As Tenerife is located amidst a lot of water - basically, a whole ocean - there tend to be quite windy areas. The tradewinds (viento alisio) from northwest are saturated with humidity which means that they create dense clouds as soon as they come across an obstacle, such as the mountaineous Canary Islands. Therefore, the northern part of Tenerife tends to have quite many cloudy days. It can be sunny in the morning, but the tradewind clouds normally gather before noon. Fortunately, one can easily escape the clouds. By going up on Teide, you normally avoid clouds and can even look down on them from much higher which is a spectacular sight. And the southern parts of Tenerife are much sunnier anyway.
As Tenerife is a very hilly island and the towns and villages are scattered all over these hills, there is normally not enough space for a regular street system. Therefore, most of the roads in the centre of any town are one-way roads. This can be quite a nuisance as you often find yourself entering a centre from one direction and leaving it at a completely different point. We got lost in several of the towns, which is even made easier by the lack of clear sign-posts. As most streets are quite narrow, it requires a good control of your car to find your way out again safely.
Even the main tourist attractions are not always well sign-posted. Too often the signs suddenly stop and you wonder whether you're still on the right track. For instance, we ended up on the highway to Santa Cruz instead of on the road into the mountains leading to the Teide - and there was no sign that you had to pass under the highway instead of following it.
If you park where you shouldn't then be warned - your car WILL be towed away! I've seen it happen here many times! This car was in a designated bus stop area. They weren't particularly kind to the car whilst loading it onto the lorry either!
Tenerife is a mountainous island and, in general, the temperatures get colder the higher up you go. However, sometimes freaks in climate occur and the temperatures get hotter as you climb. When this happens the forests at higher altitudes act as tinder boxes and flash fires occur.
The most recent of these was in 2006 and devestating damage was caused to the forests. Luckily damage to homes was barely avoided.
I attach some pics of the forestry damage.
Don't take any scratchcards - i usually say I dont play them EVER - that usually works - every scratchcard on the promenade leads to a potential timeshare rip off. Another tactic is just to take the scratch card then keep walking saying you will scratch it later. They soon realise you are onto their scam and take the card back and leave you be.
Don't stop for the hair braiders unless you want it done - if you do they will grab your hair and start tying some braid into it - once they have they expect you to pay.
On the contrary some of the looky looky men sell decent watches - i have bought several - usually they settle for 10 - 15 euros and they are all still working. If you dont want to buy just laugh and walk away - they will laugh back and let you go
The PR's trying to get you into their restaurant are easily avoided just by saying you are on Half Board. They will politely leave you alone
Never leave anything in a passenger compartment of your car especially while travelling in mountains. Ufortunately, car robberies are not very unusual thing on Canary Islands. It is better to pack everything in a trunk and to leave a glove compartment open, so a potential criminal can see that there is nothing valuable in your car.
there are few good areas of beach in this area but we still enjoyed the sea and the area. as this area is off the beaten track for the general tourist we found no problems with relaxing on the rocks. and shingle beaches
If you go to the Soul Suite at Parque de la Plaz - BEWARE! The thin waiter with the bald head is abnoxious. Told my friend to 'move on' whilst she was trying to park her mobility scooter. Told if we wanted a seat to 'come early' which, as you know is difficult if you are disabled. His manner is terrible. English and American tourist were angry at his attitude towards us. My tip is -DON'T GO!
Please remember that when you are in Tenerife you are off the coast of Northern Africa, and therfore that much closer to the equator. Ensure that you slap on a good quality sunscreen and reapply throughout the day.
Tenerife is sometimes a cloudy island, but even through the clouds 80% of the suns rays get to your body.
This is a warning for people staying in Costa Adeje, Playa etc who may visit one of the large supermarkets on the main motorway. Be careful at the checkout.
We were on a self catering holiday and took our hire care to the local Hypo Dino supermarket on the motorway going towards los gigantes i.e. opposite direction from airport to stock up with essentials for our week. Only 1 km or so from the Coste Adeje join.
When we got to the checkout all was fine and the bill came to EUR 47.15 which we paid withour thinking or question. Later that evening I happened to find the receipt in a bag and out of curiosity was glancing through the prices. I came across two transactions one after the other both saying CONO MINI CHOCO EUR 4.90 making almost EUR 10.00. Well we only purchased 20 items or so and this appears to translate to mini chocolate cones and both my wife and I know there is no way we purchased these goods.
There is only one conclusion in that the checkout assistant scanned these items whilst we were busy packing and then held them back or just used a bar code. I do not know how this works and who gets the money or the goods but there must be a way.
I hope this warning will put others on notice and do not get caught like we did. Watch the checkout assistant throughout and check your bill right away to be sure.
Tenerife's weather is not as nice as Gran Canaria, Lanzarote or Fuerteventura, as the island is more mountaineous. Do not be surprised if you get caught in the South with a few days in a row of cludy/rainy days.
The crossing on this busy street was right on the corner with parked cars obscuring your view.
Always check the traffic is stopping for you - most don't.
Alternatively move away from the crossing & cross further up or down.
When you want to hike, especially around El Teide. Be aware that weather conditions can change quickly. At times they will even close the roads going up because of the wind and rain.
Before going, check the weather charts and ask a park ranger if present.
If you go to the south side of the island, keep in mind that there are tons off tourist down there. And most of them will rent a car. So you will see traffic which you would expect in a very big city.
So make sure you will leave a bit earlier to be on time if you are going anywhere.
The TF1 motorway runs up the east coast of Tenerife linking the tourist hotspots of Las Americas with the capital Santa Cruz. Two busses make that trip, the non-stop 110 and the stopping bus the 111. What we didn't know (and nothing told us) was that the stopping bus stops not in the towns along the way, but on the motorway beside the exits for those towns.
We took one of these busses to get to Candelaria and Guimar and we began to feel apprehensive when other people were getting on and off the bus in the middle of nowhere. Sure enough when we got to Candelaria we were flung off at the motorway exit and had to walk into town from there. This wasn't too bad as it wasn't too far, but Guimar was different, it was about 6km from the motorway. We ended up taking a taxi to Guimar from Candelaria as it was way too far to walk. We got another taxi back from Guimar to the motoray exit, where we waited for the bus.
There is a button at the bus stops and you have to press it to light a sign on the motorway that tells the bus to stop! If you forget this the chances are the bus will just sail past, unaware that you are waiting for it!