Tenerife, sea, sun, sand!
That’s what most of us think when were hear the name Tenerife mentioned. Year round sun, holidays, depending on your taste you can add all sorts of things – cheap beer, good windsurfing, incredible mountain bike tracks, all night clubbing.
It offers a lot but, for this writer anyway, it hides a lot too. One assumes standing at the little immigration shack at La Reina airport that everyone is coming for the same type of holiday as you. They are coming for the same Tenerife as you – beaches and beer. I didn’t know, for example that Tenerife has 7 specific types of climate (among the most varied small areas on Earth) – desert and alpine scenery mix with tropical jungle and temperate valley.
Well Tenerife certainly has it’s subsets of travellers to match its varied climates. I suppose it’s true of many places, but Tenerife really does have different subcultures, different types of holidaymakers, and very different types of holiday maker (if you look closely).
It has people with interests that over lap – the mountain walker and the cyclist perhaps- and people who would have very little in common with each other – the astronomer and the scuba diver. And yet I’ve met birdwatchers who like fishing and once met a hardened clubber (straight from the club) at a taxi rank who was heading back to his hotel to change before heading off on a horse trek to the Orotava Valley – a place so beautiful being able to see double might make one grateful.
I didn’t know until recently that Tenerife is a must see place for birdwatchers, over 56 varieties are found here – and they are extremely varied for such a small landmass, it is in fact a beacon for nature lovers and ecologists, but I didn’t ’know that either.
Coming as I do from a big city in the UK I’ve always marvelled at the huge amount of visible stars, it still surprised me to find out the fact that Tenerife and the Canary Islands as a whole are home to many observatories, and away from the ever encroaching light pollution of the coast, you’ll find many star gazer traversing the night sky.
But you see back then before I made Tenerife my home I only thought of it as a ‘sun, sea and sand’ type of place. Growing up as I did in the 70’s, I like most Brits took Spain to be a place of cheap package holidays and unusual habit – bullfights and dictatorship come to mind – but little did I know that Spain has so much to offer and this small corner of Spain has a good deal more than cheap beer (the Euro has put pay to that) and year round sun and the people who visit here do so for many varied reasons.