|About Tenerife weather, culture and life|
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I never quite understood how it took me so long
for us to find out about the wonderful weather and all year climate of Tenerife. Tenerife features the lowest temperature
difference between summer and winter for virtually anywhere in the world. Our weather occasionally includes rain, but there
is no specific rainy season. Air conditioning is quite rare, with overhead fans usually providing sufficient air movement to
stay cool, even during the height of summer. The minimum and maximum annual average air temperatures in Tenerife are
about 15C in winter and 24C in summer. We thus enjoy wonderful weather in one of the worlds best and most delightful climates
The Island offers a surprising variety of micro-climatic weather zones, enabling people to almost choose their climate,
depending on where you live. The Trade winds, together with the refreshing Gulf air currents, are the major weather
factors that contribute to Tenerifes climate. The great altitude of Mount Teide gets up to three months of snow - yet it is
still possible to enjoy a swim on the beach within an hours ride. The coastal areas enjoy the most sunshine, the best
weather, the least clouds and higher temperatures.
|Tenerife average air temperatures to nearest degree C|
Tenerife, largest of the Canary Islands, is situated 200 miles off the west coast of North West Africa at about 28 degrees latitude and 16.5 degrees longitude. Triangular in shape, (see Maps Page) the island would fit into a rectangle about 90 km wide by 80 km high and has a road measured perimeter of about 358 km. Mount Teide, the extinct volcano which dominates the centre of the island stands at 12,200 feet high - and is the highest point in Spain. Its peak can be seen from all of the other Canary Islands. The island is full of natural contrasts, the south being totally different, both visually and climatically, to the North. There are vast areas of stunning natural scenery and a tour of Mount Teide quickly reveals why this particular area was chosen as the backdrop to scenes in famous films such as Star Wars, Planet of the Apes and the Ten Commandments. Volcanic cones are distributed randomly over the whole islands surface and contribute to the amazing landscape. Two busy International Airports and a sea port link, ferry about 1 million hot weather seeking tourists from Europe, USA and the rest of the world. Time Zone Tenerife is due south of London, UK, so Tenerife has the same time UTC (GMT).
Tenerife and the Canary Islands are well linked to the rest of the world, with regular connection flights from Madrid international airport, and direct flights from most other European Airports. Ferry services (including vehicle ferries) are mainly from Cadiz (Spanish mainland) and Santa Cruz, Tenerife. Many other smaller operators provide other, less regular but reliable services, e.g. Cardiff (UK) - Tenerife every 3 months. Apart from that, Tenerife is often a fine weather stopover for various cruise ships.
Although a province of Spain, Tenerife has its own Government and special status within the EEC (European Community). The Spanish monarchy is represented by King Carlos, Queen Sofia. Their son Prince Felipe is heir to the throne. There is a military presence in Tenerife, the principal Army garrison is in Santa Cruz. The Tenerife resident population is estimated at around 1.5 million people. Police Services comprise 3 main groups Policia Local - Guardia Civil - Policia National. The overlap between their activities is somewhat blurred. Local Police take care of local citizens, patrolling beaches, streets, control traffic and handle minor offences, complaints and lost and found. National Police man the emergency telephone numbers. When accidents, fires or robbery occur they send the appropriate force for the job. Guardia Civil investigate crimes and are responsible for drug enforcement and controls, murder investigations etc. The emergency police telephone number is 091
With some of the worlds best weather, the Tenerife economy is dominated by Tourism. The Canary Islands are within easy reach for Europe, only a 4 hour flight from most European countries. With its superb winter climate, Tenerife will always remain a popular destination. The other warm weather industries include Banana and other Agricultural exports and newly emerging service industries serving the rapidly growing resident population. The formation of special Offshore Zones, (ZEC Zones) which feature a Corporate Tax rate of only 1%, is now almost complete. Living costs - most things considered bad for us, cigarettes, alcohol, red meat, etc, are usually far cheaper in Tenerife than most other European countries, but the overall cost of living is high. Salaries and pensions on the other hand, are the lowest in Spain. Property prices, as one would expect in one of Europes most popular resorts, are also extremely high.
We have just about every culture here - and its cool. Usually drawn by the consistent weather, the main nationalities are Spanish, British, Germans, Italians, Americans and Russians. The annual Mardi Gras Carnival at Santa Cruz is the second largest in the world. Almost impossible for countries with poorer weather, this spectacular event involves all the people of Tenerife, happens in February - not to be missed if you like to have fun. Festivals are regular and common in Tenerife and every month, somewhere on the island, something will be being celebrated. Other main fiestas are Corpus Cristi (the streets of La Oratava are laid with incredible flower carpets), Burying of the Sardine . Cgristmas Day gifts are normally presented on Day of the Kings ( 6th January). New Year Eve is fabulous fun, dancing, singing, fireworks, if you can find somewhere to stay on the island it is well worth being here for, so book really early. The lifestyle is very outdoor, warm weather orientated. but the is still a high cultural presence in the way of Museums, Arts Galleries etc.
The Astronomical Observatory, is located high in the mountains of Tenerife. The observatory is part of an intensive cosmic and space research programme - their site is at http://www.iac.es. The Technological Institute of the Canary Islands is a company attached to the Department of Trade and Industry. Its co-ordinates interaction between the social agents who influence technological, industrial or business progress in the Canary Islands, e.g., Regional Government, Universities and public centres of research and development. who research the projects important to the area, such as desalination. Extensive Wind Power generators situated east coast use the constant breeze which is a feature of the weather in the chosen locations.
The multinational environment results in a fantastic choice of food. Eating out is cheap and few places can offer the
equivalent life-style at such an affordable price. Golf Courses, Night Clubs and a host of other amenities give you that
mainland feel. Touring, particularly with the fine weather, is most enjoyable - the island is sufficiently large to ensure it
will take you a few years of touring to know the place intimately. A number of high quality beaches are now operational.
If your your children are keen on In-Line skating - Roller Blading Skate Boarding, Surfing, Wind surfing, Body
Boarding, Tennis, Golf - then they will find the local Spanish, English and kids of other nationalities, around at the local
sites and facilities, so tell them they can bring their boards etc. Contact us to find out where the local places for these
activities are. Most bars and often restaurants provide entertainment from Quiz nights and karaoke to local singers
and comedians, you will find all tastes are covered. Cabaret shows, Casinos, Spectaculars are common and can easily
be found. (see Attractions page)
For quieter nights, most hotels and complexs have satellite TV. You can also hire TVs and video players and hire videos.
There are several English speaking radio stations, Radio FM 95.3 MHz - Power FM 91.2 MHz- Waves FM 96.8 MHz.
One of the places we recommend to visit, is the public BBQ areas of the National Park of Teide. Many visitors miss this
type of day out because it is only normally well known and used by local people. These areas are set in the pine forests,
the logs are cut by the forestry dept. and all you have to do is take your food and drinks with you for a great day out.
You will often find local Canarians singing and playing instruments and more often that not if you are brave enough to
make the first move they may well adopt you for the day. The fires are shared and if one is alight just ask if you can use
it when they have finished. If the weather happens to be poor at sea level, it is often above the clouds and perfect at this altitude
There are several national Lotteries and these tickets are sold almost everywhere.
A superb all year climate allows Tenerife to be used as a sporting holiday centre. In particular, the Tenerife soccer team is well respected internationally and the demanding Golf courses have hosted international Opens. World Wind Surfing Championship legs are held at El Medano. Tennis is played to a very high standard at club level. Boxers, Athletes and racing cyclists use Tenerife regularly for training. Sports coaches and teachers are many and varied - see Attractions pages or email us for more information on sport or sporting holidays.
High quality medical care, both Private and National, is offered by a wide selection of Clinics and Hospitals. The Canarians are very health conscious. Many people come to Tenerife for its well known therapeutic value. Many winter visitors come from Europes coldest weather to get relief from ailments such as Artgritis and MS. Those with mobility problems should always check they have booked accommodation on the flatter parts.
For an island of modest size, schooling choices are wide. English, German and Spanish schools predominate. The Spanish State schools are mostly free, the rest being privately operated. Many Spanish and German parents prefer to send their children to the English private schools. Our children are 11 have attended both the well established EEC (English Educational Centre) based in Golf Del Sur and Wingate school based in Cabo Blanco. Both schools operate in accordance with the UK schools curriculum. Note that regular inspections by the UK authorities are made, to ensure conformity with the UK curriculum. The North also has a similar school based, Yeoward School in Puerto de la Cruz. Use the menus if you want more information on these schools.
The vast majority of properties here are privately owned by foreign investors. The multinational market appeal ensures that property values sustain continuous growth. Tenerife market sectors are not generally dependant on any particular nations economy. Buying property in Tenerife is an excellent investment, simply ensure that you avoid the inevitable pitfalls. If you need reassurance on what these are, you can simply email us asking for more information on purchasing. There is always a high demand for rented accommodation, so long term rental can be a problem if not researched early. Accommodation falls into two categories (1) Privately owned properties, available for long term rentals on holidays type complexs and (2) Spanish edificio (residential apartment blocks) that tend to be smaller, cheaper and probably in high rise buildings. For more information on rented accommodation fax or email us with your plans and queries. Holiday rentals are easier to find and are very varied depending on your needs.
Your statutory obligations for foreigners living and working in Tenerife, are simple, specific and quite fair. Tenerife is not Spain. Remember this. Although the Canary Islands are Spanish Sovereignty, they are fairly autonomous, having their own government and political system. Though many of the rules are common to mainland Spain, there are many exceptions and differences - you may often have to follow particular procedures in Tenerife that would not be required in Spain. Currently, the traditional Work Permit no longer exists in its original form. However, you cannot Live or Work in Tenerife for any reasonable length of time without a Residencia. Many people are given the impression that an NIE Number or Contract of Work is sufficient to make them legal. This is absolutely incorrect - having possession of such things does not imply that the statutory obligations, such as Social Security payments, etc, are being met. Obtaining a Residencia takes a little time, but is perfectly straightforward. There are 3 basic type of Residential/Working Status -
1. Residencia Only
The Canarian Authorities allow you apply for a Residencia to live here. Your application must include evidence of (i) Income or Pension from abroad on a regular basis, by means of a letter from your Tenerife Bankers, and (ii) Documents for Private Medical Insurance or some other arrangements for health cover. Initially, Residencias are usually issued with a validity of between 3 and 5 years.
2. Residencia/Work Permit as an EMPLOYEE (Cuenta Ajena)
Your application must include a copy of your contract of work from your employer. Normally, the Residencia will be valid for the same period specified in the Contract, up to a maximum of five years. When your Residencia expires, there is no provision to extend the Residencia. You must re-apply in full for a new Residencia, repeating the original procedure. A long term Contract will help in avoiding this.
3. Residencia and Work Permit SELF-EMPLOYED (Cuenta Propia)
This is the status you require to run your own business. Your Social Security payments will be about 200.00 Euro's per month and this will entitle you to full National Health Medical Cover. ). Note that most activities will require you to have a proper business address at a commercial unit (called a local). Some activities can be operated from your home address, but not many. You must also buy the appropriate annual licence that covers your particular activity (i.e., Bar, Mechanic, Shopkeeper). Your accountant will then submit your accounts every 3 months, with a further annual submission. Your principal monthly operating costs will be - Social Security + Accountants Monthly fees + Local/Unit Rent (about 240.00 Euro's + Local rent)
The majority of work opportunities tend to be in the tourist sector. You can work in Tenerife without resident/work permit for a period of 3 months on a temporary contract. You are permitted to extend this once, for a further 3 months. After this period you are obliged to apply for a full Residencia Work Permits. Jobs - Are advertised in local English Spanish newspapers but most are found by a little effort, for example by approaching, bars cafeterias and shops directly. It is quite common to find multi-lingual people in Tenerife. Because many people here speak several languages it means wages for multi-lingual people are not particularly high. It is normal for an employer to ask for two or more languages. Spanish/English and Spanish/German being the most common. Jobs especially in the busiest periods are available. Contracts of work are sometimes lacking, as employers do not want to get into the paperwork and cost this involves, however, contracts are sometimes offered.
Businesses can be bought as going concerns or formed from scratch. See the Business Tips, Companies and For Sale pages. Normally, you obtain a Residencia and work permit (as above). These are not required if you own a business in Tenerife, but do not actively work in the business or permanently reside in Tenerife, You will then need the appropriate licence to run your chosen business, trade or profession. Unless you have a particular reason for requiring a Tenerife Limited Company, most business and tax requirements are better met by the Sole Proprietor or Partnership methods. Partnerships can be simply and reliably arranged by a Notarised private agreement. More specialised information is available on the Offshore page.