5 Surprising things in Tenerife - Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife is part of the Canary Islands, Spain. It is the largest island of the Canaries, and the most populated island in Spain. Although belonging to Spain, the Canary Islands are actually closer to Africa, off the Coast of Morocco. If you’re looking for a place in Europe to get some sun and warmer weather in winter, Tenerife is a popular holiday destination and rightly so.

The Canary Islands have vast and varied landscapes which lend to fantastic backdrops for movies such as Moby Dick, Clash of the Titans, Fast & Furious 6, and Wild Oats. The beautiful beaches, volcanic parks, and lush forests are popular sites for holiday makers and travelers alike.

If you’re planning a trip to Tenerife, here are 5 things that surprised me when I visited and may help you when you visit.

5 surprising things in Tenerife - EatWanderExplore

1. The various landscapes

I looked at a ton of photos and videos before arriving, but it still didn't prepare me for how varied the landscapes are in Tenerife. From green covered mountains down to the sea, along with rainforests, and fields of red rocks that look like they're from Mars–Tenerife has got it all.

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beach tide pool tenerife.jpg

2. The steep winding narrow roads

I guess after living in flat Florida for the past few years, I had already forgotten how precarious mountain driving can be. I read many articles warning of the narrow road to Masca, but all the mountainous roads around the island were steep and narrow. The road to Masca wasn't much different. If you’re not used to it, the road might only look wide enough for one car. But traffic can flow both ways. You might have to wait going around tight turns if a tour bus is coming from the other direction, but you should be able to fit past them otherwise. Stay safe!

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3. Canarian potatoes (papas arrugadas)

Who knew a traditional Canarian dish was a simple and delicious potato dish? They are just small potatoes boiled in salt water, but they complement each dish (chicken, fish, pork, stews, etc.) really well! Another delicious traditional dish in the Canary Islands is Rancho Canario. The Canary soup has canarian potatoes in it and makes for a yummy home-style meal.

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4. The wind

Part of the reason we were drawn to the Canary Islands was the warmer temperatures in springtime so we could do more outdoor activities. But the wind was so strong some days that we would get worn down by the constant gusts. The upside is that the weather varies depending on which part of the island you're on, so you can just drive to another city and hopefully find better weather there!

windy wind-blown tree tenerife.jpg

5. No travel patches

We are trying to collect travel patches to iron-on or sew to our backpacks. But even though we must have checked dozens of shops, none of them had any patches or could even say that they had ever seen a Tenerife or Canary Islands one before. They didn’t even have any Spain ones. The closest we found were clothes patches for when you tear or rip your jeans. "¿Tiene Parches?" "No, no parches."

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Tenerife is a beautiful island with so much to do. Remember to brush up on your manual driving skills, pack a windbreaker, and bring a laid-back relaxed attitude. I've lived on and visited quite a few islands in my lifetime, and would definitely recommend Tenerife as one to add to your bucket list!

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Jenny & Bradley of EatWanderExplore