Tenerife - Tenerife visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Tenerife' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Canary Islands.
Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands and a very popular tourist destination with over 3.5 million international visitors a year, almost a third of which come from the United Kingdom. The capital of the island is Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which replaced San Cristóbal de La Laguna (now a World Heritage Site) as the capital in 1833. Part of the island is dominated by Pico del Teide (Mount Teide), a 3,718m high volcano which last erupted in 1909.
Geographically, the whole of Tenerife is volcanic, formed by eruptions between 12 million to 3 million years ago off the coast of Morocco which resulted in the fusion of three islands. This has resulted in a number of volcanic peaks, steep mountains caused by massive prehistoric landslides, and a rugged coastline with about 67km of beaches. On the northern end of the island are many lava tubes, including Cueva del Viento, one of the largest lava-tube caves in the world. Nearly half of the island is protected under the Red Canaria de Espacios Naturales Protegidos (Canary Islands Network for Protected Natural Areas).
Historically, the island was inhabited from about 200BC by the Guanches peoples but was invaded by Spain in 1494 whereupon many of the locals either died from imported diseases or were enslaved. The English, led by Admiral Horatio Nelson, tried to invade in 1797, but were defeated in a battle that cost Nelson the loss of his right arm.
Tenerife - Local information
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Tenerife - Travel and Tourism
Most of the tourism is located on the south of Tenerife where the climate is hotter and drier. Here are found large tourism resorts such as Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos. Around Costa Adeje (Las Américas-Los Cristianos) there are many world class hotels boasting various leisure facilities such as golf courses, waterparks, animal parks and the like. Since the 1960's, Puerto de la Cruz in the lush, green north has also seen a lot of development, which has affected some of the topography of the town. Some of the main attractions on Tenarife include:
- Cueva del Viento - at 17km long this is the largest lava tube in Europe and one of the largest in the world, found near Icod de los Vinos.
- Playa de las Américas - purpose built holiday resort in southern Tenerife with bars, nightclubs, restaurants, attractions, and man-made beaches.
- Los Cristianos - former fishing village and now a holiday resort with two beaches, marina and ferry port.
- San Cristóbal de La Laguna - former capital of Tenerife full of historical buildings and charm, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
- Pico del Teide (Mount Tide) - 3,718m high, active volcano dominating the island and central to the Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site drawing nearly 3 million visitors annually.
- Real Santuario del Santísimo Cristo de La Laguna (Royal Sanctuary of the Christ of La Laguna) - 16th century Catholic church and pilgrimage site housing the Cristo de La Laguna crucifix dating from 1513.
- Cathedral of La Laguna - Catholic cathedral built between 1904-15 in a mixture of Neoclassical, Neo-Gothic and Renaissance styles, dedicated to the Virgin of Los Remedios.
- Cueva de Achbinico (Cave of San Blas) - found near Candelaria, this was the first place of Catholic worship and formerly a shrine in which an eternal flame was kept burning.
- Pyramids of Güímar - six rectangular pyramid-shaped, terraced structures built of lava stone without mortar thought to date from the 19th century.
- San Andrés - found 10 km north of Santa Cruz de Tenerife this is the oldest village on the island, home to the 16th century Castillo de San Andrés and Las Teresitas beach which was made by 4 million bags of imported Sahara sand.
- Auditorio de Tenerife - elegant and striking concert hall designed by Santiago Calatrava Valls and now an icon of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre (Museum of Nature and Man) - natural history museum in Santa Cruz de Tenerife which houses many paleontological, botanical, entomological exhibits as well as large and important collection of collection of Guanche mummies and other artefacts.
Flight: Reina Sofia International Airport (TFS)
Ferry: Santa Cruz de Tenerife with ferries to Santa Cruz de la Palma, Palmas de Gran Canaria, Agaete de Gran Canaria, Morro del Jabo and Arrecife. Los Christianos near Playa de las Americas with ferries to La Gomera, Val Verde and La Palma.