On the southern end, golden beaches beckon visitors to sun-filled destinations like Los Cristianos.
Tenerife's vibrant capital brims with shopping, dining, and architectural landmarks from the emblematic arched Auditorio de Tenerife to the twin skyscrapers known as the Torres de Santa Cruz. In February, tens of thousands of revelers fill the streets to attend the parades and parties of the Carnival, one of the most famous carnivals in the world.
The UNESCO-listed La Laguna-as it's more commonly known-served as Tenerife's capital until the 18th century, and its impressive collection of colonial-era buildings reflects its rich history. Thanks to the presence of the University of La Laguna, the city has also emerged as one of the island's biggest nightlife hubs.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise among the lava-carved rock formations and pine forests of Teide National Park, Tenerife's second UNESCO World Heritage Site. Catch the cable car over Mount Tiede's volcanic crater to take in the sweeping views of the other Canary Islands, or lace up your hiking shoes to discover the park's variety of trails.
From its beautiful beaches and activity-filled port to its inviting boutiques, Los Cristianos lives up to its fame as a world-class resort town. Nearby attractions include Siam Park, a water park featuring a wet-and-wild selection of Thai-themed rides for the whole family.
From stunning natural landmarks to centuries-old buildings, Tenerife boasts an array of sights. Immerse yourself in the archaeological finds at the Museum of Nature and Man, home to a prolific collection of objects and Guanche mummies from the Canary Islands' pre-colonial days. As you explore the old town of La Laguna, preserved buildings paint a picture of life in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Admire the soaring bell tower of the Iglesia de la Concepción, which was constructed in 1511 and houses the largest bell in the Canary Islands. And as you explore Teide National Park, don't miss the Roques de Garcia, a spectacular lineup of rock formations created by the island's volcanic activity.
Between lounge sessions on the beach, take advantage of a wealth of activities to discover in Tenerife. Survey the many sights of Santa Cruz de Tenerife with a hop-on hop-off tour of the city, which offers you the freedom to visit markets, parks, and museums at your own pace. For a truly unforgettable swim in the Atlantic, join an excursion to the crystal-clear natural lava pools found in the town of Garachico. On the northwest side of the island, a visit to the tiny village of Masca offers an amazing perspective on the Macizo de Teno mountains. Set out on a guided hike from the village to a black-sand beach, and then finish the day with a boat ride to the towering cliffs of Los Gigantes. And of course, no visit to Tenerife would be complete without exploring the island's mighty volcano. Choose from a variety of tours of Teide National Park, from a star-filled night tour to a private tour complete with tapas and wine.