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Tenerife Travel Guide

Tenerife — Shopping and Leisure

All resorts, plus the capital, have good shopping, especially Playa de las Americas and Santa Cruz. The Canary Islands is a duty-free destination, so good deals can be had on spirits and tobacco in Tenerife, along with cheap jewelry, perfume, and electrical goods. Traditional handicrafts are also good buys at the markets—particularly jewelry and pottery—while flowers, wines, local fashion, and Cuban-style cigars from La Palma are also popular.

If you’re serious about shopping in Tenerife, head to Calle Castillo in Santa Cruz, which is loaded with brand names, along with España and Weyler squares. There are many boutiques and big name stores here, such as H&M, with prices cheaper than in the US or mainland Europe. Santa Cruz also has an African-centric market on Av. S. Sebastian. Look for ‘CC’ on maps to denote ‘Centro Commercial’, the main shopping areas.

Handicrafts in Tenerife

Pottery and handmade jewelry, found at markets, stalls, and stores island-wide, are among the best buys. Lace is also a good buy, along with embroidered items, woodcarvings, and rugs. Among Tenerife’s many varieties of exotic-looking flowers, the strelitzia bird of paradise flower is the most sought-after and another great buy. Los Cristianos Market is the biggest market, with bargains galore (with haggling), although you need to sift through the tat to get to the gems.

You can’t help but notice the touristy shops and touts in the main resorts selling cameras and watches. While they may look like bargains—and the salesmen are very adept—items are typically old models, or fake, and not good deals. While malls open all day, many shops close for siesta (usually to 4:00 p.m.).

Spas in Tenerife

Every resort in Tenerife has a hotel spa, or three, where all types of massage and shiatsu are available. While most are associated with hotels, and these spas typically have the best facilities including fitness suites, there are also independent ones that are cheaper. Mare Nostrum Spa (Playa de las Americas) is noted for its algae body wrap, Oriental Spa Garden (Puerto de la Cruz) for its chocolate treatments, and the Aqua Club Termal (Costa Adeje) for its extensive facilities and hydrotherapy program.

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