TENERIFE – the Land of Orange Trees and Eternal Spring!
courtesy: The Tenerife Property Guide
Our aim is to give our visitors useful information about Tenerife, population c750,000, and situated in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 miles off the coast of West Africa. Tenerife, like the other Canary Islands, is a protectorate of Spain, but NOT part of the EU - so watch your Customs Allowances on cigarettes and liquor when travelling home to EU member countries such as the UK!
With a land area of just over 2,000 square kilometres, Tenerife is the largest of the 7 Canary Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera). Although quite small, the island has as many different climatic zones as a continent and you can see many different types of agriculture from the growing of potatoes and grapes to the commercial cultivation of banana, lemon, peach, apricot and orange trees. You can also see snow covered mountain peaks whilst sunbathing and swimming in the warm coastal waters!
The island's dominant feature is, of course, the inert (but NOT extinct!) volcano, Mount Teide. At 3,717.91 metres (12,198 ft) Teide (pronounced Tay-dee) forms the highest peak in any Spanish territory and its sheer size and height dominate the landscape for miles around. The earliest recorded mention of 'El Teide' and its snow-mantled, fiery cone, was by the 15th century explorer and navigator, Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon in his native Portuguese) as well as many of the other early explorers.
Tenerife's most important feature – and one that will stand it in good stead for residents and investors (present and future) – is its climate. Not for nothing is Tenerife, with temperatures in mid-winter reaching 22º (15º at night) and in the summer, 33º (18º at night), known as The Island of Eternal Springtime!
Tenerife - a Brief History
The first recorded settlers in Tenerife were an ancient tribe known as the Guanches. The name of the island is said to have originated from the language of these people: "tene" meaning mountain and "ife" meaning white - a reference to the iconic, often snow-capped mountains that dominate the island.
In the late 15th and early 16th centuries, the Spanish conquistadores invaded Tenerife, overcoming the Guanches, who were forced to surrender after a famous battle which ended on Christmas Day 1495. The natives were duly enslaved by their conquerors and used mainly in the creation of new plantations producing sugar cane for export. Wine, bananas and fabric dyes followed and were also exported for Spanish profit. Eventually, and tragically, the entire Gaunche population died from a combination of poor working conditions and disease.
At the end of the 18th century, British forces attacked Tenerife: Horatio Nelson notoriously lost his right arm during one of the many skirmishes around Santa Cruz. The Spanish eventually succeeding in retaining control of the island, after which the British departed.
Before his rise to power, (General) Francisco Franco was posted to Tenerife in March 1936 by a Republican government wary of his rising influence and political leanings. However, Franco received certain information and, in Gran Canaria, agreed to collaborate in the military coup that would result in the Spanish Civil War. The Canaries fell to the Nationalists in July 1936. In the 1950s, the misery of the post-war years caused thousands of the islands' inhabitants to emigrate to Cuba and other parts of Latin America.
In 1977, more than 500 people travelling to Tenerife were killed in an aircraft disaster, a death toll that has only ever been surpassed by the September 11th attacks in New York, USA.
In recent years, Tenerife has become a hugely popular tourist destination, with a steadily growing economy and strong agricultural exports.
|Climate||The Canary Islands have a wonderful climate; and Tenerife, with its warm temperatures year round (earning its sobriquet - The Island of Eternal Spring!) enjoys a great deal of sunshine. The warm, tropical climate results in relatively minor variations in daily temperature throughout the year with the hottest month (sometimes VERY HOT) on average being August, and the coolest, January.|
|Average Temperature||Winter 20ºC (68 ºF); Summer 25Cº (77ºF).|
|Sunny Days per Year||300+|