People will think you’re crazy for getting up before the crack of dawn and running for miles on end. Others won’t understand why you are always on the lookout for a higher mountain, a longer wave, stronger winds… Some will say it’s all you ever think about and that your sights are always set on the next competition. And they are all right! Every minute that goes by while you’re not doing what you love is simply time ticking away. Sport is an intrinsic part of your existence and life would not make sense without it.
If this sounds familiar, then physical exercise is an intrinsic part of your life. Sometimes, we just wish that they made grown-up versions of kids adventure playgrounds. Somewhere we could go to do all the activities they do at their PGL camps or similar. Well, that’s what Tenerife is really. One huge, adventure playground with a year-round warm climate. Here are 18 favourite sports you can join us for on your next trip to Tenerife in the low season months.
Let’s do it!
1. Apnea – Freediving
Do you know your limits? Do you think you are in control of your body and mind? It’s not just about holding your breath underwater, it’s about learning to control your mind and your body and pushing them to limits you would never have imagined. Tenerife is one of Europe’s most popular destinations for freediving, which is also known as apnea. Are you up for it?
All over the island, but the west coast is particularly noteworthy thanks to its unique terrain which makes the temperature, currents and weather perfect for every type of freediving.
If you need equipment, you can get everything you need locally, whether you’re a beginner in this underwater sport or an expert looking to perfect your technique. You will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and services at T3 and at Unberto Pelizzari’s prestigious Academy West Europe Center. These two world famous centres are just 200 metres (650 feet) apart.
Their professionals will teach you breathing techniques and how to move in the water so you can enjoy more time under the surface using lung power alone. All of this makes Tenerife the perfect place to enjoy all types of freediving.
Can you imagine exploring Tenerife’s deepest ravines? Your feet are firmly on the rock face. The harness is tightly fastened, you feel safe and you start your descent. You feel the adrenaline pumping through your body as you’re soaked by spray from the waterfall, and you’re living in the moment. You’ll realise how small you are when surrounded by the high walls of the ravines. The isolation and silence is eerie. The only thing that matters is the here and now. And there you are, one step after another, all the way down. There are metres and metres between you and the ground and you feel more alive than ever. You can see the work of erosion that has carved out endless ravines over thousands of years. The best thing? You have numerous canyons to choose from and the best professionals to guide you.
How would you like to take a walk through a lava cave created over 27,000 years ago? The Island is home to a cave that was created by a huge tongue of lava which cooled quickly on the outside while the molten inside flowed through. This left 17 km – 10 miles – of tunnels in the earth. That is how Europe’s longest volcanic tunnel was born: Cueve del Viento. Visit www.cuevadelviento.net for more details of this incredible experience.
As every muscle in your body strains and you cling to the rock wall as if you were listening to its heartbeat, you know the only way is up… So up you go! Another karabiner hooked in place and you’re raring to climb higher. The summit is right there. You reach out with your fingertips to grab the last crack in the rocks. Your feet push you a little bit higher and… you’re there! From the top, everything looks different. Prepare to discover otherworldly landscapes such as the Cañadas del Teide.
There are endless places to go climbing at different levels on the island of Tenerife, but the best thing is to contact specialised companies who know which are the most suitable ones and the best time of year to go, so you can have a memorable experience!
Breathe. Tighten your grip. Pick up the pace. You’re off! All you need to worry about is yourself, your ride and when to stop so you can take in a new breathtaking landscape. There are plenty of routes to choose from to suit all cyclists. You can cycle at sea level or at altitudes of over 2,000 metres (6,500 feet), and you will never be far from any of the amenities you might need. That’s why the world’s top cyclists have already chosen Tenerife as their training destination. What are you waiting for?
Throughout the island. You will have access to a vast network of roads, taking you up to 2,000 metres (6,500 feet) high. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you have a whole host of routes to choose from and services that are tailored to your needs.
6. Deep-sea fishing
All is quiet until something takes the bait. Once you feel the bite, an almighty battle begins. You grip the rod tightly! Your adrenaline is pumping! Your heart beats faster. You pull harder! You reel in even quicker! And so the battle goes on until one of you gives in. Once the struggle is over, you know that it has all been worthwhile. Your sights are already set on the next fish.
There are several marinas, mostly located in the south of the Island, where you will find a wide array of specialised boats in which to enjoy this elite international sport. The vessels are equipped with all of the tackle and crew you need for an unforgettable fishing trip.
The Island currently hosts several internationally renowned sports fishing events, including the Bertram Deep-Sea Fishing Tournament which, since 2013, is the only Spanish competition that qualifies competitors for the Offshore World Championships that are held in Quepos, Costa Rica.
Picture the sky meeting the horizon at hole seven. The gentle breeze that tests your mettle. You place your tee and ball with the utmost care. The fairway is just the way you like it. You glimpse the flag out of the corner of your eye. You select the right club. The handle rests neatly in your hands like an extension of your own arms. Your muscles tighten and you take another fleeting glance at the hole. After a deep breath, you strike the ball and watch as it comes to a stop right by the hole. You feel great. You feel free. If only you could stay in this paradise forever.
There are eight golf courses and two pitch and putt courses dotted around the Island. Each one offers you a completely different experience of this wonderful sport. Designed by the likes of Severiano Ballesteros, John Jacobs and Donald Steel, there is no question as to the beauty of the courses, with their black sand bunkers and impressive water hazards.
Your oars will transport you to places you have never seen before. Prepare to discover volcanic caves and watch the reflection of the crystal clear waters dappled on the roof as your voices echo off the walls. Fancy a dip? Jump in! And don’t forget your camera because the views will take your breath away. If you’re lucky, the dolphins will join you on your trip.
Where to go:
The sun is shining, the water is warm and a 22-knot (25 mph) wind is blowing from the east. Your kite barely skims the surface of the water as you gain speed. You hang on as long as you can, pushing your kite to full power and… take off! For a few seconds you glimpse the Red Mountain of El Médano as you tip upside down and, as you drop, you feel that rush of adrenaline shooting through your entire body.
The most popular spot is El Médano. It is well-known among kiters, who flock here from all over Europe to take advantage of its unbeatable coastline. The area hosts national and international competitions.
Aside from El Médano, these are other places that are highly recommended for kitesurfing:
10. Mountain Biking
You pedal faster and faster. You feel the fresh air on your face and watch the trees whizz by you. You are riding through the endless pine forests of the Corona Forestal, enjoying your favourite sport. You pause for a moment to take in the beautiful scenery. But you are soon on the go again! There are still 20 km (12.5 miles) ahead of you.
You have more than 200 km (125 miles) of forest trails at your disposal. Most of the tracks take riders across the high areas of the Island, especially the Corona Forestal. The network of trails links most of the north to the area of Tacoronte and the south, which means you can start and finish in a place with all the amenities you need, often including public transport and parking spaces.
As you look up to the sky, you feel the fresh air on your face. You run like crazy until the parachute lifts you into the air and all of a sudden you’re soaring over the trees. It feels as if you could touch them with your tiptoes. Looking back, you see Mount Teide. Looking down, you see the steep slopes lined with pine trees, vast valleys of banana plantations and volcanic black sand beaches for you to land on.
Of the main paragliding spots, the easiest to get to are: North – Los Realejos, South-west – Adeje, East – Güímar.
To make the most of these areas, it is very important to be under the supervision of local pilots or companies. Although there are no official infrastructures for take-off or landing, these are the areas that people currently use. If you have any questions, contact the Air Sports Federation.
Imagine spending winter in the sun with 22 knot (25 mph) winds. You look out over the horizon at the vast ocean just waiting for you to sail it. You check your sails and your gear. All set! Once you leave the harbour you’re free to sail away.
You can sail all around the Island, but the east and south-east are the windiest areas. You can moor your boat at the Island’s various marinas including:
13. Scuba Diving
After making sure that all your equipment is ready, you dip under the water. You start to dive and after a short distance you’re surrounded by sea turtles and manta rays. The water is full of light. You keep on swimming and catalufas, seabream and striped grunts come into view. As you descend, everything is still clearly visible. You know you will soon have to go back to the surface, but for now, you can’t help but lose yourself in the breathtaking wonders under the waves.
There are more than 60 dive sites to discover. You can find the top 12 here:
14. Stand Up Paddle
How would you like a trip on the sea? Hop on your board, grab a paddle and let the journey begin. You will discover nooks and crannies that few get the chance to see. You’ll get every muscle in your body going as you laugh away with your friends or family. Anyone can go stand up paddling. The east and south-east of the Island are home to very calm waters that are perfect for this type of boarding.
The water temperature ranges from 19°C in winter to 26°C in summer (66 to 79°F).
15. Surfing and bodyboarding
It’s true what they say: Tenerife has a surf spot every ten minutes. So if you don’t like a wave, just move on to another. You can choose from sand, rock, volcanic reef or a combination of the above. The atmosphere in the water is friendly and relaxed. What’s more, you can surf all year round! Forget your winter wetsuit! Here, the water is always warm.
Tenerife is the perfect island for surfing. There are a number of spots where you can surf all year round.The Atlantic low pressures systems in the region during winter (October-April) and the influence of the trade winds in summer (May-September) make Tenerife the ideal destination for surfers of all disciplines.The waves break over different types of ocean floors: Rocks, Rocks and sand, Sand, Volcanic reef.
Waves that break over sand and rock floors usually make for more accessible breakers that are suitable for beginners and intermediate surfers. Volcanic reefs are more difficult, meaning they are best for surfers who have perfected their technique. The water temperature ranges from 19°C in winter to 26°C in summer (66 to 79°F).
You dive into the water without a second thought and start to swim with all your might. You keep a steady pace. A whirl of bubbles rise in your wake. The length of the pool stretches out ahead of you, challenging you to cross it as fast as you can. Every stroke counts! You know you are going to make it and you press on. It all depends on you and how much you want to push yourself.
When is it best? All year round. There are a range of swimming pool sports for you to choose from, including swimming, water polo or synchronised swimming. Tenerife can cater for your every need and boasts an unbeatable climate. Check out the best of Tenerife’s indoor and outdoor options here.
17. Tennis & Paddle
It doesn’t matter whether you spend two hours on the court or ten. The time is not important. What matters is that you’re playing with your friends, with your family or in a competition! What matters is feeling your hairs stand on end when you manage to reach the ball just in time and your backhand sends it flying straight to the opposite court.
There are at least 11 sports centres with outdoor courts made of plexipave, clay or synthetic turf.
You will find a team of renowned physiotherapists at your disposal to ensure you are in peak physical condition and fully trained. Tenerife’s wonderful climate is the perfect location to recover from an injury or following a long competitive season. Check out some of the best courts on the island here.
There are also several racquetball and squash facilities on the Island.
Will the wind be up tomorrow? At El Médano you can enjoy over 300 windy days a year. The water temperature is warm in winter and summer. Surfers from all over the world flock to this area in the south of the Island. The area hosts national and international competitions. The atmosphere is peaceful and you can sense the passion for windsurfing in the air, making it completely unique.
The most popular spot for windsurfing in Tenerife is El Médano. It is famous all over the world thanks to the national and international competitions it hosts. For decades this has been a meeting point for Europe’s finest windsurfers.
And although El Médano is the name everybody knows, there are other great beaches where you can windsurf here.
This article and accompanying photo’s have been reproduced with the kind permission of Turismo Tenerife. We would urge low season travellers to visit the amazing resources available for planning your low season trip to Tenerife here: www.webtenerife.co.uk – Tenerife Awakens Emotions!