Tenerife is the biggest of the Canary Islands and a fantastic spot to visit. Every year, tens of thousands of British and German visitors visit its stunning beaches and bustling nightlife. It is also a popular destination for visitors from the Spanish peninsula, particularly during the Easter season. It has rich woods, diverse animals and flora, deserts, mountains, volcanoes, breathtaking coastlines, and breathtaking beaches.
Tenerife, once a poor banana-growing area, has been brought up to European living standards since the onset of major air travel in the 1960s, which brought industry and millions of visitors each year. This has resulted in the construction of several complexes and residences throughout the years, making areas of the island very urbanized. While technically part of the EU, the island remains outside of its customs and VAT zones, making high-tax commodities like as cigarettes and alcohol cheaper than elsewhere in Europe.
Many youthful visitors choose the south of the island, while elderly and family travelers prefer Puerto de La Cruz and its vicinity. For most of the year, the south side has constant summer, little to no wind, and nearly ideal beach weather, however there have been isolated occurrences of chilly to cold weather in January and February. Expect some unusually rainy days for the time of year, but most days will be bright. There are several hotels, activities, and British cuisine and drink to choose from.
The north half of the island has more greenery and a more dynamic local culture. There is a more Spanish springtime atmosphere all year. The weather varies more here, yet it is often nice, but not as hot as in the south.
The slightly dormant volcano El Teide, located between the island’s north and south, is Spain’s highest mountain (3718m above sea level). Visitors were once permitted to enter the crater on tours, but for safety reasons, tourists are no longer permitted to enter the crater.
The native currency is the Euro, and most establishments accept credit or debit cards with a chip and PIN. There are several exchange offices in the major tourist areas, but not in Spanish towns such as Santa Cruz.
Tourism in Tenerife
Tourism is the most important sector of the Canaries, which are one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
In 2014, 11,473,600 tourists visited the Canary Islands (excluding those from other parts of Spain). Tenerife had 4,171,384 visitors that year, excluding Spanish tourists, who made up an extra 30% of total visits. According to the Canarian Statistics Centre’s (ISTAC) Tourism Report from last year, the United Kingdom has the highest number of tourists of any single nation, with over 3,980,000 visitors in 2014. Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, and Austria are in second position, followed by Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, and Austria.
Tourism is more common in the island’s south, which is hotter and dryer and has numerous well-developed resorts including Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos. Coastal development has lately moved northwards from Playa de las Americas, including the previously little community of La Caleta (a favoured place for naturist tourists). Following the Moratoria legislation established by the Canarian Parliament in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, no new hotels shall be developed on the island unless they are 5 star-quality and have various amenities such as golf courses or conference facilities. This legislation was enacted with the intention of strengthening tourist service standards and fostering ecologically responsible development.
Aside from sea and sand, the Costa Adeje (Las Américas-Los Cristianos) area has many world-class facilities and leisure opportunities, such as quality shopping centers, golf courses, restaurants, water parks (the most well-known of which is Siam Park (Tenerife)), animal parks, and a theatre suitable for musicals or a convention center.
The town of Puerto de la Cruz has seen the most tourist growth in the island’s more lush and verdant north. The town has retained some of its old-harbour town charm while incorporating northern European characteristics. Nonetheless, the tourism boom of the 1960s altered the town’s perspective, making it homey and cosmopolitan at the same time, and a favorite of the more mature visitor (notably the German and Spanish tourist).
During the nineteenth and much of the twentieth centuries, a huge number of foreign visitors, mostly British, visited the islands, demonstrating an interest in the islands’ agriculture. This sector was devastated by the world wars, but the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century saw the emergence of new types of tourism. Because of its mild environment, the original focus was on Puerto de la Cruz and all the attractions that the Valle de la Orotava provided, and after the marketing of sun and beaches, the tourist boom in south Tenerife began about 1980. The focus shifted from communities like Arona or Adeje to tourist hotspots like Los Cristianos or Playa de Las Americas, which today hold 65 percent of the island’s hotels. Tenerife attracts about 5 million visitors each year, making it the most popular of the Canary Islands. However, this statistic also represents the high quality of resources used by tourists (space, energy, water etc.)
Demographics of Tenerife
According to INE statistics from 1 January 2011, Tenerife has the most populous island of Spain, with 908,555 registered people, of whom over 25% (220,902) live in the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and nearly 50% (424,200) in the Santa Cruz–La Laguna metropolitan region. Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna are physically one urban region, with a combined population of about 382,331 people.
The principal towns and municipalities following Santa Cruz are San Cristóbal de La Laguna (144,347), Arona (72,328), La Orotava (40,644), Adeje (38,245), Los Realejos (37,224), Granadilla de Abona (36,224), and Puerto de la Cruz (31,131). All other municipalities have less than 30,000 residents, with Vilaflor having the lowest population of 1,900. In addition to the official population, there are a large number of non-registered people, most of whom are tourists.
Tenerife’s population has recently grown at a rate much greater than the national average. In 1990, there were 663,306 registered residents, which climbed to 709,365 in 2000, a 46,059 rise or 0.69 percent yearly growth. However, between 2000 and 2007, the population increased from 155,705 to 865,070, a 3.14 percent yearly growth.
These findings are consistent with the broader trend in Spain, where immigration has reversed the general slowdown in population growth since 2000, after the 1976 birth rate fall. However, the national growth rate in Spain has been roughly 1.7 percent every year since 2001, compared to 3.14 percent in Tenerife, one of the country’s greatest rises.
Climate of Tenerife
Tenerife is recognized across the world as the “Island of Eternal Spring” (Isla de la Eterna Primavera). The island, which is located at the same latitude as the Sahara Desert, has a mild tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 18–24 °C (64–75 °F) in the winter to 24–28 °C (75–82 °F) in the summer. With the exception of the alpine parts, it enjoys a high annual total of days of sunlight and minimal precipitation. Tenerife’s temperate climate is mostly influenced by tradewinds, which condense humidity primarily over the island’s north and northeast, resulting in cloud banks ranging in height from 600 to 1,800 metres (2,000 to 5,900 feet). The cold sea currents of the Canary Islands also have a cooling impact on the shores and beaches, and the geography of the terrain, with its various valleys, contributes to climate variances on the island. Extreme heat is unusual and frost is impossible at sea level due to the moderating impact of the marine air. The coldest month on record had a comparatively moderate average temperature of 15.8 °C (60.4 °F), with the lowest recorded temperature in downtown Santa Cruz being 8.1 °C (46.6 °F). Because of the higher coastal impact, summer temperatures in Santa Cruz are greatest in August, with an average high of 29 °C (84 °F), comparable to those in areas as far north as Barcelona and Majorca. At higher elevations in La Laguna, the climate changes to a Mediterranean climate with more precipitation and cooler temperatures all year. Santa Cruz’s climate is characteristic of the Canaries, but only slightly warmer than that of Las Palmas.
On Teide, 3,000 metres (9,843 feet) above sea level, major climate variations are visible, particularly during the winter months when it is possible to enjoy bright sunlight on the shore and encounter snow within kilometers. At low altitude, the climate varies from dry (Köppen BWh) on the southeastern side represented by Santa Cruz de Tenerife to Mediterranean (Csa/Csb) on the northwestern side represented by Buena Vista del Norte and La Orotava.
Tenerife’s north and south coasts share comparable climate features. The windward northwestern half of the island gets 73 percent of the island’s total precipitation, and the relative humidity of the air is superior while the insolation is inferior. The pluviometric maximums are recorded nearly completely on the windward side at an average height of 1,000 to 1,200 metres (3,300 to 3,900 feet) in the La Orotava mountain range. Although there are climatic fluctuations in rainfall and sunlight on the island, total yearly precipitation is modest, and the summer months of May to September are often entirely dry. Rainfall, like that of Southern California, may be exceedingly unpredictable from year to year.
Geography of Tenerife
Tenerife’s earliest mountain ranges sprang from the Atlantic Ocean during the volcanic explosion that gave birth to the island some twelve million years ago. Due to volcanic activity from Teide, the island as it is now was created three million years ago by the merger of three islands made up of the mountain ranges of Anaga, Teno, and Valle de San Lorenzo. Today, the volcano can be seen from most sections of the island, and the crater stretches for 17 kilometers (11 miles) at certain locations. Tenerife is the biggest island in the Canary Islands and the area of Macaronesia.
Tenerife’s shores are often rough and steep, especially in the north of the island. However, the island contains 67.14 kilometers (41.72 miles) of beaches, such as the one at El Médano, which is only exceeded by the island of Fuerteventura in this regard. The northern coast has several black sand pebble beaches, whilst the beaches on the island’s south and south-west coasts have considerably finer and clearer sand with lighter tones.
Fauna and Flora
Despite its limited surface area, Tenerife has a remarkable biological diversity, which is a result of the island’s unique environmental circumstances, where its peculiar orography changes the overall climatic conditions at a local level, resulting in a wide range of microclimates. Because of the range of natural microclimates and hence ecosystems, the island has a rich and diversified flora (1400 plant species), with well over a hundred exclusively native to Tenerife. Endangered species include Viper’s bugloss, Teide white broom, and Teide violet, among others. The island’s wildlife includes several endemic invertebrates as well as unusual reptile, bird, and mammal species. Tenerife’s biodiversity comprises 400 kinds of fish, 56 bird species, five reptiles, two amphibians, 13 terrestrial mammals, and thousands of invertebrates, as well as various species of sea turtles, whales, and dolphins.
Tenerife’s vegetation is separated into six distinct zones that are closely tied to height and the direction they face.
Economy of Tenerife
Tenerife is the Canary Islands’ economic capital. Tenerife now has the highest GDP among the Canary Islands. Despite the fact that Tenerife’s economy is highly specialized in the service sector, which accounts for 78 percent of total production capacity, the relevance of the other economic sectors is critical to the island’s production growth. In this sense, the primary sector, which accounts for just 1.98 percent of total output, includes activities that are critical to the island’s economic growth. The energy industry, which accounts for 2.85 percent of GDP, plays a critical role in the development of renewable energy sources. The industrial sector, which accounts for 5.80 percent of total activity on the island, is expanding in response to the increased opportunities presented by technological advancements. Finally, the construction industry, which accounts for 11.29 percent of total output, is a strategic priority since it is a very stable sector with several chances for growth and employment.
Agriculture as well as fishing
Because tourism dominates the Tenerife economy, the service industry is the most important. Industry and commerce account for 40% of the non-tourist economy. The primary sector on the island has lost its historic prominence in favor of the industrial and service industries. Agriculture provides less than 10% of the island’s GDP, but it is important since it also creates indirect advantages by preserving the island’s rural image and promoting Tenerifean cultural traditions.
Agriculture is centered on the northern slopes and is influenced by altitude as well as orientation: in the coastal zone, tomatoes and bananas are grown, usually in plastic enclosures, for export to mainland Spain and the rest of Europe; in the drier intermediate zone, potatoes, tobacco, and maize are grown, and onions are important in the south.
Tenerife grows more bananas than the other Canary Islands, with a current yearly output of roughly 150,000 tons, down from a record production of 200,000 tons in 1986. More than 90% of the total is bound for the overseas market, and banana cultivation covers around 4200 hectares. The most significant crops after the banana are, in order of importance, tomatoes, grapes, potatoes, and flowers. Fishing is also a significant contribution to the Tenerife economy, since the Canaries are Spain’s second largest fishing grounds.
Commerce and industry
Tenerife’s commerce is important to the island’s economy, accounting for over 20% of the GDP, with the commercial hub of Santa Cruz de Tenerife contributing the majority of the revenues. Although the island has a variety of industrial estates, petroleum is the most significant industrial activity, accounting for 10% of the island’s GDP, owing mostly to the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife and its refinery. It not only supplies petroliferous goods to the Canary Islands, but it is also engaged in the markets of the Iberian Peninsula, Africa, and South America.