Happy Hideaways: Tenerife
The places that promote carefree joy – and often deliver it – fashion themselves to be beyond the reach of the humdrum world. And they usually are also physically remote locations: islands, capes, peninsulas, end-of-the trail places and gated enclaves. That’s what makes going there especially fun. What’s it like to visit or live in some of these special getaways, off the beaten path? Let’s explore!
For those of you out there who are always harping about wanting to find/visit/move to a place where the weather feels like “it’s always spring,” you can start packing your bags because we found it! The Island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. It is known as the Island of Eternal Spring and boasts an average year ’round temperature of 75-degrees F, and 3,000 hours of sunlight per year.
Another point in its favor for Tenerife, the largest island of the volcanic archipelago that comprises the Canaries, is the fact that it is little-known or visited by Americans. So the tone of this tourist destination popular with Europeans is more leisurely and its local culture remains thriving and authentic.
The Canary Islands bob gently in the Atlantic off the northwest coast of Africa. The name Tenerife means “snow mountain” in the language of its original Guanche inhabitants. It refers to Mt. Teide, the magnificent, 12,000-ft. volcano that is often snow-capped in the winter months. An island in the subtropics dominated by a snowy mountain is already a place of unique wonders. It even impressed the famously fantastical author Jules Verne when he visited, exclaiming,
“...indeed it is hard to imagine a more attractive sight.”
Slightly larger than Maui, Tenerife has a surprising variety of microclimates and natural settings. The north half of the island has a quiet mood and temperate climate. The area is lush with green hills, vineyards, farms and misty, jungly forests that are great for hiking, quaint villages to explore and amazing expanses of black sand shores. The south of the island faces the Sahara Desert so the climate there is quite different -- Its dry atmosphere creates a desert-like landscape, where cacti, aloe vera and succulents grow in abundance. This is also where glittering holiday resorts have sprung up and the nightclub scene thrives.
Tenerife is also one of the finest places in the world to gaze at the stars – not celebrities, but real stars! Officially declared a “starlight reserve,” Tenerife’s Teide National Park has exceptionally clear skies, and offers many opportunities to stare at the stars, either through official tours or on your own.
Twenty years ago, lifestyle blogger Klaudia booked a one-way ticket from Germany to Tenerife and couldn’t be happier.
“How many times have you heard that the Canarians have an open, happy character? There’s scientific proof that climate has an effect on our state of mind! Feeling the sunshine on our skin, breathing in fresh air, walking barefoot on the sand or gazing at a sky full of stars are moments that fill us with energy and refresh us from the inside.”