Where is the South of Tenerife?

Where exactly is the south of Tenerife? Seriously, where is it? Because I don’t know. I thought I knew. The Spanish papers think it’s in the same place as I do. But there are quite a few non-Canarios on the island who seem to have drawn up completely different boundaries.

The location of the north of Tenerife is easy to define. It’s anywhere there’s cloud and rain… even if that happens to be geographically in the south. Honestly, there was a situation a year back when heavy rain devastated a beach in the south west of the island, yet if you read facebook you’d have been told the town was in the north.

A few weeks ago A was on a trip with a posse of British travel writers when the coach left warm sunshine to enter cool, damp cloud. Comments were made about how there was a noticeable difference when you left the south for the north.
Only thing was, this was still in the south. But it was in the hills and, as I’ve discovered over the years, nowhere in the south is above coastal level, certainly not anywhere where cloud is common and it’s significantly cooler i.e. the hills.

Last week we stood at the coast under a thick blanket of cloud watching holidaymakers in denial cloudbathe… with towels wrapped around them to keep them warm. It was in the heart of what I’d always believed was the main southern resort on Tenerife. That’s where it is on the map anyway. But then I read about how sunny the south was at that time so I was clearly mistaken.

This week on Tenerife all the seasons have descended at once – wind, sun, monsoon rain, wild seas, snow. There’s no doubt northern parts are experiencing the most extreme of the weather but I’ve seen photos of snow on the southern slopes and in hill towns above the south west coast, in some places as low as I’ve seen snow before.

Yet I also read about how the south was warm whilst the north was cold. It’s common for people to talk of the north when referring to anywhere from coastal level to the highest point in Spain at the peak of Mount Teide and compare it to the temperature on the coast at a specific point on the southern coast (i.e. the warmest bit). This can change on a daily basis – one of the reasons it’s difficult to pin down exactly where the south of Tenerife is.

But think I might have finally tracked it down. The south of Tenerife is actually on a balcony overlooking the coast on a promontory in Playa de las Americas.

At least that’s where it is this week, if cloud dares to fall across the balcony the south will up sticks and move somewhere else; somewhere there’s a sunny spot.


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