Shopping in Tenerife

Shoppers will find plenty to keep them happy all over the island with weekly markets featuring in many of the resorts, commercial centres brimming with brand name outlets and hypermarkets selling everything from baked beans to beds. If you intend paying by credit or debit card, you'll need to produce your passport as ID.

Away from the purpose-built resorts you'll find many small shops and mini supermarkets still observing traditional siesta hours and closing between the hours of 1.30-4.30/5pm, and staying open until 8/9pm. Most shops and out of town centres do not open on Sundays except during the run up to Christmas.

The best of the shopping is in Santa Cruz (see my Shopping in Santa Cruz de Tenerife page) but commercial centres abound around the north of the island and pop up in the upmarket areas of Playa de Las Américas and Costa Adeje.

Best buys

Tenerife is a VAT free island which means there are still bargains to be had on alcohol and cigarettes and you'll find aisle after aisle of major supermarkets packed to capacity with both. If you really want a boozy bargain go for the local labels but be prepared to pay the price in hangovers from hell. Don't wait until you get to the airport to buy, you'll pay considerably more for your bad habits there than you will in the local resort supermarket.

Another luxury good which escapes tax and so makes a good buy on the island is perfume and you'll find shops in all the major resorts. Shop around, prices can vary wildly and don't wait until you get to the airport, you'll pay way over the odds.

Cheese lovers shouldn't leave the island without some of the award-winning goats' cheeses, Arico and Benijos are the best on the island and my penchant is for the smoked variety.

Look for the 'Miel deTenerife' label and grab a jar of the island's delicious honey, personal favourites are the castaña and the tajinaste.

Duty bound

Not paying tax on your purchases means you're outside the normal EU allowances for duty free purposes so 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars and a litre of strong spirits is your limit.