The island of Tenerife
While most visitors to the largest of the Canaries will likely not venture beyond the beach, there’s so much more to the island of Tenerife. From Michelin-starred dining to truly spectacular hiking trails, there are many reasons to experience the island at least once in your life.
The island of Tenerife itself is a tourist hotspot offering stunning beaches as well as an abundance of nature, flora and fauna.
Playa de las Américas is a city in the island of Tenerife, of the Canary Islands. In addition to Las Americas, Tenerife is divided into several other cities namely – Los Abrigos, Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos, Puerto de la Cruz, Los Gigantes, La Laguna, La Orotava, El Medáno and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which are all popular tourist destinations.
The city of Las Americas is located towards the south of the island and was built in the 1960s specifically to cater to tourists. It offers a plethora of accommodation options, dining spots, tourist attractions, as well as a number of activities to ensure that there is never a dull moment during a stay. A wide range of water sports are also available for sport-enthusiasts.
Teide National Park
Dominating a huge area in central Tenerife, Teide National Park is all about Mount Teide – at over 3,700 metres it’s the highest point in Spain. It offers diverse volcanic landscape, pine forests and green valleys with stunning views across numerous hiking routes. Less adventurous travellers can still drive through the protected national park to admire the beauty of this part of the island.
Teide National Park by Erdmann-Crew. Pixabay
By far the best way to experience the UNESCO-protected Teide National Park is by riding the cable car up the mountain. The eight-minute ride is not cheap but is more than worth the incredible views of the volcanic crater, stunning national park, and other Canary Islands across the sea on a clear day. The cable does not go all the way to the peak, but three walking routes are available from the upper station. Note: trips to the peak require special permission. The altitude will be hard on even the most fit, so it’s best to take it slowly. Alternatively, admire the views and head back down in the cable car again.
Teide isn’t the only mountain on the island worth exploring – lesser-known Anaga Mountain Range is located on the farthest northeastern point of Tenerife and consists of some beautifully remote, rugged coastlines, deep ravines, traditional villages and humid forests. Formed by a volcanic eruption around eight million years ago, it’s the oldest part of the island and has been declared a Biosphere Reserve with the largest number of endemic species in Europe since 2015. While hiking trails can be challenging, views are particularly rewarding and feel like a million miles (and years) from the package holiday hoards on the other side of the island.
Ananga Park image of Oliver Mbrax | Pixabay
Masca Valley hikes
Named after a tiny village in northwestern Tenerife, the Masca Trail is one of the most popular hikes on the island, beginning at the village and winding down to the rocky beach below. Beginners can arrange guided tours with various local companies, or more seasoned hikers can navigate the trail alone. Walkers get plenty of opportunities to soak up spectacular scenery along the five-mile trek and can take a boat at the end to the majestic Los Gigantes cliffs.
Tenerife’s position between the Sahara and the Atlantic – as well as its lack of light pollution, high altitudes, clean air, and exceptionally clear night skies – makes it an ideal place to stargaze. Officially declared a Starlight Tourist Destination, the island offers many opportunities to stare at the night skies, whether through official tours or on your own. But for the ultimate star-gazing experience, the luxury Ritz-Carlton in Abama hosts private summer star parties, which include an exclusive tour of the observatory, a chance to look through the world’s largest telescope, and a gourmet stargazing picnic.
Muslim Travelers in the Canary Islands
There are two airports, Tenerife South Airport (Reina Sofia) and the Tenerife North Aiport (Los Rodeos), are two major airports and serve several airlines and millions of passengers every year. Tenerife North Airport is perhaps the busier airport of the two.
The popular Altanoor-Tenerife Restaurant is one of the few Halal restaurants in Tenerife and is located in Playa de Las Americas. It is a family-run restaurant and take-away outlet that serves an assortment of authentic Lebanese cuisine. It is also possible to check out the Balkonen and the Las Delicias De Marrakech which are located in Tenerife. It is recommended however the visitors enquire with the restaurant owners about the preparation of food and availability of Halal menus prior to dining.
A small mosque – Comunidad Musulmana de Tenerife – is located in Tenerife, Santa Cruz, a short distance away from Playa de las Américas. El Fraile may also be home to an established prayer location due to the sizable Muslim population living in the area.
Lanzarote island, towards the east of the Canary archipelago (Spain) offers a rich history and is home to a wealth of flora and fauna, including many species of endemic plants and animals. It is home to a population of over 100,000 inhabitants comprising Spaniards as well as immigrants from various countries such as Colombia, Morocco, Ecuador, Western Africa, China and India.
Puerto del Carmen is one of the most popular beaches on the island. Stretching over kilometres of area on the island’s coastline is the town’s main street – the Avenida de las Playas. This street offers numerous accommodations, dining and shopping options to visitors, in addition to several tourist attractions as well. Scuba diving is a popular activity and a multitude of diving centres are found at Puerto del Carmen to cater to Scuba diving enthusiasts.
In addition to the beaches, the Canary Islands offer several other places-of-interest for visitors to explore. Jameos del agua, Cueva de los Verdes, Mirador del Río, Jardin de Cactus, El Golfo and Fundación César Manrique are amongst the main sights of the islands.
Lanzarote Airport serves over 30 airlines and hundreds of thousands of passengers every year. It is also known as the Arrecife Airport and also features an Aviation museum to offer visitors an in-depth look at the city’s aviation history.
Though a few hotels and accommodation options may offer Halal restaurants, access to Halal food is limited at Puerto del Carmen. The restaurants and dining outlets along the front-water strip as well as the main strip do offer a few choices of seafood and vegetarian cuisine which travellers could opt for. It is also possible to enquire the fast food chains such as McDonalds and Burger King about the availability of Halal menus.
The Islamic Center of Arrecife is the closest mosque to Puerto del Carmen, which is located a few kilometres away. The mosque holds all prayers including formal Jum’a and is situated at Calle Lanzarote, Puerto del Carmen, Canary Islands 35510.