Tenerife divides naturally into two zones
The central massif of Tenerife, known as the Cumbre Dorsal, divides the island into two distinct zones; the dry, barren south and the rich, fertile north.
In the north, the sunny climate and mineral-rich soil, plus the gentle north-easterly trade winds, provide ideal conditions for an ever-abundant and diverse flora.
The moist air, at altitudes above 2000 feet, provides the vegetation with life-giving moisture in the form of mists and condensation.
On this north coast can be found the green-shrouded, elegant resort of Puerto de la Cruz, originally the harbour serving the agricultural valley of La Orotava, a few miles inland.
Puerto de la Cruz is much more sedate and less frenetic than the burgeoning, bustling Playa de las Americas in the south of the island.
The former is an ideal base for those seeking a quieter break in Tenerife. It is often a little cloudy here, especially in winter. However, it is invariably warm and very pleasant. The thickest clouds generally build up on the hills, a few miles inland of the resort, and not over Puerto de la Cruz itself.
Undoubtedly, the busiest and most popular tourist resort on Tenerife is the rapidly growing Los Cristianos/Playa de las Americas area in the south west of the island. Here the climate is invariably dry and sunny, even during winter months.
From the old, quiet fishing port of Los Cristianos, this bustling resort has spread rapidly and inexorably northwards along the coast for several miles.
Playa de las Americas is now conjoined with Los Cristianos and has in recent years expanded even further north to form the Fanabe Beach area .
The growth in the number of bars, restaurants, hotels and self-catering establishments on this coast is phenomenal. Anyone not visiting for 20 years would scarcely recognise the place!
The choice and variety of eating venues and "watering-holes" is tremendous!!
When Playa de las Americas was first developed in the Sixties, some of it was rushed up rather hurriedly, particularly the noisy Veronicas complex near the centre of the resort.
However, greater care is now taken with the architecture and many new developments have a far more pleasing appearance.
The quiet area, on the corner of the coast, between Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas, where many of the best 4 and 5 star hotels can be found, is a particularly pleasing, well -planned district.
Half-way along the west coast, north of Playa de las Americas, is the beautiful resort of Los Gigantes, with its spectacular high cliffs. This stunning resort is also growing rapidly in popularity. It is worth visiting for the scenery!!
Tenerife, with its wonderful, pleasantly warm year-round climate, has a great deal to offer its holidaymakers, especially those wishing to escape the worst of our northern European winters.