Just a short video hoping to put to bed some of the negative things that people think about Tenerife.
Yes, it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek but I hope that it changes some people’s thoughts and opinions of the island.
Just a short video hoping to put to bed some of the negative things that people think about Tenerife.
Yes, it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek but I hope that it changes some people’s thoughts and opinions of the island.
Did you know that Tenerife has been a magnet for tourism since the 1880s? 32 years after the defeat of the British attack on Santa Cruz in 1848, where Lord Nelson was injured and lost his arm, visitors, even including British were being welcomed to enjoy their holidays here.
So how has has Tenerife tourism changed its image over the years?
Oh yes, in the 1880s they had hotels here and everything – the capital city of Tenerife, Santa Cruz had 3 hotels at that time, Hotel Orotava had 19 rooms, Hotel Camacho had 15 and Hotel Panasco had 11 but of course, the amount of visitors in 1880 weren’t on the same scale that they are today. It was recorded that in 1881 a total of 800 visitors came to the city itself.
Clearly Santa Cruz was the main entry point to the island of Tenerife and from there people either stayed in the city or went on their way on agricultural holidays and walking holidays on doctor’s orders.
Santa Cruz was a regular destination for ships that were sailing for the Americas and West Africa as they would have had to stop here for replenishments.
Those years were nothing like they are now, if you come here on a modern cruise liner today, you’ll get berthed right on the harbour, walk down a gang plank, probably covered over in case you get too many rays of sun, then maybe into a bus or a short walk into the city itself.
In the 1880s you would have had to have got into a small rowing boat and been brought ashore by that…you can almost imagine the ladies having to lift their massive dresses up and over the edge of the boat to get onto dry land, maybe with a chivalrous crew member of gentleman assisting her.
Link to photo – OK, it’s not Tenerife but it gives you an idea as how it might have been.
The Second World War saw very little in the way of tourism for Tenerife, well, not in the way I’m talking about here – there were probably loads of visitors but very few of them probably had a holiday as we know it now.
1948 saw the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which gave everyone the right to rest and leisure along with paid holidays. This brought with it a rush of holiday makers from industrialised countries taking advantage of their annual paid holiday.
The 50s saw a boom in hotel construction with the city of Santa Cruz having among its many attractions 16 new hotels, two tea rooms and three ballrooms, a chamber orchestra and…believe it or not…greyhound racing, cock-fighting as well as the bullring which would have held bull fights once a week.
Hotels were popping up all over the place, including in the south of Tenerife in Los Cristianos.
In 1956 the Los Rodeos airport in the north of Santa Cruz was opened having been financed by the Cabildo Insular which is the governing body of Tenerife, and as such another much quicker method of travel to Tenerife was opened.
During the 60s the island saw an increase in visitors as holiday travel became more of a normal pastime for the public at large and people found that they were able to visit places abroad much more easily.
It was at this time that the south of Tenerife tourism started to explode with the construction of hotels and holiday complexes ready for the influx of tourists. Visitors were coming from all over the world as well as from the north of Tenerife itself. Canarians that were living in the north of Tenerife, Santa Cruz and La Orotava for example, were holidaying and buying property in the south of Tenerife.
Buildings for hotel workers were also needed and were being constructed in areas such as Los Cristianos, away from the main tourist zones such as Las Americas. It’s funny to think that Los Cristianos, at that time was not deemed a popular holiday resort.
The public’s love of sea and sun was at an all-time high and Tenerife with its all year sunny weather, fresh mountain walks, northern coolness and southern warmth attracted thousands of tourists per year, in fact Santa Cruz registered a total of 9.278 ships anchoring in the port during 1962, plus of course many more travellers by airplane from the newly opened airport.
In 1974 the International Union of Official Tourism Organisation started to deal with tourism on a professional basis throughout the world and of course this meant Tenerife as well.
Training for hotel staff, research for ideal places and resorts to actually go on holiday and suggestions for transport links between holiday resorts and destination on the island, were made bringing Tenerife up to date with the times and therefore becoming an ideal place to go on holiday.
The 80s through to the 90s saw exponential expansion with the building of hotels and holiday complexes. The south of Tenerife was one massive building site with cranes all over the place and tourism going through the roof.
The 80s saw new areas of growth such as Golf del Sur and Amarilla Golf and the 90s saw Palm Mar expand further on from its original 60s bungalows and small villas.
Coming into the 00s we saw growth of a different kind – luxury tourism in Tenerife arrived.
Massive 4 & 5 star hotels were constructed right along the Costa Adeje coastline all offering every conceivable luxury. Now we’re out of the latest crisis we’re seeing more cranes going up and construction of many more high class hotels and holiday complexes…although I’d say more hotels as the word “complex” doesn’t seem to have much of a luxurious ring about it.
Tenerife tourism has come a very long way since its introduction as a holiday island in the 1880s with its agricultural and walking holidays, a massive sun seeking boom during the 60s and 70s, slurring and stumbling through an era of 18 – 25s drink and drug fuelled holidays that people probably can’t even remember and now changing its direction totally to be one of the go to luxury holiday destinations of the world.
Maybe we’re not on a par with Dubai yet, but to be honest, with the culture we have here, the fantastic differences of vegetation and weather throughout the island, clean coastlines, plenty of things on offer to do all over the island for every type of budget and every age of visitor and a safety record to be proud of and yet, just 4.5 hours flight from the UK and other neighbouring European countries, easily makes Tenerife one of the most popular destinations in the world for all year round holidays.
If you’ve never been to Tenerife on holiday, you ought to give it a try, many people will tell you that it’s an island for 18-25s holidays and nothing more, that’s a very old fashioned, short sighted and narrow minded attitude, oh and if they don’t say that they’ll harp on about the black sand of Tenerife that makes you dirty…it’s just black sand for goodness sake, volcanic rock broken down over millions of years…!!!…if you come to Tenerife for your holidays, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised at what you find…and if anyone asks, tell them that Simon sent you…!!!
If you come to Tenerife on holiday it’s always worth at least one visit to the Los Cristianos Sunday market.
The large open air market is fun to walk round with plenty of things going on to keep you entertained.
It really can be a bit of a squash and walking around using wheelchairs, prams and buggies is not that easy but as most people are in a relaxed holiday mood, they are generally accommodating.
As always, in any crowded place don’t forget to keep your hands on your purse or wallet as it’s quite easy to have them lifted.
The Los Cristianos Sunday market isn’t for everyone, there are some items of quality for sale, some bargains but there is also a load of “tat” as well, just like you would find in any market, but if you are here on holiday, as I said before, it’s probably worth a Sunday morning visit to buy some souvenirs for friends and family.
It’s quite easy to find, just walk along the sea front from Los Cristianos with the sea on your right and as you get to the Arona Gran hotel, you’ll see the hustle and bustle of the market on your left.
The market is open for business from about 8.30 am through to about 2.00 pm every Sunday.
The Carnaval Los Cristianos last Sunday was, as always, a very enjoyable experience If you have never had the chance to be a part of it, it really is worth going to watch.
I’m going to add some of my favourite photos to this blog on the Carnaval Los Cristianos 2013, but at the bottom there will be a whole gallery devoted to the photographs I took while I was there.
Police getting things ready
People start arriving
Ready and raring to go
All ages are welcome
The workers are ready to clear up at the end
A group of drummers from Candelaria
The dancing girls
Older dancing girls
The work involved is amazing
More hard work and feathers
Ready for the off…
These bikes were hand built by the man in with his back to us
Head dresses on the floor… apparently they don’t actually weigh as much as you might imagine
Two icons of the Carnaval…I don’t know how he walks on them either
Another group of drummers
Having a rest before setting off
Getting off the coaches from Santa Cruz
He’s too young to know about “An officer and a gentleman”
This years theme is “Bollywood”
Practicing their moves
More fancy dress
The winner of the Young Carnaval Queen competition
And you thought he was dead…
More drummers, they are key to the Carnaval atmosphere
You can tell these were one of my favourites…!!!
Another Carnaval Queen
Last public appearance of the pope…in his Trabant
A great atmosphere in the Los Cristianos Carnaval
More dancers of the Bollywood theme
…And yet more
More traditional Carnaval dress
Great fun posing for the camera
Children waiting to move off…
A dancing troupe practicing their moves
Just having a dance and some fun
This bike is here every year as well…
The Uraguayan contingent…almost makes me want to see if we can get a UK contingent next year..what would we dress up in though???
Here is the full gallery if you want to see more…
Barranco del Infierno translates into Hell’s Gorge in English. The popular tourist destination is situated in the town of Adeje Tenerife.
In a similar way to visitors to Mt Teide, the amount of visitors to Barranco del Infierno is strictly limited, in this way it preserves the natural environment for future generations.
There is a popular hiking trail through the gorge which ends up at the highest waterfall in Tenerife.
The area is important both historically and naturally. Historically due to the large amount of caves that are found in the area and these were home to the Guanches that were the original inhabitants of the island. Inside some of the caves, original cave drawings have been found and documented along with the largest collection of Guanche mummies. Also a good amount of differents utensils have been found in the area which are now on display at the Museum of Nature and Man in Santa Cruz.
Living in Tenerife is great, arguably one of the best places to live in the world according to a journalist from the Guardian newspaper. No matter what you love about a place, there can also be things that you…let’s say…don’t love so much. I don’t like to use the word ‘hate’ because that is really too strong a word, especially for a place that you love to live.
Of the things I love about living in Tenerife, probably I have to start off with the weather. It’s a bit odd, because although I’m not actually a sun worshiper, so to speak, I do love to see the sun out, it tends to bring out the best in people. The fact that you don’t have to consider whether or not it’s going to be raining when you want to arrange a BBQ, or go out for a walk with the dogs. Now, I’m not saying that it’s warm all the time, in December through to February can be cold and it can also rain, but even during the coldest of nights, it rarely drops below 15ºC on the coast.
Next on the list on my list of love for living in Tenerife is the food and wine. I just love to stop off at one of the better Spanish restaurants or tapas bars and have tapas and wine on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. There is really nothing better than a couple of hours relaxing eating nice food and drinking a couple of glasses of cold red…yes, cold… that’s how they serve it here…glorious…!!!
Fiesta…!!! Yes, I like the fiestas too, who doesn’t? It’s currently carnaval time here, so that’s an obvious fiesta, but all through the year towns have their own annual fiestas both religious and traditional.
Dustmen hanging from dustcarts while the cart is driving along the road…!!! I used to see this as a boy, but now with the Health & Safety rules in the UK, it’s something that you don’t see anymore…just watch them as they go about their business in the mornings…brilliant.
There are many more things I love…the language, the people…well most of them, the coast and mountains, views, sunsets…sunrises…I could go on.
There are however, a few things that really annoy me. How about fly-tipping? Walking to my car the other day I saw a deep fat fryer dumped on some land by the pavement.
What about the amount of dog poo left on the pavements? As you’ll have noticed earlier, I am a dog owner, but I never leave poo on the streets…I couldn’t even contemplate it.
Drivers never using the inside lane of the roundabout, drivers never indicating…oh and drivers that just love stopping in the middle of the road and letting out their passengers.
Final one for now…flyers left under rocks and getting blown about in the wind making a real mess of the towns…!!! I’m not blaming any company in particular, but the amount of brochures, flyers and so on blowing about in the streets on a windy day is amazing…maybe that’s why they call them flyers.
Now please don’t think that I am a Victor Meldrew character, it’s really not true…it’s just that there are a few things that are a tad annoying…but…and this is a big BUT…the beauty, history, diversity, culture, food and drink that living in Tenerife offers far outweighs any annoyances that I can find.
What do you love or not about Tenerife? Add your comments below.
No, it’s not what you think…honestly. I was in one of the main shopping centres last Saturday in Santa Cruz and nipped to the toilet before our trip back.
There were a couple of guys getting ready for a performance in the shopping centre. The guys, called ‘Murgas’ dress up, sing and play trumpets and other instruments. There are Murgas competitions as well, this is where you will find the best dressed Murgas teams and performances in Tenerife.
In the build-up to the final of the Carnaval Queen 2013 a contestant has been badly burned by fire. Saida Prieto, pictured below, suffered more than 40% burns to her body after an accident at the Carnival Queen contest.
Saida, aged 25, was behind the scenes at the time of the fire and was seen frantically attempting to remove her costume. The costume consisted of huge wings with feathers and witnesses said the the flames reached the 10 metre high ceiling of the theatre.
After the fire, said to have been started by a firework, one witness said “the scene was horrendous, we watched as a curtain caught fire and in less than a second, flames of 10 metres high reached the ceiling”
The victim was transferred to the Virgen del Rocìo hospital in Seville and reports say that she has suffered 42% burns of both 2nd and 3rd degree grade. The report from the hospital reads that she is “Stable and resting” and that “42% of her body has been burned”. The reports go on to say that the severity of the case has been reduced thanks to the experts in the Seville hospital, she has undergone 2 major operations within the last 24 hours.
Currently the Carnival celebrations have been halted, although the family of Saida Prieto say that she and the family want the Carnaval to continue.
El Cine in Los Cristianos Tenerife has been one of our favourites for years, in fact when my wife and I got married here in Tenerife in 2004, one night we came with all of our friends that had come over for the week of our wedding…a great night…!!!
Founded in 1987, El Cine Los Cristianos celebrated its 25 year anniversary last year and if you have ever been to have dinner or lunch there, you will know why the restaurant has been in business for that long. Good simple Canarian food, fast service although you don’t feel rushed…even though there is often a queue of people waiting for tables.
The food being served has not changed much over the years, thankfully. A good choice of fish, shellfish and deep fried octopus always fresh from the days catch and served with lashings of olive oil and a good covering of sea salt. Canarian potatoes with Mojo Verde or Mojo Rojo, Fries, Onion and Tomato salad and your choice of wine, beer or soft drinks. Over recent years they have expanded their menu…slightly… they have added chicken wings, but other than that nothing much has changed in the last 25 years. Keeping it simple, seems to have worked well for them.
The name El Cine translated to English means – the cinema – and in an interview I found on YouTube, Juan Carlos, the owner, explains that the name came from a cinema that was situated within the same road as the restaurant today, not – as many people think, that El Cine was founded on the same site as the original cinema.
The video on YouTube is an interview with Juan Carlos the owner and although you may not understand it as it is in Spanish, it takes place on the Los Cristianos harbour keyside and also within El Cine itself and still, 25 years on, you can see the enthusiasm he has for the food that the restaurant provides. You’ll see happy customers who come back time after time and staff who have worked at the restaurant for years.
Having gone out for dinner to El Cine the other night, I found that in fact something has changed since we last went. It seems that they now have their own labels on the wine bottles and a lovely bottle of red too.
As you can see in the picture above, the place was as busy as usual and from time to time the queue built up and subsided as customers were seated.
El Cine Los Cristianos is not easy to find on your first visit. If you make your way down to the seafront and along towards the port you will find the green cross for a pharmacy. If you turn up the side of the pharmacy you’ll find El Cine…if you are lucky, you won’t have to wait long in the queue…!!!
El Cine has its own website here as well.
Well its the time of year again that the child comes out in everyone again… No, its not Christmas again it’s carnaval time…!!!
Every year Carnaval brings the sights and sounds of something different and this year of course is no different, this year Carnaval is paying homage to Bollywood. Said to be the second best carnaval in the world…in fact second only to Rio De Janeiro.
Dressing up in fancy dress and dancing will of course be the name of the game for the most part…oh and the partaking of food and alcoholic beverages as is the wont of the average party goer.
There is generally quite a bit going on at this time of year leading up to the carnaval celebrations so you can follow this link to the official website to see what is going on and this link will take you to the full program of events but also keep a look out in your local Tenerife newspapers for what is happening in your immediate area.
Last year I went behind the scenes of the Los Cristianos Carnaval and wrote an article on the general setting up of the carnaval procession that leads up through the town itself.
Carnaval is a great experience for everyone, whether you go to one of the local celebrations or if you venture to Santa Cruz during the day and into the evening.
If you are going to celebrate Carnaval 2013, make sure you stay safe, keep your valuables safe preferably in a zipped pocket or bag but above all…have a great time.
There is something quite odd about Christmas in Tenerife for anyone who lives in the North of Europe. One of the first things that hits you is clearly the warmth. If you are coming to Tenerife for a Christmas break, you will have been accustomed to some cold weather recently. When you land in Tenerife, the touch of the sun warms you as if it is a summers day back home. If you arrive at night, the warmth of the evening still surprises the body that has been used to cold and damp.
Next, there is the difference in the sunlight hours. The latest the sun will set here is 6pm, whereas in the absolute depths of winter the sun in London, if you can see it, sets at 3.51pm for example.
Finally, for me, one of the weirdest things that hit me on my first Christmas in Tenerife was driving into the northern town of Icod de Los Vinos, where we were staying with my wife’s family, Christmas lights, Christmas Trees, Father Christmas and pretend snow adorned the streets and shops, just as I was used to back home in the UK. In itself, there should be no real surprise, but when you are driving with the window open because it is a bit too warm in the car to have them closed, the Christmas lights and Father Christmas and warm air are, in your mind as a visitor, in stark contrast to each other. Of course, there may well be snow, but that will be on top of Mount Teide at 3,718 metres.
Christmas here is a generally drawn out affair. In the UK for example, you might have to endure Christmas cards and present ideas on the shops shelves from early October, but once Christmas eve arrives, you have Christmas day and boxing day and then until New Year that is pretty much it. Here in Tenerife, Christmas is more of a lengthy event. Christmas eve is generally celebrated with friends and family having dinner together. Talking, eating and drinking the night away and then later in the evening, nearing midnight many of the young children might be given a present from Santa Claus…although it has to be said that this is more of a recent tradition. After that, the teenage members of the family will be off out to meet friends in bars and nightclubs to drink and dance until silly O’clock in the morning.
Christmas day passes without much happening at all, probably a good job as there are plenty of hangovers to try and recover from. In fact, apart from meeting up with friends and family not much really happens from Christmas day up until New Years eve, where most people will be putting on their best clothes…evening dresses and tuxedos are the order of the night and dinners and parties will be enjoyed all over the island.
On the 5th January many towns celebrate the arrival of the 3 Kings. This is a great celebration normally including at least 3 camels and there are children’s choirs singing and speeches made by dignitaries. By midnight the party is all over and people return home only for the children to be rewarded, or not, as the case may be by seeing the presents that the Kings have left them while they were watching their arrival. Some weaker willed parents may allow the presents to be opened there and then and others will wait until the morning of the 6th.
Having spoken to my Father-in-Law yesterday about traditions from the past in comparison to today, which is quite a regular conversation between us, he tells me that the first Christmas trees didn’t start coming into use until about 1957 – 1958 from his memory. I just wondered what the kids in those days must have thought when they saw their first one. For me, it’s always been there, but can you imagine one day the parents saying that they are going to erect a Christmas tree in the house…”a what !!!???”, they must have thought. He remembers cutting the tree down for the home from the forests above Icod de Los Vinos…something you would get arrested for today. Just as the tradition about when to give presents to children seems to be changing towards Christmas day instead of Kings day, so the traditions of yesteryear changed as well…
Personally I love Christmas here, although one thing that I do miss are the crisp winter mornings around Christmas time back in the UK, however; there are only so many of them you can actually put up with in a year.
The other day I wrote about the differences at Christmas between the UK and here in Tenerife. Yesterday I was at a party in Icod de Los Vinos where I was chatting with my father-in-law. During our conversation I found that things were a little different in his younger years here when Halloween came about.
Here in Tenerife, Halloween is called All Saints Day…in the Roman Catholic Church officially called the Solemnity of All Saints and also called All Hallows or Hallowmas…probably hence Halloween. The people in Tenerife and South America also call it Día de los Muertos – Day of the Dead or Día de los Difuntos – this is a more polite Day of the Deceased.
The day itself is celebrated on the 1st November where families of those that have died congregate in the cemeteries where they are buried. Flowers are brought, prayers are said, the graves are tided and maybe inscriptions re-painted and then food & drink is consumed.
Going back to the conversation I was having with my Father-in-Law, he mentioned that when he was young he and his friends were sent out into the streets, the night before, the 31st October. The kids were sent out on a mission, they were asked to find El Pan por Dios – The Bread for God. It turns out that children were sent out with empty bags to go and search for food, presumably this would have originally been for the following days celebrations.
The Bread for God is not, as I thought, going about asking neighbours for bread, but in fact going around asking neighbours for nuts, dried fruit, boiled eggs, wine and aguapié – I had to look this up, it turns out that aguapié is the cheapest wine or plonk as we might say in English. Apparently some of the cheekier children would go straight to the wine cellars and ask for the wine and aguapié and miss out on the other items…
This tradition made me think of todays children going from house to house carrying out an evening of “Trick or Treat”. This is something that has recently started here over the past few years which has probably brought over by children from the UK where it seems to be another popular American import.
Happy Halloween and be safe if you are going out on a Trick or Treat night…or for that matter searching for El Pan por Dios…now where is my glass of aguapié.
There are many great reasons to come to Tenerife, we sat down, had a café con leche, put our heads together and came up with our top 5 favourite reasons to holiday or live in Tenerife.
Clearly with all year round sun and average temperatures of 17C, it is hardly ever cold. We have one of the most stable climates in the world. It’s not all sun and blue skies, it has to be said, but whenever the rains come, they never last for long, so you can be pretty sure of having sun sometime during a 2 week holiday.
Having been part of Spain for just over 5 centuries, there is clearly a Spanish flavour to the food and drink. Paella, Tortilla Española, various tapas and Spanish wines abound around the island. Being so close to Africa, there are also some spicy influences from parts of Morocco as well. Wine has been produced here for hundreds of years too and thanks to the weather, there are many fine wines from Tenerife, both north and south of the island. There are many fiestas celebrated throughout the year…sometimes you have to wonder how many saints there are to be celebrated…!!! Most of the fiestas here, as in the peninsula, are related to religion, but also most towns have their own fiestas annually too.
Oh, the views…!!! Being a volcanic island there are some very high mountains…very high. The big benefit of this is that there are some beautiful places to visit, park the car, get out for a walk and sample the views down to the coastlines. Mount Teide is 3718 metres above sea level. This makes it the highest point in Spain and the third highest volcano in the world…there are plenty of fantastic views on the way up to the top and once you get there you can pretty much survey all 1500km of the coastline.
It seems almost part of growing up that children want their first holiday on their own…going with friends…and the destination must have a great nightlife. Well, for years Tenerife has been that destination and many young men and women have experienced their first holidays here on Tenerife. It doesn’t have to be all cheap cocktails, shots and then off for some chicken and chips…oh no, we have a fantastic selection of local bars serving the previously mentioned selection of Spanish food and drink, we have typical Spanish restaurants, international and speciality restaurants too.
Tenerife is full of water sport activities…it’s pretty much well know for them. But there are many more sports to choose from here. With at least 5 golf courses within a 40 minute drive of each other, there is plenty of selection. Cycling is very popular, due to the weather you can pretty much guarantee that you could be out cycling every day, in fact the Olympic Gold medalist and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins trained here at the base of Mount Teide, so that he could get some high altitude training in. Beautiful beaches with golden and the more natural black sand are plentiful here in Tenerife, there are coves and large tourist beaches all over the island.
Those are our top 5 reasons to come on holiday or maybe even come to live in Tenerife, what do you think? If you have any other ideas, why not add them to the box below and have your say.
Apart from the obvious, go-cart racing, there isn’t a great opportunity to see any motorsport in Tenerife. There are the frequent car enthusiast and classic car get-togethers, plenty of Fernando Alonso Formula 1 fans that meet in the bars at Sunday lunchtimes, or maybe a little earlier…, to watch the Formula one racing.
For motor racing fans that would like to be up close and personal, there is always the Adeje Rally held towards the end of the year around September. There never tends to be much fanfare or knowledge about the racing, but in the past they have had the start in Adeje, close to the sports centre, where all of the competitors drive down the ramp after they have been introduced.
The racing starts early on a Saturday morning and continues until late that day and the various stages are run using generally hilly and bendy mountain roads, through the areas around Tijoco, Guía de Isora, Playa San Juan, Taucho, Adeje, San Miguel and as far as Arona in the hills above the town to work their way back.
For me, the rally is a highlight of the Tenerife motorsport calendar…but…and this is a big BUT…there has recently been news of agreement that Formula one is coming to Tenerife. Being a self confessed pertol head, I am obviously excited about the prospect, but, to be perfectly honest, I am not getting my hopes up too much. (EDIT:- Nov 2014 It’s now official…!!!)
Even though the plan about the Formula 1 track in Tenerife has been talked about for the last 17 years, the reason I have not yet booked my ticket for the inaugural race is that the project will cost a lot of money to get off the ground, especially in these crisis years. If they race here, this will mean that there will, as it stands as I write, be 3 races in Spain per year…that’s a bit too many and the final nail in the coffin for me getting too excited is that, as I mentioned before…it has been talked about for the last 17 years and although plans have been agreed and supposedly tenders are being sought to carry out the various required works, I am still a little dubious, but don’t worry, if it all goes ahead, I’ll be reporting about it in my blog and I’ll also be one of the first in the queue to get my ticket. Maybe I should let Fernando Alonso know about this villa for sale in Atogo Tenerife.
For anyone who lives permanently in Tenerife, you will be well aware that there are loads of things to do, especially outside in the fresh air.
How about outside in the fresh ‘smokey’ air, with the smell of freshly cooked meat, fish and vegetables drifting in the air.
Most municipalities of Tenerife offer BBQ areas, ready made, all you need to do is bring your charcoal, food, drink and some matches to light the BBQ itself.
Some people make things at home and bring them, like a nice big paella for everyone to share…
…Oh..and don’t forget the wine…
There are BBQ parks all over the island and are very popular at weekends, when families and friends get together and trek off to their favourite areas, so if you’re thinking about going, you generally need to get in early to reserve a table and a BBQ.
…but even after a party, they can be found clean and tidy. The party goers normally tidy up well before they leave, but the council also send workers to check on the parks and clean them as well.
A number of these parks can be found in the forests around Mt Teide, although in the summer it can sometimes be banned due to sparks flying and causing fires in the forest areas.
Some of these parks are just outside of large towns around the island and are often frequented by friends and families celebrating birthdays or other memorable dates.
These pictures are of some of the parks I have frequented with my family and friends here for birthdays and days out…as you know it doesn’t always have to be a specific celebration to have a party here in Spain… especially in Tenerife.
The port of Los Cristianos is to get a massive revamp in coming months with spending said to be in the region of €500.000. According to the Spanish newspaper El Día; having reached an agreement with the Port Authority of Santa Cruz and various cruise companies, November will see the new-look Los Cristianos port host its first luxury cruiser.
The first ship, called Sea Cloud, is not as you might think (myself included) the normal type of large high-rise cruise liner that frequents Santa Cruz, it is actually a very large sailing ship as the picture below shows, when it arrived in Portsmouth.
Sea Cloud will come to Los Cristianos on the dates of, 10th, 16th and 18th of November 2012 and there will be more trips for other ships in 2013, said Alberto Galvan, the commercial director of the port authority.
Following Sea Cloud will be Albatros in April of 2013, now this is a large cruise ship…as the picture below shows. This is only the start of the influx of the big ships to Los Cristianos, and Pedro Rodriguez Zaragoza, the president of the port authority said the he is currently in negotiations with other cruise ship companies, including Royal Caribbean, to come to Los Cristianos in the future.
The majority of the ships that are due to arrive will hold approximately 1.000 passengers and they will have from the morning to the afternoon to investigate the local area. “The most important point is that now we are part of an important cruise route, offering something new, and where we also have everything: sun, beach, golf, hiking and shopping” said Mr. Zaragoza. The mayor of Los Cristianos, Marta Melo said that this is an “historic” announcement, while the mayor of Arona, Jose Alberto Gonzalez Reveron, added that this will really improve the trade for local businesses in Los Cristianos and the port area.
Keep a look out for the ships coming to Los Cristianos, and if you are a business owner in the town, best of luck to you in capturing, what is hoped to be a good increase in trade.
Los Cristianos Carnival Tenerife 2012. I decided to go behind the scenes to look at the final preparations to get the parade ready.
The dance groups, bands and performers all congregate at the end of Avenida Juan Carlos 1. The noise of the bands seem to be competing with one another as they all warm up and have their final practise before the off.
The atmosphere is great, excited children and excited parents, band masters, dancers, group leaders all preparing for the procession that leads from one end of Avenida Juan Carlos 1 near the Arona Gran hotel in Los Cristianos, past the bars, past Princesa Dacil Hotel, past the Los Cristianos bus station and further up the road to finish up at the top where the fairground is situated.
The carnival season is coming to an end for 2012, there will be a few more parades to perform in a few towns, but after that, all of the gloriously coloured and decorated costumes will have to be stored away until next time…I wonder where they go…I’ll have to try and find out.
This year’s carnival in Los Cristianos was just as good as any others that I have been to here over the years. Amazingly the dancers still seem to have some energy left after not only walking up the hill towards the Princesa Dacil Hotel, but dancing up the hill too.
Have a look at the videos and I hope you get the feel and the general atmosphere that was going on.
…and above all a great afternoon out at the Los Cristianos Carnival Tenerife.
Carnaval or Carnival…whichever way you spell it, means exuberant, outlandishness, leave your normal clothes at home and possibly, for the adults, some alcohol induced fun times to be had.
The preparations have begun, the annual television programs that get produced have started to appear on the local channels and the groups of bands and dancers that have been practising ever since last year’s festivals and fiestas are doing their dress rehearsals. It will soon be time for the Carnival queens to be chosen and the floats to be readied.
Carnivals in Tenerife, usually starting in February going through to March, are an annual tradition and if you’ve never seen it then it is something that you must add to your list of 100 things to do before you die. It is said that the celebrations in Tenerife are second only to São Paulo in Brazil, so that is praise indeed.
Clearly, to get one of the best experiences of Carnival time in Tenerife a visit to the capital, Santa Cruz, is a must. Be prepared for long queues both of the human and vehicular type. Local streets are closed and the processions wind their way along the main streets of the city, clearly marked for anyone who has not been before. Take a seat with you if you can, because to get a reasonable view of the parades, you will have to wait some time, but as soon as the lead floats arrive be prepared to lose your excellent view as the throng of spectators move in closer and are quite happy to stand in front of you. None of it is in malice; it’s just the way it is at Carnival time.
Santa Cruz at night is wild…if you haven’t been before make sure you are dressed accordingly i.e. fancy dress and try not to have too many valuables on your person and if you do make sure they are zipped away securely. Please don’t take this the wrong way, it’s not scaremongering, but there are obviously thieves about that take advantage of people who are drinking and in a very close environment…they are easy pickings…I should know, my brother-in-law has been pick pocketed in the last 2 years, and he’s been going there since he was 11 years old…really…he should know.
Not to be forgotten are the many Carnivals held around the island in pretty much all major towns and some larger villages. Much the same theme applies, Carnival queens from the local area, floats, dancers, musical and drum bands, singers and plenty of fancy dress is on offer.
Over the next week or two I am going to record and upload some of the practising drummers and obviously I will be going to one or two parades for those that cannot make it and I will let you know where to find the videos once I have done them.
Times and places are sometimes a little hit and miss, especially for the towns and village celebrations, if you want to see the 2012 Tenerife Carnival Program of events for Santa Cruz, it’s in Spanish but dates and times will be obvious or use Google Translate for an idea of what it says. The main dates for Santa Cruz are 21st February for the main parade and the 22nd of February for the Burial of the Sardine. To bring it all to an end there will be more parties the following weekend, but without so many floats, bands and dancers, it’s more the general party goers in their fancy dress celebrating.
Each individual town will have their own separate dates and you should be able to find those on the relevant municipality websites.
This year’s theme is “Flower Power” so it’s easy to get fancy dress…there’s no excuse…come on join the parties…Tenerife Carnival 2012…YYYaaayyyy…!!!
Icod de Los Vinos is situated in the North East of Tenerife and covers an area of some 90km2 and is situated on the coast at the base of the pine covered mountains leading to Mount Teide. The town can be found in a very fertile valley which has given rise to the growing of some excellent grape varieties and hence some…even better…wines, hence the name Icod de Los Vinos, vino being the Spanish word for wine. In times gone by, Icod de Los Vinos was actually the Capital city of Tenerife but was changed supposedly due to the better protected waters for shipping in Santa Cruz.
On the night of the 29th of November, every year, no matter what the day, the fiesta of San Andrés takes place where, usually the younger people of the town and local area take wooden sleds, and slide down the cobbled streets of the town. The braver participants make for one of the central streets which are extremely steep and have crash barriers at the bottom constructed from used tyres to stop the participants from crashing into the crowd at the bottom of the hill.
The Romaria of Icod is also held in the church square, where a family member needs to go and reserve and pay for a table for the family to get together that evening. The party goes on all night with music and traditional dancing with everyone wearing their traditional dress.
The beach of San Marcos is close by, having the natural black sand that is common for the beaches on the north. Again, you won’t be short of places to eat and drink in San Marcos as it has a small fishing fleet that supplies the local fish restaurants.
There is a good range of shops and banks here and cafés and restaurants line the cobbled streets offering mainly traditional food, also two national supermarkets have recently opened newly built stores on the outskirts of town.
Icod is also famous for the Dragon Tree and the stories that abound regarding the red sap and historical events. This type of tree does not have rings to tell the age of it, but it is said to be over 1,000 years old. The Drago park houses the tree and is worth a visit, as not only can you see the tree up close, but there is also a very large array of plants from the island.
Thanks to the excellent quality of its wines, Icod has become famous worldwide and some of the wines have the famous stamp of quality from the Regulatory Board of the Denominación de Origen Ycoden-Daute-Isora, which serves as a guarantee of the quality of the wine having been produced from the area.
There is an excellent bus service from the main bus station in Icod to the south going over the mountain, stopping at many towns and villages on the way and ending up at the main bus station in Playa de Las Americas.
I have made a short video of the church square where you can see the Dragon Tree of Icod and hear about some of the things to see and do in Icod de Los Vinos, Tenerife.
You wouldn’t think that dangerous sports would have anything much to do with the island of eternal spring, but here in Tenerife there are plenty of adrenalin hunters.
Very often, when driving along the TF1 motorway on the way past Adeje, paragliders can be seen floating down from the mountains above and you can see them coming down and landing the other side of the motorway. I took some time to go and find these paragliding pilots to see where they landed.
I took the road from the motorway that goes down to Callao Salvaje and found, not very far, on the left hand side that there was a small industrial estate. If you go in there and round the back of a mineral water depot, you’ll find a car park full of cars waiting to collect the dare devils.
If you want to see some of them in action you can click to see the paragliders in Adeje, Tenerife.
Playa Fañabe, Tenerife played host to three days of professional beach volleyball and ended with Austria as men’s champions and Germany as ladies champions. This was the pre Olympic Continental Cup and the games were contested in the Davis Cup mode, which is used in tennis which meant that all entered teams faced each other. This method ensures that only the most consistent winners fare well and are crowned champions.
Based in Costa Adeje, Playa Fañabe hosted the thrilling ladies final played between Germany and Italy and there was very little to decide between them. After two sets each the game went to a golden set decider where Germany emerged victorious by 15 to 10. Bronze medal went to Spain’s pair after a hard fought game and won the round 3-1
At the start of the men’s competition Spain and Norway were firm favourites to become champions however; Austria played skilfully and with devotion and determination to beat them both. Spain’s players made too many mistakes to get into the final with Austria while playing against the Czech Republic to become bronze winners, the same as their female compatriots. The battle for gold was a close match with Austria leading 2 sets to 0 and the Czechs fighting back to take the third with a score of 2-1 but Austria finalised the games by winning the fourth set 2-0 and taking the medals.
During the 3 day sports-fest, exhibition games were being played in the hopes of drawing new players to the sport, which seemed to have the desired effect as there were many first time spectators taking part…here’s hoping that Spain are in better shape for the Olympics in the UK in 2012.
Here is a list of 10 great things that you can do in Tenerife. I found the list on the Daily Mirror webpage.
The list is in order below, but to get more information about each one, you can click through to the Daily Mirror website here.
I certainly don’t disagree with any of the suggestions and in fact I have tried many of them myself, but I think that my order would have been different…