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Timeless Tenerife

Lush landscapes & colonial charms
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Add three nights at the Parador in the heart of the island’s caldera to explore the incredible lunar landscapes of El Teide.
  About Tenerife >Tenerife is not only the largest of the Canary Islands, but also the most scenically diverse. The south is arid, while the lesser-visited northwest is humid and fertile, the rocky coastline giving way to banana plantations interspersed with expanses of black sand, beyond which are the forested lower slopes of Mount Teide, the peak which dominates the island. Its 3,718-metre summit is just 13km from the coast and is the highest in the Atlantic and also in Spain. It rises from a massive volcanic crater, designated a national park in recognition of the stark beauty of the colourful lunar landscape and the wildlife – including 50 plant species endemic to the Canary Islands – which thrives despite the aridity. Perhaps unsurprisingly given its position some 300km off the African coast, Tenerife’s traditional gastronomy is closer to African cuisine than Spanish. Fresh fish features widely on menus, as do rabbit and goat, and the fruit that grows all year round in the eternal spring climate.
 
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • self-guided, two-centre walking holiday
  • aristocratic towns and traditional villages
  • stunning mountain and forest trails
  • sightseeing with included car hire

Tenerife is an island of remarkably varied landscapes, from palm-grove coasts and vineyard-coated hills to ancient forests and desolate lava fields. Home to some of the richest of its sub-tropical flora and its most historic towns, the north of the island is where a fascinating history of frontier life at the crossroads to the New World unfolded, where over the course of five centuries, fortunes have been made, lost and buried in lava.

I own that I have never beheld a prospect more varied, more attractive, more harmonious in the distribution of the masses of verdure and rocks, than the western coast of Tenerife.
     
Alexander von Humboldt (June 1799)

Your week begins in the rugged Anaga Mountains of the north-east tip of the island, where trails meander through ancient laurel forests that pre-date the Ice Age and where white cottages cling to abyss-like ravines and to a way of life unchanged for half a century. With the freedom of your hire car, follow trails through the island's most colonial and aristocratic centres before moving on, via the surreal landscape of Teide National Park, to its prettiest plaza. From here you follow the trail of the lava that destroyed much of the town 300 years ago, and explore the spectacular Teno Mountains where rich flora and dramatic vistas unfold.

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Spain
 Average Temperatures & Rainfall
  J F M A M J J A S O N D
°C 16 17 18 18 19 21 24 25 24 22 19 17
mm 82 67 53 44 19 11 3 5 20 52 84 91

The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

On the slopes of El Teide, temperatures will be considerably cooler than those shown above. The best time for flowers is February and March.