The mountainous Canary Islands are believed to have been formed by volcanic and seismic activity millions of years ago thanks to what’s known as the Canary hotspot.
The islands themselves are a hotspot of their own, considering the millions of passengers per year who fly there to enjoy the hot climate and stunning scenery.
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, and ever since the rise of the package holiday in the 1950s has become a favourite for UK holidaymakers.
But while visitors still tend to head straight for the beach or hotel pool, we’ve found three great villages worth exploring that will do more than give you a great tan.
Book a car hire in Tenerife and hit the road to see:
About a mile off Tenerife‘s central north coast is the village of Los Realejos – famous for possessing a Baroque-style church in each half of town – a division due to past territory disputes between Spanish conquistadores and the Guanches who occupied the village. These battles also left behind significant signs of previous battles such as the old cannons atop the cliffs. Sitting snugly between the coast and the Tigaiga Mountains, the mix of old-style architecture and sandy beaches make Los Realejos a prime spot.
Less sun-kissed paradise and more of an adventurous route, this particular village is obscured from the rest of the island by the Anaga mountains – until a tunnel was built through them in the Sixties, the village could only be reached on foot – or by boat.
The remoteness of Taganana lends the area a delicate unspoilt vibe – bordering on spooky - that hardy hikers will feel is more than a just reward having navigated its many ridges and hillside views.
The spectacular beach of Playa del San Roque is located just a little further northeast along the coast.
One of the many fishing villages on the south coast, thankfully Los Abrigos remains relatively free from the tourists that visit the nearby golf club or the usual tourist resorts dotted along the TF-1 motorway.
As it‘s a major fishing port on the island, the restaurants of Los Abrigos provide some of Tenerife‘s finest seafood dishes, while the port itself is a scenic reminder of the importance of this industry on the Canary Islands. With Tenerife‘s evening market every Tuesday, visitors can also pick up some fabulous souvenirs on the island.