Tenerife Geography

Tenerife Geography

Tenerife Geography

Tenerife Geography is an interesting subject to study.

Tenerife Geography


On the Eastern side of the North Atlantic Ocean there are a number of volcanic islands collectively referred to as Macaronesia. They are known as Azores, Madeira, the Salvage Islands, the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands. Apart from their volcanic origins these Island groups are independent in terms of their geography. Tenerife Geography is interesting because it is unique.

The northerly Azores and Madeira are autonomous regions of Portugal, the Canary Islands are also autonomous with Spanish heritage and the Cape Verde Islands, although an independent republic do have some Portuguese influences, for example language.

The Canary Islands are located just north of the Tropic of Cancer and Tenerife, the largest of the islands, is less than 100 mks from the North African Coast.

Geographical Facts

Tenerife has an area of 2034 square kilometres and Mount Teide has an altitude of 3718 metres, it is the highest mountain in Canary Islands and the Spanish Realm.

The population of Tenerife from the 2006 census was just over 850,000, today it is closer to one million.

The island latitude is approximately 28 degrees north and longitude is 16.4 degrees west.

The roughly triangular shape of Tenerife is approximately 90 km wide and 80 km from north to south with a perimeter of 358 km.

The last significant Tenerife earthquake was during 2002 measured just under 5 on the Richter Scale.


Mount Teide towers above the great plateau Las Canadas on the west side of the plateau which was formed by a major volcanic collapse. To the north the climate is temperate and the landscape is green and fertile, especially on the coastal slopes. The area south of Mount Teide tends to be fairly barren with a warm dry climate. Tenerife Geography is heavily influenced by the Topography.

The topography of Tenerife, having evolved volcanically is extremely dramatic and somewhat unique due to the sizable scale of the activity. The are numerous eroded volcanic cores situated around the plateau all adding to the scenic appeal. The outstanding scenery has been used as a backdrop location set for many films including Planet of the Apes.

Industry and Commerce

When Tenerife was colonised over five hundred years go land was claimed for agricultural purposes and sugar cane was cultivated for export on de-forested land. Later bananas, grapes, potatoes and tomatoes were also produced for commerce as they still are today.

Fishing and livestock have also been important to support the Island residents, fish stocks are plentiful and varied and there is an export market.

Today the main economic activity of Tenerife is tourism which has grown dramatically into a major industry, particularly on the south coast of the island. During 2015 more than ten million tourists visited the island, mostly from the UK, Germany and Spain, but also from the Benelux countries and Scandinavia.

Increasing tourism has resulted in growth in other business and service sectors and some small industries, mostly service related now operate on the island. The construction industry has also enjoyed strong growth.

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