From volcanoes to killer whales Tenerife’s sports unlock the best of the planet’s natural beauty

Those balmy temperatures and an abundance of different terrain mean it's perfect for sporting fun and adrenalin-charged activity.

My challenge was to discover what you can get up to off the sun lounger on an island famed for everything from caving to paragliding.

The list of sports on offer is impressive, with land-based options including hiking, cycling, mountain biking, climbing, canyoning, tennis and golf.

For the sea-lovers there is scuba diving, surfing, bodyboarding, paddle surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing, dinghy sailing, kayaking, free diving, fishing and swimming.

It doesn't just offer these sports, but is an authority in some of them.

For the past eight years, one of the PWA Windsurfing World Cup events has been held in the town of El Medano.

With its black sand beaches and a bustling square filled with bars and restaurants, the area is a hit with the locals. And it goes down well with the windsurfers too.

Cornish BWA Pro UK Champion Adam Lewis, 30, was in town to compete, but managed to soak up the local culture too.

He said El Medano reminded him of home, with a "buzzing cosmopolitan mix of old bars and cafes. There's really good food too, that's why I like coming here".

I was staying in El Medano at the 4H Kn Arenas del Mar Hotel, with the beach or mountains providing the perfect backdrop to soak up a glass of wine on the balcony.

If you needed more relaxation, the hotel's spa and pools could probably take care of that. The entire hotel had a serene atmosphere, partly due to the indoor stream running through reception, complete with live fish.

The adults-only affair offered a daily changing menu in the buffet restaurant, which occasionally included tequila shots, or an à la carte service.

Tenerife is home to a renowned Umberto Pelizzari school of freediving, the Apnea Academy West Europe. The world-class facilities include state-of-the-art equipment and chlorine-free pools.

Instructor Paco González tells me the footballers from teams such as Tottenham and Liverpool visit the centre.

He asks if we've ever heard of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps who comes for 12 days a year in August.

They're doing something right – after just an hour's freediving lesson I was able to hold my breath underwatrer for three minutes and one second – a personal best.

If, like me, you're not an accomplished athlete, there's still plenty to enjoy.

The island has an abundance of natural beauty, with its white or black sandy beaches and crystal clear waters brimming with wildlife from dolphins to turtles.

Plenty of companies can rustle up any activity which takes your fancy – including some you may not have heard of.

Instructor Nauzet Delgdo, who works for Tenoactive, is eager to show off their aquatic bike.

A regular pedal bike, it's been given a new lease of life on the high seas.

And there's no better backdrop to try it out than the coastal town of Los Gigantes, or Cliffs of Giants, which is flanked by 2,625ft high slabs of impressive rock.

In keeping with the colossal surroundings, giants of the ocean can be found here, too.

Nauzet tells me that a week ago six orcas were spotted just off the coast.

And with 28 species of marine life regularly seen in the nearby waters, it's not an uncommon sight.

He adds: "Pilot whales, spotted dolphin, bottlenose dolphins … all year long they're living on this part of the island."

Despite his speciality in water activities, what is his favourite sport? He tells me: "I prefer paragliding."

I might save that one for next time.


STAYING THERE: One night's room only at Kn Arenas del Mar Hotel in El Medano from £33pp based on two sharing. See

GETTING THERE: Flights with Norwegian from UK to Tenerife from £39.90pp one-way including fullsize carry-on luggage and one small personal item. See


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