Thoughts of a British Expatriate Living in Tenerife


Have you ever thought or dreamt of living in Tenerife? You know what I mean, you come for your  two weeks holiday, you lie on the beach, you do the normal Tenerife sightseeing and generally have a good time relaxing and you say   " One day I'm (We're) going to live here".

Well, that's exactly what we did, the first holiday we had here in Tenerife was in 1982, we stayed in El Medano, at the time it was a small local coastal town, very sleepy but it was Christmas and that's all there was available at the time, but we had a great time, hired a car (well a Panda with what were no more than deck chairs for seats in the back) and went all over the Island exploring.

We loved it, said that one day we would come and live here, we came on holiday here nearly every year for the next 10 years, then we moved here permanently, that was 18 years ago and have never regretted one minute of it.

We have seen many changes as you would imagine, most for the good, even now after all these years of living here we get asked " Do you like it here? " and " What do you find to do? " " What do you like about living in Tenerife? "

I have already answered the first one, the second one can be answered by browsing through this blog, there is so much to do here, you just need the time.

To answer the the third question, was a little more difficult to put into words, so I made a list of what I consider to be Ten good reasons I like living here:

  1. Has to be the climate, it does vary, the north side of the island is cooler and damper than the south certain times of the year. Away from the coast you still get the four season -Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. You get the heat without the humidity.

  2. The pace of life has to come in second. I suppose it's the heat, you have to work/move at a slower pace, but it does make for a more relaxed way of life.

  3. The scenery is just fantastic and so diverse, you have the ruggedness of the mountains, the lush green forests, the vineyards, the rock formations formed by the volcano, they all seem to go together somehow and compliment each other.

  4. The culture of the Island, even with technology having found it's way here, the old traditions are still being kept, from family life to village life to Island life. Sunday is still 'Family Day', fiestas are still held in all the villages, waters are still blessed for the fishermen and they love their fireworks.

  5. The people are very friendly and welcoming, they tend to look  a bit serious or even glum, but say hello to them and a smile erupts, once they start talking it's hard to stop them.

  6. The food and the way it's cooked, it's delicious, it goes along with the pace of life, it's cooked slowly. Meals are social/family occasions and are not meant to be rushed.

  7. The wines are superb and there is such a wide choice from the five denominations of origin that there are on the island, it's hard to decide which is your favourite.

  8. The history of the Island is so interesting, Christopher Columbus  seeing Mt Teide erupting, Nelson loosing his arm in the Battle of Santa Cruz, the Original inhabitants 'The  Guanches' and all the different invaders and much more.

  9. The plants and the flowers provide so much colour to the Island, the gardens here are wonderful.

  10. Lastly I like the fact that you can spend so much time outside and so much going on all the time.

   10a. The social life and the interesting people that you meet.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
digate New member
Member since 15 December 2009
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
1 Comment
5 years ago

Things are not so rosy, with unemployment approaching 40% in the south of the island, and unemployment benefits running out there are more and more people holding up cardboard signs asking for a job. The local councils answer to this unemployment problem was to team up with a job agency. Not for work on Tenerife though. The agency ships people off to Germany. There are other day to day gripes too. Very expensive school books, state pensions cut by a third. No social security to speak of. As a long term uk expat who came here 12 years ago, i have seen life collapse. From an exchange rate of one euro fifty to the pound to 1.25 and years in between at almost parity with the pound. Buying anything here has been a terrible investment for any expat. How the bubble has burst and it is clear that we bought over priced property with over valued pounds only to see the pound and the property market collapse. A return home now an almost impossible task. The living outside of Europe does not help either, anything you buy from the mainland is subject to a load of high taxes. A silly situation in that its cheaper to buy stuff from the states or hong kong ( as they generally don\'t declare the contents) than Madrid, Child benefit is non existent, no dental care while on the dole, no job center interviews as to what are you doing to find work, there isn\'t any. full stop.The island might be good to retire too, but unless you have private medical don\'t bother, even then when things get tough here the private hospiten will move patients into the state system. A state system bursting at the seams due to lack of investment. A promised hospital in the south taking a generation to build, Keep Tenerife reserved for holidays. Living here you just add to the locals problems


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