There are so many reasons to visit Tenerife that it's difficult to narrow it down to the main ones. This wonderfully sunny island in the Atlantic Ocean has everything, from year-round perfect weather and traditional Canarian architecture, to long golden sandy beaches and dining out on delicious fresh local food. You'll find your own reason and season to visit, though I find it to be a perfect winter holiday hideaway. Here are just some of the things I love about the island.
Guaranteed great weather
It's December and you're shivering at home, looking out at a dark and gloomy sky. Why not give up waiting for the spring sunshine and get up and go to find some for yourself? All you have to do is hop on a plane to Tenerife - a perfect winter holiday destination and the ideal antidote to the winter blues.
Tenerife has a wonderful year-round climate. Anchored in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the western coast of Morocco, this fabulous island is just a four-hour flight from the UK and is the place to be for some much-needed winter sun. Even during the dark months of November to February, the temperature averages between 17 to 20 degrees centigrade and you're guaranteed at least six hours of bright sunshine and clear skies each day. If you visit in the height of summer during July and August, the temperature on the island averages 28 degrees centigrade, sometimes with a gentle and cooling breeze.
If it's sun and beaches that you're after, stay in the south and swim in the sea where, even in January, the water is a balmy 20 degrees centigrade. The north of the island is beautiful in a traditionally Spanish way. It is characterised by traditional architecture, a more rugged coastline than the south has, and a slightly cooler climate. If you can't decide between the north and south, you can drive round the island in a day very easily, to take in the best of both. You can customise your ideal holiday on this island for all seasons!
Linger in the south
Glorious sandy beaches with waves that lap gently along the shore are dotted around the south. Start at Playa de las Américas, Tenerife's playground, which is the ideal place for sun worshippers. Tiled walkways wind along the seafront allowing you to wander from resort to resort, stopping for refreshments along the way. While the Old Town of Adeje with its wonderfully preserved Historic Quarter takes you back in time, and a walk up into the hills behind this sunny coast affords fabulous views over the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
If you are looking for a family holiday, then you mustn't miss the sensational Siam Park, said to be the best water park in Europe and a TripAdvisor star! This watery wonderland has instant kerb appeal with its Thai-themed architecture. It is an expansive and exotic adventure playground featuring watery rides and giant slides for the brave thrill seekers, small pools for the little ones and those who just want to cool off.
Tenerife is golf gold, as there are many golf courses scattered around the island. Not only are the golf courses picturesque and quite spectacular, they can also be played all year round, thanks to the great weather here.
Go north to Puerto de la Cruz
The popular town of Puerto de la Cruz on the north coast is set in the beautiful Orotava Valley and surrounded by banana plantations that climb up the hills behind. The Old Town is the place to make for, with it's pretty characteristic Canarian architecture and narrow streets, winding down towards the old fishing port and surrounded by a good selection of quality restaurants serving delicious Spanish cuisine.
Watch the little boats bobbing up and down in the water while you sample some of the island's best dishes. Traditional Canarian potatoes are a must as a side dish to any mains. Alternatively the Spanish favourites - a hearty paella or a tapas spread to share - are both fun and fabulous meals that must be sampled while holidaying on a Spanish island.
For a bird's eye view of the town, and a choice of six restaurants and bars, go up La Montañeta to El Monasterio. The historic and splendid buildings of the former 18th century monastery come alive today with the sound of excited diners, rather than the sacred chanting of the monks.
The stately site now houses six restaurants, each serving a different type of cuisine. A cozy cave-winery greets you at the entrance where pre-dinner drinks and tapas can be taken to start your evening off - and the wine menu is most impressive. In the main restaurants, the original ceilings are held together with handmade nails, while you are surrounded by original artworks and rustic antiques. You dine in style, looking out from your sunny terrace over banana plantations and across the valley to the sea, enjoying what must be one of the best views on the island.
Fabulous attractions within easy reach
Tenerife is a small island, and so the main attractions are always within easy reach of your location - wherever you are staying. And one of the best trips everyone should make is to Mount Teide in the island's centre. It is a glorious mountain that dominates the views from all over the island.
Drive from the north on winding roads, through lush forests, which will take you up above the clouds. Stop for a coffee and gaze down on the clouds... below you! Drive from the south and you will find yourself in a strange landscape of craggy rock formations and craters which take on a positively lunar-like perspective!
Take the cable car up to the very top, and you don't have to stop there. Wear stout hiking boots so you can do your very own mountain goat climb as you scramble up the stony paths to different viewing points. You will feel as if you are alone on the planet, looking down at the world below.
From splashing around in the warm sea and some serious scuba diving where you can earn your PADI certificate, to gentle snorkelling looking at the wonders of the deep and scudding across the waters on a surfboard, Tenerife has a world under the waves waiting to be discovered.
All around the island there are opportunities to take trips out to sea. Take your own kayak around the spectacular cliffs of Los Gigantes, and then kayak along the shore to Masca Bay for a quick dip in the sea.
You can step onto a catamaran for a whale- and dolphin-watching expedition. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience as you watch - and listen to - the pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins as they dance around the boat. Being so close to these giant but graceful creatures is actually a very emotional moment, and a genuine privilege.
If you are an RCI member and are looking to escape the dark winter days, look no further than Tenerife. RCI members can enjoy Exchange or Extra Holidays in Tenerife with some fabulous winter sun escapes at RCI Gold Crown resorts being available in January for the New Year, and throughout 2019, of course! With its year-round warm climate, fabulous beaches, mountains, parks and so much entertainment close at hand, it is one of the best places to be when you want a pick-me-up - whatever time of the year it is. Click on the RCI Resort Directory below to take your first steps to getting away from it all to simply have a little fun in the sun. Start your search for your perfect resort on this gem of a Canary Island now.
If you own timeshare but are not yet a member of RCI, you are missing out on visiting some of the most incredible places in the world - in comfort at quality resorts waiting with a warm welcome. To join our Holiday Exchange programme, click Join RCI below and sign up in a few simple steps. RCI membership will change the way you and your family holiday, for the better, throughout the years of holidaying that lie ahead...