Tenerife, the northern coast
More humid than the south, the northern coast of Tenerife benefits from a more varied and dense vegetation. The former fishing village of Puerto de la Cruz is the main hub of regional tourism and it is primarily frequented by a German clientele. Puerto de la Cruz offers a wide variety of parks and exotic gardens and the biggest of these is the Botanical Garden, which boasts thousands of plant species from around the world. There is also the Sitio Litre Orchids Garden, the Taoro Park, which offers a superb panorama of the city and the El Guanche banana plantation located in La Orotava.
Set back from the coast, the city of La Orotava, regarded as one of the island's most beautiful, unfolds in the heart of a lush valley of vast banana plantations. Its old quarter houses beautiful ancestral homes and old churches, some of which are accessible to the public. As for Lago Martianez, which borders the coastline near Puerto de La Cruz, from an architectural point of view it is without doubt the island's most amazing achievement. A product of the imagination of the Canarian artist Cesar Manrique, this gigantic aquatic complex houses an artificial lake of 953,496 cubic ft of seawater, swimming pools, a range of bars and restaurants, as well as a casino.
Not far from there, the popular Loro Park boasts no fewer than 27 attractions including the jungle gorilla, the crater of jaguars, a dolphinarium, a sanctuary dedicated to penguins, an underwater shark pen, the largest collection of parrots in the world, an orchid house and a big-screen cinema. There is a free shuttle service which runs to the centre of Puerto de la Cruz every 20 minutes.
Towards the west, the road runs past several coastal fishing villages before leading to Icod Los Vinos. This charming little town is known mainly for its 1000 year old Dragoner, one of the most unusual plants on the island. As for the town of Malvasia, wine enthusiasts will not miss the opportunity to buy themsevles a good bottle of the local wine from one of the many boutiques. Just a few kilometres away, you will find Garachico, Tenerife's most active port before its partial destruction during the volcanic eruption of 1706. Here you will see many of the miraculously preserved vestiges, such as the Church of Santa Ana, the Castle of San Miguel or the House of the Marquis of Adeje.
Those who wish to explore the rest of the island will find many opportunities for day trips by bus or 4x4. The most unmissable of all these remains the Del Teide National Park, classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. Located in the centre of Tenerife, this volcanic site with lunar scenery also boasts the highest peak in Spain and in the Atlantic Ocean. Culminating at 12,198 ft high, this site presents many volcanic formations which continue to fascinate experts. A cable car can take you up to a panoramic viewpoint located 11,482 ft high, where you will be able to enjoy stunning views. In good weather you will be able to see all 7 islands of the archipelago.