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Why Tenerife is Greener than You Think

SPAIN | Tuesday, 30 January 2018 | Views [172]

(Image source: Flickr)

When you think of holidays to Tenerife, it’s easy to conjure images of busy beaches lined with bars, themed waterparks and amusement centres, as well all-you-can-eat hotel buffets that will see you through breakfast, lunch and dinner. Over the decades, this beautiful island destination has gained a reputation of being very “tourist friendly”. Something which doesn’t go hand in hand with caring for the environment. But what many travellers don’t realise is that Tenerife is much greener than we all think…

Flora and Fauna

In fact, 47.5% of the entire island is protected, with 48 different parks and nature reserves creating a home for a whole array of flora and fauna, with more than 50 that are endemic to the area. Tenerife is indeed a great place to travel for wildlife lovers and with the greatest endemic biodiversity in Europe, it will make an interesting place for anyone who enjoys learning more about animal or plant life. It is also the only place in the world with its own flora section at Kew Garden in London.

If you’re here to explore the nature hikes, you will be spoilt for choice with location. The mountain village of Masca provides walks with the most amazing views of the coast and are abound with forests of cypress trees and palm trees. There’s also Teide National Park which is perhaps the island’s most iconic outdoor destination, and a favourite for cyclists or families wishing to enjoy a camping experience.

Eco Retreats

As well as boasting huge areas of protected parklands, the island is also home to a number of eco destinations. One of the finest examples of green tourism taking place in Tenerife is the Casas Bioclimáticas holiday village. A €10 million project run by the Technological Institute of Renewable Energies on the south coast. A village designed with bioclimatic that are completely self-sufficient in terms of energy. Holiday properties that are 100% carbon neutral, and even built from totally natural and recyclable materials.

The Casa Bioclimáticas village is powered by wind turbines, and with Europe’s wind farming industry (particularly with offshore wind farms) growing at an incredible rate, this could be the first of many eco resorts in the Canary Islands.

Study and Volunteer

If you want to travel and give back to the environment at the same time, there are a number of volunteering opportunities that may suit you. For young travellers and students, the AWdF can offer very affordable volunteering trips to help research, study and monitor the island’s beautiful bottlenose dolphins. Volunteers will get the chance to contribute to saving a species that is currently under threat from things such as habitat degradation, commercial fishing, prey depletion from overfishing, as well as increased pollution and poor water quality.

There are also whale conservation projects, turtle conservation projects as well as other volunteering schemes designed to connect tourists and local communities. For instance, you can choose to teach English, get involved in community development work, or offer your time to assist with refugees who desperately need help settling in.

Tags: eco, green, volunteering, wind farms

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