Tenerife, the volcanic island that rose out of the sea, is dominated by the still-active Teide volcano, and famous for the black sand of its beaches. Sounds dramatic – and it is. But this largest of the Canary Islands is also the home berth of the relaxing holiday, with visitors flocking from chillier northern climes to bask on its sun-soaked beaches, bathe in the warm Atlantic off the coast of West Africa, and enjoy some of the biggest, most colorful religious festivals that you can see anywhere in the world, in the island's pretty port capital Santa Cruz.
Sun yourself on the beach, and bury a loved one (preferable a willing volunteer!) up to the neck in black sand for a unique holiday snap. Enjoy the treasures of the Atlantic, by boat on a whale- and dolphin-watching trip, or under your own steam, keeping company with turtles on a free-diving or scuba-diving expedition beneath the waves. Take the cable car to the top of Mount Teide to view Tenerife from its highest point, spot colorful wall lizards and put names to some of the island’s extraordinary variety of native plants, or hang out with scarlet macaws and emerald-green parrots in Loro Parque. And if you're in Tenerife in February, you're in for the biggest treat of all: the Santa Cruz carnival, when the streets of the town