Island Heat: 5 Reasons Why Tenerife (Canary Islands) Rocks

BY SARAH REINBOLD, founder of Fresh to Death Fitness

Take a minute to imagine this one-day travel itinerary: you begin the day with a quick energy burst from the sweetest, most perfectly-ripened bunch of palm-sized plátanos, each bite more like sinking your teeth into a banana cake than the actual fruit. Now feeling wonderfully energetic, thanks to your breakfast, you hop in your car, windows down to take advantage of the delicate wind just starting to ruffle the palm trees. An easy one-hour drive takes you to the highest point in Spain, and, here, with snow on the ground and a wind more closely resembling a squall, you don a winter coat and hiking boots and leave behind the warmth of your car to look over the edge of the world’s third highest volcano and experience both terror and awe in response to a landscape that is both desolate and beautiful and has had over 170,000 years to develop. Ready for a change of scenery, an hour and a half later you find yourself with a swimsuit full of sand, sipping a cold Dorada beer and happily bronzing in the sun while contemplating where to get dinner. This turns out to be a veritable seafood feast grilled and fried to perfection. Top it off with a litre of house white wine, and bed beckons.

SEE ALSO: Feel Fit, Fresh & Fierce While Traveling With These Simple Exercises

 

The most magical part of this theoretical day is that it is actually possible to achieve it—and without the aid of any mind-bending substances!

Let me talk you through five reasons why you need to check out Tenerife ASAP.

1. The Food

Pack your appetite when coming to Tenerife. The diversity and freshness of locally-caught seafood will not disappoint. Following the tip of a Spanish friend, we drove the short distance from our AirBNB in Las Galletas to the tiny village of Tajao, home of Restaurante Delicias del Mar, which will henceforth be known as the source of two of the five best meals I’ve eaten in my life. Our first dinner there was so epic that we cancelled our previous dinner plans for our last night and went back. I have no regrets. Let the staff advise you on what to get, but, by God, do not leave without having at least one or two of the shrimp skewers. I’m drooling over the mere memory.

2. The Beaches

This is another obvious one. You’d have to be a lunatic to vacation in Tenerife and not experience the beaches. But many vacationers make the mistake of committing themselves to resort-heavy Playa de las Américas, when, in fact, the beaches in Tenerife are as diverse as the rest of the landscape.

It’s worth spending an afternoon at Playa de las Américas, which is sprawling and full of sun and services.

But, also take time to explore one of Tenerife’s smaller, more secluded beaches. There are a couple that are accessible by moderate hikes from El Puertito. The best part is that you can fuel up for your walk with giant to-go cups of cold beer and tinto de verano—just be sure to watch your step coming down the boulders leading into the beaches.

3. Teide

How often in the routine of your daily life do you find yourself trekking over an active volcano? I don’t know about you, but the most exotic experience I have living in Madrid is my weekly acaí bowl. Active volcano definitely trumps acaí bowl.

Be sure to pack a warm coat because the wind and cold at the top are no joke. But the views (and altitude) will take your breath away.

4. The Rock Pools at Crab Island

On the western coast of Tenerife, tucked between the more popular Los Gigantes and Puerto Santiago, Crab Island is a bit tricky to find but well worth the effort.

I took advantage of the scenery to do a bit of tumbling, but, before the sun set and the waves got too wild, people were swimming in the rock pool just behind me. Also, an incredibly epic place to watch the sunset.

5. The Island Lifestyle

Let’s be honest—you could spend a full day doing all of the things that I proposed in that theoretical itinerary. Or, you could even more easily find the nearest beach, winery or even lookout point and while away the afternoon with your favorite beverage, good company and a complete lack of commitments. Time passes more slowly in the Canary Islands, and there’s no point trying to fight it. So take advantage of it and get down with your slothful self.

Tenerife is beautiful year-round (though you might have to dodge a few raindrops in late winter) and surprisingly cheap! Let me know what you get up to in this otherworldly island paradise!

Photos: Sarah Reinbold

Have you ever been to Tenerife? Share with us in the comments.

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Wendy Hung

CEO, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and Russia because they were all so different! St. Bart's was pretty amazing too (wink)!

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