To escape the November weather in London, we decided to go to Tenerife for a week together with another couple that came all the way from Romania to join us in this adventure. It’s quite amazing the fact that you board a plane on a cold November day and four hours later you need sunglasses and shorts.
We rented a car with Budget for the whole week we were there. Upon landing at Tenerife South, we spent a bit of time searching for the rental company only to discover that it is not in the airport and you need to get a bus to their rental office – information which was not provided beforehand.
Things to visit:
After getting the car and filling it with our luggage we set onwards to our first accommodation booked through Airbnb in Garachico, which is located in the south-western part of the island, more specifically above the town. Although without a car it might be slightly harder to get there since it’s not in the town, the view is extraordinary. Even if you don’t stay in the surroundings, it is worth visiting the place at sunset for some nice panoramas. Every morning we took our breakfast on the terrace admiring this gorgeous view.
One of the main attractions in Garachico is the rock formation which creates natural pools. The pools are actually used by both locals and tourists during the summer. Wander around the cobbled streets aimlessly or have a look at the banana plantation east on the town.
Icod de los Vinos
Our host was really great, taking us through the things that we should visit on the island, adding some local recommendations such as Tablas de San Andrés in Icod de los Vinos. Every year in November people from the surrounding towns gather here for this event where they close some incredibly steep roads and on a waxed wooden boards similar to a sled they slide down, all the way to the bottom and stop just before or sometimes crash into a big pile of tires. The speed they reach is incredible and it’s quite scary to watch. But we did nevertheless because we were curious.
A must see in Icod de los vinos is El Drago, the giant tree that is now considered the symbol of the island. The famous thousand-year old Dragon which is more than 16 meters tall and measures around 20 at the base it is known as the oldest specimen on Tenerife. You can buy a ticket for the Dragon Park or you can admire its greatness from the central plazza.
We didn’t prepared an exact itinerary beforehand but since the weather was quite good we decided to go to Siam Park which is known as Europes’ most spectacular aqua park. If you are into these kind of things the aqua park is definitely worth a visit and make sure to allow an entire day. Being November it wasn’t as crowded, the weather was nice and the rides were great. We also tried the most popular ride, the tower of power which drops you from a considerable height, reaching a speed up to 80km/h while passing at the bottom through a shark aquarium. The idea itself sounds great, but we found the slide to be quite overrated as you don’t get to see anything while zipping through it since all the splash forces you to close your eyes. The tube ones were considerably better. Have a look – would you do it?
A trip to Tenerife is not complete without a visit to Masca, the small village from the mountains which has a population of less than 100 inhabitants. Here, the houses are perched on the edge of the rocks, surrounded by green scenery which is offering a spectacular view that can be a dream for every photographer. For me, this was by far the most picturesque part of the island.
Because the sun was still shining bright on the sky, we decided to visit a tiny lighthouse nearby. We ate lunch at a small tavern in the village Teno and started our hike towards the lighthouse on narrow and steep paths near giant cactuses, olive trees and a pack of unfriendly dogs for more than two hours. Although we would have preferred El Teide, the massive volcano in the middle of the island, hiking it is only allowed with a prebooked ticket since they only allow a certain number of people per day. We found out about the booking process way too late, and there weren’t any places left. If you decide to go and hike El Teide, make sure you book it advance.
Playa de San Marcos
Our first black sand beach was in Iceland but the weather was suitable for making a snowmen. In Tenerife, sunbathing on a black sand beach sounded like a great opportunity for spending a relaxing afternoon. Playa de San Marcos is located near Icod de los Vinos and the beach itself is not big but is a nice place surrounded by cliffs, away from the touristy areas. However there are toilets, changing rooms, sunbed rentals and plenty of restaurants around.
Tips for November:
- Bring you swimwear, sunglasses and flip flops.
- Don’t miss Tablas de San Andres.
- Allocate one day to Siam Park and have fun on their amazing slides.
- A trip to Masca is a must and it will not take more than a few hours.
- Book tickets in advance if you want to visit Teide.
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