Most people think of Tenerife only as a holiday destination filled with sun-drenched beaches, but there is much more that lies behind its tourist-friendly facade. The island has a history and a mythology that few people take the time to really discover after arriving on cheap flights to Tenerife.
The isles that we call the Canary Islands were the mythical lands that lay far beyond the Pillars of Hercules, often referred to by classical writers as being the location of the paradise-like Elysian Fields.
In the first century, Pliny mentioned in his writings an expedition undertaken by Juba the King of Mauritania to the islands, and records that he returned with ‘giant dogs’ as a souvenir from the journey. It is from these dogs that the islands take their name, the ‘Canary’ coming from ‘can’ or ‘canes’, meaning ‘dog’ in the language of the time. It is still possible to see this ancient breed on the islands, and many are depicted on the ancient pottery found here.
Until European colonisation in the 15th Century, Tenerife was inhabited by a tribe of North African decent known as the Guanches. By all accounts these people were giants and employed mummification techniques for the dead, wore animal skins and knew nothing of the wheel. They are often referred to as being the last descendants of the Atlantians, as several ancient writers believed that the island was all that remained visible of the ancient lost city of Atlantis - and some still do.
So when you book your cheap flights to Tenerife with Jet2.com, spare a thought for the mythical Tenerife of centuries past.