View Finder | Tenerife Canary Islands, Spain
Coloured walls and ornate balconies with views of the blue waterfront stand proud in this 16th century town
Windows to the world
Tenerife is a Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of western Sahara. It is the largest of the Canary Islands, and is full of villages, old country houses, hamlets and thousand-year-old trees.
The Spanish empire colonized Tenerife in the 15th century and influenced the architecture, known as the Tenerife style, which encompasses Baroque and neoclassical elements. I saw this distinctive style in its unique homes, chalets, churches and buildings.
The traditional homes have thick walls painted with distinctive colours. Many of the buildings are constructed with heartwood from the pine trees of the island, a material used to create intricate balconies and interior patios. The façades of these buildings are usually simple, and free of adornment.
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Tenerife has two airports and the international gateway is Tenerife South Airport (TFS), with daily flights from many European cities.
Choose from Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey in the heart of Santa Cruz (€72-108, or around Rs.5,975-8,965, per night for two); the 579-room resort, Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora Resort & Spa (€135-210 per night for two); or book a room for a night for two at the Abama Golf & Spa Resort (Rs.13,940-25,420). Located on a cliff-top on the island’s south-west coast, the Moroccan-style hotel offers a choice of 10 restaurants, two with
Michelin stars, and private villas.
Beaches, nightlife, wineries, volcanic peaks, stargazing and whale-watching are some of the island’s attractions. ‘Papas arrugadas’ or Canarian Potatoes (a baked potato dish) is a favourite local dish. Seafood lovers should try Cazuela de Pescado: fresh fish casserole with potatoes, onions, tomatoes and peppers.
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