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Driving In Tenerife: The Hot Spots

Apr 10, 2008
Adored by sun-worshippers everywhere, Tenerife is an island paradise that not only serves up some of the sunniest beaches in the Canary Islands group, but also a plethora of beautiful drives, each of which contribute to memorable and unique holidays. If you really want to get to know the highways and byways of Tenerife, there's nothing like a drive to reveal the true spirit of this beautiful destination. Touring Tenerife with car hire is a joy-road rage is unheard of and generally speaking, most roads are quiet and pleasant. Those looking for a more lasting reminder of the island than a tan or cheap souvenir will find an island drive to be an unforgettable way to discover this stunningly scenic destination. Be sure to bring a camera along for the drive-there are plenty of picturesque sights worth capturing along the way.

1. Masca

The pretty coastal village of Masca is well worth exploring by hire car. Masca is situated at the northwest tip of the island, at the foothills of the Teno Mountains. The journey to the village involves a zigzag drive from Santiago del Teide encompassing dramatic hairpin bends on the way. Long before the days of Captain Jack Sparrow, the village's choppy, rugged coastline was sparking tales of skulduggery, pirates and buried treasure. Masca is a definite must-do drive.

2. Teide National Park

The natural beauty of Teide National Park has long been considered one of the world's most unique landscapes. Unusual features include a 30-mile wide volcanic crater, rare varieties of violet, various breeds of birds and lizards and Spain's highest peak, Mount Teide. In the winter months it is common to see snow on the peaks of the mountain, while in summertime, temperatures can climb to 40 degrees and over. The drive out is straightforward and you'll find the park can be accessed via the public road, which runs across the Caldera from the northeast to the southeast.

3. Pirámides de Güimar

Heading out along the eastern coast island, past Santa Cruz, you'll encounter the ancient and mysterious structure of Pirámides de Güimar. The pyramids form part of the island's Ethnographic Park, a site devoted to the island's ancient heritage.

Admission to the park doesn't come cheap, but discount rates are available for groups. Look out for special offers in the tourist office too.

4. Black Beaches

With car hire it's possible to experience the many varied and unusual beaches that the island has to offer. Tenerife's famous volcanic history has greatly impacted the look and quality of the island's beaches. As a result of volcanic activity in the past, many of the island's naturally occurring beaches are black or grey in appearance. Examples of Tenerife's curious black beaches include Candaleria to the east of the island, Puerto de la Cruz to the north of the island and Playa las Americas's grey beaches. However, the typical golden sandy beaches associated with sunshine holidays are to be found at Los Gigantes and San Juan to the west and Fanabe on the south of the island.
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