The British love affair with the island of Tenerife continues unabated.
Round about two million Britons fly to this “island of eternal spring” every year, most of them in pursuit of summer sun or winter warmth in the playgrounds of the south, though increasing numbers are discovering the quieter side of the island in the greener north.
Tourism is the mainstay of the economy here in Tenerife, attracting over five million mostly European visitors every year.
Many Brits spend their vacation at Costa Adeje / South of Tenerife
But it’s Britons and visitors from mainland Spain who make up nearly 70 per cent of Tenerife’s tourist total.
Tenerife is the most popular of the Canary Island holiday destinations, attracting more visitors than the rest of the archipelago put together.
Current estimates say that around 20,000 Brits are resident on the island, with many more owning holiday homes or investment properties here.
Indeed, Tenerife has been a favourite destination of the British since early in the 19th Century when its mild and gentle climate became so well known that doctors prescribed a winter in the island as the best way of alleviating many ailments.
At this time of year, early February, Tenerife is already well into spring as the days get warmer… and longer.
Not that we’ve had much of a winter. The evenings began to get chilly in mid-December and we’ve had three or four days when it’s rained. The snow eventually arrived in Mount Teide in mid-January, its latest arrival in 25 years, so the locals inform us.
Tenerife winters are nothing like back home in Britain. Here they are noted by cool, rather than cold, evenings, occasional strong winds and snow on the high peaks. But that has been interspersed by some gloriously sunny days with barely a cloud in sight.
At this time of year minimum temperatures rarely drop below 15C at night and generally range from 20-25C during the day.
It’s easy to see why the swallows – as our winter visitors are called – return so regularly.