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Shopping


Tenerife is well prepared for shoppers, with plenty of supermarkets in the larger towns providing all basics and foodstuffs for self-catering tourists, and plenty of markets and smaller shops all around the island for gifts and bargains.

Of course, the Canary Islands is a duty-free zone, so tobacco, alcohol and other goods are much cheaper than in continental Europe. Take note of duty-free limits before returning home: technically you're only allowed to bring back about one litre of spirits and 200 cigarettes, although in practice many countries allow enough for personal consumption. Clothing is also great value in Tenerife, a fact that many visitors take advantage of. Popular Spanish brands such as Zara and Mango have outlets around the island.

The best shopping is in Santa Cruz, particularly on Calle Castillo where all the fashion stores are. There is also a new mega-mall, Meridiano on Avenida La Salle, and the enormous department store of El Corte Ingles. Just outside of town is the enormous Carrefour hypermarket.

Most of the resorts and small towns have weekly markets. The huge Sunday market in Los Cristianos is a fleamarket extravaganza selling everything under the sun. In Santa Cruz, the African market is well worth exploring, with 300 stores selling fresh produce and interesting curios. On Sundays the area around the market becomes the El Rastro Flea Market, a good place to pick-up quality handicrafts and bargain souvenirs. Golf del Sur has a good market near the marina on Friday mornings; Los Abrigos puts on a decent night market every Tuesday evening; while Guaza has recently begun hosting a Sunday fleamarket.

Best buys in Tenerife, apart from booze and cigarettes, are the award-winning local cheeses and honey, leather goods such as shoes and belts, and turrón, the almonds and honey confection available around the festive season. Avoid shopping at the airport where prices tend to be significantly inflated. Note that if you pay via debit or credit card you will need to show your passport. Many shops still observe the very sensible custom of closing over siesta (1.30 to 4.30pm) and will close all day Sunday.

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Intrepid Travel, one of the world's leading suppliers of small group adventures focused on getting off the beaten track, interacting with the locals and having real life experiences throughout Spain.

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