TENERIFE is the largest and most populous island of the 7 Canary Islands.  It is also the most populated Island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38sq.km.  TENERIFE is also the largest and most populous island of MACARONESIA.  Also located on the island MACIZO de ANAGA since 2015 is BIOSPHERE RESERVE and is the place that has the largest number of endemic species in Europe.  The island’s capital contains the architectural symbol of the Canary Islands, the modern AUDITORIO de TENERIFE.

Tenerife coast

About 5 million tourists visit TENERIFE each year.  It is also one of the most important tourist destinations in Spain.  TENERIFE hosts one of the world’s largest carnivals and the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is attempting to become a World Heritage Site.  

The island’s former inhabitants, the GUANCHES, referred to the island as ACHINET or CHENET.  According to Pliny the Younger, Berber King Juba -2 sent an expedition to the Canary Islands and Madeira and gave the Canary Islands its name because he found particularly ferocious dogs (CANARIA) on the island.  Ancient Romans referred to Tenerife as NIVARIA, derived from the Latin word NIX meaning “snow”, in clear reference to the snow-covered peak of the TEIDE VOLCANO.  On the other hand, maps dating to the 14th and 15th centuries, from authors like BONTIER & LE VERRIER refer to the island as ISLA del INFIERNO, literally meaning ISLAND OF HELL, a reference to the volcanic activity and eruptions of Mount TEIDE.

Tenerife surfing sports

Finally, TEIDE is also responsible for the name of the island widely used today, named by the BENAHOARITAS (natives of La Palma) with a derivation from the words TENE (mountain) & IFE (white).  Later, after colonisation, the name resulted in the adding of a letter “r” uniting both words to obtain the name TENERIFE as a result.

Tenerife El Medano

The oldest mountain ranges in Tenerife rose from the Atlantic Ocean by volcanic eruption which gave birth to the island 12 million years ago.  The island, as it is today, was formed 3million years ago by the fusion of 3 islands, made up of the mountain ranges of ANAGA, TENO & VALLE de SAN LORENZO, due to volcanic activity from TEIDE.  The volcano is visible from most parts of the island today and the crater is 17km long at some points.

Tenerife Canary Islands

TENERIFE is a rugged volcanic island sculpted by successive eruptions throughout its history.  There are 4 historically recorded volcanic eruptions, none of which led to casualties.  The first one was in 1704, when the ARAFO, FASNIA & SIETE FUENTES volcanoes erupted simultaneously.  In 1706, the greatest eruption occurred at TREVEJO and it produced great quantities of lave which buried the city and port of GARACHICO.  The last eruption of the 18th century happened in 1798 at CANADAS de TEIDE, in CHAHORRA.  Finally, and most recently, in 1909 which formed the CHINYERO CINDER CONE, in the municipality of Santiago del Teide, erupted.

Anaga mountains Tenerife

Mount Teide, with an elevation of 12,198 ft above sea level, is the highest point in all of Spain, and is also the 3rd largest volcano in the world from its base in the bottom of the sea.  For this reason, Tenerife is the 10th highest island worldwide.  It comprises about 200 small barren islets or large rocks including ROQUES de ANAGA, ROQUE de GARACHICO & FASNIA, adding a further 2,301.701 sq.ft to the total area.

Tenerife mountain living

Tenerife is known internationally as the Island of Eternal Spring (ISLA de la ETERNA PRIMA VERA).  The island of Tenerife has a remarkable ecological diversity in site of its small surface area.  1,400 species of plants exist on the island including  Vipers Bugloss, Teide White Broom and Teide Violet. The fauna of the island has many endemic invertebrates and unique reptiles, bird and mammal species.  The fauna of Tenerife includes some 400 species of fish, 56 birds, 5 reptiles, 2 amphibians, 13 land mammals and several 1000 invertebrates, along with several species of sea turtles, whales and dolphins.

Mount Teide

The official symbols from nature associated with Tenerife are the bird Blue Chaffinch (FRINGILLA TEYDEA) and the Canary Islands Dragon Tree (DRACAENA DRACO).


4 thoughts on “Tenerife

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s