The following is an account of Parvinder Singh’s family holiday in Tenerife. He is from South Africa and we became acquainted through Tripadvisor. One of the reason’s I have chosen to share, apart from it being a good read with some lovely pictures, is that it will help others to plan and make the most of their stay on our lovely island.
It’s been a long though unusually mild winter here in London. We have been itching to get somewhere sunny and warm. Luckily we discovered the perfect spot in Europe for dollops of sunshine and pristine beaches: The Magical “Canary Islands”. Canaries are a Spanish archipelago located just off the southern coast of Morocco.
It will be fair to say that they are one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. Being blessed with tropical weather throughout the year they are perfect spot to get some winter sun and get a respite from cold winter months. We chose to stay in Tenerife, which is one of their most popular islands. Other islands include: Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma and La Gomera.
With such varied topography, so much to see and do, Tenerife exceeded all our expectations and we will definitely be back to Canaries for more. Here’s a selection of some of our favourite experiences from the trip.
Dramatic Landscape, Mt. Teide Martian terrain
With ocean on one side and world’s third highest active volcano Mt Teide in the middle means you get dramatic and varied landscape here that you usually have to cross continents to experience.
Mt. Teide is the highest peak in Canaries @ 3718 m visible from all over the island with its stunning snow-capped peaks. It’s also the third largest island volcano in the world. We will highly recommend the long and scenic drive that takes you to the foothills of the mountain. From here you can either trek or take a cable car to the top. As we reached there the rocks and the colors around us took our breath away. No wonder lots of Hollywood movies with Martian or extraterrestrial theme”, “Clash of the Titans”(2010) and others are shot here.
Swimming with dolphins
One of our most interesting experiences we had at Tenerife was the 4 hr. ocean cruise that we took with Royal Dolphin (http://www.tenerifedolphin.com/#_=_) During the cruise we came up, close and personal with dolphins, whales and many other aquatic species through the glass bottom boat. We also got a chance to take a dip in the ocean which was an exhilarating experience.
Picture perfect beaches
The very first thing that you fancy doing as soon at canaries is to go to a beach. With about 100 miles of coastline, Tenerife is lined with many pretty beaches, each with its own special character. Few of our favourite from our trip were :
- Las Americas,
- Puerto colon,
- Las Christanos (Popular with tourists),
- Plays da la Teresitas(Golden sand),
- El Medano(quiet and peaceful),
- Playa Jardin(Black sand).
Enjoy the sunshine soft sand, waves and slow pace of life here.
Los Gigantes & chasing the rainbows
This a spectacular flat mountain which reminded us of the Table Mountain in Cape Town. While we were there, the afternoon drizzle meant we saw stunning rainbows.
Tenerife has awesome road infrastructure with fast highways connecting various parts of this huge island. It was a pleasure driving through these picturesque roads. No wonder parts of Fast and Furious 7 are shot here. My favourite part was hundreds of tunnels spanning these highways as many of these cut across mountain ranges.
La Laguna, Paella & Flamingo
La Laguna is a small historic village in Tenerife with narrow poker-straight streets flanked by pastel-hued historic mansions and small shops which have been around for hundreds of years. Its part of UNESCO list of World Heritage sights. We spent a day there enjoying the local culture, food (Paella), Spanish dance (Flamingo) and lots more.
Sunrises & Sunsets
Sun & water combine together to create magical spectacles all over Tenerife. I could spend hours admiring this splash of colors on water.
Santa Barbara family resort:
We stayed an awesome ocean facing family resort in south Tenerife. The place offers scenic views of the ocean and is close to the beaches of El Medano. The place is ideal for families with children as it has loads of activities happening every day.
They also have baby sitters, children club, fitness classes and loads more. Every evening they organized varied fun activities for the hotel guests including Magic shows, Circus, Karaoke, Parrot show, Flamingo, even a performance by a local Abba Tribute band. We have stayed in many resorts globally but have to say this would be amongst the top places we have stayed at.
If we had more time we would have loved to do some Scuba diving and parasailing…that calls for another trip to the Canaries.
If this blog inspires you to plan a trip to Tenerife, I have included a sample family friendly itinerary.
A sample 5-day Family friendly itinerary:
Arrive in Tenerife
- Book your flight to Tenerife North or South Airport depending on which part of island you are staying at
- Pre-book your rental car online to get the best deals and pick it up from the airport. They have Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, and Budget.
- If staying in South find a resort near Los Cristanos or Las Americas or near Golf de sur in La Medano.
- Start your day early at 6 am and hike Montana Roja. It’s not too high and even kids can come along. This is a 10 minute drive if you are staying at La Medano and about 15-20 minutes from Los Christanos.
- Watch sunrise over the ocean.
- Come down by 8 AM and take a dip on Playa de la Tejita beach next to it.
- After breakfast of fresh croissants and a dip in the hotel pool get ready for an action packed day.
- Spend rest of the day at Los Christanos and Playa Americas beaches. Explore the nearby market for sovenieurs.
- Walk from low Christanos to Playa Americas next to the coast a beautiful 40 minute walk along multiple beaches.
- Enjoy gelato
- Watch sunset at Las Gigantes: About 30 minute drive from Playa Americas.
Siam park and Siam mall: Siam Park is a very popular Water park with some fun water slides. Kids love this place. Reach there by 10 AM when it opens and enjoy the day here. Siam mall next to it is great for shopping.
- Visit north Tenerife
- Auditorium: 12:30 tour
- La Laguna village – Historic town
- Playa de La Teristas beach swim
- Puerto de la Cruz: One of the top beaches in Tenerife
- Loro parque: This is a bird park and you can spend your afternoon here.
- Icod dragon-tree
- Mt.Teide day trip and cable car
- Ocean cruise
- Scuba diving
- Adventure sports!
The original travel review was posted Journeys Across Time