I flew from Gatwick North on Easyjet. The flight to Tenerife is about 4 hours so we arrived at dusk. Our transfer was surprisingly long so I would recommend upgrading to a private transfer for South Tenerife.
We were booked in a Junior Suite at Paradise Park on half board so we managed to catch dinner when we arrived and there was certainly plenty to choose from. Paradise Park has a lot of guests on all inclusive. There are a number of decent local bars including Bar 39 and O’Jangles within five minutes walk and a courtesy bus during the day to the beach so we felt that half board was best for us. There is a new shopping centre opening right by the hotel so by next summer there will be even more choice. Paradise Park has been refurbished since we stayed in December 2009
Friday for us was a lazy day. We took the courtesy bus down to the main beach at Los Cristianos which has the harbour between a small sandy bay and a much longer bay which runs into Playa de las Americas then into Fanabe and Costa Adeje, a long but pleasant walk along the promenade or past the smart designer shops and shopping malls along the main road. There is a regular and cheap bus service to all the resorts and even Mount Teide and Santa Cruz in the North.
We pre-booked our La Gomera trip in the UK which proved to be better value than booking locally and it is also worthwhile taking the opportunity to visit the very diverse landscapes of La Gomera with a guide. This would be very difficult to do on your own using the ferry. We also got the opportunity to listen to their very unique whistling language over lunch. This is taught in schools and can be heard up to 3 kms away. This is useful for communication in this mountainous outpost.
We spent most of the afternoon in Garajonay National Park which is rainforest and well worth visiting and we were told of the tragic legend of Princess Gara and the poor farmer Jonay from Tenerife. Our tour ended in the capital San Sebastian. This is a very pretty little town with pastel coloured houses and a small church. Columbus set sail on his epic journey from La Gomera after getting his water from the well. I would have liked a little more time in San Sebastian but the last ferry back is at 16.30 so not much time to hang around.
On Sunday we took the trip to Mount Teide which like Garajonay is very cold so you definitely need a jacket. After a short stop at Vilaflor, the highest Spanish community, we wound our way to 2000 metres. Disappointingly the cable car was not running to the summit, but when it is, it does cost 25 euros and is not included in the price of the tours. To compensate for this we made some extra stops at Rocas Gomez, The Queen’s shoe and Pico Viejo which meant there were some good photo opportunities.
This was a shorter day so this gave us the afternoon to wander round Los Cristianos market and buy a few Christmas presents and a few hours to relax around the pool and enjoy the sunshine
On Monday we walked along the promenade until we came across a guy selling whale trips so we thought, why not? At 15 euros for 2 hours, this was a bargain. We saw a few small Pilot Whales and some dolphins and it was a really lovely afternoon out.
Tuesday was time to go home. Our five nights had gone so quickly. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice and tidy Tenerife is. There are so many new hotels and shopping centres to add to the familiar Club 18-30 haunts in Playa de las Americas, still a popular and lively resort especially in the summer. The new resorts of Playa Fanabe and Costa Adeje are smart quieter upmarket extensions of Playa de las Americas with many new 5* hotels and a very different clientele. There are the theme parks of Loro Parque and Siam Park for families. Tenerife has accommodation and facilities for all tastes. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely return to Tenerife for another winter break.
If you would like to find out more about Tenerife or the other Canary Islands, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro or to book contact me at Travel Counsellors or visit Tenerife tourism