Did you know that vitamin D is one immunity-boosting resource you cannot get solely from your dietary intake? Sunshine is what’s needed, and at Low Season Traveller we know just the place to get it in spades. With 3000 annual sunny hours, 250 miles of coastline, 1000 miles of trails, beautiful beaches, and year-round alfresco dining, the island of Tenerife is an adventure playground with plenty of the good stuff to go around.
The largest of the Canary Islands sees arrivals throughout the year, attracted to the well-established resorts, laid-back Spanish lifestyle, Michelin-starred dining and top water sports. An enviable position off the Moroccan coast means a perfect average temp of 23º C, mild winters, and, thanks to the trade winds, no searing heat of summer that scorches mainland Spain. To hit the low season then, and get the best value for your hard-earned cash, we recommend visiting May to July or September to mid-October. That way you’ll avoid both the over-wintering sun-seekers and the school holidaying families. As if avoiding the crowds and snagging the bargains isn’t enough, you’ll be visiting at a time when the landscape is in bloom, Canarians have more time to welcome you and you’ll enjoy island life at its most authentic. This is especially true if you get away from the main tourist centres and explore Tenerife’s charming villages with their African and Spanish influence, quieter beaches and stunning national parks.
The Great Outdoors
Nearly half of the island’s territory is under protection with exactly 43 recognised natural areas. Challenge yourself with kayaking, kite-surfing, or scuba diving or take a more relaxed approach with a day’s excursion to see the whales and dolphins that frequent the warm waters. Hikers and cyclists are spoilt for choice with plenty of short picturesque routes or the more serious Blue Trail which crosses the whole island including the national park of Teide and its towering volcanic peak. If that sounds a bit hardcore, activate your senses with the Japanese art of forest-bathing among thousand-year-old Canarian pines before ending your day with a cocktail watching one of the island’s spectacular sunsets.
Dress to the nines and indulge yourself at one of five, yes five, Michelin-starred eateries featuring creative menus, the finest local produce and award winning wines. Or you might prefer a bar on the beaching serving fresh seafood while you dig your toes in the sand. Or how about a place dug into the cliffs with amazing sunset views. One favourite option is a visit to one of the typical rustic guachinches. These are a uniquely Canarian concept where a farm or smallholding gains a demarcation for producing their own wine, and are legally allowed to open for only a few months of the year. The family prepares mouth-watering home-cooked dishes but please note that the most authentic have no English menu and don’t take credit cards.
While Tenerife’s two-week February carnival is the best known, any visitor from May to September would be hard-pressed to miss a party as there seems to be something happening every week. The decorating of the crosses and the fireworks of Los Realejos in May is a big deal with hundreds of crosses to be decorated with floral displays. The traditions of these events are steeped in history with the 18th-century origins seeing the escalating rivalry between manual and professional workers as they completed to show the best displays. Check out the typical Romerias or pilgrimages of the small villages, combining Christian and pagan elements. You’re sure to find some fascinating folkloric outfits, a great atmosphere and loads of delicious food.