Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

The island of Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands.  It is also the most populated, with around 900,000 inhabitants.  This number is swelled by around 5 million holidaymakers a year who visit Tenerife.  I visited in February 2017.

The island capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, will feature in a future post on this blog.  In this post, I will focus on the rest of the island, in particular the holiday resorts of Playa de las Americas and its neighbours on Tenerife's south coast.

An extensive network of bus services operates on Tenerife.  The bus network is provided by Transportes Interurbanos de Tenerife, S.A. (TITSA).

Many of the buses are standard single-deck vehicles with two sets of doors.  The current livery is all-green.



While most of the buses I saw were displaying their route number and destination, I did see a few showing "800 En Servicio".

There is no route 800, while "en servicio" merely means "in service".  There was nothing to indicate which service!

I understand this display is in fact used by late-running buses, which then don't pick up any more passengers in order to try to get back on time.


Not all of the buses I saw were carrying the all-green colour scheme.

Some of the older buses still wore a green and white livery.


On some of the trunk interurban routes, I noted three-axle buses operating.  Some were in the current all-green colours, others in green-and-white.




A number of the three-axle buses were carrying external advertising for visitor attractions on the island.

On some of the longer-distance services, particularly those serving Tenerife's main airport, I noticed some journeys were operated with coaches.

This example has two axles, there were also some with three.  A door with a wheelchair lift is fitted beyond the rear axle.

Route 467 is a trunk service though the southern resorts, passing through Costa Adeje, Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos on its way from La Caleta to Costa del Silencio.

I found a number of articulated buses in use on route 467.

A few were in the current all-green livery, but many were in the older green-and-white colours.





Not all of the buses on route 467 were articulated.  I also noticed several three-axle single-deckers in use.


Smaller buses also operate on some TITSA services.

I saw a number of shorter-length single-deckers operating in and around the southern resorts.


Elsewhere on the island I noticed some services being operated with minibuses, but I didn't get any photographs of those.

Tenerife's bus stops may include details of the services which call there.

Where shelters are provided, these may also show bus service information including a route diagram.


Many of Tenerife's towns have a bus interchange hub.

In some towns, a dedicated bus station is provided.  The bus stations may have passenger facilities including toilets as well as an enquiry office.

This example is at Costa Adeje.

In other towns, including the resorts of Los Cristianos and Puerto de la Cruz, the bus interchange is little more than a collection of bus stops along the side of the road.  Passenger facilities may be more limited, although there may be an enquiry booth.

These photographs (left and below) are of the interchange at Los Cristianos.

Fares on TITSA services vary according to the distance travelled.  For longer-distance journeys, return tickets are available offering a saving compared to the cost of buying two single tickets.

There are no one-day, multiple-day or weekly unlimited tickets.  However, pre-paid "BonoVia" smartcards are available for €15 and €25.  These can then be used to pay for individual journeys, offering a substantial saving over paying cash on board the bus.  More than one person can travel using one BonoVia card.

While TITSA operate the regular bus network on Tenerife, there are some dedicated services aimed at holidaymakers.

I found road trains operating in and around Playa de las Americas.


Electric "tuk tuks" also provide tours of Playa de las Americas and the surrounding area.

The tuk tuk tours are operated by Sweet Tours Tenerife.

A number of boat operators provide trips onto the sea, including dolphin and whale-watching trips.

Several of Tenerife's major visitor attractions sponsor free bus services from the main holiday resorts.

The vehicles on the free services generally carry a dedicated livery for their sponsor.

On some services, coaches are used.



On the services from the southern resorts to the Siam Park water park, I found open-top double-deck buses in use.

On Tenerife's north coast, the free service from Puerto de la Cruz to the Loro Parque zoo was being provided with a road train.

While these have little if any more capacity than a standard coach, their novelty value certainly makes them stand out.


In the southern resorts at least, the free services have their own dedicated bus stop posts.

Some might indicate the times at which the buses are scheduled.  Others provide no such information.  However, bus times may be found on promotional leaflets, or on the attraction's website.

There are plenty of private coaches to be seen on Tenerife, particularly around the resorts.

Their principal duties include airport transfers on behalf of package holiday companies as well as day trips and excursions.

Coaches range in size from minicoaches to double-deckers.

The island of La Gomera lies close to Tenerife.

Two ferry operators, Fred Olsen Express and Naviera Armas provide crossings to La Gomera from Los Cristanos.



Finally, Spain's highest point is not on the Spanish mainland.  It is on Tenerife.  El Teide is a volcanic peak which stands at around 3,700 metres above sea level.

A cable car operated almost to the summit of El Teide from a base station at an altitude of around 2,350 metres.

The cable car comprises two cabins which counter-balance each other.  At busy times, the queues for the cable car can be lengthy.



TITSA operate two bus routes to the cable car base station.  Route 342 runs from the southern resorts of Costa Adeje, Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos while route 348 runs from Puerto de la Cruz.  Each route operates one round trip per day.

On the day that I visited the cable car, both services had a duplicate vehicle operating.


On routes 342 and 348, BonoVia cards cannot be uses.  All fares must be paid in cash to the driver.