Tenerife is an over-the-top island destination – heady, fast-paced, entertainment-saturated. It has massive appeal, particularly to European travelers, with tourists outnumbering islanders by a ratio of 5 to 1. It has everything: fabulous beaches crowded with sun-worshipers, glistening harbors filled with boats, world-class hotels packed with guests, museums bursting with art and history, restaurants serving every type of fish they can get their hands on, the island's cheese-makers offering up 75 different types of cottage cheeses and more goat cheeses than you can count, local vintners pouring fine wines from all five wine-growing regions of the island, and, in February each year, the capital city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife adding to it all with one of the biggest, most spectacular, most boisterous carnivals in the world, the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, second only to Rio's big bash, the Carnaval.
The Canary Islands of Spain
Tenerife's most famous dishes are Combtooth blennies, chickpea-based Gofio, and Canarian wrinkly potatoes in mojo. Its most famous wine is Mavasia Canary, referenced in the works of Shakespeare and Walter Scott. Its most humiliated invader is Admiral Horatio Nelson. Its most famous urban landmark is the 21st-century Auditoria de Tenerife, while the most famous rural one is the ancient El Teide which looms large in the Parque Nacionale de Canadas del Teide in the center of the island and is the highest point in all of Spain, peaking at 3,718 meters.
Tenerife is situated roughly at the center of the Canary Islands archipelago, facilitating ferry travel to all the surrounding islands. It is 62 miles (100 km) long and 24 miles (40 km) across at its widest point. It has a resident population of about 907,000, and is visited by over 5 million people.
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