We met our friends ‘The Macs’ at the airport in Tenerife South after a much needed layover in Lisbon. It was great being back in Europe (and one of our favorite cities in the world) and we celebrated by a Mexican food feast in Lisbon with chips and guacamole, burritos and margaritas. We snagged a suite in downtown Lisbon on ‘Hotwire‘ and had a great nights sleep before heading back to the airport for a 9:30 am flight to Tenerife south for a one-week break from schoolwork. Ava complained of an upset stomach while in Lisbon and threw up in the airport bathroom just before boarding our flight. “Wow, I feel so much better.” She said.
The Canary Islands are part of Spain and being off the coast of Morocco and Senegal offer a warm vacation spot for Europeans wanting to escape the cold and not leave the comforts of home. Everyone speaks English, but you can easily find paella, sangria, swimming pools and pugnacious retirees ready to argue the merits of island life and wondering why they didn’t do it sooner. Roads are well marked. Water sports, hiking and theme parks dot and surround the island. However, its popularity as a retirement destination means it’s ‘Spanish-ness’ is not a strong as the culture from the mainland.
It wasn’t until the third day that we we left the comfort and sanctuary of our apartment to explore the island.
Top Things to Do in Tenerife
- Scuba Dive At the Base of Los Gigantes. Los Gigantes or “The Giants” is a series of cliffs on Tenerife’s southwest coast. Although there is not a lot in the way of coral, if you’re lucky, you’ll find giant stingrays and moray eels hiding in the crevices.
- Spend a Day at “Playa De Las Teresitas”. This is by far the most beautiful beach we explored while at Tenerife and the light brown sand and shallow water makes it a nice place to take in an afternoon of sun and swimming; especially for little kids.
- Take a Cable Car up to Mount Teide. We bought tickets for this, but our trip was cancelled at the last moment due to inclement weather. From the base of 2100 meters, it’s a ride up to 3,500 meters and supposedly a fantastic view. Try to buy tickets early for a day when the weather is forecasted to be clear.
Staying in a serviced apartment or timeshare is really the way to go in Tenerife. Having an apartment for our two families meant we could stock up our fridge with food for the kids, do loads of laundry and hang out on the balcony laughing into the night which is the best way to experience the Canary Islands- with good friends.