Our EasyJet flight from Gatwick arrived at Tenerife south airport slightly ahead of schedule.
The weather at Tenerife was sunny but slightly windy and we thought “we are going to enjoy here for few days away from rainy UK”.
The first thing we had to do is to collect our “Autoreisen” hired car. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Autoraisen desk all empty as if they are waiting for us. We also noticed “Gold Car” desk right next door has a huge queue. We initially booked with Gold car but subsequently cancelled the booking after reading poor customer reports. Within few minutes and after paying for the rental we left the Autoreisen desk with our car keys to pick up the car. I must admit I didn’t realize it would be so easy. All insurances were included with the package and didn’t charge for the fuel. Weldon Autoreisen. Recommend to others: Yes.
After picking up the car we head for the road and within 20 minutes we arrived at our Catalonia Oro Negro Hotel in Playa De Las Americas. If anyone wishes to read the hotel review then please click the link: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g562820-d2…
After a quick change of clothes for the sunny and hot weather we head for the seaside for lunch and liquid sustenance. On the way we found so many bars & restaurants with attractive deals; Beer 1 Euro for a large glass. We walked around the seaside and explore the area for a while. The main beach at Playa De Las Americas is very nice but not golden sand. Most beaches have grey pebbles or dark/black sand. Those who expect golden beaches will be slightly disappointed. Most beaches have dark sand and pebbles due to volcanic material that created the island. I wonder if the main beach was man made with imported sand from somewhere.
Choosing what to eat for lunch was a big problem for us. There are so many lovely restaurants offering lovely food. At the end we decided to go for few tapas and a bottle of local wine at “Deep Blue Restaurant”. Seated by the seaside with tapas and wine was simply out of the world. The rest of the day we explored the area and soak up the atmosphere. For our evening meal we went to “Oriental Food City” which has excellent buffet menu for 8.99 Euros. Please click the link for review: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g562820-d1…
Next day after our breakfast we decided to start exploring Tenerife. I had done some research on TA and made a list for main attractions in Tenerife. Manny TA members helped me during my research. I would like to thank them all especially the TA member Aguilas for her wealth of local knowledge.
As we had a hired car we first went to see “Los Gigantes” which we thought was nice and worth seeing. Then we stopped at another small pretty town “Santiago del Tiede” before heading for “Garachico”. We had a lovely view of Garachico town from the top which looked absolutely beautiful. We then drove into the town and studied the history of the town. It was so interesting to see how the historical town was destroyed by lava flow. I think it is a must visit place.
Our next stop was “Parque del Drago” At “Icod de los Vinos”. This is a botanical garden where there is a Dragon tree over 1000 years old. The admission fee for this park is 6 Euros. The Dragon tree looked ok but we didn’t think it was worthwhile travelling so far for this tree.
During the evening we explored more of Playa De Las Americas and finally went to a Restaurant “The Works” to celebrate my wife’s birthday. This is an amazing restaurant. The food was excellent and the restaurant has good selection of wines. The service was good too.
The next day we decided to head towards north and explore the island further. First we went to see the Pyramids of Guimar. I must admit we were little disappointed with this place. Not much to see especially when you consider the steep admission fee. I wouldn’t recommend this to others. Next we visited the Basilica of Candelaria which we thought lovely and worth visiting. Our TA friends Aguilas and a_freeman66 recommend this, thanks.
Then we drove into Santa Cruz and visited the Parque Maritimo which was closed to public but were able to walk around a bit. When we arrive at Santa Cruz we realize why there aren’t many tourists. Although Tenerife is a small island, the south has much better weather/climate and sunny weather than north. We swiftly moved on and visited another nice town; La Laguna which we thought was very nice and would recommend other to visit if they have enough time.
The next couple of days we spent many hours exploring the El Teide National park. We have done several walks and also went to mountain top by cable car. The cost of cable car is 25 Euros. There are three routes after the cable car ride, but only route 10 goes to the top and you need online permission (free) to climb to the top. We were planning to go to the top and acquired permit but all routes to the top were closed due to ice and snow. We were very disappointed as a result. The temperature at the top cable car station was -5 degrees and there was not much to see if walking routes are closed. Please take heavy winter jacket if you are planning to visit the top. Recommend; check if the routes are open at the top prior to buying cable car ticket otherwise it is probably not worth spending 25 Euros.
There are many viewing points in the national park and they are so vivid and colourful. We stopped at all of them to enjoy the scenery. I took many many photos which I hope to share with you all once I have uploaded them. We were standing in front of those crushed and mangled lava rocks and were trying to imagine what it was like when the red hot molten lava was flowing, just incredible.
After driving past the cable car station on TF21 towards north, the scenery changed quite a bit. We were seeing more and more snow field just by the road side. Amazing scenery. Many people were snowboarding. We walked on snow and went as far as we could. We went as far El Poirtillo and then returned back. We wished we had more time to enjoy the National park even more. The National Park is in my view is un-missable.
We spent one day visiting Los Cristianos beaches and the surrounding area. The area is absolutely beautiful. There are two beaches separated by the ferry terminal. The beaches are lovely and clean. There are many British bars and restaurants right next to beaches and we decided to do bar crawling. We went to a very popular bar “East En West” where beers were 1.50 Euros and two cocktails for 5 Euros. They have this same deal all day every day. For drinking we were visiting British bars because they were cheaper than Spanish bars. But for food we visited Spanish restaurants because we liked Spanish food. At the end of the day we were very very drunk indeed and walked back to the hotel slowly.
There is another beautiful village/valley that wasn’t in my list of places to visit. The name of the place is “Masca Valley”. This is an amazing place that I would recommend others to try and visit. If you are thinking to drive there then be warned. The road to this valley is not for the faint hearted. The road is narrow and extremely windy. The switchbacks are very sharp and steep. Having said that there are bus services to this valley but there is no way two busses can pass at the same time. On the way to this valley it is mostly steep downhill which isn’t too bad. But the return journey was a bit nerve-racking. I had to drive in first gear most of the time to climb out of this valley and had to tackle a bus at steep switchback corner; that was tough.
On the way we stopped at many designated viewing spots; breath-taking scenery. When we arrived at Masca it felt like a valley from “Lost World” movie. It is an amazing place and many people trek to this valley. There are many shops and restaurants and visited one small church. It’s an amazing place.
On the last day we had few hours to spend before going to airport. Our hotel reception recommended two small villages “Las Galletas” and “El Medano” which are fairly close to the airport. Both of them are lovely.
We wished we had more time to explore Tenerife.Edited: 06 March 2014, 08:55