How exciting can a cave really be? Very much is actually the answer. Cueva del Viento (or “the Cave of the Winds“) is a massive volcanic cavity in the district of Icod de los Vinos.
The huge lava tube was formed 27 000 years ago Pico Viejo volcano erupted. Basaltic lava poured from the volcano and created a great maze of volcanic caves. This lava tube is 18 kilometers long, but as it is a maze and not fully explored, it might be even longer. Similar lava caves of this size can only be found in Hawaii which makes this cave very unique in all of Europe. Why is it called the cave of the winds then? This is due to the fact that wind from the outside often enter the caves and fills up many tubes and tunnels.
The book Volcanoes of Europe there’s a passage about the unique biological life of the cave of the winds. The book states that the cave is a home to almost 200 species which makes the Cave of the winds into a unique biological sphere. An entire 15 entire new species have been discovered in the cave of the winds. This includes the eyeless cockroach living in complete darkness. The book also mentions the fossils that have been discovered in the cave. Such as remains of the Giant Rat and the Giant Lizard (i would not like to run into these creatures while in the cave). The Guanches also knew about the cave which is known due to that artifacts from the Guanches have been found in the cave.
If you want to enter the caves and see this fascinating geological phenomenon for yourself there are guided tours that let you explore about a quarter kilometer of the cave. It’s something i would sincerely recommend as you cannot find anything like this anywhere in Europe.
There’s a lot more to see in Tenerife, explore our various tours HERE!
An article about a tree? Doesn’t that sound rather dull? Well it’s named the Dragon Tree after all, which must make it a little bit exciting. And in Tenerife you can find the Ancient Dragon Tree which many say is a thousand years old.
The Dragon Tree, with the latin name of Dracaena draco, is a tree that is native to the Canary Islands. The tree has a distinct apperance as it does not really grow in the same way as a “normal” tree. The Dragon Tree goes through many different stages while growing. During the first 10-15 years it consists of a single stem that grows by itself. But when the first decade of the trees life has passed, something happens. The tree shoots out new stems that grow from the first one. Meaning that it branches out more and more.
The tree is actually a national symbol of Tenerife and the entire Canary Islands.In Icod de Los Vinos you can find the “Ancient Dragon Tree“. It is often stated that this tree is over a thousand years old. But there is really no way of telling as the Dragon Tree does not produce “age rings” in the same manner as other trees. The tree is however at least a couple of hundred years old. The tree has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
The Dragon Trees status in the world is vulnerable according to IUCN. Meaning that the tree is in the risk zone of becoming endangered unless actions are taken for its preservation.
There’s also a story about a Dragon Tree that excited for thousands of years on the island and was worshipped by the Guanches. The Prussian explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt saw it during his visit to Tenerife. Due to it’s massive size of over 20 meters in height and almost 15 meters in width it is argued that this tree was 6000 years old. However, the tree was destroyed by a storm in 1868 so there’s no way of ever knowing if this is true.
Tenerife have been the filming location for good amount of big Hollywood movies. In this article I’m gonna write about three of them.
Due to its diverse and tropical climateTenerife is a perfect location for movie making. And it’s not surprising, as Tenerife have great locations to get those perfect shots. The volcano of Teide is a great example of this, as the climate is very unique as compared to the rest of Europe. Here’s a list of moviesfilmed in Tenerife:
Clash of the Titansreleased in 2010, became a real block buster netting $493 million over the world. The movie is an action movie with a grand underlying Greek mythology theme. The sequel of the movie “Wrath of the Titans” was also filmed in Tenerife. Tenerife proved to be a better location for the movie even though it revolves around Greek mythology. The director of the Clash of the titans-movie Jonathan Leibesman stated the following in choosing Tenerife as the movie location:
“The Canary Islands gave us great contrasts, including the beautiful blue sea, dusty landscapes and townscapes, wide open areas to stage a massive battle in the middle of a volcano. We just couldn’t have asked for more out of one locale.”
The Dictatoris another movie shot in Tenerife. The fictional North African nation called the Republic of Wadiya is the location of the movie. So in this movies case, the directors probably wasn’t looking for the epic scenery as they were in Clash of the Titans. They probably wanted the tropical atmosphere of Tenerife. This comedy movie revolves around the fictional character Admiral-General Haffaz Aladeen portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen.
The final one of the moviesfilmed in Tenerife is Fast and Furious 6. The movie features several different stunts and explosions. The scenery of Tenerife is very useful in this type of film making. For example, the roads leading up to Mount Teide makes for excellent racing shots.
So if your ever planning on making a movie, just go to Tenerife!
You can find more articles about Tenerife in our Travel Mag!
Bullfighting is illegal in Tenerife as opposed to most of Spain. The practice is often accused of being extremely cruel to the animals involved. The topic was revitalized by the Corona pandemic and animal rights sites such as Sentient Media wrote articles about how the pandemic can actually be opportunity to abolish the sport for good.
The closest relation that I, and probably the most of the worlds population, have with bullfighting is from the Disney movie “Ferdinand the bull”. This entertaining kids movie portraits the bull Ferdinand that doesn’t want to fight. However, in Spain the situation is vastly different. The “sport” is a major attraction for lots and lots of people. An article from Harvard University states that bullfighting is illegal in almost almost every country in Europe, except for Spain, Portugal and Southern France. According to numbers from the Spanish government an entire 9,5% of the Spanish population attended a bullfighting-event in 2015.
However, in Tenerife, the situation is another.Bullfighting was banned in the Canary island way back in 1991. The building, called the Santa Cruz Bullring has since then been converted into a stadium for boxing and wrestling matches. The Santa Cruz Bullring has also been used for concerts as well as carnival events. The building received the “Bien de Interés Cultural“-award meaning “Property of cultural interest” which means that the building has a cultural heritage value. It can be stated that the ban has not really damaged the cultural heritage of Tenerife as the building still stands.
Bullfighting is illegal in Tenerife. And it has been so for almost 30 years. But in other parts of Spain the battles, both in a literal and figurative sense, rages on. And one can think about the question that the journalist from BBC asks himself: “Is bullfighting really on the way down?”. The number of Bullfighting events have been decreasing. But will there ever be a national ban? If it will ever happen, Tenerife and the Canaries could be a great example.
Even though there are no bullfighting in Spain, there are other things to do. Check out our Excursions HERE!
Vintersol is a rehabilitation clinic focused on rheumatic and neurological diseases which is located right by the ocean. The history of Vintersol is actually closely entwined with the history of tourism in Tenerife as a whole.
The history of Vintersol starts back in the 1950s two Swedes arrived in Tenerife: Olle Ryding and Bengt Rylander. Both men suffered from diseases, Bengt had mutable sclerosis and Olle had rheumatic arthritis. However, they realized that the sun of Tenerife actually had a healing effect on their bodies. They suffered more from their diseases in the cold and barren climate of Sweden, so they decided to move to Tenerife. Here, they started working. They worked with creating a rehab-center for over a decade. They worked with both the Spanish and Swedish government to make their dream a reality.
After years of planning, and 3 years of building. In 1965, their dream finally came true and Vintersol finally opened. It had a capacity of about of 60 patients but as time passed Vintersol started cooperate with other foundations and organisations which led to expanding the clinic in both size and capacity. This meant that in the 1980s the clinic could have 100 patients at once. The growth of the clinic has continued until present day and the clinic has also been modernized. During this time the clinic have been run by several different organizations and in 2015 they celebrated their 50th anniversary.
But what is the significance of Vintersol outside of being a rehab center? Vintersol is basically what started Scandinavian tourism to Tenerife. What started with patients was expanded to spouses, to close family and also to friends. This chain-reaction put Tenerife on the map as a common travel destination.
Read more stories in our travel mag! Maybe about the accessible beach which lies right next to the clinic.
Teide observatory is an astronomy facility located on Mount Teide in Tenerife. It lies 2390 meter above sea level and the location is has exceptional astronomical sight. The Observatory was founded in 1964. It became one of the first large international observatories.
The place is special as this is one of the top 3 locations in the world to watch the skies. Since it’s construction a lot of telescopes have been built and transported here. The facility covers an area of 50 hectares and there are over 60 institutions here that owns one or several of the telescopes. The observatory have had great success in discovering a brown dwarf in 1995 that was named Teide-1. A brown dwarf is a massive gas object that is smaller than a sun but larger that most planets. Compared to Jupiter it has almost the same size but is much heavier. What is interesting about Teide-1 is that it was the first brown dwarf ever discovered!
In order to enhance the effectiveness of the research, The Observatory have put a lot of resources into constructing The TeideObservatory Residents with the purpose of providing researchers and scientist with housing and everything they need while working at Teide. Along with the research being made in the Observatory, the observatory also have a focus on education. School classes are welcome here to see the inside of the facility and get an understanding for why astronomical research is important.
Besides Teide there is also another large observatory on the Canary Islands. On La Palmas we can find the research center of Roque de los Muchachos Observatory which was founded in 1985. This observatory become an extremely popular research facility in modern day just like the observatory on Teide.
If you would like to explore Teide for yourself we got the perfect tours for you!
Tenerife have a Hockey-team called the Arona Tenerife Guanches hockey club. And by Spanish standards the Tenerife team is really good at it too!
Tenerife has many sports clubs, but what surprised me the most was that they have a hockey team. Hockey in Tenerife? How does this even work then? As Tenerife is rarely any colder than 20 degrees celcius any time of the year the sport have been converted from being played on ice to being played on roller skates. Roller hockey, also known as inline hockey is actually also a rather common sport on the island.
The story of roller hockey begins in 1990 when Marc Quiroga moved from Sweden to Tenerife. Marc loved ice skating and he missed it very much as it’s a big sport in Sweden. But in 1994 an inline skate-shop was opened in Los Cristianos and Marc went by the store constantly speaking to people who were interested in roller skating. With these new contacts, he founded a team.
The start was very rough for the team, they played outside on rough asphalt that wore down the wheels in a couple of months. The sport wasn’t all that similar to hockey as first as they played with a floorball rather than a puck. Marc soon found out that the Spanish Line Hockey championship was going to be held, he quickly gave his team a name: Arona Guanches Tenerife Hockey Club. And this is how the team was founded.
The team have some noteworthy accomplishments in the Spanish inline-hockey scene. In 1999 they won the Spanish nationals in the sport. The team still has a relation to their Swedish roots as well. At one point as 7 players came from Sweden to play for the Guanches. The team is still active today, and they will continue to be, as long as they get the necessary support from local authorities and corporations.
We cover more sports in our travel mag, as well as many other subject!
Sand. It might seem like it’s a matter that has no real usefulness. But that is factually wrong. Sand is one of the most used matters by man in building concrete and asphalt for example. Besides that, it’s hard to beat the feeling of warm sand under your feet when walking on a sandybeach.
There is a history of importedsand in Tenerife. Tenerife does not really have any natural sandybeaches, most of the natural beaches are rocky or have small lava rocks. That’s why there have been enormous imports of sand from WestSahara to Tenerife.
The origin of the sand import was that it was very expensive to make volcanic sand for the beaches of Tenerife. It proved to be far more cheap to import sand from WestSahara which is a region largely occupied by Morocco. The key-phrase here is occupied. As Western Sahara is often called “The last African Colony” as after the Spanish colonization it was taken over by Morocco.
There is still a conflict between Morocco and Sahrawi native rebels that want to be free from their occupiers. Therefore, the imported sand has been a controversial subject as many have called it a theft from the Sahrawi people. It sure is an infected subject and it has been a really violent conflict throughout the decades. It should be stated that the conflict does not revolve about sand but it is more a question of independence and national identity for the Sahrawi.
The imported sand in Tenerife were far greater in the early days of Tenerifetourism however. In 1970 when Western Sahara was still a Spanish colony a 270 000 tonnes of sand were imported to build the Las Teresitas beach. Today the sand import to Tenerife is much smaller which can be seen a positive thing due to the infected conflict between the Sahrawi and Morocco.
Tenerife is not really known for their success in Football. Even though there are some successful players that comes from the Canary Islands like David Silva. The team primary team CDTenerife have had its ups and downs. But for one time in history they played 10 years in the first division of La Liga.
The history of football in Tenerife starts in 1912 when Tenerife Sporting Club was founded. The team was founded by merging smaller teams together into one. In 1922 they changed their name to ClubDeportivoTenerife, or CD Tenerife, which name still remains today. However it took some years before Spanishfootball was organized in the way we know it today. In 1928 La Liga was founded, but CD Tenerife wasn’t successful enough as a team to be a part of it.
The team finally reached Segunda División of La Liga in 1953 which is right below the top teams. In 1961 they reached the top Primera División of La Liga which was a great success for the team. However, the team struggled a lot and got demoted back to the second and even the third division. This lasted for a period of about 30 years, the success of 1961 wasn’t reached until 1989.
1989 – 1999 sure was the golden age of CD Tenerife. They got into, and stayed, in Primera División for 10 consecutive years! In the seasons of 92/93 and 95/95 they finished in fifth place which is the teams greatest achievements to date. After 1999 the reached the Primera División two more times in the seasons of 01/02 and 09/10. However, both these times they finished in 19th place of the 20 teams which caused them to instantly get demoted back to Secunda División.
Today the team is in the Secunda División but they are by no means a top team. Only time will tell if the team will relive their great success of 1989-1999. It’s not likely, but it is possible.
If you want more stories from Tenerife, read our Travel Mag!
The Canary Islands has it’s fair share of famous people. Many of them are successful athletes but there are also some Hollywood superstars that have their root on the islands.
First up in our list on the famous people of the Canary Islands is the football player David Silva. Born in 1986 on Gran Canaria he made a great career as a football player from a very young age. In 2003 he was picked up to join the Valencia B-team. Just one year later he joined the official Valencia team. However in the early stages of his career he was loaned out to Eibar at Celta where he played 35 and 34 matches for the teams.
In 2006, when he was just 20 years old, he returned to Valencia and became one of the star players of the team. In the season of 2008 and 2009 he wasn’t seen on the field for 3 months. However in a match in 2009 against Atletico Madrid he made a glorious return scoring two goals which resulted in a 3-1 win for Valencia. In 2010 he joined Manchester City and got the number 21 which he still wears today. For 10 years he made a great impression on the football scene. And in 2019 he stated that in the end of 2019-2020 season he would leave Manchester City.
Second on our list is the actor Javier Bardem. He have received lots of awards for his performances in various roles and is probably the greatest actor ever from the Canary islands. One of his most famous parts is “No country for old men” which became a massive hit. The following year he starred in a film called “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” directed by the prestigious film maker Woody Allen. 2017 he has also starred in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” which is a franchise that is very successful.
Finally we have a woman named Daida Ruano Moreno. Maybe not as household as the other two but she is truly magnificent in her field: Windsurfing. She, and her identical twin sister Iballa Rueno are both extremely successful in their sport. They are also known for some philanthropic work. They have founded health clinics for women and children as well as organize windsurfing camps.
For more stories and news from the Canary Islands. Read our Travel Mag!