When we were planning our trip to Tenerife, we already knew that around this time there is an annual Tenerife Carnival, which is the second largest in the world after the Rio de Janeiro Carnival. After visiting Loro Park, we went to the centre of Puerto de la Cruz to see what was going on there.
And it was really impressive! The city streets were full of people in carnival costumes; fun, joy and music was all around. So, we also joined the crowd and enjoyed this fantastic atmosphere until midnight when we had to go back to the hotel.
Next day, we went to the northwest of the island. When we found out that attractions we were planning to visit are not open for tourists, we went to La Laguna (full name: San Cristobal de La Laguna); the historic centre of this city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 and we decided it should be worth to visit it.
La Laguna has long been the capital of the Canary Islands, but today it has merged with recent capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. La Laguna is a quiet town compared to the coastal areas, where tourists live. In its centre there are many beautiful buildings, which we observed walking along the streets.
After this day’s trip, we took a couple of “days off” to simply relax on the beach, enjoy the sun, ocean waves and entertaining in the town.
Teide – the second attempt to conquer the volcano
A few days later, we made the second attempt to reach mount Teide and this time, using a detour, it was successful. The trip was very interesting because in the mountains we found places with fantastic views overlooking the island, but in some it was even possible to see other islands of the archipelago.
As we approached the volcano, the surrounding landscape changed completely; we got a feeling that we are somewhere on the moon. Lava fields were all around. Along the way, we noticed that there are many marked hiking trails for tourists; the next time going to Tenerife we will definitely use this opportunity for hiking.
Volcano Teide is located in the Teide National Park (Parque National del Teide) and is the most visited national park in Spain. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. The last eruption of Teide was recorded in 1909.
To get to the top of the volcano, we used a cabin lift that brought us 3,550 meters above the sea level.
The journey uphill was about 10 minutes. The platform at destination was still full of snow and there was really strong wind there, so we went back very soon. The surrounding landscape from above was worth the trip. The peak of the mount Teide is the second most visited lava landscape in the world after Mount Fuji in Japan.
After visiting the volcano, we continued our way along the coast of the island to the west and we stopped in the mountains of Teno, which is a wonderful natural formation of rocks. We watched a wonderful sunset near the village of Masca. This village in Tenerife is special in a way that it has never been attacked by pirates of the Atlantic Ocean; the surrounding rocky mountains practically do not allow access to it. The village has a population of only about 150 inhabitants and the roads was built only in 1991; the road still is very narrow and it is quite difficult to drive there, however it provides very interesting experiences.
Before leaving Tenerife, we planned another adventure before completing our journey – hiking in the mountains. After heavy storms in January, many official tourist trails were closed, so we decided to find a starting point for hiking on our own, somewhere near the city of Adeje. We parked our car and started from a place where many cactuses were growing. Going up to the mountains, we enjoyed plenty of sun, pine forests and beautiful views all around.
After hiking, we spent the rest of our time in Tenerife enjoying the sun and visiting local restaurants in the evenings. That way, near our local beach, we came across a very good Spanish restaurant, Meson Las Tapas.
The restaurant played live music in the evenings, offered different kinds of delicious food and tasty drinks for lunch and dinner, including non-alcoholic cocktails for children. We also had positive experience in many other bars and restaurants on Tenerife.