When we decided to have a week’s relaxing holiday in the sunshine, for once we were constrained by dates, times, wanting to fly from our local airport of course, what we were willing to pay. And that’s how we found ourself on our way to Tenerife – dates, times and airport was right, and costs were just on the right side on our budget (whatever happened to cheap last minute breaks – do they just not exist anymore?). But were we content to lie on the beach/by the pool every day, soaking up the Canarian sun and drinking garishly-coloured cocktails? Were we heck. Instead we hired a car and traversed the island. Here are our top 8 tips for places to visit with – or without a car – in Tenerife.
Note: our base was in Costa Adeje on the south east of the island so everything is based on us travelling from here.
1. Anaga Mountains: The Anaga Mountains are in the North-Eastern part of Tenerife; we used the TF-1 along the south and east of the island, driving through the capital Santa Cruz before heading north on the TF-12 into the mountains. This was our first experience in Tenerife of winding roads, sharp peaks, plunging ravines, and mist-filled forests above the clouds. It’s a very lush and green area; not what you expect when you see a barren landscape from the aeroplane on landing! There are a number of roads that lead you miles out of your way, ending in nothing but a pretty little village. Like the TF-123 to Chamorga. And to get to the refreshing waters and volcanic beach paradise, you’ll need sturdy hiking shoes, good lungs and a bagful of stamina. Facilities wise, there’s not much for visitors, but we did stop off at the café at Albergue Montes de Anaga for a quick drink and toilet stop. It has a terrace with particularly spectacular views of the mountains, forests and sea. There’s also a visitor centre at Cruz del Carmen if you are approaching from La Laguna on the TF-12.
Anaga without a car? Many parts of the region are accessible by public transport, and there are a number of buses from Santa Cruz to various areas, including the 947 to Chamorga in the North-East, which is a popular hiking spot.
Driving in Tenerife: After finding European driving a doddle in Croatia, Mr Fletche was more than happy to pick up the driving reins in Tenerife. We used Autoreisen, who were recommended on many of the car rental forums, and they were certainly easy to deal with and most importantly provided us with a great all-inclusive price for the week. The Autopista Sur (TF-1) provides a speedy route along the south and east of the island, with a similar route in the North (TF-5), from Santa Cruz across to Puerto de la Cruz. Driving inland is definitely a little more of a challenge, with narrow, winding, mountainous roads to contend with. Particularly the roads into and out of Masca Valley, with cars clinging precariously to a cliff face whilst tour buses and coaches come within a hairs breadth of a sheer drop. It’s all good fun. Parking in towns was generally quite simple, with free unrestricted street parking in many towns; we only paid for parking in Puerto de la Cruz and in Candelaria.
We were pleasantly surprised by the delights that Tenerife had to offer. Away from the hedonistic Playa de las Americas, and the “Brits Abroad” vibe of the Costa Adeje resorts, it is a truly stunning island that we look forward to returning to soon.
I’m Emmalene, a 40 something with a passion for travel, theatre, food, drink and the occasional accidental hike! I’m a born-and-bred Birmingham native so expect lots of Brum content on here too…