Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and lies off the coast of Africa. The most populated of the Canaries it is also the most populous of the Spanish islands, being owned and governed by Spain. The tourist trade has been strong on Tenerife since at least the 1890s and is still strong today. The rugged landscape of the island is due to its volcanic origins. The volcano itself is visible from everywhere on the island and though it does have a recorded history of eruptions, the last was in 1909. The geography of the land is diverse with parts containing large tracts of pine forest, and others considered semi-desert. There are regions of tropical and subtropical vegetation and regions characterized by deep gorges and cliffs. The island also boasts several natural and beautiful beaches. Nicknamed the Island of Eternal Spring the island beckons with a warm climate year round that is never too cold, nor excessively hot thus spring-like. The warm weather and diverse geographies has resulted in the island s bloom of 1400
species of plants, 400 species of fish, 56 birds, 5 reptiles, 2 amphibians, 13 land mammals and thousands of species of invertebrates. Also worth noting are the species of marine turtles, whales and dolphins. Many of these are visible on the four natural reserves, six special reserves or one of nine protected landscapes. Several beautiful beaches provide swimming and beach activities nearby. There are also three key nudist beaches on the island so do check your destination before you head out. Sport such as scuba diving, golf and wind surfing are abundant. Cruises or sail boat rentals are a great opportunity to explore the waterways. Cozy yet with an urban feel, the island retains some of its former harbor town charm, while adding in world class facilities and amenities. Local craft work is symbolized by Tenerife Lace which includes embroidery and intricate doilies. The pottery is also exceptional as is the cabinet work and basket making. Many local carnivals and festivals are celebrated on the island and provide an excellent opportunity to enjoy the local cultures and traditions.
Local cuisine heavily favors seafood but rabbit, goat, beef, chicken and pork are also popular. Mojo refers to a typical sauce served with many dishes. Available in a variety of colors and flavors it is typically served on the side so diners can decide how much to use. Wine production has played a large part in the local economy for many decades and is still alive in five key growing areas on the island. Local wines are popular at many local restaurants.