Why I chose the north of Tenerife over the south.
Black beaches and banana trees
For most Europeans Tenerife is known as a lazy destination for beach lovers. You stay at a hotel or apartment complex in Las Americas of Los Christianos. You put your towel on a stretcher at the pool before breakfast so that you have one for the rest of the day. The fathers you walk, is to the beach or to one of the million tappas restaurants on the boulevard. You eat, you drink, you sleep and you tan. Specially tanning is very important. Not really the kind of place that I, and most digital nomads, are attracted to. Welcome to the South of Tenerife.
Okay, I am being a little harsh right now, because also the south of Tenerife has its perks. But, there is no denying the fact that the south of Tenerife is build totally on tourists. You see, about twenty years ago, the south of Tenerife was just desert. It was a dry and hot place where nothing would grow, so why live there? When people first started living in Tenerife, they where looking for lands to grow stuff, have animals and become farmers. They found that at the north side of the island. Because of the high volcano, el Teide, clouds usually don't make it across. That's why they stay on the north and why it rains more. A greener and more fertile landscape is the result.
Does that mean it rains al the time?
Luckily it really doesn't. The Canaries lay just of the coast of the south of Morocco. Which means the weather is nice and warm all year around. The temperatures do vary from about 18 decrees in winter to 30 decrees in summer depending on the altitude. Compared to the south, the north is usually about 4 decrees colder than the south. It does rain more in the north, but after the hot summers, the rain is very welcome. The north is more cloudy too. Some days can be worse than others and usually clouds come and go. But, if you are really looking for a lot of sunshine, the north of Tenerife is a bit more unpredictable. From about November it rain every now and then, usually every few days for about an hour. In Januari an Februari there is usually a week of two when it really rains. And let's be honest, thats no fun if you are just on your holiday.
So why go in winter?
Let's not forget that winters in Tenerife are still nice and warm, especially compared to the rest of Europe. But other than that, the winter has some more benefits. First of all, the winter months are the best months to catch waves. Surfers from all over the wold come to Tenerife during winter, mostly in the north where the waves are bigger and better. Summers are better for beginners though, since the waves tend to get quite high in winter. Secondly, it's less touristy in winter. Even though most tourist go to the south of Tenerife, tourist also make there way to the north of the island. But, it's a different kind of tourist. While people go to the south to get there tan on, people visit the north to enjoy nature and be active. And that's why we love the North of Tenerife most of all. For it's beautiful nature and diversity.
There is so much to do in Tenerife and good weather is never far. The fathers you can drive is about 1,5 hour, so even when it rains in the north, a sunny beach is never far away. The north has black volcanic beaches, steep cliffs, little fisherman towns, banana farms and the forrest. It is heaven for every adventures soul.
What about culture?
The south of Tenerife is basically just hotels and apartment buildings for tourists. This is totally different in the north, where the Canaries live. Here you find real Spanish towns, whit local tapas bars and little cafes. Where people still take a siesta during the day and small shops close between 2 and 5. Where most people go to church on Sunday and where salsa music fills the streets. The capital, Santa Cruz hosts the second biggest carnaval of the world every year in Februari/March. Historical towns with beautiful architecture, fisherman villages and banana farms, they are all still alive in the North of Tenerife.
The town where Nine Coliving is based, is called La Orotava. It has one of the two historical centers on the whole island. It is a beautiful town, with lots of culture an history. People in La Orotava are super friendly and there is lots to do in and around the town. It is also the area where you find the best local cuisine of the island. Every year, two months after eastern, the town celebrates Corpus Christi, a week long festival that will blow your mind.
It's all about just making that little bit more effort to find the true Canarian culture in Tenerife. Because in the main tourist areas it may seem hard to find. It is all about taking the bus to that town just 10 minutes away form your big hotel. Just drive for half an hour and you will find yourself tasting local wine at a wine farm. A little boat brings you to the most amazing sunset looking out on Los Gigantes. It's all there, you just have to look for it.
So this is why we chose the north of Tenerife over the south. Come check it out for yourself!