Areas to Avoid

If architecture or an historical environment is important to you then you may feel more suited to staying in the north of the island - the south of the island has been described as a concrete jungle on more than a few occasions.

If you’ve hired a car and will be driving around the island, do note that it will be a safer and easier drive to keep to the coast rather than try to brave the mountain roads. These are often narrow, with lots of sharp bends and precarious corners.

Because of its volcanic background, most beaches in Tenerife are volcanic with black sand which can be hot under the feet. If you’re after a traditional sandy beach head to Los Cristianos and leave the southern resorts alone.

Playa la Arena is also notorious for pickpockets. Keep your money and bags close to you at all times; never put your wallet in your back pocket and wear your bag across your body if possible.

Potential hassles

If you are in Tenerife in high season and visiting El Tiede, the island’s volcano, do try to be there as early as possible - queues and crowds gather quickly. Try to arrive by 9.30am at the latest to beat the queues. It’s also worth taking into account the weather that day too. If it’s overcast or misty, the trip might be best saved for a different day when you’ll actually be able to see something from the top.

People with monkeys, parrots and even snakes also frequent Puerto de la Cruz. They’ll pop one onto your or your child’s shoulder, let you take a photo and then make outrageous demands for money. The best thing to do is to walk on and not let them come near you - they will soon move onto someone else.

Timeshare touts are the perennial tourist hassle. They’ll be charming, assure you that you’ve won a lovely prize or gift after sitting through a one-hour presentation before whisking you away somewhere to waste a few hours of your life. Avoid getting stuck into conversations with these touts.

Crimes and scams

Some of the electronics shops have been found to sell fake goods, such as cameras, or even second-hand goods which they pass off as new. Be sure to check your goods before buying and keep your wits about you.

Ladies wander some of the beaches in the south of the island braiding hair as you sunbathe. What you may not realise is that afterwards they sometimes demand a huge price for their work. You can insist on paying them before, but you may find that they stop half way through and ask for more. It’s your call!

You’ll see the same thing happen with hawkers selling slices of pineapple: letting you eat it and then demanding as much as eight Euro for a piece. You may see street sellers touting lottery cards too. Funnily enough, you’ll find out that you’ve won every time! The scam is that you’ll need to pay a deposit by credit card to claim your prize. Don’t.

Final words of warning...

Although you’ll see locals parking on double yellows and in no parking zones, try and do it with a hire car and you’ll find it towed away and slapped with a hefty fine.

Do watch out for jellyfish on the beaches. These can appear in large numbers and make both the waters and beach unsafe: a sting from a jellyfish can be extremely painful and spoil a holiday. Keep your eyes peeled!


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