|Tenerife, Photo taken by Carlos SM|
After spending a great time in the Gran Canaria, I moved towards Tenerife to continue my journey forward. Tenerife is the largest island in the Canary islands group in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of North West Africa. It is one of the last European paradise isles. It offers lush forests, exotic fauna and flora, deserts, mountains, volcanoes, incredibly beautiful coastlines and spectacular beaches.
Most popular among English and German tourists, the island receives tourists who come to celebrate their holidays to Tenerife from all around the world.
One of the major attraction of the island is the live volcano which lies in the centre of the island and is also the highest peak of Spain, El Teide at 3718 m (12,198 ft).
|El Teide, from the neighbouring island, La Gomera, above the clouds, photo taken by GanMed64|
Before you go up Mount Teide, check the weather forecast, as wandering around in low cloud with no views is no fun at all! Be informed that it can be quite cold at the top, so take a fleece or anorak with you. The air is quite thin as you go higher, and you might have problem breathing and may start feeling thirsty in short intervals.
The cable car costs €25 per person, but the views at the top are magnificent and worth every cent. The queues can be long because of its popularity, but before the ascent there are plenty of chairs to sit down on as you move along. Walking from the upper cable car station to the top of the mountain requires a permit which can be tough to get, so make sure you have the permit already. Officially pregnant women and children under one are not allowed, but I was able to see few pregnant women there. But to be on the safer side, if you are pregnant you shouldn't go up. The rock formations and their colors and the flora (pine forests) on the mountain are fascinating. Mount Teide is a location where car companies like to test how their newly designed engines perform at high altitude. I could see probably the Ford cars were being tested.
Going Kilometres high above the sea level in the sky, now it is time to go metres down below the sea level. I like to do different things, though I could have normally spent my time on the beaches with drinks and a little volleyball., but I made my mind to do some Scuba diving. I visited Scubayaci Dive Resort PADI Tenerife diving centre, they seemed professional and had heard good reviews of them.
I attended this dive centre as a total beginner, no diving experience previously and plenty of nerves. The dive centre team speak English, French and Spanish, the instructors are helping, supporting and carry a good sense of humour.
|Scuba Diving, Tenerife. Photo taken by Philippe Guillaume|
The shop has a front courtyard where diving equipment is dried and has a seating area. The internal area of the shop has a toilet and shower area with lovely warm water. For everyone, belongings were all stored in separate baskets. There was a 10 minutes walk from the dive shop to the harbour – and equipment was taken on a trolley so none of the participants had to carry it.
Another interesting thing that the island has to offer is Loro Parque, an animal park and it's a must for animal lovers or if you are with your kids. From killer whales to the arctic penguin to sea lions exhibit, Loro Parque is by far my most favourite animal park I have ever visited.
|Dolphins at Loro Parque, photo taken by Joachim S. Müller|
The shows are the highlight of the day and I would recommend planning your day around seeing them as otherwise you will do a lot of needless walking back and forward. The Killer wale show is amazing, you cannot appreciate how big they are until you see them in the flesh. The dolphin show has around 13-15 dolphins which is the maximum I have ever seen in one show. The seal show was also good and quit funny.
Around the shows you have some create enclosures, the penguin enclosure is brilliant and has many different varieties. The other headline animals at the park is the gorilla, alligator and leopards. There are a lot of birds at the park too.
The only minor down point was the food. There are only 3 or 4 food outlets in the park which are spread out over the park. There was one nice looking restaurant however this was pact and pricey. The others were relatively small and where I ate had lots of flies as you would expect on a hot day.
At the end of my trip I found Tenerife and Gran Canaria very complementing to each other, one has to see both to have a real big experience. I enjoyed my journey and would love to recommend to people. What I did may not be your choice. Still the Canary Islands have everything to offer.
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