Need to know about Tenerife
The residents of the Canary-islands live their everyday life like a European and as most of the Mediterranean people their work hours are split into two halves by the afternoon rest (siesta), which takes from 1 o'clock am, till 5 o'clock. For this time shops and offices are being closed and the buzzing of the streets calm down a bit. However the shops are staying open even on weekends in the biggest tourist centres. The shops and pharmacies official business hours are from 9-13 on the weekdays (then from 17-21 hours), on Saturdays its from 9-13 and they are keeping closed on Sundays. The banks and post offices are staying open from 8:30 till 14 o'clock, but on Saturdays only the appointed offices keep their doors open for their clients.
The local currency on the Canary-islands is the Euro just like in Spain.
Of course you can use your mobile phones as well in Tenerife. The biggest providers are Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and Yoigo.
If you'd like to use a phone booth to call back home, you can buy phone cards worth 5 and 10 Euros. The order of typing in the numbers is as follows; the country's code number, area code, then the phone number. The local codes for Tenerife are 00 34 - the area numbers differ from province to province. (You can find them in the phone books of the booth or you can ask about it in post offices.)
If you want to send a postcard back to continental Europe meanwhile your holiday, you have to affix a stamp worth 0.25 € onto it. The postal connection between the islands and Europe are quite slow - it might take 10-14 days till their arrival.
Those who arrive on the Canary-islands have to set their clocks to the CET (Central European Time zone).
You might want to buy some food that reminds you your usual meals. The beautiful salamis are tempting – however most of them are a little bit sour. There are many kinds of salty butter and if you keep your eyes open, you might find some unsalted butter as well. You can buy several kinds of flavoured and fruit yoghurts as well. You might want to try the kiwi and avocado grown in La Gomera, the fresh tomato and the big lanzarote onion from La Palma, the papaya del pais, the nispero, the durazno, the banana and the green fig grown locally in Tenerife.
But you shouldn't drink from the tap water. You can get "canary sickness" because of it - its symptoms are strong headache, fever and diarrhea. You can buy bottled water in every shop in 1.5 and 5 litres bottles.
If you have to get some medical attendance most of the hospitals accept your original health insurance (if you’re a resident of the European Union). Otherwise you have to pay by cash (a transport via an ambulance car might cost you approximately 60 € for example.) We recommend that you should get the European Health Insurance card before your travel.
Compared to the length of Tenerife's coast, there aren't too many sandy beaches, but those which are, are free to enter and you can be there any time. Although you have to pay for the beach umbrellas and beds (3-4 € each without any time limitations).
Road network: There are two motorways (autopista) on Tenerife which can be used without payment. This two connects Tenerife’s northern and southern side. (TF1; TF2). The roads are in good condition, but you should be aware that the driver’s morale is like in Italy.
You should pay attention about the following things:
There are lots of tourists on the roads from different countries with different driving morale. Most of them don’t really know the roads and change lanes in the last second. You should keep a bigger following distance and drive slower. Always stop when you see a pedestrian crossing the road at a zebra crossing!
Safety: The Canary-island's public safety in general is great. Although some small time petty pick pocketing might go down if you don’t look after your belongings – but that’s happening in every holiday resort. As well you should close your apartments doors when you leave just in case.
Summer: The summer season in Tenerife lasts from June to the end of September. The 25-26°C of June crawls up to 28-30 °C in August, which stays even in September. At this time the temperature at night is usually around 20°C. Tenerife is in the North Atlantic Ocean, so the water temperature in summer is about 22°C. In the summer period the sun shines 9-10 hours per day, and the weather is dry, the chance of rain is minimal. Sometimes the Sirocco wind from Africa visits the Canary Islands; when this happens, the temperature may rise to 35°C, and the Saharan wind may bring some sand with it as well. In Tenerife the summer and winter seasons are the busiest.
Autumn: October and November are also warm months in Tenerife. What is different compared to summer is that there could be some light rain, but here rain means just a shower that lasts only for a couple of minutes. The average temperature in October is 26°C, in November it is 24°C. This is when the ocean is the warmest - in these months the water is around 23°C.
Winter: winter in Tenerife lasts from December to the end of February. These are also warm months, but there’s more rain. In December and February about 22-23°C is typical. January is the coolest; usually the temperature during the day is 21-22°C. Of course it’s possible that the thermometer sometimes reaches 24-25°C, but 21-22°C is more common. However it’s important to know that in Tenerife we almost always feel the temperature to be a couple of degrees higher than what it actually is; this is because of the different climate. The nights in this period are cooler; the temperature can drop to 15°C, so it’s recommended that you keep some warm clothes with you.
The good news is that even if there are some rainy days, the good weather will return quickly, and the sun will shine 6 hours on average. The Atlantic Ocean is suitable for bathing even in these months. In winter, in most European countries, just 1 or 2 hours of sunshine is what you can expect, so if you want to take a break from the cold, grey everyday life, but you don’t want to spend 10 hours on a plane, then Tenerife is perfect for your winter vacation.
Spring: like everywhere, March, April and May are the spring months on the island of Tenerife. In these months the daytime temperature returns from the 22°C of winter to around 25°C. The nights are still cooler (about 16°C), but the chance of rain is much less than in winter, and the number of sunny hours is also higher, reaching 9 hours by May. This is a fantastic time for those who like to marvel at the rebirth of nature: in spring the whole island blossoms.