Travel

A Week in Tenerife

Brace yourselves. This is a long post with lots of photographs. I have tried to condense my experience as much as possible so I hope that you enjoy reading about it.

I had never desired to visit Tenerife, but one of my closest friends decided to have her hen do at her favourite resort on the island and I couldn’t resist a holiday in the sun. We booked for seven nights in Costa Adeje, southwest of Tenerife, at one of the budget villa hotels. This holiday defied all of my expectations.

Our villa was a lovely shade of terracotta, complete with raised porches and white garden furniture. We had a large, comfortable bed, ample storage space, a secluded back patio and fully equipped kitchen. A two minute walk took us to the swimming pool, bar and an abundance of sun loungers and parasols. This was our first point of call when we dropped off our heavy luggage at reception. I practically threw myself into the saltwater pool to escape the heat.

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Once showered and styled, we set off on foot to the strip of restaurants and bars in Costa Adeje. I’m a fussy eater and was pleased to see the extensive options and deals on offer. There is a buzz about the place without being crowded by partying teenagers. We stuffed our faces on cheap pizza, pasta and sangria before turning in for the night.

We decided to spend the day at Siam Park, a heavily anticipated trip for me. This water park is currently rated best in the world on TripAdvisor. I am such a water baby and I couldn’t have been more excited to get on all the rides. The park is absolutely enormous and beautifully designed to look like Thailand. Walking around and looking at all the features, flowers and fountains is an adventure in itself. There is a great mix between tame rides and the death-defying roller coasters, which made my eyes pop out of my head. Notably, Tower of Power is not one for the faint-hearted. I can now tell people that I hurtled down a 28m drop slide, through a shark tank. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. We also spent at least an hour on the lazy river, eight of us, all holding hands, in rubber rings, floating and soaking up the rays. Magical. I would return to Tenerife, purely for Siam Park.

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When we got back, we changed into clean dry “Bride Squad” swimsuits and went on our first night out. We played drinking games on the balcony and jumped in a taxi down to Playa de Las Americas, where the famous strip is. I’m not going to lie, this was not my scene but I’m glad we experienced it. It was fun to party with a big group of girls. The strip is full of promoters, physically grabbing you to come inside and buy deals. Each bar played the same loud club music and had nasty toilets. Working in hospitality myself, I found it abhorrent. I was one of the first to go home, which is unlike me, but I enjoyed my cheesy chips and garlic sauce.

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The next day, we spent most of our time by the pool. They play music, the cocktails were quite cheap and we were allowed to eat our own food on the loungers. We had planned a big surprise for the bride to be in the evening, so we mainly took it easy. Dinner was at a delicious pizza place in Adeje, followed by a taxi down to the strip. Tramps is one of the biggest clubs in Tenerife and for just over a hundred Euros, they provided us a Naked Butler. I assumed that he would just stand around and serve drinks but ‘Diego’ put on a show. He served shots , poured oil over his body and gave our hen an hour long lap-dance. It was completely worth it for the look on her face. I can imagine if we were all single, we would have enjoyed it more. He seemed disheartened that practically nobody wanted to dance with him.

 

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Day Four was the last night for half of the party. We went down to Los Cristianos, a more up-market side of the Island. It is home to some gorgeous sandy beaches, shops, bars and restaurants. We ate at a beautiful restaurant, with a great sea-side view. I ordered the vegetable paella and it was one of the greatest meals I’ve ever eaten. The manager kindly gifted us with free drinks too. It was the festival of San Juan, and there was a massive party on the shore, complete with hundreds of bonfires. Stunning. We drank sangria out of cartons and spent the evening dancing to the live traditional Spanish band. At midnight, there is a tradition that everyone runs into the sea to cleanse their sins. Of course, we just had to join in. It was an amazing evening and I enjoyed taking part in the culture.

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And so we were down to six girls. It was time to visit the beach. I am not one for sunbathing at the seaside, as I hate getting sand everywhere. However, I love being in the water. I was thrilled to be in the company of other thrill seekers. We chose to go banana boating. I didn’t know what to expect but I was suitably terrified. We climbed onto the gigantic float and gripped onto the handles for dear life. The speedboat pulled us along so hard, I thought I would fall off. My knuckles were white and I was sliding all over the place. I couldn’t open my eyes for the sheer force of salty water splashing into them as we raced along the waves. It was an awesome excursion. I’m glad I didn’t chicken out. When we had finished, my friend Geena and I went shopping for souvenirs. There were so many pseudo-designer bags, purses and t-shirts available. My only purchases were a new bandana to wear at work and my favourite iced tea.

The following day we took the hire car out for a grand tour of the Island. We plotted some areas of interest, packed snacks and blankets. Our first stop was Los Gigantes. This is where they filmed some scenes in ‘Wrath of the Titans.’ It was simply stunning!

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Then we headed to Masca, apparently the most beautiful village in Tenerife. Following this we drove to Santiago del Teide. We briefly stopped off for some chips and coffees in a small cafe and went for a stroll. Everything was beautiful and I appreciated how rural and different this part of the island was compared to where we were staying.

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Next up, Hannah suggested we visited La Caletón, Garachico. These were incredible. Lava from the volcano had burned through the rock to form pools of sea water that you could swim in. The waves were ice cold and vicious. You had to be a decent swimmer because once you were in, you couldn’t touch the sides or bottom. The rocks were sharp and slippery not to mention covered in crabs, scuttling out of the sea. There was a small cliff you could jump off as the pools were so deep. We were having the best time and felt so free.

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Once we had swam/floated our hearts out, we bundled back into the car with ice creams from a supermarket and drove further up the mountain towards the summit. We knew that we wanted to watch the sunset from as high as we could go. We parked up and climbed over the road barrier to walk closer to the edge of the volcano. It was then that we realised how high we had climbed – above the clouds. We found the perfect spot to perch ourselves, cracked open a bottle of cava and played “Africa – Toto” as the sun descended below the clouds.

It is a moment that I will never ever forget. We then lay on our backs and stayed until we could see all the stars in the sky before driving back home.

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It was our last full day in Tenerife. We had previously booked ourselves another excursion – a 3 hour whale and dolphin tour on a Catamaran. We had to get up early but it was worth it. There was complimentary champagne and they topped it up as often as you liked. We hired beds so we could lie at the front and get the best views.

There were opportunities to photograph the gorgeous pilot whales and in the middle of the trip, the boat was anchored to allow us to swim in the middle of the sea. We were truly living our best lives.

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It was our last night and we had several bottles of liqueurs and spirits that the other girls had left so we made our own cocktails, played card games and went for one last night out. It ended quite early because we realised you have to be very drunk to enjoy the strip and we just didn’t have the energy. We all grabbed a takeaway and headed back to the apartment, ready to get back to the UK in the morning.

This was my first girls’ holiday and one of the greatest trips I have ever taken. We talk about Tenerife all the time and I’d definitely go back to the canary islands in a heartbeat.

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