• Photo: Andrei Nekrassov / Shutterstock
  • Photo: VICTOR TORRES / Shutterstock


Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. Its standout feature is the volcanic peak of El Teide (also known as Mount Teide or Monte Teide), which, at 12,198 feet, is Spain's highest mountain. The slopes leading up to Teide are blanketed with pines in the north and with barren lava fields in the south. Tenerife's capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is a giant urban center—forget whitewashed villas and sleepy streets, and imagine the traffic, activity, and crowds of an important shipping port. In the wetter north, mixed among the tourist attractions, are banana plantations and vineyards. In the dry south, the resorts lining the coast have sprung up at the edge of a virtual desert.


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