With its dramatic volcanic landscape, abundant wildlife and some of the best restaurants in Spain, Tenerife delivers. And people are starting to cotton on. The Padrón brothers, Juan Carlos and Jonathan, who head up El Rincón de Juan Carlos. one of the island’s Michelin-starred restaurants, welcome the most sophisticated of clientele: “We are a gastronomic restaurant, and that means almost everybody who comes here is ready to enjoy a very special dinner. They are usually high-end guests with a deep culinary knowledge.”
Susan Theunissen, owner and designer of the super-swish 70s Modernist Villa, agrees: “Our guests are mostly creative people, a lot are stylists, models, photographers and so on.” Even package holidays are heading upmarket, as Erin Johnson, of luxury holiday specialist Sovereign, tells me: “We’ve seen an increase in bookings for couples and families looking to explore Tenerife’s luxury side.”
If, like them, you are seeking the unexpected, here are 10 reasons to go.
You can stand at Spain’s highest point…
The loftiest peak in Spain isn’t found on the mainland but at the heart of Tenerife, an active volcano swirling in sulphur and still warm to the touch. The summit of Pico de Teide is 12,198ft above sea level – making it the world’s third tallest – and you will feel the temperature drop as you ascend through the jet-black badlands and twisted lavascapes of the national park surrounding the peak itself. You will need a permit for the very top (free, book well in advance at reservasparquesnacionales.es), but you can reach La Rambleta at 11,663ft without one.
If you don’t fancy the five-hour walk up from Montaña Blanca, book the cable car (from £30 return, £17 one way, volcanoteide.com). Try to time your visit for sunset, when the sky washes pink and Teide casts a perfect pyramid-shaped shadow across the island.