Spanish, but English is widely spoken in resort areas.
220V AC, similar to the UK, but two-pin plugs are required for mains sockets so don’t forget to pack a UK-to-European adapter.
+34 (national), 922 (Tenerife).
Tipping in Tenerife
When it comes to the tricky question of tipping in Tenerife, like everything else on the island, the philosophy of mas o menos (more or less) applies.
Generally speaking, tipping waiters somewhere in the 10% range in Tenerife restaurants is about right but that doesn't mean that if the bill is €46.20 that you have to rummage for €6.20 – just round it up to €50 and you'll be mas o menos spot on.
Tip somewhere in the 10% range and a little rounding up will do nicely. You'll find that the taxi driver takes your €50 note and then dithers. That's his hint, and your cue to say "Just give me back €x" . Of course, this does mean a bit of nifty mental arithmetic – a whole lot easier in a taxi from Tenerife airport than after a night out in Playa de Las Américas!
Keep tipping fairly low in bars, you're not expected to leave more than 50 cents at the end of the night.
Is there a time difference between Tenerife and the UK?
The simple answer is "no", there is no time difference between Tenerife and the UK. On another level, the answer is "yes – about 50 years."
Business hours on Tenerife
Large commercial centres open their doors from 10am to 10pm giving more than enough time for your credit card to enjoy a decent workout. Outside of the main resorts, shops close for siesta from 1.30pm to 4.30pm and on Sundays. Major supermarket chains and small supermarkets in resort centres stay open all day from Monday to Saturday.
Banks open from 8/8.30am to 2pm from Monday to Friday with one late night opening, usually Thursday, until 8pm. A few larger city centre banks open on Saturday mornings.
Always ask for stamps at the shop when you're buying your postcards and so avoid the Correos experience altogether. In larger post offices there are numbered ticket systems; grab a number or you could be standing there until your flight home is due. If you just want stamps for your postcards, avoid queuing by using the stamp machine.
Main post offices are open from 8.30am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 1pm Saturdays. Smaller post offices close at 2.30pm Monday to Friday.
Although it's safe to drink the water from the tap in Tenerife it’s pretty heavily treated and can cause a stomach upset in the uninitiated. Most people buy bottled water for drinking.
When to go
High season is winter when northern Europeans flock to the beaches to thaw their toes. You'll get cheaper hotel rates to go with your wall to wall sunshine if you visit in summer.
Value for money is dependent on exchange rates but generally speaking, prices compare quite favourably to the UK on most basics provided you opt for local brands. If your bread has to be Warburtons and your coffee Nescafé, prepare to pay the import premium.
Bread – A large sliced loaf is around €1.25/ £1 in Tenerife (£1.35 in the UK)
Coffee – is good value in Tenerife at under €2/ £1.73 for 250 grammes of filter (£3 for 100 grammes in UK)
Tea – As the only decent brands are imported, if you're a tea addict it's worth throwing some in the suitcase. €2.80/ £2.42 for 40 Tetley T bags (£1.15 in the UK)
Butter – Varies widely in price but averages €1.50/ £1.30 for 250 grammes (£1.20 in the UK)
Beer – You can pay as little as €1/ £0.86 a pint for the local Dorada in lots of bars and usually no more than €2.20/ £1.90 (£2.20 in UK)
Milk – Semi skimmed is €1/£0.86 a pint (£0.48 in UK)
Petrol – is currently €1.09/ £0.94 a litre for 98 unleaded (£1.36 in UK)
Heinz Baked Beans – €0.89/ £0.77 for a large tin (£0.64 in UK)
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"The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time" - Bill Bryson