Tenerife: why you should give it a try

Stone beach, Tenerife

I love travelling to new places but there is one place that we return to again and again: Tenerife. Yet, when I tell people that’s where we’re going, I get some funny looks.

Yes it may not be as cultural as a visit to Rome, or as hot as Dubai in summer, but in my opinion it’s the perfect holiday destination. Why? I’ll tell you..

There’s something for everyone

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and its just a 4-hour flight or so from the UK. Its a volcanic island and the landscape varies from lush greenery in the North of the island to a more barren landscape in the South. It’s been a tourist hot spot for years and the South Coast in particular is well developed, meaning theres something for everyone…

Like lazing on the beach? There’s lots of them! More of a party animal? Tenerife has you covered. Prefer hiking and cycling? There’s plenty of that too! More of a cultural wanderer? You might be surprised to hear that Tenerife has pyramids as well as traditional and quaint Spanish villages to explore too!

There’s year round sun

The island benefits from year-round sun, meaning a trip in December can still yield a tan 👏🏽☀ We’ve been in April and its been hotter than a visit in August! That means that its a great place to visit off season, without having to endure (or pay for) a long-haul flight.

Yep, there really is something for everyone  here’s a few of my favourites:

An 8 mile beach-front walk

The promanade in Tenerife stretches all the way from Los Cristianos, through Las Americas, Costa Adeje and to La Caletta. The walk from one end to the other can be taken leisurely and it is a great way to get your bearings and appreciate the different characteristics that can be experienced in such a short stretch.

Los Cristianos is very touristy, but still has signs of its old fishing village heritage, including narrow streets and old buildings. It has its own beach which is sheltered by the harbour and is next to Las Vistas beach, which is one of the best in the South of the island.

Las Vistas beach

Las Vistas beach, Tenerife

Las Americas is a purpose built resort, with wide roads and man-made beaches. I consider it split into two halves. The Los Cristianos side of Las Americas is more upmarket, with large hotels (including our favourite, the Sir Anthony), jewellery shops, fashion chains and upmarket restaurants. The other side is known for being a party destination with its famous ‘Veronicas’ strip, on which many of the parties don’t start until the early hours.

Costa Adeje is full of high end five star resort hotels, larger than their Las Americas counterpart. Its catered towards the higher end of the market, for travellers who like relaxing by the pool during the day and fine-dining in the evening.

La Caletta is still a small village, although it may not stay that way for long! It has a handful of traditional restaurants, collected around the village harbour.

black beach, Costa Adeje, Tenerife

This new Black beach in Costa Adeje opened recently. The natural sand in Tenerife is black due to its volcanic origins. Beige sand is shipped in for many of the beaches.

Food options every night of the week

Being such a concentrated tourist destination, there’s a wealth of food options in Tenerife. From traditional Spanish cuisine to just about every type of food you could imagine! This is not a place I recommend going All Inclusive! There are restaurants to suit every taste and budget.

Some places I recommend trying are:

  • La Pepa food market; this casual market is on the roof of a shopping centre. It has stalls selling a range of food from fresh seafood, steaks, upmarket deli items and desserts. Plus they serve alcohol. You can visit multiple stalls and pick your items, which are then cooked while you wait. After a short wait, you take your food to the long canteen style tables and enjoy it in the sun. For families, theres also a childrens play area (for a small fee), which includes bouncy castles.
La Pepa Food Market

La Pepa Food Market – pick your raw food. The stall holders will cook it. Eat at the tables in the sun 🙂

  • Prime steak house, Las Americas. Set in the Safari centre, this is the upmarket area of Las Americas. Its opposite the Hard Rock cafe (which is in a pyramid of course!) and is full of clothes shops and high-end jewellery stalls downstairs. Upstairs are some really great restaurants including the Prime Steak House. Their chateaubriand  is a bargain and super yummy!
  • Empire Modern British restaurant. Also upstairs in the Safari centre, you can  find Empire restaurant, another favourite of mine, which serves classic British food in a modern gastro-pub style. Their sharing dishes are always a winner with my family – the “tipsy beef” dish sees beef fillet medallions served with a steak & ale pie along with lashings of mash! If you have any room left for dessert, their portions are hearty. I usually struggle to choose between the crumble and the apple tart tatin.

Side note;

The Safari centre also has some fountains which have a light and music show each hour in the evening. They’re actually really good. In fact, when we saw the famous fountains in Dubai I was a little disappointed.. the ones in Tenerife go on longer and are just as impressive, if a little smaller!

Safari centre from Hard Rock cafe balcony, Las Americas, Tenerife

Safari centre from Hard Rock cafe balcony, Las Americas, Tenerife

 

  • Hiba Hiba Lebenese restaurant, Los Cristianos (Under La Pepa food market). This new restaurant offers authentic Lebenese food. If like me, you haven’t eaten much Lebenese food this is a great introduction. Our waitress was really helpful and friendly, explaining each dish. Our party of three opted to share courses from the set menu, which is a bargain at €12.95 per person for 3 courses (served 5-8pm). The baba ganoush was seriously amazing
    Hiba Hiba Lebenese Restaurant Los Cristianos, Tenerife
  • Rincón de Andrés Spanish restaurant. Tucked away on a Los Cristianos back street, this restaurant serves top notch traditional Spanish cuisine. Think Iberian ham, Padrón peppers and plenty of steak options. Its well worth a visit for an authentic night, but its small, so you may want to book in advance.
  • Stone Grill. In prime location looking over Las Vistas beach, this steak restaurant also offers you the chance to cook the food yourself on a hot stone. Yes, its a little gimmicky, but its fun and means you get lots of different meats to try. Traditional Canarian potatoes can be chosen as an accompaniment, which are one of my favourites!

    Monkey Bar cocktails, Las Americas, Tenerife

    Monkey Bar cocktails, Las Americas

Also, the Fork app (one of my top 5 apps to use when abroad) can be used in Tenerife to get some really good deals!

Stone grill, Las Vistas beach, Tenerife

At the stone grill

After dinner Cocktails at Monkey Bar

This has been a favourite of mine for years. Located in Centro Comercial Oasis, a short walk from Hard Rock Cafe, it’s in an area that we visit regularly. Their chilled lounge areas are the perfect place to relax and enjoy an after dinner cocktail. Plus their cocktail menu has unusual concoctions alongside the more traditional martinis, mojitos and Black Russians. It was here that I discovered I love creamy cocktails, Strawberry Shortcake is my fave off their current menu (it was Cactus Kiss but they took that off!).

 

Siam Park

Siam Park is one of the best water parks in Europe. It has a range of attractions from the Lost City for young kids and the relaxed lazy rapids, to adrenaline fuelled Tower of Power and the largest artificial wave pool in Europe (with 3m high waves).

My tip is to arrive before opening and rush round as many slides as you can before the queues start to form.

More of an adrenaline junkie?

If fast water slides aren’t enough adrenaline for you, then there are plenty more options in Tenerife:

  • Paragliding is big in Tenerife. You’re unlikely to walk far down the coast without spotting a paraglider in the air. You can find the best companies to book through on tripadvisor.

 

  • Water sports are also big in Tenerife. Everything from surfing to jet skiing and (probably my favourite) paddleboarding. There are numerous water sports stalls on the beaches, including at Los Cristianos and Las Americas. Scuba diving is also available from Los Cristianos harbour and the best beach for surfing is right outside the H10 Conquistador hotel

 

  • If you’re a serious athlete, you might even want to consider training in Tenerife. The high altitude around Mount Teide and year-round warm weather is a favourite of runners and cyclists in particular, including Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome!

Have you been to Tenerife before? Are your favourites featured here? Let me know! My next post will give you a run down of my favourite places to stay, so you can get planning a visit to Tenerife.

 

 

 

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