When I was planning my trip to Tenerife the three things were decisive – the one was a direct Ryanair flight from Venice and the other one was the good climate and summer or spring temperature in February as well as the possibilty to finally attend one of the most famous carneval in the world – the one in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. While I was studying in Barcelona I had a good friend from there who always spoke well about that carnival – being ‘even better that one in Brazil’ according to him :) So, I was really looking forward to my winter vacation on some spring or summer weather destination being able to walk in light clothes and of course, recover a little bit from a very intense working period.
But, of course, as much as we inform ourselves and get useful advices from our friends who many of them visited Tenerife, you have to live your own experience of the destination and that is the nicest part of the travel. Somehow, I thought that I will be completelly safe and that speaking the language I will be on my own and enjoying everything that the island could offer.
Well, some thing did not go so well as how I planned them.
1.DO NOT BOOK YOUR CAR WITH GOLDCAR.
First of all, I rented a car with Goldcar (that you can book on the Ryanair website) and it seemed that when I arrived there that I had to pay another 150 € for the full coverage insurance or on the other hand they would block my credit card with the amount of 1.100 €. Hm, well, obviously that they had to have some guarantee and this is what was written in their conditions. But, the guys who were working at the airport Sout Tenerife office were so sure that my car was going to be damaged due to the carnival activites and a lot of guys drunk in the streets that I was actually seeing my euros fyling away. So, I decided not take the care which was previously booked and paid, of course. Later on, I heard there were much better rent a car companies that give you the full insurance coverage in your booking fee per day.
2. DO NOT STAY IN LOS CRISTIANOS.
So far, my journey could start. By taxi, by bus… Well, it was even more interesting to get to know the destination by talking to people and to tourist guides as well as with nice tourists from all over (north) Europe. I met so many tourists from Great Britain, Holland, Belgium as well as Italians. A loto f British people stayed in my hotel in la Playa de las Americas, Catalonia Oro Negro, so you had the feeling that your were on vacation in U.K. and not in Spain. Fortunatelly, the walking area around my hotel was pretty nice with a walking beach promenade overlooking the wind surfers, but when I went to the Los Cristianos area, which is 15 minutes ride by bus from La Playa de las Americas, I must say I didn’t like it all. Not even a bit. It was a residential part of the island which was reformed into a tourist destination in the early 70’s or 80’s and today it still resembles those times. Too much commericalized, too much touristy but crowded and not authentic at all. Even though in many tourist guides it is presented like a ‘desirable’ and hot spot of the island, if you look for more authentic tourist spot, do not go there.
3. DO NOT GO TO MASCA BY BUS.
So, as I’ve told you earlier, I really love exploring some more interesting, genuine and less tourist spots so I book the excursion and we went to the idylic village of Masca up in the north but before we had a sightseeing of the Teide volcano, the village of Icod de los vinos and we had lunch in nice fishermen village Garachico. That day I was soooo fullfilled with positive emotions. I was going to explore something new and different and get to know many new interesting things about the island by our great tourist guide. This is when I found out and realized (maybe even before) that Tenerife is so much alike to South America. Even though I have never been to Columbia, Panama, Venezuela, but I definitely had the feeling that we were walking through villages of some of those countries with the colonial architecture, subtropical climate and the plantations of bananas.
But certainly I could not imagine that my trip which seemed to be a classic tourist sightseeing turned to be an adventure race… (!!!). Well, the village of Masca looks so idylic on the photos as well as in reality. But if you have to reach it by bus, don’t go there. Please DO NOT! I was so never so scared in my life. I thought that even though our bus driver Antonio was amazing, I was thinking we were going to die. The abysses that you could have a look at when the bus had to turn 180 degrees were horrible. Well, if somebody likes adventure rides, go ahead, but it is definitely not my cup of tea. Though, trekking in the valley of Masca heading to the bay of Los Gigantes is one of the most interesting things to do on the island and I might try it some other time.
4. DO NOT BOOK SWIMMING WITH THE DOPLHINS IN FEBRUARY.
Nevertheless, I had a really nice experience of dolpins and whales watching on the yacht with a group with ten people. It was relaxing but a little bit freezing so it was important to have brought the jacket even though on the coast it didn’t seem to be cold. I even discovered an interesting beach called ‘hippy beach’ where people were living in the beach caves without a contact with the outside world. The only contact were the numerous boats with tourists coming to that beach every single day during the whole year. Yes, because the tourist season in Tenerife lasts all year long.
5. DO NOT ORDER PAPAS BRAVAS IN TENERIFE. NEVER EVER!
When I think of food in Spain I guess I think of all the food I used to eat often when I was living in Barcelona which was also typical of Catalunya. And so, every time I come to Spain for holiday I search for some of those food but it seems that I ate better Spanish tapas when in London then in Tenerife. Because here when you order ‘patatas bravas’ you get frozen potatos with some sauce bought in supermarket. Well, maybe I was in the wrong place but I really cannot say I could explore more Spanish food that I like.
But on the other hand you should definitely:
- Take Propalgina if you do not feel well like I did.
- Go to the Habibi restaurant, the best Lebanese restaurant I’ve ever been.
- Go to the Playa del Duque.
- Go to the Santa Cruze de Tenerife carnival
- Have fun and relax drinking cocktails on the beach :)
You can find some more picture on my Instagram profile: