The platinum experience

Good to know


Duty-Free

It is advisable to buy your Duty-free goods in local shops or supermarkets as they are usually cheaper than airport shops or airline sales. Remember there are restrictions on the amount of duty-free goods you can bring back to the UK.

Opening Hours

Generally, the shops are open from 9am to 1pm and from 4pm to 8pm although a lot of the souvenir shops are open all day and some of them seven days a week. Some shops may open only for the morning on Saturdays, but all are closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Bank opening hours are between 9am and 2pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays (no Saturday opening from June to October).

Tipping

Tipping is very discretionary in Tenerife. Restaurants include service charges in their bill although a small tip, usually of about 10%, is expected and very appreciated. Also the hotel staff will be very happy with a couple of Euros’ tip.

Sun Protection

This is a must in the Canaries. Even on the cloudiest day you can easily get sunburned. Although enjoying the warm sun is a key feature of a holiday in Tenerife, by taking a few simple precautions you can avoid unpleasant situations like sunburn or sunstroke. It is advisable to wear a hat and sunglasses, and re-apply your sunscreen every two hours. Also drink plenty of water.

Beach Safety

The following coloured flag warnings apply: red – strong currents, do not swim; yellow – strong winds and turbulent sea conditions, take care; green – safe to swim. Always supervise children when near the water and obey the beach warning flags.

Smoking

In January 2011 the whole of Spain implemented one of the strictest smoking bans in Europe, prohibiting smoking in all bars and restaurants, near hospitals, children’s playgrounds and schools. Spain is in fact one of the last EU countries to implement the ban.

Airport Transfers

In the busy periods, travellers may have to queue more than an hour to get a taxi at the airport. However, if you tick the ‘transfer from the airport’ box on your Vacation Planner, you will be taken directly to your own VIP taxi.

Buses and Taxis

The bus service in Tenerife is pretty good, despite a lack of helpful information about routes. Buses are regular and clean, and the drivers are friendly. The taxi service is honest and provides a good level of service at reasonable prices. Make sure you use an official licensed taxi – these are identified by the green light they display on their roof or window, and should display a small rear number plate with the initials SP.

Excursions

Tenerife offers a huge choice of excursions – from shopping in the capital to water parks, jeep safaris and much more. Many parks and attractions provide free transport. Check with the Reception at your resort.

Water

Although the tap water in Tenerife is hygienically safe, it contains a lot of minerals and can easily upset your stomach. It’s highly recommended to buy bottled water for drinking and cooking, or at least use a water filter.

Mount Teide

Teide is Europe’s highest volcano and Spain’s highest mountain. Organised trips take place during the day and also at night for stargazing enthusiasts. If you would like to ascend Teide on foot, permission must be obtained in advance as only a limited number of people are allowed to do so per day. Let us know on your Vacation Planner and we can organise it for you.

The cable car is operational from 9am till 4pm but does not run during high winds or bad weather conditions. It goes from the roadside at 2,356m most of the way to the summit, reaching 3,555m. Each car carries 38 passengers and takes eight minutes to reach the summit.

Canarian Culture

If you want to get a feel of traditional Canarian culture, be sure to visit the north of the island where there is much evidence of the island’s rich history. Visit Santa Cruz at carnival time and experience the legendary parades. Enjoy a performance by the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra at the magnificent Auditorio, or watch a game of “lucha canaria” – the Canary Islands’ traditional sport. The northern town of La Laguna is also a cultural hub full of interesting and eccentric Canarian architecture – worth a visit if you fancy seeing something different on your holiday.

Carnival

If you are a carnival lover, make sure to pay at least one visit to the Santa Cruz carnival in February, often referred to as the second biggest in the world, after Rio de Janeiro. The festivities are something to behold and a real event for locals and tourists alike. The last event in the Tenerife carnival calendar is the ‘Burial of the Sardine’ – a tongue-in-cheek parade which takes place in Guïmar and sees the locals dressed in black to mark the passing of the spirit of carnival.

Emergency Services

Holidays are usually an enjoyable experience, but if something does go wrong, it’s good to have these useful numbers to hand. The main emergency number is free-phone 112 and English is spoken. Other useful numbers are 091 for the police and 061 for ambulance.