Teno Bajo and La Punta de Teno

Work was intensive at Alhambra, the banana export company where I worked in Buenavista del Norte in 1960. We might labour for 14 hours a day for three days and enjoy the rest of the week off. With so much free time, I was able to get to know the surrounding countryside. One of the most intriguing places was the ghost-village of Teno Bajo.

Two fishermen, Francisco-el-Diablo and his first-hand, would row me to El Callao de Márquez, a point half-way between Buenvista and La Punta de Teno. On the way, he delighted in scaring me. Standing up in the coble, each wielding an enormously long oar, Francisco and his partner would steer the coble as close as they could to las Rocas del Fraile.

At the moment the waves threatened to sweep us into the Fraile’s sharp fangs, the oarsmen would sweep away to seaward and laugh maniacally. They were consummate seamen. They knew the tides, and the rocks intimately. I was never truly afraid with them.

The first time I visited Teno Bajo they dropped me off on the large boulder near the shore. It was dangerous. I had to leap from the coble just as the wave rose 3 metres allowing me a fraction of a second to step off the gunwale onto the flat rock. There was an alternative route.

A seldom-used path from El Rincón snaked up the cliffs to Teno Alto, over the plateau, and then down the other side to Teno Bajo and on to La Punta de Teno. Villagers warned me against using it. The path was near-invisible and treacherous. Clouds might descend at any moment. Put a foot wrong and you would plunge a thousand metres into a ravine, torn to pieces on spiny cactus.

Teno Bajo was a collection of houses abandoned years before. Only Daniel and his wife remained as the mysterious custodians. They were accompanied by their son, his wife and over a hundred goats. Daniel and his family were always welcoming.

Daniel showed me the salt pans he’d dug on the shore and the bags of salt he collected after the seawater evaporated. He took the sacks to La Punta de Teno by donkey. Fishermen transported them on to Buenavista by row-boat.

Daniel showed me the first zurrón I’d ever seen. A zurrón is a crude leather bag made from the skin peeled off a kid-goat in one piece. The hair is scraped off, the skin cured and the holes made by removing the head and feet are sealed with wooden plugs. The resulting leather bag is used to mix gofio with honey to form sweet, moist nutritious balls that can sustain a working man throughout the entire day.

Why Daniel and his family chose to remain in the ghost-village of Teno Bajo was a mystery. It was whispered that he had opposed Franco and then sought refuge in isolation rather than be hanged from the notorious Puente de Hierro like so many.

From Teno Bajo, I could walk to the lighthouse at La Punta. Pepe the lighthouse-keeper was from La Peninsula. He, his wife and three children welcomed visitors. I visited often, usually by sea. Along with a few fishermen, we’d make the trip on a Sunday from Los Silos in a ‘falúa’, a boat powered by an inboard motor. To save time, we’d harvest fish for lunch, using a stick of dynamite.

One day, after we’d done our ‘fishing’, Pepe spotted the Civil Guard launch put out from Santa Catalina in La Gomera and head towards La Punta. The fishermen decided to escape back to Los Silos before the Beneméritos could catch them. Afraid that the presence of an ‘extranjero’ would complicate matters if they were caught, they dropped me off at El Callao de Márquez.

I immediately began running — first across the desert and then up the cliffs in the direction of Teno Alto. Suddenly the mist descended so thick that I was terrified to take more than one slow step at a time.

Fortunately, I met a shepherd and his granddaughter. Having lived up there all their lives, they refused to believe that I could be lost in such a familiar place. Finally, I made Abuelito understand my predicament. He had the 8-year-old child lead me confidently through the fog to the edge of the cliff and point out the near perpendicular path that led down to El Rincón.

I made it back safely. The fishermen too, made it safely back to Los Silos. But the Beneméritos poked around for days, trying to discover who had been dynamiting fish on a Sunday! Fortunately, Tinerfeños are loyal to their own – and by then, I counted as one of them!

Doña Lutgarda Méndes Hernández and her large family, my co-workers and the villagers of Buenavista del Norte taught me a great deal. For their warm hospitality, for the gifts of their language and friendship, for sharing their culture and their ways, I salute the people of Tenerife with respect and gratitude.

Text and photos by Ronald Mackay

To discover more of Ronald’s amazing year-long adventure in Tenerife, take a look at his book here:

Fortunate Isle: A  Memoir of Tenerife

 

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My First Job in Buenavista del Norte

In 1960, I spent my first three weeks in Buenavista del Norte exploring the region on foot and mastering the language. Because everybody was Spanish-speaking and curious about the solitary young ‘extranjero’ in their midst, they all greeted me and asked countless questions. Every evening, I looked up new words in my dictionary and studied  Spanish grammar. Soon I was able to hold my own with anybody.

Doña Lutgarda’s cousin, Mata Cabra, offered me work, helping to construct a banana plantation. Juan Gonzales from Los Silos was our ‘encargado’. Juan, only a few years older than I, was a highly capable foreman. He was supportive and respectful of his work crew. Some dozen men and women, we made the daily ride to the worksite on the back of a lorry. We left the plaza at 7.15 a.m. and returned at 6 p.m. five days a week. The work was very hard but I had lots of fun and I earned enough to pay for my keep in the Pension Méndez.

Our job was to excavate the plantation from the prickly wasteland. We did this mostly by pick and shovel. The men filled woven baskets full of clay and rock. The women carried these on their heads and dumped them into the lorry.

Occasionally we used dynamite to blast rock that defeated our picks and crowbars. Juan taught me how to lay sticks of dynamite, insert the explosive caps, and wire everything to the plunger. None of my fellow-workers dared to use explosives so I earned a reputation for fearlessness. Juan was an expert in all things from construction to managing plantations. We became good friends and I learned an enormous amount from him. We remain friends to this day.

When we’d finished excavating, we had what looked like an empty swimming pool the size of a football field. Then we built a stone wall as a foundation and brought soil from the mountains. We planted Irish seed potatoes and local banana corms. With water that came from reserves inside the mountains through complex networks of pipes and channels, we irrigated the planting.

Finally, we built a cinder-block wall around the plantation to protect the future fruit from the constant wind that blew in off the Atlantic.

At weekends, we would hunt octopus among the rocks. Sometimes we’d go inland and find ‘mora’ trees laden with mulberries. I’d take my straw hat full of ripe berries back to the pension and Doña Lutgarda would make mulberry pies. Juan and I scaled Teide and explored the ice cave and the crater.

Don Juan-Pedro came from Arico and also lived in the pension. He taught school up in the tiny hamlet of El Palmar. One day, he invited me to talk to his class. Juan-Pedro used a blue motor-cycle but because the gravel road was so steep and dangerous, he asked me to walk the few kilometres up a rocky path to the tiny school.

His pupils had never seen an extranjero before and plied me with questions. When I told them I’d attended school for 13 years, there were cries of disbelief. Juan-Pedro talked to them in rapid Spanish and calmed them down. That night at dinner, he told Doña Lutgarda and the girls about my visit. “Why was there such a commotion when I said I’d attended school for 13 years?” I asked.

“Children in isolated hamlets attend school for only a few years,” he explained, “so 13 seems like a lifetime to them.”

“What did you say that pacified them?” I asked.

“Oh, I just told them we Canarios can learn in three years what it takes the feebleminded Ingleses 13 to master!”

Doña Lutgarda and the girls laughed. But they believed him!

When the construction job ended, Don Salvador offered me employment. Don Salvador lived in Puerto de la Cruz. He and Don Pancho owned ‘Alhambra’, a firm in Buenavista del Norte that exported bananas to Scandinavia. With a mixed work crew, we collected green piñas from the plantations and packed them in straw or pine-needles for protection.

Miguel the lorry driver drove them overnight to Santa Cruz to be shipped to Stockholm or Helsinki. Banana stalks are cut green. They must be packed, kept cool and shipped rapidly to their market. Sometimes we worked 20 hours straight to get a lorry-load to the cargo boat waiting at the port.

While working for Don Salvador, I fulfilled my ambition and graduated to carrying a machete. Epifanio, a quiet man with a lifetime’s experience of banana production around El Rincón, taught me how to judge the ripeness of a growing banana stalk. He showed me how to reach up with the machete and cut one so that it rested its 20 or 30 kilos comfortably on my shoulder.

Doña Lutgarda Méndes Hernández and her large family, my co-workers and the villagers of Buenavista del Norte taught me a great deal. For their warm hospitality, for the gifts of their language and friendship, for sharing their culture and their ways, I salute the people of Tenerife with respect and gratitude.

Text and photos by Ronald Mackay

To discover more of Ronald’s amazing year-long adventure in Tenerife, take a look at his book here:

Fortunate Isle: A  Memoir of Tenerife

 

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Settling in Tenerife

A man brandishing a machete was responsible for my settling in Tenerife in 1960. He emerged from a plantation overlooking Puerto de la Cruz. As soon as I saw him, I knew I wanted the kind job that demanded I carry a cutlass!

At 18 and just out of school in Scotland, I had to choose my future. I’d failed to win entry to the BSc course in agriculture at Aberdeen University, so I decided to head for Argentina. My great-grandfather had gone there to build a railroad and never returned. But by the time I reached Santa Cruz de Tenerife, I was close to penniless. None of the cargo boats in the harbour were heading across the Atlantic. I was out of luck.

The quiet composure of the Tinerfeños and Santa Cruz’s drowsy timelessness captivated me. Tiers of little, coloured houses crept up the green hills behind the town. The air smelled of salt and warm vegetation. The perfect cone of Teide beckoned. Why not just stay and work? Here were people different from my own back in Scotland. I could learn a lot from them.

“Take the guagua to Puerto de la Cruz,” the harbour-master advised. “You’ll find work in construction.” But that sleepy little town proved silent and workless. What now? Night was approaching. I walked back up the hill to the main road. Puerto de la Cruz lay spread out beneath me, quiet, compact and dignified.

When suddenly I saw that daunting man with the machete step out of the plantation, I made up my mind. “I will find myself a job where that gleaming blade is the tool of choice.”

“In a banana plantation in Buenavista del Norte,” advised the plantation worker. “That’s where the work is!” Within 15 minutes, he’d hustled me into a guagua heading to that remote 15th-century village at the end of the narrow road on the tip of the island.

Buenavista from the Sea

Throughout that journey, the driver, the conductor and the delighted locals plied me with questions. For most, it was their first encounter with an ‘extranjero’. ‘Forasteros’ and ‘peninsulares’ were odd enough, but a living, breathing ‘extranjero’ was real curiosity!

“Does your mamá know where you are?” “Do you shave yet?” “Why can’t you speak Spanish?” “Do they speak a Christian language where you come from?” “Why are you going to Buenavista?”

At the Pension Méndez on la Plaza de los Remedios, the driver presented me to Doña Lutgarda, the innkeeper. She scrutinized me from head to foot and then announced, “Forty-two pesetas a day. Room and meals. Your laundry is included.”

Snuggling around the Plaza de los Remedios, the stone church, the pension, the ‘venta’ — the general store — and the bar, together formed the beating heart of village life. In the 15th century, when Buenavista had been founded, streets were for people, mules and donkeys.

Buenavista Village Street

The village offered the warmth and comfort of timeless tradition, its simple, elegant buildings provided fitting harmony. Villagers were upright, hardworking, hospitable, friendly and above all, curious about the arrival of an ‘extranjero’.

Buenavista locals

First, Alcalde Don Paco García Martín, then his legal counsel Don Eduardo Champín Zamorano, and finally two nameless Civil Guards, checked me out with shrewd questions. They concluded that this 18-year-old Scotsman, kilt and all, was ‘buena gente’. I was welcome to stay if I adapted to village life.

Buenavista Plaza Fiesta

During the year I spent there, everyone knew me simply as ‘El Extranjero’.

I explored the village, the rocky coast and the surrounding cliffs and barrancos. I learned Spanish and made friends. The Pension Méndez was my home. Doña Lutgarda and her girls, Pastora, Obdúlia, Angélica and Lula treated me like a distant relative from abroad.

They had never met anyone who couldn’t speak perfect Spanish, so they found my mistakes a constant source of fun. With their help, I learned the language quickly so I could fit in and find work.

One day, I discovered Caya, Carmita, Toño and Mario, Doña Lutgarda’s grandchildren, in my room examining the contents of my rucksack. “What are you looking for?” I asked.

“Well,” said Caya – at 8 years old she was their leader — “you remember you told us your first tongue, the one you brought with you, was English? And that you wanted to get Spanish as your second tongue? Well, now that you have got your Spanish tongue, we’re trying to find your English one. We only want to see what it looks like!” Her tiny companions nodded soberly. “We want to see how different your first tongue is from the one you have now!”

Confusion is understandable when ‘lengua’ means both ‘language’ and ‘tongue’ at one and the same time!

Carmita, Toño, Mario and Caya

Doña Lutgarda and her girls fed me well on gofio, lentejas, garbanzos, papas arrugadas and fresh fish. Within three weeks I could handle myself in Spanish. Now I was ready to find a job!

Doña Lutgarda Méndes Hernández and her large family, my co-workers and the villagers of Buenavista del Norte taught me a great deal. For their warm hospitality, for the gifts of their language and friendship, for sharing their culture and their ways, I salute the people of Tenerife with respect and gratitude.

Text and photos by Ronald Mackay

To discover more of Ronald’s amazing year-long adventure in Tenerife, take a look at his book here:

Fortunate Isle: A  Memoir of Tenerife

 

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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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Snow in Tenerife on Mount Teide

Lately there has been A LOT of snow in Tenerife, so much so that I have had people writing to me very worried that their holiday in the sun in Tenerife is going to be more about snowmen than sandmen.

I am here to put your mind at ease.

Yes, there is snow in Tenerife right now, and yes, the snow is just as cold there as anywhere else. However, the good news is that it tends to stay up high in the mountains, and covering Mount Teide, Teide National Park and some of the villages and towns like Vilaflor that are much higher up than the coastal resorts.

This means that the beach resorts are sunny with temperatures still somewhere between around 18 degrees and 22 degrees depending on where you are. You could actually go up the mountains in the morning, build a snowman, and come back down to the beach after lunch, and sunbathe (and maybe build a sandman).

So, pack your gloves and your swimwear and go out and discover the best of what Tenerife can offer. Of course, you could always make some woollen bikinis, and swimming shorts to take with you just in case 😉

To see the weather for Tenerife visit Playa de las Americas weather or Puerto de la Cruz weather or Teide National Park. The summit of Mount Teide is much colder and the weather for this can be seen at Mount Teide Summit.

Whatever the weather, I am sure that you will have a wonderful time in Tenerife 🙂

Text and photos 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:

https://www.instagram.com/totaltenerife/
https://www.facebook.com/totaltenerifeblog/
https://twitter.com/totaltenerife

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Why Now is the Perfect Time to Visit Tenerife

So you think you know Tenerife? It’s all beaches, bars and sunburnt tourists right? Well if that’s your only perception right now it’s time to totally reconsider this beautiful island paradise. It is the  largest and most populated of the seven main Canary Islands and with around five million visitors each year, it is also the most popular tourist destination of the Spanish archipelago. In fact it is one of the most important Spanish and global travel and tourism destinations in the world. What you will realise is Tenerife is so much more than first meets the eye.

Of course one of the biggest draws of Tenerife, along with all of the Canary Islands is the amazing year-round spring like climate. It is not an overstatement to say that there is sunshine and bright blue skies almost every single day of the year, with very little variation in the temperature whichever month you choose to go. You can practically stroll around in shorts and t-shirt whether you choose to visit Tenerife in the winter or summer with a winter average of 18ºC in winter and 23ºC in the summer. This is in stark contrast to the rest of Europe!

While there are undoubtedly those that visit Tenerife to spend a week laying on the beach or by the pool getting sunburnt and drinking cheap beer, we know that most of you are looking for a far more interesting and exciting vacation. We are here to tell you why now is the perfect time to visit Tenerife.

Action Packed Water Parks:

The amazing year round climate in Tenerife lends itself perfectly to outdoor activities and fun. The island boasts a number of excellent water parks which are great for all age groups, and are perfect for a day out as a couple, with a group of friends or with your family. Not only that, but you will find Siam Park, voted the best water park in the world for the fourth consecutive year in the TripAdvisor 2017 Travelers’ Choice Awards!

Plenty of Activities to Enjoy on the Beautiful Atlantic Ocean:

The beautiful climate of Tenerife also offers the perfect opportunity to get out onto the open ocean waves. There are a number of excellent activities to try out to suit many different interests. For those looking for an adrenaline fuelled adventure you can try jet-skiing with West Tenerife.

If you want a more relaxing activity where you can take in your surroundings more peacefully, including seeing beautiful dolphins in the wild you should definitely try out kayaking with Tenerife in Kayak.

For those of you that prefer to sit back and relax and let someone else take care of the sailing, then you can enjoy a luxurious VIP sailing adventure with Blue Jack Sail.

The waters around the Canary Islands are some of the best in the world for whale and dolphin watching, and one of the most established companies in Tenerife for an excursion to see these magnificent ocean animals is Freebird Catamaran.

Discover Life Under the Ocean Waves:

It’s not just above the waves that are amazing, but down below the surface the ocean is teaming with wonderful aquatic life. There are many different ways to experience the fascinating wildlife that exists there, but surely one of the most unique must be in a submarine! Tenerife has one of the only submarines in the world that is available for tourist excursions, operated by the fantastic Submarine Safaris.

Experience the Incredible Natural Beauty of the Island:

Tenerife itself is an incredibly diverse island with amazing natural beauty. This includes a stunning coastline with beautiful beaches, natural pools and gorgeous palm tree lined promenades. While most people head to the coastline of the island, especially in the sunnier South, you definitely shouldn’t miss out on the stunning inland landscape.

As with all of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is a volcanic island with a multitude of mountains. This includes Mount Teide which stands at an amazing height of 3,718-metres, making it not only the highest point in Spain, but also the highest point above sea-level in the islands of the Atlantic. It is described as the third-tallest volcanic structure in the world by UNESCO and NASA.

As you ascend up Mount Teide away from the coast the vegetation changes from palm trees to pine forests and you will truly get to appreciate how diverse this amazing island really is. The surroundings and the volcano comprise Teide National Park, the most visited national park in Spain and Europe. If you are looking for somewhere amazing and unique to explore on your next vacation to Tenerife, then you absolutely must take a hiking trip around Teide National Park. For a variety of excellent specialised tours and activities on Mount Teide and around Teide National Park, then head over to the Volcano Teide website.

See Stunning Tenerife from the Air:

To experience how stunning the landscape of Tenerife is from a completely unique perspective, you should definitely consider heading up into the air. From up above you can take in much more of the island at once and see it in a way that most other visitors will not have ever tried before. There are a variety of options available to suit different tastes. If you are looking for an adrenaline packed adventure, then you will absolutely love a paragliding flight with Airsports Tenerife.

If you are looking to soar above Tenerife in a more luxurious style but still with the stunning views from above, then choose a helicopter flight with Helidream Helicopters.

Enjoy An Up Close Encounter With Incredible Animals:

As well as the animals native to the Canary Islands, you can also enjoy an up close encounter with incredible animals at a number of excellent zoos in Tenerife. One in particular, Loro Parque, is especially worth a trip to considering it was rated the Number One Best Zoo in the World in the TripAdvisor 2017 Travellers Choice Awards.

A Huge of Variety of Excellent Places to Eat and Drink:

While you can come to Tenerife and simply eat and drink at the onsite restaurants and bars in the hotel or resort you decide to stay at, or alternatively go to the same boring British themed pubs and Irish bars, we definitely don’t recommend this. Instead there are a huge selection of excellent places to eat and drink across the island to suite all different tastes and price ranges.

These include restaurants with Spanish, British, Asian, Italian, Mexican, French and traditional Canarian cuisines and a whole host of other styles. One excellent choice, especially for those who are partial to top quality American style meat dishes is Brunelli’s Steakhouse located in Puerto de la Cruz.

Huge Selection of Stunning Places to Stay:

Too many people in the past have chosen to stay in large, boring all-inclusive resorts when visiting the Canary Islands. While these can serve a certain purpose as they take some of the stress out of holidaying for families, with less to worry about with all meals provided. Unfortunately what often happens is that those who choose to stay in all-inclusive resorts don’t end up experiencing much of the amazing things that Tenerife has to offer as they tend to stay most of the time in the resort. This means that these tourists don’t see the real Tenerife and also this is very negative for many of the businesses across the island.

Instead here at Tenerife Magazine, we recommend staying in hotels and resorts that are not all-inclusive, and also of course for you to explore the island and try many of excursions that we have suggested. One of the best hotels on the island is the gorgeous luxury 5* Hotel Suite Villa María located in La Caleta, Adeje.

As you can tell there are so many amazing things to see, do and experience in Tenerife. While you will undoubtedly enjoy the sun, sand and sea, the island is so much more than the typical stereotypes you may have heard. Make 2018 the year you decide to discover the true nature of this sun-filled Spanish paradise!

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Tenerife Guide of Things to See and Do From A-Z

Tenerife has so many attractions and activities that you may be overwhelmed by all the choices you have. To help you out, here is my Tenerife Guide from A-Z. I’ve chosen one attraction or place for each letter, and if you know somewhere or something which you think deserves the top spot more then let me know in the comments section below.

A is for ANAGA MOUNTAINS

The Anaga Mountains are a place all of their own. The range sprawls across the northeastern part of the island, spewing green across the sandy landscape. The Anaga Mountains are for people who want a little variety in their beach vacation. Here, you’ll walk in the clouds, surrounded by lush, green trees and plants of all varieties.

B is for BARRANCO DE MASCA

The hike down the ravine from Masca to the beach is on one of the most spectacular trails in Tenerife. This is an amazing hike, where you will find yourself enjoying beautiful views, scrambling over rocks, paddling through crystal-clear streams, and watching out for local wildlife, such as lizards, colourful butterflies, and even osprey flying overhead.

C is for COSTA MARTIÁNEZ

Costa Martiánez is an amazing swimming pool complex designed by Cesar Manrique. The complex is made up of many huge seawater pools, and the whole area is clean, beautiful, and well maintained. The views of the sea and the surroundings, from inside Lago Martiánez are stunning.

D is for DOLPHINS AND WHALES

Those who love sea life will enjoy a boat excursion off the coast of Tenerife. The waters are deep, yet warm and host thousands of species of microscopic life, perfect food for hungry whales, dolphins and other sea mammals. There are 28 cetacean species of whale, dolphin, and porpoise to see. How many can you find?

E is for EL MEDANO

El Médano is everything you imagine a beach paradise to be, plus a little more. While you have the sandy beaches and the sun-filled sky, you also have beachfront shops where you can catch a break from the water and grab a beer or ice cream cone. This area is perfect for kitesurfers, windsurfers, and kite-flyers.

F is for FREEDIVING

Tenerife has great conditions for all year round freediving. No matter if you are a beginner and looking for somewhere to try freediving for the first time, or an experienced freediver wanting some training dives, then there is sure to be a company that suits your needs.

G is for GARACHICO

Garachico is a lovely place to stop for a while, about 25 kilometres west of Puerto de la Cruz. There is much to explore here, such as shady narrow streets, lovely cafes in hidden squares, and local craft shops. The best attraction is the lava pools. These are naturally formed and are great for a dip in the ocean. You can also enjoy walking along the paths between the pools and just enjoying the view.

H is for HIKING

If you have the chance to go hiking in Tenerife then be sure to take it. The nature is amazing and different all over the island from the dry south to the fertile north, to Teide National Park in the middle.

I is for ICOD DE LOS VINOS

The Drago Milenario, the 59-foot tall Dragon tree of Icod in Tenerife is the largest of its kind and has become a symbol of the island. From a distance, it almost looks like two trees intertwined in a permanent hug; the gnarly trunk stands strong beneath branches that look like raised hands.

J is for JEEP SAFARI

A fun way to explore Tenerife is to join a jeep safari. You can choose from different excursions such as a Teide Tour, a Masca Tour, an Around the Island Tour, and even a Stargazing Tour.

K is for KAYAKING

There are many different kayak companies in Tenerife. Some where you just rent a kayak and off you go by yourself, and others where you have a guide and a chance to see dolphins swimming close by.

L is for LORO PARQUE

Loro Parque in Puerto de la Cruz is a great zoo to visit and is loved by people of all ages. There are many animal shows to watch such as sea lions, dolphins, killer whales, and bird shows. Just remember to check the show timetables so you can fit them all in.

M is for MONKEY PARK

Monkey Park is a fantastic place to spend a couple of hours. You can actually feed some of the animals here, which children and adults love! It is lovely to have little monkeys come over to you, and take some of the food. The best part though is being in with the lemurs, and being able to stroke and feed them.

N is for NATIONAL PARK

A great day out when in Tenerife is a visit to El Teide National Park. If you have rented a car then you can drive up through the park and come out at the other end of the island. It is fantastic to drive through lava fields, and see the old flows of lava on the volcano. The pine forests in this area are beautiful and very scenic too.

O is for OROTAVA

Orotava is a traditional Canarian historic town. It is situated in the middle of banana plantations, with amazing views over the Orotava Valley. Enjoy the pleasure of a stroll through the cobblestone streets, and admire the beautiful architecture of mansions, museums and churches. Take in the sights with a drink on a cafe terrace at a plaza, and smell the sweet scent of the many flowers.

P is for PUERTO DE LA CRUZ

Puerto de la Cruz has everything you could want from a holiday in Tenerife. You will feel like you have entered a paradise as you relax on the beach or take a walk through one of the many gardens. If you want to experience a bit of culture, you can take a walk through the cobbled lanes downtown or just sit on a cafe terrace outside one of the colonial style restaurants lining the streets.

Q is for QUAD BIKE SAFARI

This is along the same lines as the Jeep Safari, but even more fun as you get to drive your own quad bike. It is very exhilarating to ride a quad bike in Teide National Park or through the forests, and the views are stunning.

R is for ROQUES DE GARCÍA

Los Roques de García are rock formations found in Teide National Park, which are thousands of years old. This is a great place for trekking with some amazing landscape and great hiking paths to follow. The views of the park and El Teide from here are spectacular so remember your camera.

S is for SIAM PARK

After a visit to Siam Park, you will understand why it is rated one of the best water parks in the world. It really is that good! You have a huge choice of superb waterslides, some relaxing, and some which will propel you down them at high speed. You can be surfing waves one minute, and watching deadly sharks the next.

T is for TERESITAS

Playa de Las Teresitas is said to be the most beautiful beach in Tenerife, and if you visit here you will see why. The soft golden sands, shipped in from the Sahara Desert, stretches across the whole beach. With the tropical palm trees and the turquoise sea, you could be forgiven for thinking you have arrived in paradise!

U is for UNIQUE

Tenerife is certainly a unique island. From its “Dragon Tree” to its “Lava Caves” there is something different to see and do here for all ages.

V is for VOLCANO

El Teide is an active volcano, but don’t worry, it hasn’t erupted since 1909. At 3718 meters, it is the highest mountain in Spain. The views in this area are breath-taking, and you won’t know which direction to look first. There are a couple of visitor centres, where you can pick up maps and souvenirs.

W is for WEATHER

Tenerife is described as the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’, and after a visit here, you will understand why. While the south is a little warmer, there really isn’t that much difference and the north makes up for the slightly cooler weather with the green lush nature. The good thing about Tenerife is that if it’s raining where you are, jump in your car or on a bus and drive for a little while and you are sure to come across a place where the sun is shining.

X is for X FACTOR

With great weather, fantastic beaches, beautiful nature, and lots of top rated attractions for all different ages, I would say that Tenerife certainly has the X Factor!

Y is for YACHT TRIP

A yacht trip in Tenerife is the luxury way to see the whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. With a free snack and drinks included, and also free snorkel equipment, the prices are actually quite reasonable and around €60 for an adult. Some companies will also arrange free pick up and drop off at your hotel. You can also book private tours, but then the price is much higher.

Z is for ZOO – JUNGLE PARK

Jungle Park is Tenerife’s wildlife refuge and adventure park. Over 500 species call the park home, from pumas and tigers to penguins and primates. They are housed in a natural setting of more than 75,000 square meters.

Text and photos 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:
www.morethantourism.com
https://www.facebook.com/morethantourism/
https://www.instagram.com/morethantourism/
https://twitter.com/morethantourism

https://www.instagram.com/totaltenerife/
https://www.facebook.com/totaltenerifeblog/
https://twitter.com/totaltenerife

 

 

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See How to Uncover Tenerife’s Unique Beauty With The Italian Chica

Living in the Canary Islands is one of the greatest blessings that a person could desire: fabulous weather all year long, breathtaking landscapes worthy of the best covers of National Geographic, a sunny and always welcoming people and the ability to easily travel between the 7 islands thanks to efficient internal flights.

• Lanzarote: my currently home. I'm so glad to live in such a beautiful island…but I'm also happy to live close to other gorgeous islands and being able to travel and visit them! Soooo….let's start a new adventure!💪❤ #theitalianchicaporcanarias . Visit theitalianchica.com 🌹 . . ♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤♤ #theitalianchica #lanzarote #canaryislands #canarias #islascanarias #latituddevida #ok_spain #spain_in_bl #ig_canarias #ig_canaryislands #loves_canarias #ok_canarias #ig_spain #canon #canon6d #canon_official #canonphotography #landscapephotography #aeroplane #airport #master_shots #ig_europe #ig_worldclub #girlslovetravel #gltLOVE #femaletravelbloggers #amazing_shots #amazing_places

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Each island has its own unique and distinguishing features, and exploring them is an amazing experience that enriches the soul. Thanks to the “Influencer program” of Tenerife Magazine I had the chance to discover for the first time the island of Tenerife and it was an incredible experience!
My stay was at Pearly Grey, an extraordinary resort in the south of the island with every comfort: gym, massage room, two restaurants, a huge pool, Bali beds with spectacular ocean view and much more! From this lovely place, it’s possible to appreciate the magnificent sunsets that nature gives each evening, with the sun disappearing behind the island of Gomera.
The rooms inside the hotel have a stylish and elegant decor, and all of them are equipped with all the kitchen utensils you may need, a private bathroom with a huge shower and my room also had two huge breath-taking terraces facing the ocean: it was such a dream!
To get around the island I used a nice car provided by Poul’s Auto car rental. To collect the keys I didn’t have to wait at any office at the airport: that’s because their cars are equipped with a security box attached to the window, where you just need to type a code to have access to your car.
On the second day of my stay, I went with the Tenerife Magazine team to Oasis Los Gigantes: a delightful recreational complex with pools, bars, and a restaurant overlooking the majestic Los Gigantes Bay. It’s a place I absolutely recommend to spend a relaxing day with friends or family!
During the following days, I explored the island from north to south, trying to discover and capture with my camera all the most characteristic places in Tenerife.
Masca’s walk was one of the most amazing experiences of my life: after taking a taxi to Masca, a village in the northwestern mountains of the island, I walked down to its valley between the imposing rocks, until I got to a wonderful black sandy beach, walking for about 3 hours surrounded by nature only.

• Masca walk: one of the most beautiful (and challenging!) experience of my life! Walking down for 3 hours from a mountain, through a breathtaking landscape and arriving in a paradise black sand beach…so a m a z i n g ! Being inside the mountains and feel their energy is such a powerful feeling! 😍 Now…I feel like I need to rest for so long… but it was worth it! 💪💪💪 . . . Visit theitalianchica.com 🌹 . . . ♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢ #theitalianchica #tenerifemagazine #mypearlygrey #tenerife #canaryislands #canarias #islascanarias #latituddevida #ok_spain #espacio_canario #spain_in_bl #ig_canarias #ig_canaryislands #loves_canarias #ok_canarias #ig_spain #canon #canon6d #canon_official #canonphotography #landscapephotography #ig_canon #natgeo #travellingthroughtheworld #amazing_nature #femaletravelbloggers #girlslovetravel #gltLOVE #beautifuldestination

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Visiting the valley of Teide, the highest volcano in Spain, was another exciting experience: its scenery resembles the high mountain landscape, and it’s unbelievable how in just one-hour driving you can go from the heat of the palm-lined beaches to the cool mountain weather with its green pines.
The north of the island is very interesting also: from the capital of Santa Cruz, in the northeast, it’s possible to reach in a few minutes by car the beautiful beach of Las Teresitas but also the amazing protected area of the Park of Agana.

• Tenerife is an island full of surprises: from warm heavenly beaches, you can find mysterious forests where you can get lost and imagine to be in a fairy tale! 🌳🌈 . . . Visit theitalianchica.com 🌹 . . . ♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢ #theitalianchica #tenerifemagazine #mypearlygrey #tenerife #canaryislands #canarias #islascanarias #latituddevida #ok_spain #spain_in_bl #ig_canarias #ig_canaryislands #loves_canarias #ig_spain #canon #canon6d #canon_official #canonphotography #landscapephotography #ig_canon #ig_landscape #travellingthroughtheworld #ig_europe #ig_worldclub #gltLOVE #girlslovetravel #femaletravelbloggers #nofilter #nofilterneeded

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In the most western part of the island, there is Punta Teno: a hidden and pristine gem, surrounded by the many contrasting shades of blue ocean.
In addition to exploring the island, I was lucky enough to try other types of experiences like the amazing relaxing massages by Judith of Origins Wellness, and a Yoga and Meditation session in a dream place with the talented Emily of Yoga Vibe Tenerife.

• I miss those pleasant moments at @pearlygreyoceanclub in Tenerife, like this amazing sunset massage by Judith @origins_wellness ! 😊😍 She's so great, I felt like I had a new body! ❤ . . . Visit theitalianchica.com 🌹 . . . ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡ #theitalianchica #tenerife #tenerifemagazine #mypearlygrey #canaryislands #canarias #islascanarias #latituddevida #ocean #peace #massages #relax #luxurylifestyle #relaxing #relaxinglife #sunsetmassage #sunset #sunsetlovers #sunsetphotography #goldenhour #meditation #lawofattraction #gratitude #positivethoughts #goodvibes #goodenergy #traveldiaries #massagetherapist #canon_official

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A week in Tenerife has literally flown, and I will definitely return as soon as possible to continue to visit and discover all the secrets of this fabulous and unpredictable island!

Special thanks to my amazing sponsors for their extraordinary organization and for making me feel at home during my entire stay. They all helped to make this incredible and unique experience possible!

Our team would like to offer a big thank you to Kate Michelle Conti aka The Italian Chica for this blog post and all the amazing photo and video content she produced during her stay here in Tenerife. We hope to see her again soon! To see more of Kate’s travel photography, videos and blog posts make sure to check out her website and follow her on her social media channels:
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Walk this Way, El Palmar

One of the joys of walking on Tenerife is that, provided you stay clear of the hiker highways of Barranco del Infierno, Masca Barranco and La Caldera, you can enjoy many of its best trails all to yourself.
This month we apply the high factor sun cream, don our caps, stock up on water and head to one of the island’s least known rural locations ““ the El Palmar Valley.

Why this way?
Millions of visitors annually make the trip to Masca, many of them to test their stamina against nature’s assault course in the Masca Barranco, but very few of them ever emerge on the other side of the Teno Mountain Range to discover a corner of Tenerife that is still very much a secret.

Like Tenerife’s version of The Archers, the folks of El Palmar are predominantly a farming community whose daily lives revolve around working the land and tending the livestock in their green corner of the north west of Tenerife. Sandwiched between the Monte del Agua and Teno Mountain ranges, the valley once provided building materials for local housing, a legacy which has left its mark in the form of deep slices carved out of the landscape like missing portions of a pie.

Perched astride the Teno Mountains, the sleepy hamlet of Teno Alto goes about its business much as it has done for the past century, producing some of the island’s best loved queso de cabra (goats” cheese) and sustaining a small community who’s priorities are clear as they have no less than two village bar/restaurants to serve the handful of residents.

As far from the tourist trail as you can get, both physically and metaphorically, walking around El Palmar will open up a world where osprey circle overhead, the air is filled with the tinkle of goat bells and you can buy the most pungent of cheeses in the sort of village shop that you see in old episodes of Miss Marple.

Hike this way.
Starting out from El Palmar a narrow path winds its way through pines and prickly pear groves up the side of the valley, flanked by fields of potatoes and vines. The higher you climb the more spectacular the views become until finally you reach the crest, rewarded for your efforts with views over the entire valley with, if you’ve chosen a clear day, the peak of Mount Teide just visible above the Monte del Agua.

Through the cool of the forest and along the ridge of emerald hills and you’ll arrive at the hamlet of Teno Alto. In the village are two bar/restaurants, well, one’s more of a bar/shop where you can also get something to eat and one shop which stocks all sorts of locally produced goodies including their award winning cheeses. Rising in texture from soft to rock hard and in flavour from mild to pungent, you can buy fresco, semi curado or curado (only for the brave) to stash in the rucksack.

The return journey back the way you came has two distinct advantages ““ firstly it’s almost all downhill and secondly you’ve got that cheese to keep your strength up.

Stroll this way.
Leave the hill climbing to the goats and take the car instead. Drive from El Palmar to Teno Alto and park the car in the village. Beyond the scattering of houses, paths run across the cliff tops all the way to the edge where you can look down over the lighthouse at Buenavista. You can still pick up some cheese and just pretend you did the hike, we won’t tell.

My way
Peaks: There are two highlights for me: the views over the El Palmar valley from the ridge and the path that skirts the barranco covered in tree heath, passing the goats in the farmyard on the hillside. Oh, and did I mention the cheese?

Troughs: El Palmar is prone to low cloud more often than not and your views of the valley can be spoiled. Also, it’s a long way to drive from just about anywhere on the island to get to El Palmar.

My view: 4 Stars ““ Although it’s only a linear walk, it’s one of my absolute favourites and I defy anyone not to enjoy its embroidered landscape and absolute serenity.

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The Why, Where and How of Camping in Tenerife

If the word “˜camping’ brings to mind nightmarish childhood memories of being forced to sleep in a cramped leaky tent in Wales for a week when all your friends were at Disneyland, then you might very well wonder why anyone would ever choose or even want to go camping.

Camping on Tenerife is a completely different experience ““ dark threatening clouds are replaced by twinkling night skies, muddy fields replaced by fragrant pine forests and soggy sandwiches replaced by sizzling barbecues.

Ingredients for Camping

Why go camping in Tenerife?
In today’s world where you’re constantly bombarded with futile Facebook status updates and trivial Tweets, it’s nice to be able to completely switch off from the online world. If it’s not Facebook or Twitter constantly in your face, it’s your online calendar letting you know that you’re 30 minutes late for that really important meeting and your extended deadline that you promised you’d make flew by last week.

Fortunately, you won’t find any WiFi hotspots in the campsites in Tenerife ““ you probably won’t even have mobile phone coverage ““ making it the best place to unwind and leave your responsibilities behind for a least a couple of days.

Barbecuing Sausages Camping in Tenerife

The best part of camping ““ and the only reason I go back again and again ““ is the food. Huddling around an open-flame barbecue with a glass of sangria, the smell mojo-marinated chicken gliding through the air gets me every time. Don’t forget to take marshmallows ““ a camping trip doesn’t count unless there are toasted (or burnt) marshmallows dripping molten goo all over your hands.

Where can I go camping in Tenerife?
If you don’t have any of the equipment, you’ll need to take a trip to Decathlon in La Laguna. From April to September you’ll find a large portion of the sports shop dedicated to camping equipment ““ this is the best time to get everything you’ll ever need in one place.

Setting up Camp in the pines

I recommend getting as large a tent as you can afford ““ you’ll really appreciate the extra space. Try and grab a mini gas hob, too ““ they’re great for cups of tea and coffee first thing in the morning. An inflatable mattress will be a lot more comfortable than the forest floor. Don’t think you can make do with a pool inflatable ““ you’ll wish you hadn’t and your back won’t let you forget it. When you’re all kitted out, you’re ready to choose the campsite that’s right for you.

All of the government-run campsites are located in forestal areas throughout Tenerife. You can . Whilst the amenities do vary, most campsites provide running water, a recreational area complete with barbecue pits, and toilets ““ although whether you’ll want to use them or not is up to you as they are usually nothing more than ceramic-lined holes in the ground. Some campsites even offer small bars, showers, and children’s play areas, so it’s definitely worth doing your research before you head off.

camping-in-tenerife

How can I go camping in Tenerife?
You need to obtain permission if you want to camp in Tenerife. There are rangers patrolling the areas that will ask to see your permit and will happily kick you off if you haven’t got one, so avoid the hassle and make sure you’ve got permission to camp before you go.

You need to go to an Oficina de Registro y Servicio al Ciudadano (Registry and Citizen Service Office) ““ you can find a list of them all here ““ and request a username and password which will allow you to obtain permission to camp. You’ll need to take your residencia and passport with you to complete this process.
Once all your details have been tapped into the computer, you’ll get a sheet of paper with your username and password which will allow you to log on to www.Tenerife.es. Through this website you can book all your camping trips online and print off the permits seconds later.

Camping in Tenerife

So that’s it, you’ve got the gear, packed the marshmallows and have your permit tucked safely away ready to brandish when faced with an inquisitive forest ranger. All that remains is to take to head into the hills to make friends with Tenerife’s wild side of life.

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