About Jack M
Lives in Portugal
Since Aug 2007
50-64 year old male
Travel writer, guidebook author, & photographer specialising in Slow Travel and hiking & dining. Co-owner of award-winning online travel magazine Buzz Trips.
Kayaking & Canoeing
Mountains, Geologic Formations, National Parks, Volcanoes
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Art Museums
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings
The tiny hamlet of Masca, tucked away in the folds of the deep ravines in the Teno Massif, is a Tenerife jewel: The setting is literally jaw-droppingly stunning. The hamlet, one of the most beautiful on Tenerife, is connected by rough cobbled paths rather than pavements, and offers a fascinating insight into how remote rural life in Tenerife was before tourism. There are also plenty of cafés and restaurants in which you can try local specialities like cactus lemonade.
The age of the Millennium Drago Tree in Icod de los Vinos is still unclear – it might be anything from a few hundred years to thousands of years old. Whatever its age, this 16-metre high, strange-looking, mythical multi-headed tree is worth a visit. Though you can get right up to the tree by paying to get into the Parque del Drago, the best view is from the plaza beside the church.
Los Gigantes in the west of Tenerife has arguably the best view of any resort on the island. Not only is the scenery dominated by the 500 metre high acantilados (cliffs) which gave the resort its name, but you also have the neighbouring island of La Gomera to admire on the horizon. There are fantastic views of both at the small café and mirador (viewing point) on the road leading out of Los Gigantes.
Unless you want to climb Mount Teide from the crater floor in Teide National Park, the easiest way to enjoy views from near the summit of Spain's highest mountain is to take the cable car. It's not cheap but you're rewarded with unique views from the top of the world. The volcanic landscape in the national park below is worth it alone, but on clear days you may also get views of all the other Canary Islands.
For anyone who doesn't have a head for heights, exploring Teide National Park without taking the cable car reveals enough 'out of this world' scenes without risking vertigo. The Roques de Garcia is a deservedly popular spot with coach tours. However, for a less-crowded experience, head to the Minas de San José – with its Star Trek type scenery of blue-grey undulating hills and views over the crater, where key scenes in Clash of the Titans were filmed.
The only way to get to this 'lunar landscape' of surreal, moon-like rock formations near Vilaflor is to walk through the pine forest. It's a couple hours each way, but it's a well signposted and beautiful walk, plus you finish in pretty Vilaflor where there are some cosy little local restaurants to rest your feet in.
The name and the story changes each year, but the format of the most spectacular show on Tenerife remains more or less the same – a flamboyant and supremely professional extravaganza that blends flamenco, opera and modern dance in a Las Vegas type setting. Even people who think they don't like musicals, operas or dance will be blown away by Carmen Mota's magic.
The 'lungs' of Tenerife's capital Santa Cruz, Parque García Sanabria is also the most interesting park on the island. Much more than just a park, it is also an open air art gallery full of shady corners and curios, the centrepiece of which is a voluptuous sculpture and fountain, 'Fecundidad'. The best way to enjoy the park is to treat it like a magical mystery tour and follow the spiralling path out from its centre...
The style of the building might have a colonial African feel, but there isn't really anything African about this fabulous market, save for the name. Also known as La Recova, it's a foodie's paradise, featuring the best local fruit and veg, fish, mountains of salt cod, herbs, spices, fresh flowers and even a German bakery. Open from 6 am to 2 pm daily, it's a real hive of activity inside and out, with small kiosks around the outside packed with locals sipping wine.
One for modern art lovers, the TEA building itself is intriguing; like a slate-coloured bunker. Since it opened it has become the hub of the art scene in the city with regularly changing exhibitions, library, and a cinema which shows critically acclaimed films in their original languages.
The most iconic building in all of Tenerife was the creation of famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It is an eye-catcher that stands out whether you're arriving from the sea or lounging on the golden sands at Playa de las Teresitas, further along the coast. You can photograph it from any angle and it looks incredible. At night, the Tenerife Auditorium is a venue for concerts, musicals, opera and ballet. By day, you can enjoy lunch in a special setting at Mag Café, which is tucked into the auditorium's sleek curves.