Climb to the summit of Mount Teide
Trek from Las Cañadas del Teide crater through petrified lava flows to the summit of Spain's highest mountain (3718m) and the third largest volcano in the world. Spend a night in the Altavista Refuge before reaching the peak in time to witness dawn break over the Canary Islands. If that sounds too much like hard work, take the cable car to 500 meters below the summit; the views are almost as awe inspiring.
Have a Picnic in the Forest
Do what hundreds of Canarian families do every Sunday and stock up on Serrano ham, olives, tortilla, fresh bread, local cheeses and a couple of bottles of El Lomo wine before heading into the forest for a picnic at one of Tenerife's recreation zones. Feast on the goodies then take a siesta a bed of pine needles, or battle the calories by venturing along trails through the pines at La Caldera in the Orotava Valley.
Take to the waves
Be sure to choose a boat flying a yellow flag when taking to the sea in search of the 28 species whales and dolphins that inhabit and visit the waters surrounding the dramatic Los Gigantes cliffs. The flag identifies boats as being recommended by the Atlantic Whale Foundation for observing eco-friendly whale watching practices, so you can feel good about having fun whilst helping conserve cetaceans in the process.
Dress up for Carnival
Get into fancy dress costume, the more outrageous the better, to experience the heart and soul of two of the biggest carnivals in Europe during February/March. Choose either Santa Cruz or Puerto de la Cruz for a week-long hedonistic bombardment of flamboyant parades and all-night street parties where tens of thousands dance till dawn to music from energetic Latino bands. Keep fuelled up with plenty of time-outs at the sinful kiosk bars and food stalls.
Join the lovers in the Park
Grab your favorite book and escape the heat of the city by exploring the spiral paths of Parque García Sanabria, the lungs of Santa Cruz. Follow sandy paths through shady bamboo tunnels, past abstract works of art, fountains with voluptuous sculptures and ponds whose lily pads are home to tiny green frogs with surprisingly loud croaks, to be rewarded with a secret corner away from the courting couples and Tai Chi practitioners.
Bathe in volcanic rock pools
Slip into the temperate waters of Garachico's natural pools, created when lava destroyed the town's harbor during a volcanic eruption. Depending on swimming abilities, brave the waves in the long narrow channel through the solidified lava, dive from rock platforms into plunge pools, or simply float in clear, shallow waters full of tiny tropical fish. After a dip, head inland through the town's cobbled streets to Casa Ramon (C/ Esteban de Ponte, 2) for some home cooking courtesy of the mayor's mother.
Stroll through history
Take a tour of La Orotava's colonial buildings, giving the overly touristy Casa del Turista a miss and spending time instead at the more interesting Casa de los Balcones opposite. Escape the hordes from coach excursions by paying the entrance fee for the small museum on the upper floor of the building. Sneak downhill to Casa Lercaro, the best of the buildings, for a barraquito coffee overlooking a fairytale courtyard. Time the visit to coincide with Corpus Christi celebrations and you'll find streets carpeted with flowers.
Take advantage of Tenerife's year-round warm climate to enjoy a round of golf with little fear of the weather putting a dampener on proceedings. To enjoy a game away from the madding crowds try the Seve Ballesteros-designed Buenavista Golf in the remote northwest where you can cool off afterwards with a dip in an infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic. Alternatively, tee off at Golf Las Americas whose immaculately landscaped course is also home to exotic birds.
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