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Tenerife Guide

Visitors guide to some features
Page Content    Utilities  Clothes   Passports  Arriving  Accommodation  Money-Banks 
Shops/Duty Free  Eating/Drinking  Kids/Facilities  Do and See  Driving - Roads 
Loss/Theft  Health/Injury  Communications  Consulates  Travel Check List 

If you're new to Tenerife, also take a look at the About Tenerife, and Tenerife Attractions pages.

Electricity Supply: Is 220V AC, 50Hz - so most 240V appliances will work satisfactorily on this slightly lower voltage. The plugs are mainly of the two pin (circular pins) variety. The higher power plugs have thicker pins, and an earth/ground connection. UK adapter plugs are easily obtained almost anywhere.
Mains Water: Perfectly safe, but tastes awful (volcanic). Buy bottled water for general drinking, tea, coffee, etc.
Gas Supply: No gas main supplies. Gas is common, but obtained from gas bottles/containers.

What to take, clothing, etc.
Packing Travel light, Dress is very casual most of the time and T-shirts etc are cheap in Tenerife if you run out of clothes. As a further guide, between November and March, take a light sweater or jacket and long trousers for late nights or mountain trips. Make sure you refer to our PreTravel Checklist to avoid forgetting essential items. If you are a fussy Tea drinker, bring your own tea-bags, or whatever. Most deodorants in Spain are alcohol based so if you prefer the 'dry, non-stinging' products - bring some with you. Otherwise, you will find almost everything else that you use in your home country, or a close equivalent, on the supermarket shelves in Tenerife. If you have a Credit Card such as Visa, Mastercard, etc. take you PIN number with you - they are great, especially in an emergency, for getting pesetas cash from any auto banking cash dispenser 24 hours a day. These autobanks are everywhere in Tenerife and the costs of the transfers are very reasonable.

Entering Tenerife - Passports
Packing Apart from your passport, you should take your National Identity Card if you are from a country where they are issued. Non-European, or nationalities outside the EC (European Community) will probably require an entry visa. You must ensure all entry visas are correct and valid for the dates of your stay, check with your consulate or travel agent.
Passports are valid until the day of their expiry, so provided you are back in your home country the 'day before' your passport expires you are not going to have a problem.
The confusion arises because some people fail to differentiate between travelling in EC/Schengen countries and those countries that require a travel visa. For example, if you travelling to a country that requires a visa, and the destination country only issues 6 month or 1 year visa's, then clearly if you are applying for a 6 month visa, your passport must be valid for the duration of that 6 month period, even if you are only going for one week.

If, because of your circumstances you have any doubt, for example you are foreigner living and domiciled in a country not of your passport nationality, then consult your nearest appropriate embassy/consulate to be certain you are not subject to any exceptions. There are no currency controls as such, but very large sums, e.g. over £8,000, should be registered at customs on entry. You will record the sum on the appropriate form, and later, be allowed to depart Tenerife with this money.

Guide to arriving in Tenerife
Packing Missing Luggage On arrival, if you have any luggage missing, go immediately to the handling agent and and get them to issue a certificate recording the fact. Without this, certificate, your Travel Insurers are unlikely to service any claim or you cannot collect it if it arrives later. If an item is missing, its usually a mistake at your airport of departure. Your missing luggage will be placed on the next flight and you can collect it later, using your certificate. Getting from the airport to resort. If you are not with a package operator, that includes coach collection, simply hire a car or take a Bus or Taxi to your destination resort. Hopefully, if you are going to Tenerife South, you will have booked a flight which lands at the South Airport and likewise for the North. The South airport, Reina Sofia is approximately 20 km from the main South resorts, Los Cristianos and Playa Americas.(Fare 2500Pts) The hourly Bus from the South airport to Los Cristianos is No. 487 - usually departing 10 mins past every hour until 22:00 hrs Buses from the South TO the airport leave Bus Station at Playa Las Americas at 07.10 and every hour until 22.00. The North airport, Los Rodeos and is situated approximately. 15 km from Santa Cruz. Buses connecting North and South go via Santa Cruz bus station. Bus No. 111 connects Santa Cruz to Los Cristianos/Playa Las Americas. (Taxi from North Airport to South 60.00 Euro's, 1 hr drive) Telephone numbers are South Airport 759200 and North Airport 635998

Accommodation guide
Packing Accommodation comes in different forms the two most common being Hotels and Self Catering Apartments. These can be booked through EuroSol on these pages. If booking with your local Travel Agents, they should have all the photos and details. When booking through any agent, check that they have accurate details of your accommodation, that they actually have an office and that they are licensed to let apartments. You can ask them to fax/send you photos of where you will be staying or if you know Tenerife you can ask them to describe the complex to you. If booking direct with Eurosol you will find all details under accommodation.

Money - Banks
Packing Currency in Tenerife is the Euro. (abbreviated Euro's or E) Banks, Euro cheques Spanish Euro. Take Travellers cheques in your own currency - If you take Pesetas Travellers cheques, then expect to pay commission (at banks and Exchange Bureau's), between 3.6 and 6.00 Euro's per transaction. Our advice is to take travellers cheques in your own currency as most Exchange Bureau's do not charge on foreign currency cheques or cash . Peseta banknotes come in denominations of 100.00 Euro's 50.00 Euro's, 20.00 Euro's, 10.00 Euros, 5 Euro's. Coins of 500 - 200 - 100 - 50 50- 20 - 10 - 5 euro cents. You can use credit cards to withdraw Euro's via cash machines, if of course, you have remembered your PIN number. Personal cheques and Direct Debit Cards (Switch etc) are not accepted in Tenerife as neither can be 'cleared' in Spain. EuroCheques can be used, with a 150.00 Euro's limit per cheque. Transfers from another country to a Tenerife Bank will usually take a week, yes, even if it is a wire transfer. If you are in Tenerife and need emergency money, you can try contacting the nearest Western Union branch or agent. You can then arrange someone to put the funds in a remote bank, and collect locally within hours.

Shopping - Duty Free guide
Packing Supermarkets such as Mercadonna (Playa Americas), Trebol (Los Cristianos), Al Campo and Continente (Santa Cruz) are considerably cheaper that the smaller local shops.
Videos can be hired from the British Video Club, see Services.
Hiring Cars and extra Beds, TV, Video players can be hired from one of the many Hire Shops
Clothes in Tenerife tend to be very casual and often cheaper than your home country. There is a little more about shopping on the Attractions page.
Duty Free Tenerife is not strictly in Europe so your home country's limits apply. E.g., for an EEC country Tobacco - either 200 cigarettes, 250 gm tobacco, 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos. ALCOHOL - 1 litre. spirits or liqueurs over 38% proof OR 2 litres of fortified wine. (sherry, vermouth etc), plus 2 litres of still table wine &50 litres of beer. PERFUME - 50 grams perfume or 250 cc/ml toilet water. GIFTS - 32 pounds sterling of gifts per person travelling and 25 lighters per person.

Eating and Drinking guide
Packing You will always find a great choice of different international restaurants here in Tenerife, from McDonalds - French, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Fish and Meats restaurants and now also a growing number of vegetarian restaurants although all restaurants will have some vegetarian dishes. When eating Spanish style if you want to eat fish you are best to visit a restaurant that specialises in Fish, the same if you want meat, there are many villages around the island that specialise in local dishes. Also check out the Food pages

Facilities and Children
Hairdresser Hairdresser's you will find either situated in your hotel or apart/hotel or amongst shopping centres, some will speak other languages.
Beauty/Health. If staying in the south, you can check out Ripples beauty salon where you can get facials, waxes, and all various other beauty treatments. If you feel like being active you will find several Gymnasiums in all major towns. Tenerife is an island of sports most residents regularly play one or more sports, this means there are a lot of coaches, trainers in most popular modern sports.
Children. Like most resorts, the only real facilities for children are those provided by the resident tour operator. The usually take the form of a children's club, available for certain hours or days of the week. One unique facility is provided by the EEC (English Educational Centre) run by Ann Plummer. This excellent school, which provides full time private education for residents children, also offers a superb Nursery/Child Care facility for the children of visitors. You can place your child for odd days, a whole week or whatever. For more information about this great facility, Click here.

Things to do
Packing Excursions are many and abound in Tenerife, and all the larger licensed operators carry public insurance etc. The main areas covered by excursions are Day tours - Around the island - to specific places - Safari Tours camel, jeep, horses Full day and half day. Night tours - to cabaret's and clubs. Sea Excursions - Whale watching - Fun Cruises - Sea fishing. Attractions - Loro Parque (parrot park &more) - Tenerife Zoo - Butterfly park - Ecological Park (Birds of all kinds &displays) - Cactus park - Botanical gardens - Octopus Aqua Park (water theme park slides etc) - Go karting - Banana Plantations - Pearl Factory, and more. See Attractions.

Guide to driving and roads
Car To hire cars in Tenerife, you must be 24 years or more, with 2 years driving experience. Generally, car hire is cheap in Tenerife, except for Convertibles, Cabriolet's, Jeep, etc. Our cars, are unlimited mileage and insurance, If you park illegally and get towed away, you will probably have the pay the recovery costs and the towing charges. Many people worry about driving abroad, however if you follow the rules there is no problem. Driving is on the right in Tenerife not a problem for most nationalities, but British drivers should initially take a little extra care - for them, they will be on 'wrong side of the road'. All road signs are international. Petrol stations (Gasolinaria's) tend to be on the Motorways rather than in towns. If you are thinking of bringing your car to Tenerife for your holiday you are perfectly able to without bothering to stop at customs. You should keep you ferry tickets to show the date of entry. If you feel you may stay longer than you thought you will have to ask the local town hall to grant you permission to drive you foreign plated car in the area as a tourist car. If you are intending to bring your car to Tenerife and get Tenerife plates put on it, you have two months in which to start this procedure from the time of entry. You must have all original documents. This is a very complicated procedure, we advise you to use someone who will do this for you and charge a modest fee for their work. Contact me before you ever bring a car over, I will give you a free list of all the things you will need to matriculate a foreign vehicle, and other details.

Health, Accidents and Injury guide
Packing If you are unfortunate enough to become ill on holiday - go to a Farmacia (Chemist/Pharmacy/Drugstore). Describe your symptoms and they will prescribe the appropriate remedy. Antibiotics can be purchased over the counter, a chemist may prescribe these for you, he will ask you if you are allergic to anything before he sells these to you. You can ask the chemist for an alternative. Most chemists in tourist towns speak several languages. If you have a more serious problem then you should go to one of many privately run Centro Medicos, or centro de Salud. All these centres will have multi-linguist staff and translators on hand. They are well versed in contacting you travel insurance company to discuss treatment. For a list of medical centres in your area see services. If involved in a road accident and someone is injured an ambulance will be called, this will come from either, private medical centre, or Spanish centro de Salud, they will attend any urgent treatment then transfer injured to hospital or clinic depending on injury or the closest available unit, again they are well versed in talking to your insurance companies. If you have hired a car and are involved in any road accident, you must always contact your car hire company and report what has happened. They will advise you on what to do depending on what has occurred.

Before travelling, its a good idea to read the Medical pages.

Loss and Theft guide
Packing If you loose or have stolen any bags, expensive items or especially your passport you MUST first report this to the police. They will issue you with a 'denuncia' to show you have reported its loss. You then take the 'Denuncia' to your consulate in Santa Cruz. They will issue you with a temporary passport, which will allow you to leave Tenerife and travel home. Note that when making a claim, Insurance companies usually demand a Denuncia as proof that the items were lost or stolen and then reported. If your passport expires in Tenerife, you can renew from Tenerife. Contact us for more details.

Swindled? If while you are visiting here and you find you have been grossly overcharged or deliberately cheated, you can go to the police and make a complaint. All shops must have on the premises a book called the 'Ojos de Reclamaciones' (ohoss deh rekla-massee-owe-nez) which you can ask for to record your complaint. You need to write in details of your complaint, fill in your personal details ie: Passport Number, Holiday and Home Address and then sign it. You take the top copy and send it to the inspectors address on the top of the form. The inspectors will investigate your complaint inform you of the outcome. This is a very serious situation for a shop owner, so do not take this course of action lightly. If the shop or business say they do not have any Ojos de reclamaciones you can go to the Consumer Protection Office, Tourist Authorities, or if a serious offence the police, and they will take matters up for you. Usually the threat will open a way to a solution. Whenever you have a problem in Tenerife which relates to tourism matters you should contact the police or Spanish Tourist Office.

Communications guide
Packing Mail will take approximately. 10-14 days to reach mainland Europe. Stamps can be bought from Post Offices (Correos) or if purchasing postcards from shop where you purchase cards. Post boxes are yellow in colour and be found on many major street corners. Post Offices are open 08.30 - 14.30 Mon-Fri. and 09.30 - 13.00 Sat. If cashing money orders etc you should attend Post Office at least 1 hour before closing time.

Telephones. - When phoning home there are several options.
  1. Standard street telephone kiosks, instructions for use are displayed on telephone.
  2. Telefonica booths situated on main fareways of tourist populated towns. The assistant will help you and tell you the cost of the calls when you have done. You may pay by credit card. These booths found in most central resort locations.
  3. Hotel/Resort receptions. Calling from Hotels can be costly as you will normally be charged at whatever the hotel's rate is, not at the national 'Telefonica' rate.
The international code from Tenerife is 00, followed by the country code, (example UK is 44, USA is 1, etc) and then the area code and number for the person you are trying to contact. Note that when phoning the UK, you will need to drop the first 0 of the area code,. For example, if the normal UK telephone number you are trying to contact is 01604 675588, then from Tenerife, you will dial 00 44 1604 675588 From street payphones, you normally need to insert money before dialling. Allow a minimum of 3 - 5 Euro's, (in 1.00 Euro coins) for calls to countries in Europe, and more for countries outside the EC. Charge cards can be difficult to use in Tenerife, you cannot always get an international operator from payphones.
Fax. - Many offices, travel agencies, etc, will have a fax service available. (also see Services. You can also contact EuroSol for information on Holiday mailbox and communication services.
Internet Cafe. - are available in in almost every part of Tenerife.
Newspapers. - All well known international newspapers can be bought on the island. Also there are many FREE local publications, both English and German language. Foreign newspapers and magazines are more expensive than in the country of origin.

Foreign Consulate Telephone Numbers
British 922 286863 - See Consulate page
German 922 284812
Finnish 922 280964
Swedish 922 277850
Irish 922 245671
Belgian 922 241193
Norwegian 922 287251

PreTravel Checklist
Packing Before travelling you should always let someone know the address you will be staying at for emergency contact. Get someone you know to keep an eye on your property while away. Always check you have everything you might need with you - see the Checklist

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