Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of the Canary Islands, a province of Spain, and also the archipelago's largest and most populous city. Located in the Atlantic just off the west coast of Africa, it is hugely popular with European tourists for the warm, sunny weather characteristic of the region. It also draws many cruise ships, and most dock within walking distance of Santa Cruz's center.
What We Love
Mountain Views: Get away from it all by renting a car for the day, packing a lunch, and journeying deep into Tenerife's mountainous interior. A dramatic high-ridge road offers spectacular views of Santa Cruz as well as much of the rest of the island. The highest peak is the extinct volcano Teide, which tops out at an impressive 12,198 feet, and is set in a national park bearing its name. Be sure to pull off the road and take in the vistas.
Best Known For
The Holiday Atmosphere: With colorful Spanish architecture, well-planted parks and plazas, great beaches and outdoor restaurants, it's no wonder that Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a popular vacation spot where tourists flock year-round. The warm weather helps, too.
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Who It's Best For
Beachcombers and Nature Lovers: Tenerife combines the best of a seaside resort, attractive towns dotting the coasts, and wonderful views of and from mountain ridges.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It's Touristy: As a popular spot for tourists, Santa Cruz seems to breed pickpockets. Pay particular attention when you're in crowded areas.
Mountain Roads Are Winding: Drive with caution and allow plenty of time on the island's twisted routes.
Theodore W. Scull is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written several books on crossings.