When we think about Tenerife, the first thing that comes to our mind is palm trees and beaches. But the island offers much more, and every day you learn something new about it. The history, its specific flora and fauna (endemic species) and many many others that will attract tourists from all around the world.
The name of the ‘Canary Islands’ did not come from any bird.
The truth is that it comes from dogs (Lat. Canis) which herds in the past inhabited the rustic area. Therefore, in the coat of arms of the islands you can find two dogs. However, since the names of the islands was formed with the name Canarias, in English was translated as “Canary“. In fact, you will not find many wild canaries here.
On the islands the VAT is much lower.
Tenerife is located outside the European tax VAT. Canarians pay a special tax: IGIC. This tax on most of the products is 7%, and petrol or diesel is very cheap (a liter of fuel costs less than 1 euro). Also, tobacco products cost much cheaper, you can buy a package of 20 cigerettes from 1.60 euros. In drugstores and airports you can buy cheap cosmetics, including branded and exclusive perfumes (for example ‘Lancome‘ costs around 30 euros).
The real treasure of Tenerife: bananas (plátano)
Bananas from the Canary Islands are smaller, sweeter and much tastier than those from Latin America. Researchers from the University of Zaragoza discovered that Canarian bananas have more nutritional value and are an appropriate component for the diet of children and athletes. Growing bananas in addition to tourism is the basis of the local economy. In almost every store we buy sweets made with these delicacies. In restaurants, you can find a variety of dishes and desserts with bananas, even sushi 😉
Aloe Vera: a miracle of nature.
Everywhere in Tenerife you will find cosmetics and products containing aloe vera. This type of plant comprises a plurality of nutrients, including vitamins (especially vitamin A, C, E, folic acid), minerals, amino acids and enzymes and is used in cosmetics and medicine. Cosmetics with aloe are recommended as these products are ideal for burns, abrasions and insect bites, moreover, they are a great moisturizer and rejuvenator. They are relatively cheap, in a range between 3 and 15 euros.
One of the symbols of the island are lizards (perenquén)
This little gecko is one of the broad group of endemic species living in Tenerife. They can be found almost everywhere. These little skittish reptiles are harmless and very useful, because they eat large amounts of mosquitoes and other insects. With luck, and if you have with you some food, lizards can get closer. They love tomatoes !!
Better learn some Spanish before you arrive.
If you are going to Tenerife or another of the Canary Islands you should learn basic Spanish phrases. The inhabitants of the islands are very nice people, unfortunately, many of them do not speak English. Only a few bars or hotels located in major tourist areas will not have a problem with the language, but do not expect to get along in English with the taxi driver or bus driver.
Canarian people are very nice and helpful people.
If you have a problem, canarian people will be happy to give you help. They are also famous for their kindness when driving. Very often the driver greet with the horn, and when they see pedestrians trying to cross, the cars almost always stop. They can also be good guides to the island.