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10 days in Tenerife, Canary Islands
4th December 2019

We recently got back from Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. It wasn’t as pleasant as we had expected it to be, but there are a separate post about it. There are some places to visit in Tenerife that are really nice, although there are some, that might be overestimated – read all in detail below.

Los Gigantes & Masca

Los Gigantes, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Los Gigantes is a giant cliff formation, that can be viewed from three points. Since we were guided by Google maps, we went to the bottom of the town with the same name, and there is a small beach, where you can clearly see Los Gigantes. The town itself is pretty cozy, and there are natural pools, that you can visit, and find a nice place to eat.Honestly, I was not much impressed with it, since I’ve been in Ireland, and there are way more exciting cliffs out there (and I am not speaking about cliffs of Mohair).Worth the trip? I don’t know.

Masca Tenerife Spain, mountain view and a road trough the mountains

Getting to small town of Masca is a challenge on it’s own. The road to Masca goes around mountains and it’s a bit of a climb. But it is worth it indeed.The town is very small, and there is not much to it apart from two streets. It has 90 inhabitants and is up in 650 m altitude. There is also a hiking route, which we did not take, because we are not hikers and we had a friend with leg injury amongst us.

Mount Teide

Cloud and mountain view from the top of the mountain Teide in tenerife Canary Islands

This is where our story got really fricking interesting. But let’s start from the beginning.

There are two routes to go to Mount Teide, and both of them supposedly are nice. We took the bottom one to go there, and were hoping to get trough the top one on our way back and visit the weird mountain forests of mount Negro while heading home.

Mountain forest in the fog and black ground

The roads there are also a bit difficult, but the scenery is really nice.

If you want to take the cable car to the top of Teide, I advise you to buy tickets online. First of all, because we arrived at noon, and they told us the only available tickets were with audio guide (regular costs 27€ and audio guide ones – 33€) . Also, you need to wait for about 2 hours to get into a cable car. I think it would be different if you would buy it online.

Also, since we had our Audio guide tickets, we need to stand in line to get the audio guides. Also, you need to leave a deposit of 50€ for that. We decided we don’t need our audio guides, since you need to hold it in your hand all the time, so we skipped it.

When the lady working there noticed we don’t have our audio guides, she made us sign some papers in Spanish (probably stating that we did not take the audio guides at our own will, but might as well been pretty much anything), then asked our friend if she is pregnant (and she is as skinny as a pencil). They also made us took a mandatory picture, which from my position was a total violation of GDPR. Buy you can buy them out when you come back for 5€. My face was a hostage.

Finally, 3 hours later, we were waiting for our cable car. Packed in it as sprats in a can (this is a Lithuanian saying) we were going up to the mountain. So first of all there are two things to keep in mind :

The temperature up there was -4C, and although sunny, you still have to be prepared. Even in the bottom on the mountain, where we were waiting for 3 hours, it was not too warm.

Second, I felt quite bad in the top of the mountain because of the altitude and the lack of, as I call, “Air in the air”, meaning you breath in and still feel like you need more air. Usually it takes few minutes to adjust, so don’t panic as I did, and try to calm yourself and breathe.

If you want to, there are some places to hike, but we are not big hikers.

Luckily, we did not had to wait for a ride down for 3 hours, and went down with one on the few last rides down.

While riding home we stopped at the side of the road to take pictures and were robbed, which I wrote separate post about here.

After that we learned that the are of Teide is famous for it’s thieves, so leave all the important stuff at home. Even in the parking at mount Teide a lot of people got robbed. So be extra careful.

Due to that recent adventure, few days we skipped travelling at all. We stayed at our Airbnb and tried to recover. We also had to deal with the problems, caused by the thieves.

Loro Park

Nothing mends your soul better than cute animals.

Flamingos in Loro Park in Tenerife Sapin Canary islands pink birds

So after you pay 38€ to enter, they also want to violate your GDPR again and take a picture of you. You can of course buy it out, but we will not be fooled twice. We asked if we can skip the picture, and as soon as the lady started saying “Yes, but…” we said “Thank you” and were gone with the wind.

So it is important to arrive there early, because on of few things actually worth seeing there are the shows. Sadly, the Sea Lion pavilion was closed, but there were Orcas (aka Killer Whales) and Dolphins yet to see. Even though I would not consider myself as a fan of sea creatures, it was, frankly, quite entertaining. P.s. don’t sit in the splash zone. Just don’t.

Other than that, there were of course animals, but not as much as I would expect.

And they were all hidden behind the glass, which was a bit weird for me (and makes horrible to take pictures of, especially if you are walking along a group of kids wearing yellow hats and you can see their yellow reflections in every picture).

Lion sleeping on a rock in Tenerife Canary islands

They claim it to be the best zoo in the world, and I would beg to differ. It is not that large, and the variety of animals (I do not count fishes, sorry fishes) is not that large.

Sea turtle in the water swimming Tenerife loro park

I will be a douche here and say my honest opinion – it is not that great, but they are douches by claiming it is the best zoo in the world. I haven’t been to many zoos, but even the Rotterdam Zoo was way nicer. Plus you can see a polar bear swimming there and touch giraffe’s nose. Plus they have long underwater tunnel.

El Medano

In the evening we decided to visit El Medano, a town famous for it’s strong winds and due to that – surfing. Obviously, since we were really lucky on this trip so far, when we came to El Medano, there were no wind at all, and also – no surfers. Other than that, there is not much to see there (or at least not that I know of). So be sure to check before you go.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Tenerife auditorium auditorio de tenerife modern architecture

So after thieves took my backpack, I needed to put my stuff somewhere, so we went shopping for a bag (Yesh, I know).

There is one thing actually worth visiting in Santa Cruz – Auditorio de Tenerife. It is a massive building in the seaside with pretty unusual architecture. And frankly, it is quite beautiful. There is also few parks, one on the mountain, that due to our handicap friend we decided to skip.

In the city center there is also another park – parque garcía sanabria, which is quite beautiful as well. If you like parks, you should definitely visit it.

Anaga Park, Taganana and Benijo

Mountain view with clouds in Tenerife Spain Canary islands, Places to see

Prepare for a winding uphill road if you want to visit these destinations. Also, prepare a full tank of gas.

Heading to Anaga park feels more like Jumanji than Tenerife – you are surrounded by jungle like forest and constant fog / mist. But once you make it, there are quite an amazing scenery to see. You will also see a tourist stop on the side of the road, so you should stop, since there is a short hike trough the forest (after our experiences we were not really keen to stop on the side of the road, but later we learned about the hike and were quite sad we didn’t stopped).

After that, we headed to Taganana, which is basically a place to stop and enjoy the scenery. On of a few places I would recommend to visit in Tenerife.

Beach with rocks, Benijo, Tenerife, Canary Islands. One of the places to visit in Tenerife

And then we headed to Benijo, which is a beach with rocks. Not too shabby also.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Since I needed to get documents to get home, we went to Santa Cruz de Tenerife to the British Consulate. We had some time to kill too, so we ate and visited the park I mentioned before.

Where we stayed

Paradise Apartments in Adeje Tenerife Spain Canary Islands

We rented an apartment via Airbnb in the town of Adeje. It is a first floor apartment with a patio in a Award winning complex, called Paradise Apartments.

They have shared pools (one of them is heated), a bar / restaurant, and is always guarded.

Honestly, I was really happy with our temporary home – it is super beautiful, cozy, and would recommend it to anyone.

What to wear

Depending on when you come to Tenerife and where you stay, you might have completely different impression on the weather in Tenerife.

The warm :

Since we were visiting in November, it wasn’t too hot not too cold. Most of the people recommend staying in the south part of the island, and we chose Adeje, so the weather there was always pleasant – it varied from 23-24C during the day, and 19C at night.

So be sure to pack lighter clothes to enjoy the feel of the summer and get some tan. Also, I soon realised that I should’ve packed more lighter coloured clothes, because as soon as you come into the sun, it gets really hot.

Also take something to throw over your shoulders, especially if you spend more time in a shade (like eating in a restaurant), or planning to visit north part of the island.

The cold :

If you are planning to visit the mountains, and most of the time you will want to, be sure to pack some warmer clothes too. Usually, there are pretty sunny up in the mountains, but also might be windy.

If you are going to the top of Teide, there was -4C when we were visiting, but it wasn’t freezing cold because of the sun. We had few extra layers, but nothing too special or even remotely similar to what we wear back at home during this temperature.

The windy :

Always pack an extra hoodie or jacket, since it might get windy in some places. I found myself caring one all the time, and I was really happy I did.

What to eat

Speaking about the cuisine, other than Paella and fish, there is not much to it. I am not a big fan of it, so we went to few Spanish places, but other than that, we tried to stick to the Google rating and what was nearby. It was going pretty well, except in Benijo, where there are not much restaurant in general, and we found one with decent rating, and it was quite horrible (wine tasted like tires).

Tip : when you go to a spanish restaurant and they bring some olives or buns, you will have to pay extra for it.

Other than Spanish, we ate Italian food (which is most of the time safe choice) and unlike in my country, they are actually run by Italians.

We also had Chinese / Thai in Santa Cruz, and it was quite delicious also.

We had a kitchen in our apartment, so we also made food at home, especially breakfast. Nothing beats good homemade breakfast and tons of fresh fruits. Apart maybe from breakfast we ate in Ireland.

Paella, Spanish food, sea food, Caribbean food, Tenerife

Long story short

I am not sure how would I have enjoyed our vacation if our passports were not stolen, but I would not rate Tenerife highly in my travel destination list. I know there are a lot of people who would say they would visit Tenerife many times and still be amazed, I find it a bit disappointing.

Maybe I am spoiled from my other trips, especially going to Iceland, but there is not a lot of different things to see Tenerife – beaches and mountains. But it can be ruined by my bad mood, and maybe, someday, we will come back to see it with different eyes, but I highly doubt that.

On the other hand, yes, if you want to just chill, enjoy good weather and live amongst the cactus and palm trees – Tenerife is a place for you.