Posted May 16th, 2011
LATEST WORLDWIDE TRAVEL NEWS
Updates - January 2013
‘Bollywood’ conquers Tenerife Carnival 2013
The world’s second largest carnival will take place 6-17 February
Tenerife is gearing up to welcome Europe’s most vibrant street party. The island’s carnival will take place from 6th to 17th February under a ‘Bollywood’ theme this year, making Tenerife the perfect February escape for those looking for an affordable and nearby carnival experience as well as pleasant warm temperatures.
Tenerife Carnival, the world’s second largest festival of its kind after Rio, focuses each year on a different theme. This year’s event will pay tribute to all things ‘Bollywood’ following popular demand. This year, for the first time ever, the theme has been chosen by a public internet vote, with 42% of Tenerife’s residents selecting the Indian film industry to be 2013’s source of inspiration for the festival’s scenery and costumes.
The exotic festival will offer a day-and-night multi-sensory experience for visitors from around the world. The “official carnival”, with its murgas (comic groups who sing satirical and ironic songs) and comparsas (dance groups), walks hand in hand with the “street carnival” where drums, trumpets and electronic music will add to the excitement of the most “Brazilian” of all the Spanish carnivals. Visitors can also enjoy Tenerife’s pleasant warm climate, with average temperatures of 18,2°c in February.
Santa Cruz, capital city of Tenerife and one of the island’s best kept secrets, hosts the main celebrations followed by the second largest in Puerto de la Cruz. However, other towns and villages on the island hold their own carnivals too, each one with its unique features.
Two of the carnival’s main events are the Carnival Queen Election Gala (6th February), where all the candidates parade in all their glamorous fine costumes, which can weigh more than a hundred kilos, and “el Coso”, the carnival’s main parade (12th February) that will amaze adults and children alike. Other highlights of the Santa Cruz Carnival, declared a Tourist Festival of International Interest in 1980, include the opening street parade (8thFebruary) and the ‘Burial of the Sardine’ (13th February), when the carnival comes to a symbolic end in a blaze of glory although the partying carries on for a while afterwards.
The 2012 Carnival Queen - Carmen Gil
The 2012 Carnival Queen - Carmen Gil
The carnival in Tenerife dates back to the first European settlements on the island and it has been featured in written documents from the 18th century. Since then, it has grown to become one of the most exciting established events in the world. Santa Cruz is just 40 minutes by car from Tenerife South Airport, easily accessible from many parts of the United Kingdom.
For more information about this vibrant event visit
Updates - July 2012
The recent success of Tour de France hero and three times Olympic gold medal winner, Bradley Wiggins, has assisted Tenerife in communicating its exceptional credentials as a world-class destination for high-performance sports training.
One of Tenerife’s most rugged landscapes, Teide National Park, was used as the centre for Wiggins’ training programme and played a pivotal role in his Tour de France preparations, thanks to its year-round pleasant climate and high altitudes of 2,000 metres above sea level. The race proved a winning success for Wiggins after an extreme training programme was put together by his coach, Tim Kerrison, in Tenerife.
Dramatic bird's eye view of Mount Teide
The volcanic environment of Teide National Park, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was used as a base for Wiggins to complete a two-week training camp in June 2011. He then went on to win the Critérium du Dauphiné and as a result selected Teide National Park as his training venue for this year’s Tour de France. Wiggins spent a lengthy amount of time on the island and learned to deal with high intensity workloads as the Tour drew nearer. Prior to this year’s win, he had taken part in the Tour de France six times, reaching fourth position in 2009.
Miguel Angel Santos, Director of Tenerife Tourism Corporation, said: “The physically-demanding conditions on Mount Teide, Spain’s tallest mountain, allow athletes to accustomise to extreme physical conditions, similar to those endured throughout the Tour. It has been used as an effective location for cyclists, runners and climbers on many occasions and offers a very tough training experience that has helped to develop world class athletes.”
Carlos Alonso, Tourism Minister and Vice-President of Tenerife Island Government, added: “Having successfully hosted elite sports professionals, Tenerife Tourism Corporation is already gearing up to support a number of athletes in 2013. We are developing a mutually-beneficial agreement whereby the athletes will enjoy our island and improve their performance, while helping to further promote Tenerife as an outstanding training location.”
Just four hours from the UK, Tenerife is famed for being an island fit for sporting heroes. The island boasts a diverse range of fitness and adventure facilities, as well as world-renowned training centres, such as T3 Tenerife Top Training, which provides an excellent training ground for triathlon and cycling training due to its unique setting between ocean and mountains. In addition, the island’s excellent range of accommodation options and fine cuisine further enhances Tenerife’s position as the number one choice for sports enthusiasts and holidaymakers alike.
Teide National Park: One of Tenerife’s most rewarding experiences is the Mount Teide climb. Perched in the centre of the island stands the majestic 3,718 metre-high peak, surrounded by a rugged lunar landscape which, combined, formed a National Park declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. The ascent or descent can be shortened with the help of a cable car, which reaches 3,555 metres above sea level. The remaining distance to the summit is recommended for fit hikers and a permit is required to ensure its conservation. Cyclists can make use of the roads and paths developed for this purpose in and around the park.
Bike specialists on the ground include:-
Mountain Bike Active (www.mtb-active.com)
Diga Sports (http://www.digasports.co.uk/home.htm)
Tenerife Bike Training (www.tenerifebiketraining.com), offering “Lunar” and “Volcano” themed tours.
T3 Tenerife Top Training: Situated in the southern village of La Caleta, at sea level, T3 is a high performance training centre which aspires to be a worldwide reference for amateur and elite sportspeople, or anyone keen to get in shape. Offering a mild climate, the centre is suited to year round training. Specialising in swimming, football, rugby, triathlon, beach volleyball, tennis, paddle, squash and rehabilitation, T3 comes with an Olympic outdoor pool, among other facilities. (www.tenerifetoptraining.com).
For more information on Tenerife, please visit: www.webtenerife.com.
What’s New In Tenerife
2012 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Tenerife, as a number of new openings and happenings take to all corners of the island. From the first-ever Cirque du Soleil show in the Canary Islands to the re-opening of “Hell’s Gorge”, the launch of a new “Secret Garden” featuring highly poisonous plants, and new luxury hotel offerings, Tenerife promises a diverse range of activities complemented by an impressive calendar of events.
Events & Festivals coming up:
Cirque du Soleil in Santa Cruz, 13th – 20th January 2013
Looking ahead to 2013, Tenerife is set to welcome Cirque du Soleil to the vibrant city of Santa Cruz, marking the company’s first ever visit to the Canaries. The world-famous circus troupe will stage nine performances of “Happiness”, a high-energy acrobatic show featuring synchronised trapeze stunts, high-rise flying and plenty of thrilling circus-based theatrics, performed by a highly talented team of 55 artists and musicians. The show will be held from 13th-20th January 2013 in the Pavilion Insular Santiago Martin building in Santa Cruz. www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/alegria
New attractions & developments:
Tenerife from the treetops
Nature lovers will find novel ways to explore the beauty of Tenerife this year with new tree climbing activities in Las Lagunetas. “Forest Park Tenerife” opened its doors on 24th March 2012 to become the newest outdoor adventure park on the island. Boasting the largest trees in the Canary Islands and combing fun ways to stay active whilst learning about the local environment, the park incorporates two tree climbing circuits – one for families and one for the more adventurous – reaching up to 80 metres in height and featuring 30-metre-high wooden platforms, as well as exciting zip-lines that stretch for 200 metres. All tree climbing circuits have been designed in harmony with nature and can be enjoyed by children aged 6 years old and over. www.forestalpark.com
Secret Garden at the Pyramids of Guimar
A new “secret garden” has launched at the Pyramids of Guimar featuring some of the most poisonous plants on our planet. The botanical garden encompasses an area of 1,500 m2 and its unique collection offers the opportunity for visitors of any age to discover beautiful yet highly toxic plant species, while learning about the myths, legends and historic events related to their existence. The garden opened to the public on 30th March 2012 and is located at the Pyramids of Guimar, one of Tenerife’s most fascinating attractions. Believed to have been built by the ancient Guanche community, their construction continues to remain a mystery to archaeologists from around the world. www.piramidesdeguimar.es
Hiking in Hell’s Gorge
Plans are in place to re-open one of Tenerife’s most spectacular natural hiking trails this year following extensive restoration. Barranco del Infierno, also known as “Hell’s Gorge”, is a magnificent gorge located in the inland area of Adeje. Not for the faint hearted, it boasts the deepest gorge in the Canary Islands, together with steep walls covered in lush greenery, a number of historic burial caves, and cascading waterfalls up to 80 metres high. Once a walker’s paradise filled with nature and wildlife, Hell’s Gorge was closed to the public following rain damage to some of the pathways.
“SeaLab” marine centre to open in Tenerife
A new marine laboratory is set to open in El Puertito in southern Tenerife. Led by “Oceano Sostenible”, an organisation that has spent years restoring the seabed in El Puertito, and supported by the Tenerife government, SeaLab will provide a facility for in-depth research and investigation as well as education on the rich marine biodiversity in Tenerife. The marine laboratory will also offer a base for the development of eco tourism and diving activities in the area. Oceano Sostenible is committed to the recovery of the seabed in El Puertito which had been damaged by the uncontrolled growth of sea urchin. The company continues to work hard to create a sustainable marine environment for various endangered species in the Canary Islands, such as the green turtle.
New VIP villa and mega ride at Siam Park
Europe’s biggest aquatic adventure land, Siam Park, has kicked 2012 off in style with a brand new private villa launched at the very end of 2011. Set within an area of natural landscapes, the spacious VIP Villa with Jacuzzi now makes it possible for groups of up to 15 people to enjoy the Thai-themed water park in a comfortable and exclusive way. Ideally suited for special occasions and celebrations, the villa offers outstanding views of the park and Costa Adeje and comes equipped with hammocks, solarium, bathroom with private shower and TV & DVD player. Those staying in the VIP Villa will also receive a fast pass for almost all attractions, food in all its restaurants and drinks throughout the day.
In addition, Siam Park is developing a new mega ride – Kinaree – to bring even more adrenaline-fuelled excitement to the aquatic park. Still in its early development stages, Kinaree will offer high speeds to showcase how it feels to be caught in a tornado wave. Added to this will be an enlarged Kids’ Zone which will offer a new injection of fun with many exciting surprises for younger visitors to the park. Both new developments are expected to launch this summer. www.siampark.net
Loro Parque continues to reinvent itself with new shows and exhibits
A brand new exhibition of white Bengal Tigers, a fully renovated sea lion stadium, new parrot species and newly-born offspring of meerkats, marmosets, parrots, orcas and dolphins are just some of the new attractions at Loro Parque in Puerto de la Cruz. Famed for being one of the most awe-inspiring zoological and environmental parks in the world, Loro Parque is also gearing up to unveil its new parrot show for 2012, which will combine multimedia effects and striking architecture to evoke the emotions of various exotic parrot species included in the park’s important conservation programme.
Hotel Isla Baja Suites
Hotel Isla Baja Suites is the latest addition to Tenerife’s growing portfolio of boutique accommodation options. Rustic and chic combine to create a selection of six elegantly-decorated guest rooms. Housed in a restored eighteenth century building, which was built at a time when Garachico was the capital of the island and a significant trade port, are complemented with a bar, restaurant, bike hire, free wireless internet and easy access to the nearby lava rock pools. Situated in the heart of Garachico, the intimate hotel provides a suitable base for culture and nature enthusiasts. www.islabajasuites.com
Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey re-opened
Declared a cultural heritage site, Tenerife’s most iconic property, Hotel Mencey, was re-opened on 11th November 2011 following a comprehensive refurbishment of its facilities and public areas. The only five-star hotel in the island’s capital city, Santa Cruz, will soon see the launch of the Wellness & Spa, set to offer Thermal Bath Tours, massages and an array of indulgent treatments.
The Zodiaco Terrace at Hotel Mencey
The Zodiaco Terrace at Hotel Mencey
Hotel Suite Villa Maria
Imbedded in the southern slopes of Costa Adeje, Hotel Suite Villa Maria is a new five-star property encompassing 78 villas of 2 and 3 rooms. Resembling traditional Canarian houses, all villas guarantee ocean views and are equipped with a kitchen, offering comfort and practicality. Following a successful launch at the end of 2011, the hotel’s facilities will be enhanced this summer with the opening of a spa, squash courts and a children’s play area. www.hotelsuitevillamaria.com
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Tenerife is only a four-hour flight from the United Kingdom and makes for a fantastic holiday destination at any time of the year. The island’s sunny climes, beautiful beaches, charming villages and diverse landscapes appeal to many visitors seeking the perfect short-haul break, while an endless array of events and things to do – from year-round whale watching, fun-filled watersports, trekking in unspoilt national parks, climbing Spain’s tallest mountain, and more – ensure there is something to suit visitors of every age.
To read Tour-smarts' article about this island click on following link - Tenerife
Update - February 2012
A new Carnival Queen has been elected at Tenerife’s biggest and most spectacular annual extravaganza. Carmen Gil was announced as Queen of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival during a special election gala which took place in the island’s capital, Santa Cruz, on 15th February 2012. Carmen’s show-stopping costume “Empire” was designed by Santi Castro especially for the event, which is believed to be the second largest carnival in the world and attracts visitors from all around the world.
Naomi Cabrera Pulido
Keep an eye out for the dates of next year's event (February 2013) and put it into your calander so you don't miss it.
Here are the other festival events in Tenerife for the rest of 2012.
Perseid Meteor Shower, Teide National Park
12th August 2012
The Perseid Meteor Shower is undeniably one of the greatest natural wonders in the universe. The annual spectacle brings a dazzling light show with more than 60 shooting stars zipping across the sky every hour, caused by tiny particles of debris from a comet burning up when entering the Earth’s atmosphere at 135,000mph. Although visible in other destinations, Tenerife offers perfect conditions for star spotting, especially at Mount Teide, Spain’s tallest mountain, where there is low light pollution and extraordinarily clear dark skies. This year, the bulk of activity is expected during the early hours of 12th August 2012.
Hearts of Tejina, La Laguna
26th August 2012
One of Tenerife’s quirkiest fiestas, the Hearts of Tejina brings together the three largest districts of La Laguna – Calle de Arriba, Calle de Abajo and El Pico – to compete in a friendly competition to create the biggest and most eye-catching hearts made from beech, flowers, fruits and other decorative items. The two-metre long hearts, weighing as much as 800 kilos, are paraded through the streets and taken to the church where they are ritually offered to the patron saint, San Bartolomé. The event attracts visitors from all over the island who revel in song, dance, poetry and lively bonfires.
Los Sabandeños Festival, La Laguna
September 2012 (date to be confirmed)
For the last 30 years, well-known artists and musicians from the Canary Islands and South America have met in Tenerife for a memorable weekend of musical performances and celebration. Renowned artists, such as Argentina’s Victor Heredia and Cuba’s Albita Rodriguez, perform at the international festival along with folk music groups from around the Canaries. The international festival takes place every year in September as part of a programme of events to honour the fiesta of the "Santísimo Cristo" in La Laguna’s historical quarter, declared a World Heritage Site.
Festival of San Andrés, Icod do los Vinos
29th November 2012
The Festival of San Andrés takes place annually in Icod de los Vinos, translating literally to “Place of Wine”, and celebrates the opening of the wine cellars on the eve of San Andrés. During this fiesta the young people of the region slide down the steep streets on greased pinewood boards at breakneck speed, a reminder of when the wine barrels were rolled out, and each family opens up its cellar in this fabulous wine region. A real treat for foodies, delicious roasted chestnuts, “gofio” (paste of toasted cereals) and other local produce can be enjoyed by friends and visitors alike, while traditional folk songs can be heard from all around.
For much more information go to www.webtenerife.com