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If the only reason you're coming to Tenerife is to lie on a beach or around the pool at your resort or hotel, then have a good holiday!

However, if when your holiday's over, you want to go home with more than just a tan, then let 'Island Drives' show you the real Tenerife and you'll also take back the sounds, sights, tastes and memories of a truly fascinating island.

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Tenerife News & Features

For all the latest news, events, photos and loads of interesting snippets about this fascinating island, check out Secret Tenerife's excellent news and features website.

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Tenerife Lifeline
monument to victory over Nelson, at the port of Santa Cruz

Many people dream of moving to a sun drenched paradise. It's much simpler to make those dreams a reality when you know the 'ins and outs' of living in Tenerife.
Make your life a lot easier with a copy of this essential guide.

Tenerife - Official Website of Tenerife Tourism Corporation

Tenerife hotels, Tenerife apartments, Tenerife holidays: Official Tourism Page, information on golf, sun and sand holiday special offers along with the carnival and excursions to Mount Teide.

ABOUT TENERIFE - There's much, much more to Tenerife than many people realise
You've read the tabloid horror stories and the holiday brochures; you may even have spent every one of your holidays to Tenerife for the past three years lying prone on a beach in Playa las Américas, Los Cristianos or Puerto de la Cruz. But how much do you really know about the history and culture of this holiday destination of your choice or this pariah of world tourism, depending on your view? Well before you book your flights to Tenerife, here are some snippets about the history and culture of Tenerife that you may not have known, as well as links to other pages ABOUT TENERIFE...

Fiestas on Tenerife
Carnaval on Tenerife

The biggest, wildest and most outrageous fiesta on Tenerife…and probably anywhere else outside of Rio. Other people will tell you about the parades, but we’ll tell you how to enjoy Carnaval like a local…

The Fiestas of San Juan

How about a bit of Midsummer madness with a beach party, bonfires, live music, firework displays and midnight bathing that will either keep you healthy or help you find the love of your life. Add some swimming goats into the mix and you’ve got an unforgettable midsummer’s dream.

Romería de San Roque

If we were to tell you that a load of pretty girls, or handsome guys if you’re a woman, in scarlet waistcoats were going to serenade you, thrust lots of food into your hand and ply you with rivers of wine…and it was all free, you’d say we were exaggerating…we’re not.

Party time in Garachico
The July Fiestas

A Fiesta which lasts a whole month…not uncommon on Tenerife, however this is the fishermen’s fiesta so lots of water based fun, especially on Embarkation Tuesday when Puerto de la Cruz becomes one giant wet T-shirt competition and the Virgen del Carmen has her annual sea outing.

Fiesta de San Andrés

The excuse to quaff some new wine, eat chestnuts, make a lot of noise and, if you’re so inclined, sled down steep streets on a tray. Is Scotland’s patron saint responsible for the shenanigans at the end of November...decide for yourself.

The Corazones de Tejina (Hearts of Tejina)

Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve, in Tejina they parade them on sticks and then insult those of their neighbours. Giant Hearts made from fruit and vegetables and lots of good natured banter await visitors to Tejina in August.

Read about the festival with its heart on its sleeve
Kite Festival

Giant octopus, shark, disembodied legs, lizards, mermaids and all sorts of things fill the skies in Granadilla in September…don’t worry we haven’t drunk too many mojitos, the Granadilla Kite Festival is one of the more modern fiestas on Tenerife.

Nelson and Tenerife
Nelson gave his right arm to be on Tenerife. In July 1797, Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson attacked the harbour at Tenerife's capital, Santa Cruz in an attempt to capture the island from its Spanish dominion. During the ensuing skirmish, Nelson took some shrapnel in his right elbow and had to quit the battlefield to have the limb amputated.

This was Nelson’s only defeat in battle and, grateful for the humane treatment his men received following their surrender, he despatched a barrel of English ale and a cheese to the victorious General Gűtiérrez.
In return, Gűtiérrez sent Nelson a barrel of Malmsey wine, at that time considered to be the finest wine in the world. This imbalance of cultural exchange between the two countries has remained a strong tradition to the present day.

The Regional Military Museum in Santa Cruz has a scale model of the whole sorry affair and multitudes of other military memorabilia.

Places on Tenerife
Santa Cruz

Tenerife’s capital is full of interesting old streets, enchanting parks, museums and art galleries, stylish bars and scrumptious restaurants…oh and there are some great shops too. This is a city with bags of charm.

Puerto de la Cruz

Tenerife’s original tourist resort and a Canarian town with its roots firmly in its Canarian heritage. The choice for visitors who want to experience the Tinerfeño way of life as well as having some beach time. Expect fiestas galore in Tenerife’s ‘sophisticated’ resort.

Franco and Tenerife

The Spanish Civil War originated on Tenerife. In 1936, Francisco Franco was posted, out of harm’s way, to Tenerife to take up the position of Governor General of the Canary Islands. From his base in Santa Cruz, he held secret meetings in the woods high above the coast and laid his plans to overthrow the Republican government of the day. At midnight on 16th July, Franco and his family sailed to Gran Canaria and from there flew to North Africa where he broadcast his manifesto, signalling the start of the Spanish Civil War; thus proving the importance of the old adage; “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

Fiestas on Tenerife
Tenerife is officially a surreal island. In 1935 Santa Cruz hosted the Universal Surrealism Exhibition and Andre Breton signed the manifesto of the movement, officially declaring Tenerife a surrealist island. In 1974, the capital hosted the International Street Sculpture Exhibition and sculptors like Henry Moore, Joan Miró, Martín Chirino and Eusabio Sempere added to the collection of eclectic and fascinating urban art now on show in the streets of the capital city.
The recently rejuvenated Parque Garcia Sanabría contains many of the best pieces from the exhibition within its fountained, tropical tranquillity.
Places on Tenerife
Los Gigantes

The resort with probably the best views and weather on Tenerife. The Los Gigantes cliffs lend a stunning backdrop to this popular south western resort and the island of La Gomera on the horizon doesn’t do the vista any harm.

El Médano

The coolest resort on Tenerife. The choice of the surfing scene for its long beaches and ideal weather conditions. A laid back and friendly town which has avoided the impact of mass tourism and which has a Canarian and bohemian atmosphere.

Activities on Tenerife
Walking on Tenerife

Out of this world landscapes, huge empty pine and laurel forests, plunging ravines, quaint hamlets, captivating coastal walks, stunning scenery…what more could you want from a walking destination…if you think La Gomera is the walkers’ paradise have a look at what Tenerife has to offer.

Fiestas on Tenerife
Climbing Mount Teide

The ultimate challenge on Tenerife; climb the mighty mountain. Combine it with a stay over night at the Altavista refuge to witness dawn from the summit and you’ll experience one of those once in a lifetime moments.

Scotland and Tenerife

Tenerife has an affinity with Scotland's Patron Saint, San Andrés; better known to the Scots as Saint Andrew. One popular tale tells of his arrival on Tenerife, the timing of which coincided with the readiness of the year’s new wine. Keen to integrate with the locals, Andrés partook liberally of the ‘vino del país’ and eventually fell into a deep sleep, at which point local children tied pots and pans to his robes so that every time he turned over, the clatter woke him.
Now every year on the 29th November, the Eve of his Saint’s day, local children drag metal tails composed of old drinks cans, oil cans and anything else they can get their hands on, around the cobbled streets of the harbour, making an almighty din that would prevent all but the most ardent narcolepsy sufferers from sleeping.
Luckily, the date still coincides with the readiness of the year’s new wine and a few ‘copas’ of the stuff goes some way to numbing the racket.

It could be Scotland...if it wasn't for the weather
Tenerife and Scotland also share the same flag... which is down to San Andrés again. Brother of fisherman and disciple, San Pedro (Saint Peter), San Andrés was crucified on a saltire (x-shaped) cross from which he is said to have preached for two days. Hence the flag of Tenerife, like that of Scotland, has a white X on a blue background.
So if you happen to herald from the land of deep fried Mars Bars and tottie scones, you’ll feel right at home the minute you step off the plane.
Siam Park – Water Kingdom

A little bit of Thailand in Tenerife. The children will love it for its white knuckle rides, but Siam Park is much more than a water park…it does actually look like Thailand.

Pirates and Tenerife
A bit of Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Honey Rum

Tenerife was at the crossroads to the New World, so it should come as no surprise to learn that all sorts of scurrilous sea dogs sailed these waters. Some were right dastards where as others possessed a sort of Cap’n Jack Sparrow charm…

Restaurants in Puerto de la Cruz

With over 300 restaurants to choose from how do you choose which ones might be perfect for that special meal, or a relaxing leisurely lunch. It’s been hard work, but we’ve carried out extensive research to make your decision making that little bit easier.

Going Native in Tenerife
The authors have explored Tenerife’s towns from the capital city to hamlets with no access roads; they’ve traversed pine forests and volcanic craters; sampled country wine, drank mojitos in salsa bars and witnessed dawn from Teide’s summit; slept under canvas with only the stars for company, eaten rabbit, gofio and parrot fish and know who makes the best home-made burgers on Tenerife. They’ve danced till dawn at Carnaval, bathed in the Midsummer waters at midnight and held their breath at Semana Santa’s Silent Procession…and much much more.
If you want to really discover Tenerife…
you’ve got to 'Go Native’.
My Tenerife Info

A good source of information for visitors looking for the low-down on hotels, restaurants, golf courses, nightlife and much more in Tenerife from award winning author, Joe Cawley.

Christmas on Tenerife

Sun and warm weather at Christmas might sound like bliss, but there’s no need to miss out on the things which make Christmas a magical time. Have a look at our Christmas page to find how and where to get the best of Christmas on Tenerife.