Dancing in the street in Tenerife

The Canary Islands are fun at any time of year, but carnival brings to Santa Cruz de Tenerife its own special brand of festivity with spectacular costumed parades and the general chaotic excess and enjoyment typical of a full-blown Spanish fiesta.

The capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is justifiably proud of its annual carnival celebrations, which draw around a million revellers each year to this, the second largest of the Canary Islands. There are dances and parades, concerts and costume competitions, colour, light, music and mayhem. Not for nothing is the city twinned with Rio de Janeiro: with its fine weather and fiesta-loving locals, Santa Cruz offers the closest European equivalent to the Brazilian bacchanal.