Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and a popular holiday destination for Europeans. The islands are a part of Spain and the Spanish themselves also like spending a couple of days there, especially during Easter Holiday. The highest point of Spain is located on Tenerife, the volcano Pico de Teide (3,718 meters).
The number of inhabitants of Tenerife is increasing quite rapidly. In 2004, there were over 900,000 of them, and their number is expected to reach one million by 2007.
The Canary Islands are located off the west coast of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean. To the east of Tenerife lies the island of Gran Canaria with the capital of the Canary Islands, Las Palmas. To the west of Tenerife lies the island of La Palma.
Tenerife's main source of income is tourism. Annually, 4.5 million people visit the island. Especially the south is very popular, like the beaches of Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos. To the north lies Puerto de La Cruz, the center of tourism, at only 35 kilometers from the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The island's economy is built on trade, with the port as the center of import and export. Industry does not play a role, with the exception of a large oil refinery, near Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Tenerife has two international airports: Reina Sofia Airport in the south and Los Rodeos Airport in the north. Reina Sofia is the largest and busiest airport, processing many holiday flights. Los Rodeos is used above all for flights to other Canary Islands and to the Spanish mainland, although there are some international flights.
The green buses of the Transportes Interurbanos de Tenerife S.A. (TITSA) reach all places on Tenerife. The buses are modern and equipped with air conditioning, and the prices are low. Due to the many bus stops on the way, the journey may take some time. The is a fast bus connection between Playa de las Americas in the south and the capital Santa Cruz in the north.
Traffic and Parking
The roads on Tenerife are in excellent condition, although in the mountains they are very narrow, steep and curved. There is a coastal road the consists of two motorways: autopista del sur and autopista del norte. Together they form an almost closed ring road, the roads only get more narrow in the mountains. There are plans to broaden the narrower stretch into a motorway, but environmentalists have issued protests against that. The acceleration lanes are short.
Seat belts are mandatory for everybody, in the front as well as in the back. On some intersections you are allowed to turn right at a red traffic sign. This is indicated by a blinking arrow. Do pay attention to pedestrians!
Parking can be a problem on Tenerife. In the capital and the main tourist centers double parking is very common. If that means you cannot leave, don't worry: all you need to do is honk your horn and the other driver will move his car. You are not allowed to park along curbs with a continuous yellow line, although the local population often ignores this rule.
If you want to park for a long time, we recommend you park your car in one of the many car parks. Not only it is safer, your car won't be exposed to the merciless sun.
Because Tenerife is an important tourist destination, there are plenty of hotels. However, due to the island's popularity, it is sometimes to book the hotel of your choice. Tenerife attracts tourists throughout the year, so it is advisable to book your hotel room in advance.
For more information about Tenerife, we recommend Google, and the following sources: