Tenerife: The Maldives of the Atlantic Ocean

Today’s post was written by Anna Ridley.

When my friend suggested a relaxing holiday to an island where the sun shone for more than three days in a row and the temperature rarely dropped below 20 degrees Celsius, the first thoughts to enter my mind were those of pristine white sand palm-fringed beaches in the Maldives.

However, after a four-and-half-hour flight from London Gatwick Airport (return flights £120 – £200), my Indian Ocean vision was replaced by the unusually sparkling azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean as I reached my destination, Tenerife.

Prior to my trip, my knowledge of Tenerife was limited but I had heard the rumours about it being one of Europe’s hotspots for pleasure-seeking tourists during the 1980’s, so, my “sceptical hat” was packed in my suitcase alongside my entire summer wardrobe (and vital “just in case” winter items); toiletry bag of insect repellents, sun cream, first aid kits and beauty products; and my kitchen sink.

Any previous concerns I’d had of this island resembling the “Tene-grief” it was so famously known as in the 80’s were soon dispelled once we were enjoying the scenic route in our rented Jeep where we head west towards Costa Adeje and unique sparkling black volcanic sand beaches dotted the coastline.

Car hire starts from just under €100 a week offering  a great way to explore the nooks and crannies of this rugged island, but if you prefer to travel by bus, the prepaid Bono Bus tickets offers discounts up to 50% with tickets starting from just €12 for multiple trips. Be prepared to pick up the Spanish lingo though if travelling by bus, and if in doubt write down your destination to show the driver!

Just 17km from Tenerife South Reina Sofia Airport, Costa Adeje is a picturesque resort situated a short distance from the renowned party resort of Playa de Las Americas on the southern coast of the island.  Compared to its neighbouring town, Costa Adeje is a quieter version when it comes to nightlife, but there is plenty to see and do within this beautiful coastal region, including dolphin and whale-watching, scuba diving, snorkelling and glass-bottom boat tours within crystal clear waters.

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and is home to Spain’s highest point and the world’s third largest volcano – Mount Teide at 3,718 m high and positioned in the centre of the lush Teide National Park. Take a ride on the cable car, or if you’re feeling active, hike up to the summit and absorb the breath-taking panoramic views overlooking Gran Canaria, La Palma and La Gomera.

For those travelling with kids, you may want to try Aqualand, a water park located  in Costa Adeje.

Needless to say, my destination Tenerife had pleasantly surprised me. Upscale hotels and resorts, wellness spas, and golf courses cater for high end travellers; family-friendly hotels and attractions meet the requirements of child and adult travellers of all ages; and the cosmopolitan capital, Santa Cruz, offers funky bars, art galleries, theatres and a cultural experience. Oh, and the all-year-round warm climate and stunning natural landscapes were an added bonus!

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