How to Enjoy a Superb Sea Kayaking Trip in Tenerife

Tenerife is a destination filled with a whole variety of must try experiences, locations and attractions you should definitely visit, and excellent places to stay. It really is one of the top destinations for a vacation not only in Europe but also globally, with so much more than might initially spring to mind.

If you are looking for a holiday filled with sun, sand and sea and plenty of opportunity to relax, then this is absolutely somewhere you should head to. What we try to recommend to you, our readers though, is to explore the island and go on some of the wonderful trips and excursions here, as well as enjoying the fantastic beaches and weather to truly make the best use of your time in Tenerife.

One such trip to try out if you’re looking for something different while you’re here, is a superb sea kayaking trip! Recently some of the Tenerife Magazine team joined some of the Pearly Grey team and some friends on this excursion with the excellent Tenerife in Kayak, a company owned and run by the super friendly, experienced and professional Paolo Condolo, who also owns Dive Club Tenerife.

Our group of six met with Paolo and his colleague at the beach in Palm Mar, where the company is based. While some of us had taken this trip before, for those that hadn’t Paolo gave some safety instructions and details about the trip and we were each given a life jacket to wear. Then in pairs we each got into the kayaks which were kept steady by Paolo while we did this and then got handed the oars.

Once we were all in the kayaks, we headed off out into the ocean trying our best to keep the kayaks heading straight and following Paolo’s lead. It felt amazing to be out on the ocean waves which that day were very calm, under the bright blue sunny sky with some great friends. We raced towards the fish farm in the hope of catching sight of some dolphins.

Unfortunately this particular day we weren’t lucky enough to see the dolphins, although on most of the sea kayaking trips in this area you are likely to see them swimming around the fish farm often very close to the kayaks, including leaping in and out of the water. This was our experience on our previous sea kayaking excursion with Paolo.

Even though he provides an excellent excursion, he isn’t able to control nature which of course is sometimes unpredictable. Unlike in the water parks and zoos where dolphins are unfortunately held captive for entertainment, the dolphins in the ocean are thankfully free to make their own decisions.

We were still all having a wonderful time though, kayaking in the open ocean waves, gazing out into the distant horizon and managing quite successfully to keep the kayaking in pairs in almost perfect timing. We headed round the fish farm with views of Los Cristianos, Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje in the distance and back towards the cliffs of the coast next to Palm Mar.

Once we had reached the right spot we stopped for some snorkelling. Almost immediately even before we jumped into the water, there was a large sea turtle swimming near the surface. Seeing animals like this in the wild is truly an incredible sight and 100% beats seeing them in captivity in a zoo or park. We all quickly put on our snorkelling masks and jumped into the ocean so we catch a glimpse of more turtles and other sea creatures swimming about.

We were able to get a good sighting of the turtles swimming about underwater and enjoying their ocean habitat, plus a variety of different fish. While the water wasn’t exactly warm, it also wasn’t super cold so made it a perfect temperature for a short swim and to cool off after kayaking under the sun. Following this we got back into the kayaks with Paolo and his team mates help and headed back along the coast towards Palm Mar beach.

Before getting back we were able to kayak close to an impressive cave that it’s sometimes possible to kayak right inside when the waves aren’t too strong. Afterwards it was time to head back, so all eight of us kayaked alongside the cliffs towards the beach.

Once we arrived Paolo and his team mate got out first, then helped each of the other pairs in turn to make sure we could all get back onto the beach safely and easily. This is the kind of professional and excellent level of service that it is great to see!

Back at the beach after saying goodbye and thanks to Paolo and changing out of our wet swim gear we were ready for a drink and something to eat after a couple of hours of kayaking and some swimming. Thankfully there is a perfect spot in Palm Mar right on the beach, the excellent Chiringuito Palm Mar beach bar, run by the friendly Martin Hejnar. Here we enjoyed drinks, a live World Cup match on the TV, snacks, a delicious Paella and even a fun game of boules on the beach.

All in all this was a perfect way to spend a Sunday with a perfect activity of sea kayaking with friends, followed by a fun lunch and watching football at the excellent Chiringuito. We all had a lot of fun and really enjoyed ourselves seeing nature, staying active and socialising with friends. All of this is so important, especially in today’s world which can often be too focused on work and technology. These kind of excursions really are great and are definitely worth trying out in Tenerife, to help break up simply a week of beach vacation!

If you’re staying at Pearly Grey you can book this superb trip with Tenerife in Kayak through reception which also includes the meal at Chiringuito Palm Mar.

Thanks to Paolo and Martin for sponsoring this day for the Tenerife Magazine and Pearly Grey team members and our friends!

 

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Stunning 3 Bedroom Luxury Penthouse Apartment for Sale at the Beautiful Baobab Suites

Tenerife has long had a reputation as somewhere to head to if you are looking for a destination with plenty of sun, sand and sea, with an almost guaranteed year-round warm, spring-like climate. Because of this many people choose to either relocate here permanently, for a totally new life, or alternatively decide to buy a second home for holidays and rental opportunities.

One such property that we looked around recently is this absolutely stunning three bedroom, two bathroom luxury penthouse apartment for sale at the beautiful Baobab Suites, in Costa Adeje, in the south of the island.

This property is built on two levels and really is amazing as it has a high quality, modern design and boasts a number of standout features including gorgeous panoramic views that take in the Costa Adeje coastline on one side, and on the other the mountainous interior of Tenerife. These views are enhanced by the floor to ceiling windows throughout the whole property which lets in a tremendous amount of natural light.

Inside on the lower floor you will find a spacious and comfortable lounge area, a modern kitchen/dining room with appliances, three large bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus a large terrace area outside which is perfect for dining and sunbathing opportunities. There is also a lovely private swimming pool, Jacuzzi and large terrace on the upper level offering even more perfect sunbathing space.

The location of the property is perfect, being situated between El Duque and La Caleta, just in-land from the Costa Adeje coastline. This means you are close to the ocean and beautiful beaches, but also in a quieter, more relaxed and tranquil area than other parts of Costa Adeje, so you can enjoy living either full or part time here in Tenerife in perfect harmony.

You are also a very short walk from the amazing Activate Sports Club where you can play tennis, padel, beach volley-ball and go to the gym. The apartment is also part of the Baobab Suites which is one of the most luxurious and exclusive resorts on the island, with top class dining opportunities inside.

Overall this is an absolutely fantastic property for a permanent relocation to Tenerife, as a second home in the sun, or as an investment opportunity to rent out to other people coming to enjoy their holidays here in Tenerife. If you are interested in renting out this property after purchase then a professional team from Second Home Tenerife will be able to arrange this optional extra for you, to give you complete peace of mind in your purchase.

For all the details on this luxurious penthouse apartment, see here: www.secondhometenerife.com/en/property/1519792

When people picture Tenerife, luxury investment property might not always spring to mind so easily, as opposed to other destinations such as in France, Italy or mainland Spain. While of course you can find properties to suit almost any budget, including no-frills studio apartments, there is also a growing trend for higher-end, luxurious properties, hotels and resorts. This may surprise some of you, but Tenerife and the Canary Islands in general, are certainly moving up market!

Video by John Beckley

Photos by Kate Michelle Conti 

 

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How to Experience Luxury at its Finest at Las Terrazas de Abama

Many people feel that they know a destination from one or two visits, or even just from what others have told them, or they may form a stereotypical image of a place based on a few cliched photos or articles. These stereotypes often seem to persist despite significant changes or the fact that these perceptions have relatively little basis in everyday life.

For example, the cliche of Brits all loving a cup of tea and sitting down for an afternoon tea break together in the afternoon is very antiquated but is still seen as typically British. Sure many Brits do love a cup of tea, but you’re just as likely to find them enjoying a latte or cappuccino as tastes are changing, with some surveys suggesting coffee is now even more popular than tea in the UK!

The point is, don’t take so-called “common knowledge” for granted, because one of the only constants in life is that it is constantly changing. Sometimes this change is for the worse, but very often it is for the better which is something not reported as much in the mainstream media. A great case of a significant improvement in action, is tourism in the Canary Islands which is evolving to become increasingly more upmarket, luxurious and sustainable. This is happening across the islands, including here in Tenerife.

For many, the image they have of Tenerife is somewhere full of cheap, low-quality hotels, restaurants and bars, and defined by sunburnt Brits baking on the beach. This though is a completely tired stereotype that doesn’t do the current travel and tourism scene here in Tenerife justice at all. Sure you will find plenty of sun, sand and sea here all year round, perfect for an amazing family beach holiday, but for those looking for something more luxurious, active and different from what you’d expect, Tenerife has so much more to offer!

One such amazing example of this is Las Terrazas de Abama Luxury Apartments located in the south-west of the island, in a beautiful area between Los Gigantes and Playa de Las Américas. Unlike these resorts and other areas in the south, Las Terrazas de Abama is a world away offering tranquillity, privacy and luxury at its finest!

While you are only a short drive away from some stunning beaches and more touristic areas with shops, restaurants and bars, you also have a real sense of exclusiveness and undisturbed peace. There are two excellent on-site swimming pools, including an incredible infinity pool with gorgeous views across the adjacent Abama golf course, out towards palm trees, banana plantations and the amazing Atlantic ocean with La Gomera in the distance.

If you have an image of Tenerife in your head of packed beaches, noisy bars and all you can eat buffet restaurants, then relaxing in the infinity pool gazing out at the picture-perfect panoramic vista with total peace and relaxation, will make you completely forget this stereotype.

The apartments themselves offer a true touch of luxury with incredible attention to detail, what’s more, you will find wonderful on-site facilities as well the swimming pools, such as the top-class Abama golf course where you can enjoy a round of golf in the stunning palm tree-lined surroundings or take some private classes.

You will also find the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy where you will be able to enjoy some private tennis lessons with the tennis coaches. As well as these sporting facilities if you also want to stay in shape there is also an excellent onsite gym.

At Las Terrazas you are very well catered for in terms of dining with the onsite MELVIN Restaurant with their top class team and excellent food and drink options for breakfast and dinner. This includes a variety of different themed dishes, created using excellent high-quality ingredients, by the highly trained professional team lead by head chef Diego Dato, who trained under Martín Berasategui, who with eight Michelin stars, is widely seen as one of the best chefs in the world.

So, if you think you know Tenerife already, based on a stay you had years ago, or the stereotypical images of sun, sand, sea and cheap beer, then this post should show you that there is certainly a more energetic, stylish and luxurious side of the island that is really starting to take off. Places such as Las Terrazas de Abama are certainly at the forefront of this revolution!

For more information head over to the Las Terrazas website:

You can also follow them on social media:

(Sponsored post)

 

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How to Be Vegan in Tenerife

Over the years, Tenerife has built itself a bit of a reputation as a party island. So you’d be right in thinking that a lot of the resorts on the island cater to northern European tastes. Just a short stroll down Costa Adeje’s main boulevard leads you to a mass of bars and restaurants serving meat heavy dishes. But, you’ll be pleased to hear that things are starting to change. Tenerife is not only attracting a different type of tourism, those there to see its incredible landscape and wildlife, but it’s also nurturing a very up and coming vegan scene.

Mount Teide

This vegan scene is not only flourishing in the main holiday resorts but also in some of Tenerife’s traditional towns and villages and they aren’t just carbon copies of vegan restaurants found elsewhere. Many take advantage of the local produce, like bananas, papayas and avocado which grow aplenty across the island. In doing so they create original and fresh dishes which blend traditional Canarian flavours with popular vegan cuisine.

El Guanche, Masca

Take the restaurant, El Guanche. Located in Masca, one of the prettiest and smallest villages in the Teno Mountains, this family-run vegetarian restaurant offers a fantastic opportunity to try traditional Canarian cuisine with a twist. Most things can be made vegan and the family adapt their small menu to what they have growing in their garden.

El Guanche, Masca

It’s the perfect setting to try Canarian soup with homemade bread, or one of the many salad dishes with papas arrugadas, a traditional potato dish usually served with a chilli garlic sauce. Be sure to try one of their fresh smoothies and one of their sweet desserts, usually made with locally sourced palm honey. While the food is tasty, it’s the view which makes this restaurant stand out. Surrounded by sweet-smelling flowers and lush vegetation, the
balcony looks out onto the Masca valley which blooms with citrus trees, palms and cacti.

For those keeping to the main towns, there is even more to choose from. K Vegan is situated in the popular tourist town of Los Cristianos and it’s a neat little food stall found in the La Pepa Food Market, on the top floor of the Passarela Oasis shopping centre. It’s a great place to stop and grab a quick bite to eat on the go.

K Vegan, Los Cristianos

The menu is entirely vegan and offers a range of fast food dishes including falafel wraps, burgers (grain, soy and seitan-based) as well as a few specials including Spanish-style potato tortillas. It’s vegan fast food at its finest and the falafel wrap is, to date, the best I’ve ever had. On top of that, there’s also a variety of homemade kombucha drinks to try, including raspberry and mint, and mango!

For those wanting more vegan fast food, there’s even a vegan chain restaurant in Tenerife called Burger Mel! It has a few establishments in the north of the island and offers a range of vegan burgers, hot dogs, fries and desserts!

Veggie Penguin, La Laguna

For something a little more unique, the main towns are also home to several independently run restaurants. One of the best is Veggie Penguin, located in the historic university town of La Laguna. Its vibrant and botanical inspired interior is the perfect setting for lunch and, with its fresh menu, it’s easy to see why this place is a popular hangout for locals.

Veggie Penguin, La Laguna

From fully customisable salads and pasta dishes to its lentil based burgers in the softest brioche-style pumpkin bread buns, it’s no wonder it’s advisable to book a table in advance. Make sure to try the turmeric almond latte!

Veggie Penguin, La Laguna

For those holiday-makers going self-catered, finding vegan food in the supermarkets is also a lot easier today than it was a few years ago. While meat substitutes are still yet to hit the market, most shops stock a wide variety of plant-based milk substitutes, including soy, almond and oat. Pulses are easy to come by, as are fresh vegetables and fruit and even soy yoghurts. Likewise, one advantage of the island being a holiday resort is that most packaged
food lists its ingredients in different languages. This makes it really easy for non-Spanish speakers to check whether items are suitable for specific diets.

While most of the established cafes and ice cream parlours are slow to catch up and as yet don’t offer milk alternatives, there are a few places you can treat yourself to a vegan-friendly hot drink and sweet treat. Sweet Paradise is one of those bakeries you don’t want to miss. Located in the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, it serves a variety of vegan cakes, cheesecakes, brownies and doughnuts – enough to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. On top of that
it also serves a small selection of lunch options such as salads, sandwiches and burgers – making it the perfect lunch and afternoon stop off.

As well as that, I’d highly recommend paying a visit to Il Gelato del Mercato, a tiny ice cream shop located in the capital. (There’s also another branch in Los Cristianos.) It’s one of the few places I found that serves vegan ice cream, as well as gluten and sugar-free options, and every day they make different flavours freshly in their kitchen. The dark chocolate ice cream was absolutely divine, and mixed with the orange sorbet; it tasted just like Terry’s chocolate
orange. I wish I had brought home tubs of this stuff!

Il Gelato del Mercato, Santa Cruz

So with a little research, it’s relatively easy to find vegan-friendly food throughout Tenerife – and this food isn’t second best. These small establishments, which are promoting veganism, experiment with exciting fresh flavours to create food that closely rivals some of the best you can find in the well-established vegan cities of Berlin, Edinburgh and Amsterdam. It’s only so long before veganism becomes mainstream in Tenerife and that’s when things get
really exciting.

Text and Photos: Jessica Gray (www.veganadventurist.com)

 

 

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Fantastic Unveiling of the Incredible MELVIN Restaurant

Both for visitors to Tenerife and those lucky enough to live here permanently, this is an island where you are veritably spoilt for choice in terms of places to dine out. Whether you are looking for somewhere for a quick bite to eat, or something a bit fancier, there really does seem to be something for everyone, whatever your budget and taste. While competition may be fierce in the food and drink scene though, we are always excited to see new options appearing, especially if it is somewhere offering a truly unique dining experience.

Because there are so many restaurants competing for people’s attention and interest here, it really does take somewhere truly special to stand out. Well, one recent addition to the excellent stock of places to dine in Tenerife, that has recently arrived is the incredible MELVIN Restaurant, based at Las Terrazas de Abama in the South of the island. This is sure to make a significant impact on the fine dining scene in Tenerife, with exceptional food, a stunningly beautiful location and a top-class team.

As is befitting of such an incredible restaurant, there was an exclusive event to unveil it yesterday to a select group of invitees which the team here at Tenerife Magazine were invited to. As we arrived we were greeted very kindly by all of the staff including the organisers of the event, Laura Soruco, Hotel General Manager at Las Terrazas de Abama and Desiree Lopez, Sales Manager. We also spoke to head chef Diego Dato, who trained under Martín Berasategui, who with eight Michelin stars, is widely seen as one of the best chefs in the world.

Fine Dining Experience @ The Melvin Restaurant

The Grand opening night of THE MELVIN RESTAURANT UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF MARTÍN BERASATEGUI

Posted by Las Terrazas de Abama on Tuesday, April 24, 2018

MELVIN is a fantastic concept that combines the personality and vision of well-renowned architect Melvin Villarroe, with the amazing culinary expertise of Martín Berasategui. The influences of these two forward-thinking individuals can be seen in all aspects of the restaurant, from the delicious menu, right through to the beautiful design which fully incorporates natural light.

The inside area of the restaurant looks out through a number of sets of glass doors onto the huge terrace area. This wide use of glass within the design allows those dining inside to be able to fully appreciate and enjoy the fantastic view outside and the stunning natural light offered in Tenerife. The design helps to combine the inside and outside of the restaurant, by blurring the distinction between the two.

The overall style of the restaurant is modern, elegant and sophisticated, without seeming pretentious. The kitchen area is also fully on view, creating a feeling of theatre as the food is prepared in view of those dining, again creating and adding to the feeling of openness.

Outside there was a live band playing a selection of different jazz tunes which fit the mood of the evening very well, perfectly complimenting to the chilled-out ambience of the evening.

Throughout the event, those who attended were served a selection of different beverages.

Later on, a huge variety of different finger food prepared by Diego and his team including gazpacho, different types and croquettes and seafood paella were brought out to attendees, who were more than happy to try.

There were also speeches from Laura, Diego and others to thank everyone for coming to the event and talk about how excited they are to launch such a fantastic addition to Las Terrazas de Abama, and the contemporary fine dining scene in Tenerife.

All in all this event provided a fantastic unveiling of the incredible MELVIN restaurant which we’re more than certain will continue to become a huge success in Tenerife. You can already see from the reviews that Diego and his team have received on Tripadvisor that the restaurant is quickly moving up through the ranks due to the quality of food, excellent hospitality of the staff and fantastic views. We hope to see you there sometime in the future!

Photos by Kate Michelle Conti (aka The Italian Chica)
Video by John Dale Beckley

To find out more about MELVIN restaurant and make a reservation, then head over to the website and follow them on Instagram.

 

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How to Enjoy a Wonderful Wine Tasting Trip in the Stunning North of Tenerife

If you are staying in the south of Tenerife, such as in Pearly Grey Resort in Callao Salvaje, you may be forgiven for believing that the island is somewhat dry and arid. Sure there are plentiful palm tree-lined avenidas, some stunning natural landscapes such as the Masca gorge and incredible cliffs of Los Gigantes, and of course an abundance of beautiful beaches to relax on with the sound of lapping waves washing onto the shore, but in terms of plant life and greenery, it can appear a little lacking.

This is because the south of the island has indeed got considerably less rainfall during the year than the north, so as can be expected it’s more difficult for a wide abundance of plant life to survive. This is certainly not the case for the whole of the island though. There is somewhat of a north-south divide in Tenerife.

Generally, the north of the island is far greener and more verdant, with a huge abundance of plant life which you won’t often see further south. This divide extends to more than just the climate though; the north of Tenerife has a wealth of history and culture, and in many ways feels a lot more authentically Spanish and Canarian in appearance and culture.

In the past, when tourists headed to Tenerife they often used to head to the original resorts of Punta del Hidalgo and Puerto de la Cruz. With the growth of the resorts in the south such as Costa Adeje, Playa de las Americas, Los Cristianos, Los Gigantes, Callao Salvaje and more, tourism in Tenerife has mainly shifted to the south.

While there is indeed much to see and do in the south, plus the weather is generally warm and sunny almost the entire year round, meaning sunbathing and swimming opportunities any month of the year, the north of Tenerife should certainly not be missed out on when you come to stay.

Luckily Viajes Nere Izerdie have you well covered with their wonderful wine tasting tour in the stunning north of Tenerife. Recently myself, John (owner of Tenerife Magazine) and Gemma (head receptionist at Pearly Grey Resort), were invited on this trip and had an absolute blast and also learned a great deal about the island. What could be better; fun and learning all rolled into one brilliant day out with friends.

After being collected in the morning from Los Cristianos by the friendly and professional tour guide Francisco, and Ivan the driver, we were transported aboard the comfortable and modern company tour bus to our first destination, the historic former capital city of Tenerife, La Laguna. Along the way, Francisco explained in perfect English (and Italian for the Italian guests) the history of La Laguna and other information about the island.

At first, it was difficult to tell exactly where Francisco was originally from as he spoke Spanish to the driver, but also perfect English and Italian to those on the excursion. We later found out he is originally from Tenerife, but had spent a number of years as a child in Surrey, hence his brilliant and ever so slightly posh British accent!

Both during the journey to La Laguna and upon our arrival and subsequent wandering around as a group, we learned a wide variety of fascinating historical facts about the city. San Cristóbal de La Laguna (the full name of the city) which is widely shortened to La Laguna, acquired its name from being in the valley of Aguere, where a large lake once existed (Laguna is lagoon in Spanish). The city was founded between 1496 and 1497, following the conclusion of the conquest of the islands by Alonso Fernández de Lugo, becoming the capital of Tenerife, and later the capital of the Canary Islands.

As you will see when you visit La Laguna, it is a very beautiful city, full of historical architecture, plazas and buildings, because of which it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, the only city in the Canary Islands to hold this accolade. If you have only ever stayed in the resorts of the south of Tenerife you will feel like you’re on another island as its almost completely different!

You’ll notice that the city feels a lot more culturally authentic, with large pedestrianised cobbled streets and colonial buildings that have been there for hundreds of years. It is a fascinating place to start your trip to the north, all explained perfectly by Francisco, including brief looks inside some of the historic buildings and courtyards, where you can see attractive gardens and parts of the buildings constructed from hardy Canarian pine wood.

A walk around the amazing city of La Laguna in the North of Tenerife is like taking a fascinating trip back in time! This was once the capital of both Tenerife and ancient capital of the Canary Islands, until Santa Cruz later became Tenerife's capital city. Today it is still considered the cultural capital of the Canary Islands and became a UNESCO World Heritage sight in 1999. It is an absolutely brilliant place to explore and learn about, where you will find sights such as this stunning courtyard with historical wooden architecture. You can visit the city as part of the excellent wine tasting tour with @nereizerdieexcursionestenerife! This trip is perfect if you want to learn more about the real Tenerife! ————————————————- 📸 @lumixuk 📍La Laguna, @visit_tenerife @thecanaryislands @spain ————————————————- ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ #guardiantravelsnaps #Tenerife #tenerifetag #travel #CanaryIslands #traveltotenerife #IslasCanarias #latitudeoflife #latituddevida #Spain #españa #explore #wanderlust #wherelumixgoes #lumix #lumixg #history #historical #ancient #tenerifemagazine #LaLaguna Espana #visitspain #VisitTenerife

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This is a world away from the hotels and apartments around Tenerife’s coastline. I would say if you want to see the real Tenerife and Canary Islands, then you absolutely must visit this historical gem of a city, the third largest of the Canaries.

Following a wander around the streets, we were led to the La Laguna food market where there was an abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables and other locally grown and produced food and drink products to buy. Here you can see the locals at work and see the produce for sale that is grown on the island. Of course, many of us enjoyed a quick coffee too, to keep us boosted for the rest of the trip.

After becoming fully caffeinated, it was back onto the bus to head further north than La Laguna to our next stop at the Bodega Presas Ocampo near the picturesque villages of Tacoronte and El Sauzal located in the Tacoronte municipality, where you will find the largest wine growing area in Tenerife. This is a verdant, beautiful area of the island that again, is completely distinct from the south. Due to the northerly aspect of this area which captures moisture from the prevailing northeasterly winds, you will discover a Mediterranean climate and landscape that is quite unlike the arid climate of the south of Tenerife and much of the rest of the Canary Islands.

During the bus journey, we passed by farms, old manorial buildings and a number of different vineyards, most of which enjoyed spectacular views out to the beautiful blue ocean. This was certainly the case for the Bodega Presas Ocampo winery, a pioneer of the Tacoronte-Acentejo Designation of Origin which we stopped at for a tour and wine tasting. The vineyard, where there were many different grape vines growing, had a wonderful view of the Atlantic ocean in the distance. There can be few more picturesque scenes than this beautiful rural scene in the northeast of Tenerife.

Inside was quite the contrast with an array of modern equipment for crushing the grapes, extracting the grape juice and separating the grape skin, rows of beautiful oak barrels for storing the wine, and a modern, efficient bottling machine. It’s clear that a lot of investment has gone into this family-owned business over the years.

Following an explanation of this process from Francisco and a knowledgeable worker at the winery, we were led to another room that looked like a kind of old-fashioned kitchen/dining room. Here we were all seated to be able to taste and enjoy the wine. We were given both a white and red wine to try, both of which were very tasty. We learned that the time from harvest to drinking for the wines produced at this winery is generally around two years, and this is the case for many wines in the Canary Islands due to the climate and type of grapes used. Therefore most wines from the Canaries are young varieties.

What many people probably don’t realise is how well established the tradition of wine production has been in the Canary Islands over hundreds of years, with the wine even being mentioned by Shakespeare in no less than 30 of his works, including some of his most famous plays such as Twelfth Night and Henry IV. This is because, during Shakespeare’s time, wine from the Canary Islands, specifically the type made from the Malvasia grape grown on the islands was regarded as one of the top drinks in mainland Europe at the time, including in England.

This led to an economic boom period for the islands, due to this substantial popularity of Canarian Wine, especially in England. Sadly this period of growth ended in 1649 when Charles II came to the throne in England which was a very important export market. His taste was for sherry and his courtiers and countrymen followed his lead, and the desire for Malvasia started to decline. Production was further hit with the growing animosity between Britain and Spain, meaning that Britain began to boycott Spanish wines in the late 17th Century.

 While wine production and international popularity has by no means reached the levels seen during that boom period, in the last decade interest in Canarian produced wines has started to rapidly grow due to their uniqueness, creating one of the most exciting wine regions to emerge in the last 10 years on the international stage. Despite the often rugged terrain, potential for volcanic activity, and strong winds which don’t seem to lend themselves well to a great wine production environment, there are some major factors in favour of the winegrowers of the Canary Islands.

 Probably the most important is that the grape vines can be ancient, sometimes literally hundreds of years old – therefore also having hundreds of years of complexity. This is due to the isolation of the region from the mainland, meaning that the disease phylloxera, a devastating root louse,  that ravaged grapevines across mainland Europe in the late 19th century never reached those of the Canary Islands. Incredibly phylloxera is believed to have destroyed 90% of the world’s grape vines, so the wines of the Canary Islands really are some of the most unique in the world.

Rather than hybrid vines that were grown in Europe by grafting European vines onto American rootstocks which were naturally immune, the grape vines in the Canary Islands are the original ungrafted varieties. To be able to taste wine grown from these varieties of grape is a fairly unique experience due to the rarity of these ungrafted vines. Added to this the year-round warm, sunny conditions are perfect for production all year round. It is fascinating taking a tour around a working winery such as Presas Ocampo, because you really do get a taste for this history of wine-making while you taste the wines and take in the tradition.

Following the tour and wine tasting, we all got back in the bus, feeling just that bit merrier, but also starting to feel slightly peckish to combine with the tipsiness of two glasses of wine on an empty stomach! Luckily we were on our way to a generous meal, of course with some more Canarian wine. We arrived at a rather amazing old fashioned bodega and tapas restaurant a short drive away where we had the option of choosing a tapas and wine lunch. While it wasn’t included in the price of the excursion, 10 euros was a very reasonable price, especially after we saw all the food.

 The first thing to mention though is how fascinating the dining area was. Downstairs as we walked in there was a large food and gift store with many different traditional products and souvenirs to buy. Upstairs was amazing though, as there was a very large dining area with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and around all of the walls were thousands of bottles of wine as a kind of amazing wine themed decoration.

 The tapas food consisted of many different plates including Canarian Potatoes with mojo sauce, calamari, croquettes with different fillings, bread and luckily for me, some food they prepared especially including garlic mushrooms and rice and vegetables. There were also several bottles of wine for all of us to share. The food was no frills but certainly satisfied our appetites as there was plenty of it at a very reasonable price. It also offered a good chance to sit and chat with some of the other guests on the excursion with us and find out their stories and experiences of Tenerife and the tour. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves a lot too!

 Following the satisfying meal and more tasty Tenerife wine, we headed back to the bus to be driven on to the final stop on our tour of the North. Next we set off for a stop in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the modern capital of the island. Whereas La Laguna was the capital of the island from its foundation in 1496, this position was later switched to Santa Cruz in 1723 due to a declining population and economy during the 18th century.

Then between 1833 and 1927, the city of Santa Cruz became the capital of both the island of Tenerife and all of the Canary Islands. In 1927 it was decided that capital status of the islands would be shared between Santa Cruz and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

 Despite many historical buildings remaining present in Santa Cruz, especially in comparison to much of the south of the island, it is noticeably more modern in general than La Laguna with some very tall modern apartment blocks and some distinctly designed buildings, such as the amazing Auditorio de Tenerife. Despite these modern designs, it remains a very attractive city, which is perfect for a wander around and exploration, with plenty of gorgeous tree lined streets which are perfect to stop at for a coffee which myself, John and Gemma did.

 We had just enough time to finish our coffee, take some photos and wander around a bit more, before it was time to head back to the impressive Plaza de España, the largest square in Tenerife and the Canary Islands, with an artificial lake at its centre. Here Francisco and Ivan were waiting for us at the bus to drive us back to Los Cristianos.

Overall this is an absolutely brilliant tour which John, Gemma and myself all fully recommend. It was a lot of fun and offers a really great way to learn about the other side of Tenerife that many tourists never experience. If you are staying at Pearly Grey Resort then you can book this trip from reception, or alternatively head on over to the Viajes Nere Izerdie website (http://www.nereizerdie.com/language/en/homepage/) for all the details.

 We would like to offer our thanks to Viajes Nere Izerdie for sponsoring this trip for Tenerife Magazine and Pearly Grey Resort, and also to Francisco our wonderful guide and Ivan for driving us safely and comfortably around the island.

 

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Anatomy of a Press Trip

Picture a travel writer and you’re probably imagining them supping piña coladas by the hotel pool. And you’d be right to. As a hotel reviewer, I have to cover the establishment’s food and drink options; so obviously need to sample them.

What you’re probably not also conjuring up in your mind is the image of a laptop. But a travel writer has to taste and then type. A computer and camera are two of the first things we pack, and we share preview pictures (which can also be taken with a mobile) on the likes of Instagram and Twitter.

All three items were certainly in my luggage when I visited the neighbouring island of Tenerife (I’m based on Gran Canaria). I was invited to the island as part of Tenerife Magazine’s Influencer programme. And founder/social media guru John Beckley was there to meet me at the airport.

John is based in Playa de San Juan, in the island’s south-west. Seeing as I was staying at the nearby The Ritz-Carlton, Abama; he was a fount of local knowledge which I gleefully tapped into. Although he had already visited the hotel many times, John still joined me in a full and frank tour of the complex with the hotel’s marketing and communications coordinator, María Ángeles Guerrero.

This was followed by a working lunch at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama’s  Beach Club. Working as in before we could tuck into the Instagrammable dishes, we had to photograph them. And mouthfuls were interrupted by putting pen to paper (with the laptop left in the room as our transport to the Club included golf buggy and cable car) for future reference.

I had been commissioned by World Travel Magazine to write a feature about Tenerife. You can read a preview of it here. The full version is hidden behind a paywall I’m afraid, only available to magazine subscribers.

My trip also involved a potentially soil-your-own-swimwear kayak excursion with John. The Atlantic can get quite choppy at times. I recovered with a restorative glass (coffee on the Canary Islands apart from café con leche is typically served in crystal rather than china) of carajillo (the blackest/hottest coffee with a shot/slug of cognac).

Next on our to-do list was a caña (half pint of island-brewed Dorada lager) at Playa de San Juan’s Cofradia de Pescadores Nuestra Señora de la Luz. This is equivalent to the Fisherman’s Trade Union Staff Restaurant. But one which is open to the general public too.

To build up even more of an appetite, John and I embarked on a mini cliff-side hike to a ruin. It looked like an old religious building and definitely gave off that aura. But later research revealed a more prosaic truth: this was the area’s old pump-house.

I rounded off my weekend of work with another busy meal at Restaurante Marlin. Joined this time by my trusty laptop. Well, articles won’t write themselves, will they?

Article written by Matthew Hirtes – Springtime Publishing Author

 

 

 

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10 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Los Cristianos

Los Cristianos is a popular tourist town in the south of the island of Tenerife. You can discover many different types of shops in the charming town centre, such as high street and designer shops, quaint local boutiques, and souvenir shops. There are also many good cafes and bars to take a break in when you need a rest.

The long promenade follows the beautiful golden sand beaches and is a fantastic place to enjoy a stroll before stopping for lunch in one of the many nearby restaurants. The sea is crystal clear and great for swimming in, also for children. You can find many different water sports in this area too.

There is a lovely harbour from where you can take a ferry over to the beautiful island of La Gomera. It is also possible to join a fishing or a diving trip from here.

Very close to Los Cristianos is the fantastic water park Siam Park, the beautifully landscaped Parque Santiago mini golf course, and Monkey Park, where you can actually feed the monkeys, lemurs, and guinea pigs.

Even if you are not staying at Los Cristianos, a day trip or two here is definitely worth it 🙂

Photos and text by Lynne Knightley

If you wish to read more about amazing things to do in Tenerife, then take a look at Lynne’s excellent guidebook.

Simply click here  > https://www.amazon.com/Lynne-Knightley/e/B00QNR2QGA to head to the download page.

You can also follow Lynne via her social media accounts:

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10 Great Options for a Tenerife Holiday

Tenerife is full of colour, beaches, sun and exotic plants (if you head further north of the Island). Tourists have such a variety of things to see, places to visit and wonderful culture. If you are a traveller that likes to get to know the people and culture of where you visit, you will love the Canarian folk as they are the friendliest people that I have met!

What is not to like about Tenerife?  All year sunshine, scorching summers, an array of hotels, bars and restaurants to choose from. Tourists are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining, accommodation and beautiful clean beaches.

From experience, here you can find 10 amazing options for the south of Tenerife which range from dining to beaches, to where to visit or excursions. Whatever you decide to do on your holiday to Tenerife, either relaxing or packing your days with adventure, without doubt, you will have a fabulous time.

1. Sea, Whales & Dolphins

Feeling free, at sea and watching the wildlife was something that will be one of my best memories in Tenerife! This excursion was simply fabulous, fun and natural. Watching the whales and dolphins out at sea was how it should be. The crew at Neptune Sea Company, based in Calle de Colon, Costa Adeje were absolutely first class. My choice to head out via the Peter Pan (Portuguese Goleta) was brilliant and they offer other sailing options to suit all tastes.

One thing I really liked about this company is the crew spoke lots of different languages, they were very friendly and safety was their first priority at all times. Loved this adventure! Well worth a trip out and you can find out more about these excursions by visiting their website: www.barcostenerife.com

2. Siam Park & Oriental Beauty

The most well known and talked about water parks in Tenerife and one of the best in Europe. A day out here will make the family have a day to remember. The water slides are challenging in areas but there are also relaxing rides which make this place a fabulous option for the whole family. There is even a smaller children’s water park area so parents can feel relaxed knowing the little ones are also enjoying the fun. There is also a giant man-made beach which has fabulous waves that is often rented out at night for surfers to practice their skills.

The park is filled with amazing exotic palm trees, plants and oriental statues, that are simply stunning. If you have not got around to visiting Siam Park, what are you waiting for? Add it to your list and enjoy the adventures of  Tenerife. For more information, visit their website: http://www.siampark.net/index.php/en/

3. Wine Tasting, Growing & Friendly Staff

If you are looking for a half day excursion and like wine or want to know more about how the local wines are produced, this is a perfect option for you to choose. Villaflor is a local village, based in the south of Tenerife and higher above the ground level. It can get pretty hot up there so make sure you take sun cream, a hat and water.

Vindos Angola is a family run winery which will offer you some amazing information on how the wine starts from the grape plant, right up to it being bottled. You will get to taste some of the delicious wines, cheeses to nibble on and then a light lunch. The staff are friendly, extremely knowledgeable and they arrange for collection and drop off at your hotel. You can find more information via Facebook.

4. Mini Golf course in Playa de Las Americas

If you are wanting a few hours to fill in your day in Playa de Las Americas, the Santiago Mini Golf (opposite Hard Rock Café) is a good choice. This is often missed as it is set back and hidden behind the cafeteria. All around this area is so colourful, with stunning mosaics. The Mini Golf features cactus plants, flowers and water features. Perfect for any age, group or family. Great location for a day out too!

5. Hard Rock Café & Theatre

Again, set in Playa de Las Americas, the Hard Rock Café is a popular choice for tourists who want the experience of an American diner type food. They offer a great menu, even for those fussy eaters, and tourists get to see the walls which display discs, guitars and other memorabilia.

Of course, this would not be a tourist attraction without the shop at the exit where you can purchase a T-Shirt, cap or other branded merchandise. Set alongside the theatre, it is easily recognised by the large columns and water feature which hosts a statue of a guitar.

6. Tranquil beach of Playa San Juan

If you are looking for a quieter option and away from the major beaches of Playa de Las Americas, Los Cristianos or Fanabe (Costa Adeje), this pretty little harbour offers a small beach which is not well known to tourists. Playa San Juan is based in Guia de Isora (heading from Costa Adeje to Los Gigantes) and an easy bus ride.

It has some nice restaurants, the harbour which offers great water-themed excursions and a stunning beach walkway where you can sit in the shade. With a beach area of golden, black and pebbles, the area offers sunbeds and a small bar on the beach. Perfect for a peaceful day out, bit of food and a nice glass of Sangria.

7. Afternoon or evening Tapas in Callao Salvaje

My visit to Callao Salvaje included a really nice view of some rugged coastline and a walk around the local shops, restaurants and bars. One of the best places to visit for your holiday memory box is to try the tapas at ‘The Edge Restaurant’ at Pearly Grey Ocean Club.

The quality of the food is outstanding and the sunsets will offer you the most amazing views for your holiday photograph shots. The food is first class and all credit to the team, they deliver some amazing dishes. More information can be found by visiting the website: https://www.pearlygrey.com/

8. Fine Italian Dining

If you like good Italian food, nice relaxing atmosphere and a romantic setting, Monte Christo restaurant in Costa Adeje is a winner. The soft music, personal service and quality food is a great choice and nice holiday treat. It is not the cheapest but you get what you pay for; excellent food and classy surroundings.

The desserts are mouth-watering and I would recommend the chef’s home recipe for Tiramisu. My appetite has just increased thinking about the food here. You can find more information on https://www.facebook.com/MonteChristoTenerife/

9. Siam Mall shopping in Tenerife

Most tourist resorts offer the same type of shopping experiences of souvenirs, T-shirts and general items that really, end up as clutter. What is difficult to track down in Tenerife is clothes and woollens, shoes or other clothing which can be a little more expensive. If you are looking to top up your holiday clothes or forgot to pack some items, head over to Siam Mall as there are some really good clothing shops which are not expensive. More in line with the latest trends and really good value for money.

You can take advantage of the lovely cafes or restaurants here and even catch the Free Bus which are available from Playa de Las Americas, Los Cristianos or Costa Adeje. With the recent addition of Starbucks, you can grab a coffee and enjoy some lovely shopping at a price that will not put stress on your holiday money. What more could you ask for? More information about Siam Mall is available here: https://ccsiammall.com/

10. Lady Candelaria and Basilica

Candelaria is very famous in Tenerife and Lady Candelaria is regarding as one of the most respected and religious patron saints on the Island. The statue of Lady Candelaria attracts the most pilgrims each year and has visitor’s, year upon year from around the world.

The Basilica (church) is stunning, in pristine condition and well loved. Set on the rugged coastline with the statues of the Guanches facing onto the Plaza, this is a great tourist attraction to visit to pass the day. You will get to see local culture, local food and beautiful architecture. Simply beautiful!

The Island is packed with true beauty from rugged volcanic mountains to wonderful coastlines, stunning sunsets and exotic greenery. A perfect holiday choice for any age and it is easy to see why tourists return back to this amazing Island time after time.

Text and Photos by Dawn McIntyre.

You can read more about the places, adventures or food via Dawn’s blog www.tapasintenerife.com

 

 

 

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Where to Find Some Great Restaurants in Los Cristianos

Los Cristianos has a brightly coloured coastline, harbour to catch a ferry to the neighbouring island of La Gomera, plenty of bars and an array of some great, long standing restaurants. The popular choices have been many tourist’s favourites over the years and still today, they attract diners and maintain good reviews on Tripadvisor.

Tenerife has so many fabulous places to eat with different cuisines to choose from so selection is readily available. From Thai, Italian, French, Chinese and my favourite, Canarian, this is just to name a few!

Rincón del Marinero, c/cabeza Muella Viejo not just your ordinary fish selection

Tenerife offers an amazing opportunity to dine with fresh fish choices and over the years, Los Cristianos was once one of the busiest fishing ports on the Island. Home to fisherman and some delicious fresh fish. This fish restaurant is one of the longstanding favourites which has been operating since 1978 and specialises in fresh fish or seafood only.

Over the years, I have walked past this restaurant countless times as it is on the main walkway from Los Cristianos to Playa de Las Americas (just before the subway tunnel). The downside of this restaurant is that there is no view, it just looks out onto a yard which is in front of the harbour. The positive side is that you will be guaranteed fresh fish or seafood!

Traditional Sea Bass is on the menu or you can opt for something a little different like Wreckfish (which is great for sharing for two) or why not try the Snapper fish. Other menu favourites include garlic prawns, Calamari or seafood Paella.

It is easy to spot with the fishing boat located at the entrance of the restaurant and the bold blue and white colours will catch your attention either before or after coming out of the subway.

Linares, Av, Las Playeras 41 is central location and popular Italian food

Trading since 1957, Linares is situated in a prime location, short walk to the beach and a popular choice for lunchtime or evening meal. Inside dining or you can sit in the shade outside in the main street and take a cold beer or glass of wine. If you feel like getting more into the theme, try a Sangria.

You can expect to find dishes such as pasta, pizza, cannelloni, steaks, mixed grill or fish paella.

Linares is close to many shops so if you fancy a little bit of shopping along the way, this is a perfect choice. This restaurant is certainly in a good location and an ideal resting area to top up on refreshments or chill out at night for an evening meal.

Check out a nice, quirky gift shop Ale Hop which is based in the same street as Linares and a fun little place to take a peek. Most of the holiday type shops offer the same tourist style gifts but this one is worth a visit.

Mongolian, Av. Amsterdam and offers eat all you can style dining

Renowned for good food and value, this popular restaurant certainly pulls in the crowds at night. A little walk from the beach, heading towards Paradise Park Hotel direction (but not up the slightly steep hill so it’s easy to walk to), this restaurant builds up its name based on repeat business.

For €12 per person, you can have starters of sushi, duck, pancakes, ribs, wontons, spring rolls (remember this is eat all you can style) so you can mix and match. Main dishes include steak, lamb chops, chicken, fish, king prawns, mussels and more. There are around 30 sauces to choose from which you can select and then take your food to the chef who cooks it in front of you with your selected sauce.

There is a choice of desserts too so you can see why this restaurant attracts many visitors night after night. For those tourists who have a large appetite, this is ‘food heaven’.

The quality of the food receives great reviews on Tripadvisor so it is definitely worth checking it out if you are staying in or around Los Cristianos.

Whichever restaurant you select, it’s great that you have ventured out to support the local businesses. It is really important to step out and take a look around the area, try some different food and enjoy what Los Cristianos has to offer, especially the fantastic restaurants and friendly service.

Take advantage of Tenerife, especially Los Cristianos and relax, eat and be happy!

For more information on Tenerife and where to eat, you can visit my blog: www.tapasintenerife.com

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