During our first stay, our rent-a-car took us up to the northern coast and the many magnificent views and small villages.
The roads are narrow and challenges your driving skills. But the changing scenary makes it worth the effort, seeing everyting from the dry parts in the south to the green, almost jungel-like, areas up north.
Worth visiting is also the pyramids of Güímar, a walk through pre-historic civilizations made known by the great Norwegian, Thor Heyerdahl.
Teide - the magnificent vulcano
A must for all tourists coming to Tenerife, is to visit the Mount Teide National Park, an enormous volcanic crater 48 km in circumference, and the highest mountain in Spain:
Teide, 3718 meters.
The national park lies around 2000 meters, and is the most visited tourist attraction on the island.
Seeing the almost lunar-like landscape made of volcanic rocks is worth the long and rather curvy 1,5 hrs drive. But there's a place to stop and have something to eat or drink, so don't worry....
The village of Los Gigantes (The Giants) is named after the large cliffs that rises 500-800m up from the sea, and catches your eyes as you arrive by the small road in the hillside. The area consists of three cities that have grown together; Los Gigantes, Puerto Santiago and Playa de la Arena.
There are not many beaches in the area, but the number of hours you can enjoy the sun is larger than anywhere else on Tenerife.
You will not find the pulsating night-life of Las Americas, something the adult visitors enjoy when they go there for a longer and relaxing period.
And you have to rent a car; Everything is up-hill from the marina!
The small village of Masca is maybe one the most picturesque places on Tenerife. Today you come there by car passing Los Gigantes, up the hill to the village of Santiago del Teide and climbing 3 km down the very narrow road to Masca, probably having the driving experience of your life.
Orginally this was a hiding place for pirates that had to walk the 3 hours from the beach when they arrived by ships. Today the narrow path down to the beach is only used by tourists who wants to stretch their legs and enjoy the breathtaking scenery on the way.
You will find 2-3 nice local restaurants in Masca where you can enjoy local specialties served with a bottle of chilled Sangria.
Passing Masca going north, the extremely narrow road will challenge you (and your car) yet another 15km before reaching Buenavista del Norte. From there it's possible to drive up to Puerto de la Cruz.
Our attraction (and affection) to this special island outside the coast of Africa is growing as we get to know the scenery, the people and their culture.
We will most certainly go back there.
Hopefully next year.. And the year after..