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Top up your Tan in Tenerife
Member Name: northernlovely
Advantages: Lots to do, good package deals
Now the weather is warming up (well, a bit) and I'm on the lookout for a holiday deal, what better way to get in the mood than review one of my favourite holiday destinations - Tenerife!
***A little about Tenerife***
Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. Because of this, you can get away with going a little earlier in the year - even a February holiday in Tenerife can be warm and sunny, and right through to September the weather is hot and bright.
The largest mountain in all of Spain is situated in Tenerife, the impressive and spectacular Mount Teide. Visitors to the island can participate in trips to the snowy summit, with wonderful views of the island and the seas to Lanzarote.
***How to get there***
All major air traffic travels to Tenerife - including the budget airlines BMIBaby, Jet2, RyanAir and EasyJet, meaning a deal is usually out there for the budget traveller.
There are two airports in Tenerife, Reina Sofia, in the south, and Tenerife North Airport. Reina Sofia is by far the most well known and used by UK tourists; mainly for it's relatively short 30 minute commute to the popular destinations Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos (about 30 Euros in a taxi).
Reina Sofia airport is a small size but has all the necessities, shops, cafes and rest areas with a 'traditional' UK pub too.
As with any popular destination Tenerife has a range of accommodation ranging from the 1* self catering 'bargain basement' aparthotels, to 5 and 6* hotels in the Adeje and Del Duque areas. You can, however, find some real bargains if you're not too fussy about when you're travelling. The flexible traveller can find a 5* all-inclusive deal for under £500 per person including flights; often far less. The nicest hotels are undoubtedly any of the larger and more exclusive ones in Del Duque just off Costa Adeje, with it's private beaches and designer shopping area, to the gems found nestled in Adeje itself - like the Costa Adeje Gran, a gorgeous hotel which I've stayed at twice. As long as you're mindful of the star rating (and always check Trip Advisor for the latest traveller reviews) then you can make up your own mind on what's best for your money in terms of where to stay.
Tenerife has some beautiful stretches of coastline - Playa Torviscas being the most popular with travellers. Los Cristianos has some lovely beaches too but it is a fishing area, so it does have more noise and more smell.
The beaches are as you'd expect for the Canaries - hot white sands, palm trees and clear blue seas. Idyllic.
Tenerife has some beautiful shopping malls, with many designer goods to window-shop at. There are plenty of perfume shops and even a few bargains to be had. If you're looking for a designer bag, belt or purse, there is certainly plenty of choice!
In terms of Supermarkets again there are plenty, from good old Netto to more traditional Spanish supermarkets selling the usual day to day produce. Be wary though - sun tan lotion is vastly overpriced due to it's demand. Also, given that newspapers and magazines must be imported via sea/air, they tend to be marked up to as much as 5 Euros each. So if you are an avid reader, I'd recommend you either buy a few magazines in the airport, or you take a few books with you.
There are some lovely street markets in Tenerife, the Adeje market is every Thursday and Sunday, where street traders make their living selling decorative items such as fans, tea towels, tee shirts and so on. You can grab some real bargains here if you are prepared to haggle!
There are plenty of attractions to keep the active holidaymaker amused in Tenerife. The most popular has to be Loro Parque, a fabulous fun park-cum zoo, showcasing some wonderfully diverse animals - gorillas, lions and parrots to name but a few! I'd allow a good day to see Loro Parque, it is well worth the 25 Euros a ticket.
Secondly there's Mount Tiede, where travellers can travel (via bus or on foot) up the active volcano.
Newest of all the big attractions is Siam Park, a huge water park with slides, pools and other 'water kingdom' attractions. It is vying for the best water park crown in the world, so they're trying very hard - it's well worth a visit, very exhausting! Don't forget to stock up on waterproof sun-tan lotion - it's all set in the open air.
Even those on a half board or all inclusive tariff would be missing out if they didn't try the local restaurants - there are fresh fish bars in the fishing bay of Los Cristianos, there's a Chinese chain called 'Slow Boat' which does some wonderful authentic cuisine, and there's a fabulous pizza chain 'Telepizza' which does some deliciously bizarre pizzas such as the creamy, indulgent carbonara pizza - a steal for 9 Euros and absolutely delicious!
Of course Tenerife also has it's share of 'authentic English' bars just dying for you to go inside and have an all day breakfast, scampi and chips, or a club sandwich - at least there is something for everyone and you can pretty much find something that floats your boat. I'd rather sample a delicious authentic paella, mind!
Tenerife also has Burger Kings and McDonalds - which serves beer! - as per any country these days - which may appeal especially if you have kids.
Overall I'd say that to me, Tenerife is like a home from home. It's so welcoming, friendly, and has so much to offer for such a small place. Certainly, it's easy enough to get to with a comfortable 4 hour flight followed by a short 30 minute cab ride right over the top of Tenerife with it's beautiful views of crystal clear seas and staggering mountain sights.
If you check sites like TravelSoon, Thompson, Thomas Cook, Co-Op and Teletext you are sure to find a deal to suit you. Whether you are an older couple, honeymooning pair, young family or group of friends, there is something for everyone in Tenerife, it really does have so much to offer. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a sunshine break with plenty to do, good choice of food and beautiful surroundings.
5/5 for me - hope to be going back soon :)
Summary: Go there!