Sun, sand and... lava, in Tenerife

Climb the majestic Mount Teide, walk on the edge of the abyss at 'the Giants' Cliffs', lose yourself in the dark of the laurel forests, stroll along the Teresitas beach... Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, offers hundreds of new experiences for visitors.

In Tenerife, a land of carnival, unique history and natural wonders, a diverse landscape surrounds the volcanic mass of Mount Teide. There are volcanic beaches and fine sand beaches, waters where you can see species such as the loggerhead turtle and the pilot whale, awe-inspiring cliffs and lava landscapes that contrast with lush, almost tropical, valleys, dense laurel forests and finely manicured green golf courses. And, of course, there are traditional colonial towns and historical cities such as San Cristobal de La Laguna, (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the epicentre of the island's world-renowned carnival celebrations. Add to this cocktail a dash of delicious cuisine and year-round spring weather, and there's no doubt the result is worth sampling. Can we tempt you?

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Arona, Tenerife, Canary Islands
The beach at Arona, on the south of the island of Tenerife / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

Orotava Valley, Tenerife, Canary Islands
Valle de la Orotava, shown here with Teide standing watch in the background, is an area of extraordinary natural wealth / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

Arona golf, Tenerife, Canary Islands
There are nine world-class golf courses on Tenerife. You can choose between playing in the shadow of the volcano or with a background sound of the waves. In the picture, golfing at Arona / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

La Caleta, Adaje, Tenerife, Canary Islands
La Caleta, Adeje, is a beautiful beach with crystal clear water and strong surf / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

Dragon tree, Icod de los vinos, Tenerife
Along with the blue chaffinch, the Dragon Tree is the natural symbol of Tenerife. The oldest specimen is at Icod de los Vinos and is believed to be about 650 years old / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

Tenerife, Canary Islands
The island offers temptations to suit all tastes, from water sports such as diving, to sampling the local cuisine; the most traditional dish is patatas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) con mojo picon – potatoes boiled in their skins and served with a spicy sauce / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

Acantillado de los Gigantes, Tenerife, Canary Islands
The acantilado de los Gigantes – the Giants' cliffs – is a practically vertical stretch of cliffs reaching to nearly 500 metres, on the west coast of the island. At the mouths of the ravines that slice into the cliffside there are small beaches and coves where the dolphin-watch tourist boats drop anchor / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

Las Teresitas beach, Tenerife, Canary Islands
Despite its semi-rural appearance, Las Teresitas is the official beach of the Tenerife capital, made with sand brought from the Sahara. The palm trees contribute to the slightly surreal atmosphere in an area where volcanic black sands predominate / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

Lor Parque, Tenerife, Canary Islands
The Dolphinarium at Loro Parque, Puerto de la Cruz, offers shows and spectacles featuring dolphins, killer whales (orcas) and sea lions / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

Los Realejos, Tenerife, Canary Islands
Los Realejos is one of the best preserved areas of the islands, with a complex of trails that are ideal for walks and other nature activities / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

Medano beach, Tenerife, Canary Islands
El Medano beach, Granadilla de Abona, boasts beautiful golden sand, and its clear waters are shallow and calm, which makes it perfect for family visits / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands
Traditional architecture in Puerto de la Cruz, one of the island's most popular tourist spots / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

San Cristobal de la Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands
The historical centre of San Cristobal de La Laguna, popularly known as La Laguna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the original capital of the island and dates from the time of the discovery of the Americas. The university, founded in 1701, contributes to the city's reputation as the cultural capital of the Canary Islands  / © Tenerife Tourist Board 

Mount teide, Tenerife, Canary Islands
Those who have climbed to the summit of the majestic Teide volcano, at an awe-inspiring 4,000 metres, say that the experience is like touching the sky / © Tenerife Tourist Board