Travel: Tenerife – Why Are The Canary Islands Different From Mainland Spain?

Just thought I’d quickly start the blog by saying that yesterday officially marked one month since I launched my first blog post! THANK YOU again for everyone’s support on my posts so far, it means so much to me that people actually want to read my posts!

So with it almost being holiday planning season, I thought I’d write another travel post

In the beginning of September of last year, my boyfriend and I travelled to the Canary Island of Tenerife for our first holiday abroad together. Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and is located near West Africa and is hence why Tenerife always experiences warm weather all year round. It is still classed as Spain, but has a completely different feel than Mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands!

We travelled with Jet2.com as it is one of my favourite short-haul companies to travel with and they’re just so easy to book with as well as having really good package deals! I love Jet2 as it allows you to pay a £60 deposit to secure the holiday and then you can pay little amounts towards the holiday, although you have to have paid the holiday in full 10 weeks before you’re due to fly, so make sure you book earlier than this if you want to part-pay! If you book early enough, Jet2 normally do a ‘£100 off per person‘ deal, so start planning your holidays soon! We booked a hotel with bed and breakfast, as we wanted to travel around the island rather than being stuck in the hotel for a whole week.

I decided to book Tenerife mainly due to having visited this island before in 2007 with my family, but with it being my first trip abroad without my family I wanted to go somewhere that was familiar and one of my favourite holidays before we go abroad to places we’ve never been before.

When we arrived in Tenerife, it was a very smooth process from the airport to hotel, as Jet2 include transfers if you book for their package deals. We stayed at Hotel Sunprime Ocean View in Playa de las Americas, so we were the last to be dropped off after all of the other hotel rounds. When we arrived at the hotel, it took about 10 minutes to check-in and then we were off to explore the hotel. The room was absolutely gorgeous, it was so modern and new and I couldn’t fault anything with the room! We booked for a studio, and that’s exactly what we got! It was nice to have a little living area rather than being confined to a bedroom and the balcony views were amazing as we overlooked the pool area and the ocean! The perk of this hotel is that it is an adults-only hotel, so you have to be 16+ to stay here, so we weren’t invaded by small children in the pool area and in the solarium, so if you’re looking for a peaceful getaway, this hotel is one to look into!

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After dropping off our suitcases and exploring the hotel to get used to what facilities are available, we decided to head to the beachfront to explore the promenade. To our surprise, it was only a 6-minute walk to the beach, so the hotel not only looked great on the inside, it was also conveniently located!

The beachfront had restaurant after restaurant and we couldn’t make up our minds on where to eat! In the end, we were persuaded by a local restaurant owner to try their restaurant and the meal was the best way to start the holiday! I ordered a lovely white sangria cocktail, and my boyfriend Tom ordered a red sangria cocktail, because what’s a holiday without a bit of alcohol?

The next day was a Tuesday, so we decided to explore the local area as we didn’t get the chance to the night before. Tom had never been on a pedalo before, so I thought I’d take him for his first trip and I swear I was a mermaid in my past life cos I am just mesmerised by the sea

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We ended up in Monkey Beach Club in Playa de las Americas for lunch after spending ages in the sea. It caught our eye because it looked popular with the locals, as well as the tourists, so we thought we’d check it out for ourselves! The food and drinks were amazing here, and we definitely wanted to come back here again before the holiday was over!

For the rest of the late afternoon, we spent sunbathing on the beach and taking the amazing scenery in. We walked along the very long stretch of coastline and back then decided to head back to the hotel because we still hadn’t climatised to how hot it was. Later in the evening, we decided to go out to try another restaurant on the seafront and ended up in an English pub.

On Wednesday, we decided to explore further out. We started out by walking around the Magma Arte & Congresos building that happened to be behind the hotel, which we noticed when we were dropped off at the hotel. The building was a masterpiece in itself because it was a beautiful structure on the outside. We then walked for 15-minutes to get to Siam Mall, which was the closest shopping mall to us and we spent a majority of our day window shopping.

In the evening we went to a steakhouse that we always passed by on our way back to the hotel and the food was so lovely!

On Thursday, this is where the road tripping began, as we spent the last few days planning our excursions for the rest of the trip. We started off by heading to Loro Parque, which is a famous zoo in the Canaries. It was a two hour and a half journey by coach to the zoo, but when we got there it was so worth it! Me and Tom love our aquariums, so we spent the longest time staring at all of the tropical and marine fishes, as well as the massive turtles, jellyfish and sharks that they had in. There were various animal shows going on at the zoo, such as the Dolphins, Sea Lions, Orcas and bird shows, so you could never be bored! I always love to visit zoos, because it helps to contribute to their conservational efforts of all the animals and plants in the zoo to help us to retain the population of some of these endangered animals and plants, and I think people sometimes forget the purposes of zoos.

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After the long journey back from the zoo, we decided to head to the solarium of the hotel and finally get to use the rooftop jacuzzi, as it was pretty much empty by the time we got there, just in time to start watching the sunset!

After giving our feet the well-deserved break they deserved after walking around all day, we decided to take a taxi to the other main tourist destination…Costa Adeje.

We decided that we’d have a late night roaming the resort to experience the nightlife in Tenerife. We decided before leaving the hotel that we wanted to try the Imperial Tai-Pan, because Tom was craving Chinese and Japanese food (like he always does), but it wasn’t a bad decision on his behalf, because the restaurant served the most divine foods, and we found ourselves coming back to this restaurant later in the holiday!

We ended up going to the Hard Rock Cafe after dinner, and the cocktail bar was as pretty as their cocktails! After a few drinks, we walked down the streets of the resort and went fragrance, souvenir and food shopping whilst we were there before our hands were full of bags and we decided to call it a night.

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On Friday, we decided to go to Siam Park, which was a 15-minute walk from our hotel. It was the perfect day to go because it was the hottest day (36°C) since we were there! The water park was really pretty and I didn’t get to go to this water park back in 2007, because it is such a new attraction. It’s a shame I’m scared of heights because I didn’t get to fully enjoy the waterpark, especially the ride that lets you go through the shark tanks. But for those who love heights and want to cool off at the same time, this is the place for you to go! I felt bad for Tom, since we spent most of the day floating around on the river that goes around the park instead…

When we got back to the hotel to get refreshed to go out for the evening, I told Tom that a Canary sunset is something we definitely cannot miss on this holiday! So, that evening we made it our mission to head to the seafront at Playa de Troya to watch the sunset whilst having our meal and since being there for 5 days we started to learn roughly when the sun would set. We found the perfect restaurant overlooking the ocean and we got there just in time for the big event! I can promise you now that if you go to the Canary Islands that their sunsets are unreal and you really do need to witness it yourself to really understand how spectacular it is because pictures don’t do it justice.

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After finishing dinner, we headed back to the Monkey Beach Club to sit on their rooftop bar for some evening drinks to finish off a lovely day and evening. It was such a beautiful and clear night, so we headed back to the hotel and went to the top floor so we could stargaze because the place wasn’t as light polluted as the towns we lived in, in the UK and in moments like that you really appreciate just how lucky you are to be able to travel to places as lovely as Tenerife.

On Saturday, we had an escape room booked, because we already tried a few of them back home in the UK. This escape room was so much fun, frustrating at times, but it was still a good challenge nevertheless! I’d definitely recommend the Island Phobia Escape Room in Playa de las Americas! There is no language barrier, as the staff member looking after us spoke perfect English! We actually broke out in the last minute to our disbelief!

We then decided we’d take another long stroll to another nearby resort…Puerto Colón. We decided that we really wanted to go jet skiing, so we headed to the port to see if we could hire one out and it was so much fun! We then sunbathed for a little while to dry off before we headed to Harley’s Diner for lunch, which had the most amazing American food and drinks! We then headed back to the hotel to escape the heat until the evening.

In the evening, we decided to take a taxi out to Arona to try out some restaurants there and we came across the Gran Maison, which wasn’t the original restaurant we were looking for, but it turned out to be the most amazing meal I had since being in Tenerife! I had a lamb’s leg, which was the chef’s suggestion, and it truly was the best-cooked lamb I’ve ever had in my life! It’s such a shame that the holiday was coming to a close or we’d be here again!

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We have finally arrived at the end of our trip. On our last day, we decided to save the best part of the island to last! We went to Teide National Park to see the highest point in Spain, Mount Teide. The excursion was for half a day, and the journey was under 2 hours. I was a massive geography nerd back in high school (I still am), and it was the first volcano I got to see back in 2007! I never actually took the cable car to the top of the volcano when I went for the first time because my fear of heights made the decision for me. This time I was determined to go on, but also because Tom wouldn’t let me leave Tenerife until I actually went to the top of the volcano. The scary journey up to the top was so worth it, the views from the top were incredible! You can’t go to Tenerife and not take a visit to the Teide National Park and if you’re scared of heights, you can still drive to the national park to see the volcano, you just don’t have to take the cable car! You can really appreciate how tall Mount Teide is because when you drive around the island you can pretty much always see it in sight! If you go during Easter or Winter, the snow-capped volcano looks stunning in pictures! Don’t forget to take a coat or warm jumper if you’re going on the cable car, the altitude at the top causes temperatures to plummet so you’ll be walking around the top shivering (whether it be winter or summer that you travel there).

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To end the trip, we did end up going back to Imperial Tai-Pan again, because the food was too good to not return!

After our last dinner in Tenerife, we went to watch the sunset at a beach in Costa Adeje for the final time before heading back to do our final bits of packing.

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To summarise, the Canary Islands are very different from going to Mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands because the climate is very different as it is closer to the equator than Mainland Spain. Since Tenerife is an island, it is much easier to feel like you’ve explored most of the island, especially if you choose to rent a car (unfortunately we weren’t old enough on this trip to rent a car). I do believe that every Canary Island has its own personality, as I have visited Lanzarote and Gran Canaria so far and the landscape was completely different at each of the other islands.

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If you managed to get to the end of this blog post, thank you for reading! I hope this managed to inspire your future holiday planning or was just some good reading to help you get into a more summery mood!

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post, and if you’ve been to Tenerife at all and have any suggestions as to where to go, please comment below to let other readers know or if you know any other countries that you think I might like to visit based on this blog post then please do let me know!

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Love,

confessionsofonlineshopaholic@gmail.com

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(DISCLAIMER: This post was not sponsored by Jet2.com or any places mentioned in the blog, the links are simply there to make it easier for people who want to find out more about a particular place.)

 

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