The largest Canary Island is Tenerife. It is about 790 square miles, and the landscape is dominated by the 12,198-foot Mount Teide, the highest peak on Spanish territory. Called the "Island of Eternal Spring" by the locals, Tenerife is covered by fields of such diverse flora as bananas, oranges, and tomatoes. The Silver Whisper spent the day at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and the ship offered three shore excursions.
Orotava Valley and Puerto de la Cruz
This tour provides a look at the scenic Orotava Valley along with a visit to Tenerife's most popular resort, Puerto de la Cruz. The Orotava Valley stretches from the foot of Mount Teide to the Atlantic. The tour includes walking through beautiful gardens and views of the lush valley. Before returning to the ship, participants have about an hour to explore the shops and cafes in Puerto de la Cruz.
Cañadas del Teide National Park
Most of this tour will be spent on a bus, but it is the best way to see Mount Teide, and the ride to the dormant volcano promises to be a scenic one. There are stops along the route for making pictures.
This is the tour we did, and the winding drive up to Mount Teide was a little scary, but well worth it. We drove through the clouds and were able to look down on them. The mountain is at a high enough elevation to give the landscape a lunar appearance. It was a very worthwhile trip, and we had time to drink a coffee and take a bathroom break before the ride back to the ship.
Puerto de la Cruz on Your Own
This is not really a tour, but is a round-trip transfer from the ship to the resort city of Puerto de la Cruz. The ride takes about 20 minutes, and there will be an English-speaking hostess on board to answer questions and provide information about Puerto de la Cruz.
On Your Own on Tenerife
The port of Santa Cruz is about half a mile from the city center. Canario handicrafts include embroidered linens and ceramics. There are also good buys on luxury items such as leather, silks, perfumes, and jewelry. Santa Cruz has a couple of interesting museums and a richly gilded church that houses one of Admiral Nelson's flags from the battle of Santa Cruz in 1797.