Camping in Tenerife! For anyone who has come to Tenerife and decided, on a whim, to stay, sleeping rough on the beach...this is classified as "camping" and, naturally, is not allowed!
Camping in Tenerife can be a wonderful, adventurous, thing to do, but it must be done legally. It is not only prohibited on beaches, but any areas coming under the Protected Natural Spaces Act of the Canary Islands - in other words, all nature reserves and national parks. But, fear not, you campers out there! Tenerife has proper, legal, designated camping areas.
To use these special camping areas, you have to obtain an official permit from the Island Council at least seven days in advance. They are free, but, to get one, you have to turn up at the appropriate office in person.
This used to be situated in Santa Cruz, but thanks to keen camper, Andrea, who got in touch using "feedback", I now have the new address.
You have to go to the Tenerife Council building named Medio Ambiente, Paisaje, Deportes (Department of Environment, Landscape and Sport), in La Laguna.
It's a red-bricked building tacked onto the side of the large sports stadium,Pabellón Insular Santiago Martín, which is right next to the TF-5 north motorway and can be reached by exiting at junction 5CD (signed Los Majuelos) coming from the south and junction 6 from the other direction (also signed Los Majuelos).
It is unlikely that anyone there will speak English.
This time, you need a user name and password to access the appropriate website and, to get this, you have to apply in person, at the Cabildo building in Santa Cruz.
You can find the initial site here. From this page, select "Tramita tu Solicitud". This is then where you'll need your login details. All I can say with this method is - good luck!
The main downside to this is that, now, whichever method you use, you have to be actually on the island before you can get your permit.
There are sensible reasons for this permit - health and safety for one. Most sites are in the pine forests, where, especially in the summer months, there is an ever-present risk of forest fires and, with the permits in force, the authorities at least know who is out there, to be accounted for in the event of such a disaster. It also prevents overcrowding of the sites.
Facilities at these campsites vary considerably. There are some with next to nothing, some with the basic necessities like running water, suitable for drinking, car parking space and picnic areas, then the really luxurious ones with barbecue areas, showers and toilets. Most have a "recreational area" next to them, the quality of which can also vary a great deal. You are restricted to a maximum stay of seven nights.
Here is a selection of official sites for camping in Tenerife. (On the website linked to above, there are only 13 campsites listed, but, trust me, there are 19 of them.)Arenas Negras - at Garachico.
Official campsites are generally well maintained and can make for a very enjoyable experience.
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