Anything But Paella

A quick trip around Tenerife

A week on the island of Tenerife was just what the doctor ordered. With few cases of Covid-19, restrictions are not as severe as on the mainland, and temperatures were a good 5 or 6 degrees below what the Alicante province was experiencing at the time too. Here is a whistle-stop tour of the week as we tried to stay away from the typical touristy sites. More detailed blogs will soon be posted for each destination.

Ignore the time and distance! This was the route of our week.

Getting there and back

Living close to Alicante airport, it was very convenient that Vueling had direct flights to Tenerife North. The airport experience wasn’t unpleasant with everyone wearing masks and maintaining a social distance. The issue really was that from check-in to getting off the plane was about five hours in a mask so it was a relief to be able to take it off once we were in our hire car. We had to check our hand luggage in taking only a small bag with us on the aircraft that could be stowed under the seat in front of you. That meant an extra half hour wait at the other end at the baggage carousel. Then it was off to meet the rep from Top Car whose car we had booked via Rentalcars.com. All went smoothly after a short initial delay. At the end of the week the flight back was much quieter, but then again it was an 0730 departure and having to check in hand baggage meant a very early start!

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The capital city, not just of Tenerife but of the whole of the Canary Islands, is Santa Cruz de Tenerife. We had a great time exploring this city and it’s very walkable if you are reasonably fit and healthy. There are many statues and sculptures to admire as you wander around, and some of the architecture is spectacular. We particularly enjoyed the Military Museum which for a freebie is excellent.

San Andrés Bunker

A tip-off from a friend saw us head north from Santa Cruz to the small town of San Andrés. From there we headed into the hills looking for a bunker which was used to keep a look out in World War II. It’s a bit dark and creepy, and if you believe in ghosts you would probably believe it is haunted. It was a fascinating trip out for us.

San Cristóbal de La Laguna

We only stopped for a wander around and a bit of lunch. What an amazing place. The town centre is stunningly beautiful and with a few museums and art galleries around too, there was more than enough for us. We ended up staying there for our final night too, as it’s only a couple of kilometres from the airport.

Mount Teide

The volcano of Mount Teide dominates the island of Tenerife. Driving through its tree-lined lower slopes and then exploring the dry plains was an absolute pleasure. We did some hiking but never made it up the cable car the top. At €27 return per person, we decided to have a posh meal out instead!

The South Coast

I have the good fortune of having a cousin living in Tenerife with room for guests! From her house we had a look at the coastal towns of Los Abrigos and El Médano with a posh meal in the latter paid for by not going up to the top of Teide! Actually it was tremendous value. We also spent a couple of hours in the touristy zones of Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Américas. The lack of tourists was noticeable everywhere, and the number of hotels and restaurants closed for the season was a stark reminder of what 2020 has brought to the islands, or rather what it hasn’t brought – tourists!

Playa San Juan

Sometimes you just stumble across a place that is drop-dead gorgeous. That was Playa San Juan. We loved the rugged volcanic coast and wished we had taken our swimwear with us!

Garachico

Garachico on the north coast would never have made our itinerary without the recommendation from my cousin. What an amazing place. Full of history and lovely architecture, it also has some great restaurants. I’ve become addicted to the grilled cheese served here!!

Our Thoughts

Tenerife. Sun, sand and sangria? Forget that! Get off the beach and explore the island, and you’ll find so much variety to keep you entertained. We loved it. Would we go back? Most definitely, and I have a feeling some exploration of the other Canary Islands will be on the cards before too long. I need some grilled cheese!!

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