Monday, 6 April 2009

Tenerife – Barren Rock or Garden Paradise?

There are still some people who consider Tenerife as little more than a hot barren rock in the Atlantic; some of these have even visited the island, but that says more about them than it does about Tenerife.
I’ve never had much time for people who spend their time between beach and bar and then complain that there’s not much to the place they’ve just visited.

Recently I was interested to read comments from British residents on Tenerife talking about things they missed about the UK. Two of the things quoted were snow and the advent of spring when flowers transformed the countryside. Seems reasonable enough.

It’s probably fair to say that Tenerife’s main attraction for the last forty years has been the weather. The guarantee of sunshine at any time of the year and winter temperatures which can be higher than some European country’s summer ones are an irresistible draw. But with this comes a perception, even amongst some ex-pat residents, that seasons here don’t vary much…and generally speaking we Brits like the variety that comes with each changing season (even though we do moan about them on occasion).
Once again, like so many things relating to Tenerife, perception and reality isn’t necessarily exactly the same thing.

Only a few weeks ago we were knee deep in snow in the middle of Las Cañadas at the base of Mount Teide (okay, admittedly the sun was shining and it was lovely and warm); a couple of weeks later we were walking in the hills, trekking along cobbled paths bordered by the most wonderful display of rainbow coloured wild flowers heralding the arrival of spring.

It’s true that parts of Tenerife are arid and relatively barren, but it’s also true that an equal part of it is as lush as the Amazon rainforest and as green as an English meadow.

There’s a reason why the island was believed to be the Garden of Hespérides, but you’ll have to ‘Go Native’ to discover it for yourself.

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