Tenerife, Canary Islands
The biggest island in the Canaries in size and population, Tenerife’s relaxed culture and endless beaches make it a sub-tropical paradise.
Spain’s biggest island and the home of the Canary Islands’ co-capitals, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas, Tenerife is a bustling island paradise that many Royal Holiday members visit again and again. First settled in 200 BC, the island has become a popular destination. With its skyline dominated by Mount Teide and its coastline rich with excellent beaches, millions flock to its shores every year. Luckily for Royal Holiday members, this beautiful destination is served by two affiliates, thus making it possible for all members to experience the incredible fun of Tenerife.
Royal Holiday members looking to enjoy the full resort experience on Tenerife will likely choose the excellent condominium-style lodgings at Sunningdale Village in the Golf del Sur resort, minutes away from the Amarilla Golf & Country Club. Featuring rooms ranging from studios to royal suites, Sunningdale also offers a complete slate of activities, including children’s areas and a large swimming pool, while its helpful staff can arrange for such diversions as horseback rides and rounds of golf. Other Royal Holiday members may wish to select the Harbour Club Resort, a luxury condominium resort that offers a quick walk to Puerto Colon beach and the Playa de las Americas in Los Gigantes. An Andalusian-style affair, the Harbour Club’s rooms come complete with full kitchens and views of Los Gigantes’ imposing cliffs and the island of La Gomera.
While the first residents of Tenerife were the Guanches, who arrived in 200 BC, the island’s modern history begins in the late 1400s, when Spaniards overthrew the local monarchs of the island in the name of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Over the last few hundred years, many of the island’s residents immigrated to Latin America, but today the island has become far more populated; nearly 900,000 people call Tenerife home, and the island continues to grow as people are drawn to its unique beauties. Royal Holiday members may find themselves tempted to move there permanently themselves after visiting.
Tenerife’s volcanic natural history can be seen most easily by visitors in its artificial beaches, many of which were developed to cover rocky remains of geological strife. As a consequence, the 67.14 kilometers of beach on the island come in every shade, from the black natural sands of Puerto de la Cruz to the golden stretch of San Juan and Fañabe. Big-game fishing is a popular pursuit, but Royal Holiday members who only want to view the ocean’s wildlife will want to join one of the boats leaving from Los Cristianos or Puerto Colon to go whale and dolphin watching.
Royal Holiday travelers with children will find many places dedicated to entertaining the kids, including several excellent theme parks like Aqualand Costa Adeje and Pueblo Chic, but Tenerife is also rich with adult activities, including the opulent dance floors and bars dotting the south side of the island. The last volcanic eruption in 1706 caused considerable local damage, but it also opened natural pools in Garachico that are warmed by geothermal heat. Of course, no visit to Tenerife will be complete without hiking up Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain at 12,198 feet; the 5-hour hike requires a permit to reach the summit, but Teide National Park offers Royal Holiday members many less strenuous wonders that earned the park UNESCO World Heritage Site status.