Tenerife is a beautiful island of contrasts, and hiring a car is the best way to experience it all, while still taking your holiday at your own pace...
Tenerife is so varied that it's possible to visit for a fun-filled hedonistic break, but also to escape for a quiet holiday away from it all. Even the most dedicated visitor to Tenerife will say that there is still much more to uncover.
Sun-worshippers will be in their element relaxing on the island's black sands and topping up their tans. And there will be plenty to keep you entertained in the evenings with a variety of restaurants for al fresco dining. The busier resorts have a wide selection of bars and nightclubs.
Holidays in Tenerife are great for families too, and hiring a car will allow you to visit many of the water parks and attractions on offer, such as Loro Parque with its collection of animals and exhibitions.
Active types can enjoy fabulous views when hiking in areas such as Teide National Park where they can admire the towering volcano. Other options for those looking to burn off excess energy include watersports and golf.
With so many amazing places to explore in Tenerife, the only problem you'll have is deciding where to go first! Here are some ideas to get you started...
The capital of Santa Cruz is great for shopping and for experiencing the thrills of a festival, the most popular of which is Carnaval around Lent.
Popular resorts include the party towns of Puerto de la Cruz, Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos, quieter Costa Adeje and Playa Paraiso, the neighbouring areas of Los Gigante, Puerto de Santiago, and Playa de la Arena, and the wind surfing capital of the island, Costa del Silencio, which earns its reputation thanks to frequent wild Atlantic winds that hit the north coast.
Watersports of a more gentle temperament are available at fantastic family-friendly water parks, such as Siam Park and Aqualand, near Playa de las Americas on the west coast. The latter is also a Sea-World-style park, with friendly dolphins on show.
To make the most of your holiday in Tenerife, car hire is a really good idea to transport your group from water park to beach to volcano - it could be much cheaper than taxis, plus public transport does not always reach attractions that are off the main routes.
Whether you arrive at Tenerife South Airport (TFS), previously known as Tenerife South-Reina Sofia Airport, or Tenerife North (TFN), it is wise to pre-book your car hire in Tenerife to ensure you get the best make and model of car for you at the best price.
Hiring a car will afford you great freedom while on holiday, but it's wise to get a few tips before taking to the roads in Tenerife...
• Tenerife boasts a great road network so you can cross the island in good time. As in the rest of Spain, driving is on the right.
• Don't get caught out at the petrol station. Unleaded fuel is known as 'gasolina sin plomo' and diesel is often labelled 'gas-oil' or 'gasóleo.'
• Pre-booking car hire is sensible. Not only will you save money, you're also likely to have more choice of vehicle when compared to organising car hire on arrival in Tenerife. The credit card you use for your booking will need to be shown when you pick up the car.
So where will your island adventure take you? Here are five great driving routes to start you off and give you some inspiration...
1. Magnificent Mount Teide lies at the heart of Tenerife and travelling by car is a great way to reach the towering volcano that is more than 3,000 feet high. A further benefit is that you are not restricted when you arrive and can spend as much time as you want at the national park.
2. The remote village of Masca and its surrounding areas afford outstanding views. However, it's a notoriously challenging drive up the mountains with tight hairpin bends and sheer drops. Be prepared to zig-zag your way up - and only attempt if you have a head for heights!
3. A trip to Guimar, midway along the east coast, will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the island's resorts, and it's here you can visit the mysterious Pyramids of Guimar.
4. If shopping is on your list, you may want to drive to the west coast of the island where you can discover a number of designer stores.
5. The drive from La Laguna to El Portillo will afford you jaw-dropping views of both sides of the island and take you through stunning scenery.