Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, and a perfect destination for anyone seeking an autumn or winter holiday. With temperatures rarely falling below 15 degrees, Tenerife is the perfect destination to escape the cold UK winter.The capital of the volcanic island, which is dominated by the impressive sight of Mount Teide, is Santa Cruz. With 200,000 inhabitants it is the second most populated city on the Canary Islands, and has plenty for tourists to enjoy.It has pleasant boulevards lined with trees, parks and squares, which all combine to accentuate the peaceful and relaxing nature of the city.
One of the nicest parks is the Garcia Sanabria. A popular place to visit is La Plaza de Espana, located by the sea, where you can see the impressive Cabildo de Tenerife. Shoppers will be keen to explore Castillo, which starts at the Plaza de la Candelaria.Nearby is the sixteenth century church, La Concepcion, and the eighteenth century San Francisco church. Here you will also find the City Museum of Fine Arts which has some wonderful pieces such as a San Jose by Ribera and a portrait of Isabel II by Madrazo.
The second largest city on the island is Puerto de la Cruz, which concentrates more on hotels than apartments for tourists. Here you can escape from some of the more hectic and vibrant resorts, and enjoy a more laid back lifestyle. This ethos dates back to a nineteenth century spa, which is now home to the Hotel Casino Tauro.There are some fantastic hotels in Tenerife. Try the Hotel Melia Bahia de Duque, the Jardines de Nivaria hotel or the Villa Cortes hotel and spa.There can be found a whole range of open air restaurants on the streets surrounding Plaza del Charco and various entertainment.
Visitors can take in the sights of the church of Nuestra Senora de la Pena, la Ermita de San Telmo, the Castle of San Felipe and the old quay. Perhaps its finest attraction is the Lago Martianez. This is a series of seawater pools designed by the famous local artist Cesar Manrique, where you can bathe and relax in the sun. Manrique blended his architecture with the volcanic vegetation to produce a wonderful project. Adjacent to this is the Playa Martianez.
Nature lovers should also go to the botanical gardens to witness the extraordinary variety of tropical vegetation. You should also check out the Loro Park, another tropical garden, which claims to have the largest collection of parrots in the world with more than 300 species, as well as a parrot show. A good family day out can also be enjoyed at the Octopus water park.
There are also, of course, the household resorts that have seen booming business in recent years. Perhaps the most famous is the Playa de las Americas which has garnered a reputation for its vibrant nightlife, with plenty of bar entertainment to keep you dancing away into the small hours. Quieter yet charming alternatives include Los Gigantes and Los Cristianos.
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