The ‘Anaga Mountain Range’ in Tenerife

‘Macizo de Anaga’ is a mountain range, which is situated in the north-eastern corner of Tenerife, its highest peak being ‘Cruz de Toborno’, topping-out at 1,024 m above sea-level. The Anaga Mountains stretch all the way from Cruz del Carmen in the south-western tip of this northern peninsular, right through to Punta de Anaga on the north-eastern tip of the island. The mountains were formed by an enormous volcanic eruption between seven and nine million years ago, thus making this segment of Tenerife the oldest part of the island. Sitting alongside the Cruz de Toborno are the peaks of Anambro, Bichuelo, Chinobre, Cruz del Carmen and Pico Limante, and since 1987 the area has been protected as a ‘Natural Park’. (It was later reclassified as a ‘Rural Park’ in 1994).

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Bus tours around Santa Cruz -Tenerife’s capital city.

I have to admit that I do enjoy taking bus tours (especially of the ‘open-top’ variety) around the major cities of this world, and having already enjoyed the delights of using the ‘City Sightseeing Bus Tours’ in places like Cape-Town, Singapore, Abu Dhabi -and even my home town of Cardiff, I have no-doubts whatsoever that the Santa-Cruz tour will live up to the reputation of its counter-parts -even-though I have yet to enjoy the experience, I must confess. Having already visited Tenerife’s capital city on several occasions, either on shopping / mini-sightseeing trips -or for the occasional Christmas functions, or a musical concert (i.e. to see Tom Jones, no-less) and of course, for the annual Santa Cruz Carnival, I guess one could say that I have seen a fair amount of the city already.

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Paragliding in Tenerife

Over the past few months I have covered many sporting activities which are available in Tenerife, from relatively sedate past-times, such as golfing, fishing and swimming, to the somewhat more energetic sports, including lawn tennis, paddle-tennis and marathon running. I have also written several blogs on many of the water-sporting activities (above the waterline) which are at one’s disposal on the island, such as water-skiing, jet-skiing, banana-boating and parascending, along with several aqua-activities ‘below the waterline’, including snorkelling, scuba-diving, bob-diving -and also a wonderful submarine adventure.

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The village of ‘Masca’ in Tenerife

Masca village, which is home to less than a hundred residents (and is often acclaimed as Tenerife’s answer to ‘The lost World’) lies at an altitude of 650 m, in the north-western part of Tenerife, at the foot of the Macizo de Teno Mountains. The setting of the village, between the Masca and the Madre Del Agua Gorges, is simply magical, and its houses, which are precariously perched on the narrow ridges of dramatic rock formations, produces an unbelievable landscape which is nothing-less than breathtaking.

Masca -with Mount Teide in the background.
The village of Masca -with Mount Teide in the background. Photo courtesy of Ronny Siegel@Flickr.com

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Gran Canaria -The Final Frontier.

Well, this is it -my final write-up on the Seven major Canary Islands, and this one is all about the island of Gran Canaria. Apart from being a part of my amazing 7-island circumnavigation, it is also an island I have had the pleasure of working on for just over one year, and during this time I got to know the island -along with many of its inhabitants, very well indeed. Gran Canaria is actually quite similar in lots of ways to Tenerife, but like all of the islands in this relatively small archipelago, it also maintains a certain individuality that is entirely different from its counterparts. Like all of my previous write-ups I will finish-off this blog -and likewise this chapter on life in the Canary Islands, with a small excerpt from my ‘7-Islands’ travel-journal, which I sincerely hope you will enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing.

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El Hierro Island – ‘The End of the World’

El Hierro, which was formed around 1.2 million years ago, is affectionately known as ‘Isla del Meridiano’ (the ‘Meridian Island’), and it is the smallest and farthest south and west of the Canary Island archipelago. Just like the other Canary Islands El Hierro is mountainous and volcanic, and only one eruption (which lasted around four weeks) has ever been recorded on the island, which came from the Volcan de Lomo Negro vent in 1793. However, at least three major landslides have affected El Hierro in the last few hundred thousand years, the most recent of these was the ‘El Golfo’ landslide that occurred about 15 thousand years ago. The indigenous people are descendants of the ancient Bimbache tribes, who worshipped the sacred garoe evergreen tree, which produces water from its leaves. Before Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas (which was actually an accident, because he was originally sailing in search of a new route to India, when he discovered them -hence he named the islands ‘The West Indies’), the south-western tip of El Hierro was considered to be ‘The end of the world’.

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Fuerteventura – ‘The Solitude Isle’

With a landmass area of 641 square miles (1,660 sq. km) Fuerteventura is one of the largest of the Canary islands, second-only to Tenerife. It is also the oldest island in the archipelago, dating back around 20 million years. The island lies on the same latitude as Florida and Mexico, and so the temperature rarely falls below 18 °C (64 °F) -or rises above 32 °C (90 °F). There are 152 beaches along its coastline, 50 km (31 miles) of which are fine, white sand, whereas the other 25 km (16 miles) are made-up of black volcanic shingle. Fuerteventura also has the driest climate of all the Canary Islands, barely getting any rainfall at all.

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The Mystical Island of Lanzarote.

Hello once again -and welcome to the clearbluetenerife blog, where we are currently looking at the other ‘6’ major islands which surround our beloved island of Tenerife. ‘La Gomera’ was the first on the list, as it is the closest island to Tenerife, followed by the island of La Palma, which is only a few hour’s ferry ride from Tenerife’s southern coast. Today we will be broadening our horizons, as we travel in a north-easterly direction to the island of Lanzarote, where I will give you a brief insight into one of the most popular islands in the Canaries, along with a short excerpt from my personal travel-journal which I wrote during my circumnavigation of the islands a few years ago.

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La Palma Island

Last month (September 15th, to be precise) I wrote a blog about the island of La Gomera, saying how surprised I was that more tourists didn’t take a day or two out of their holidays to visit this beautiful island, which is literally a hop, skip and a jump from the island of Tenerife. I also said that I would be writing about all of the other main islands (La Palma, El Hierro, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria) in the coming months, as all of them are within easy sailing distances from Tenerife, albeit one or two of them being accessed by overnight ferries, as the sailing times do run into double figures -but for any cruising fans who are reading this, then that would be a walk-in-the-park to them.

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Mount Teide -The highest mountain in Spain

I first came to Tenerife back in March 1984, as one of the millions of tourists who flood the island each year, primarily to escape the harshness of the British winter, and to enjoy the warmth and sunshine that this wonderful sub-tropical island has to offer. The flight was a very sedate affair, but it was only when we began our descent onto the island that this great beacon suddenly appeared through my window, amidst a grey and misty sky, its majestic peak standing tall above a blanket of cotton-wool cloud. This was ‘Mount Teide’, the highest volcano in the whole of Spain, welcoming its latest visitors to its homeland -a land that has a thousand tales to tell, but none more exciting than the story of the true ruler of Tenerife -the Armageddon of this Atlantic archipelago of paradise islands.

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