I first visited Tenerife as a teenager in the early 1990s, on holiday with my parents. We stayed in Los Cristianos, making frequent visits to neighbouring Playa de las Americas, in the height of the summer season – which, in retrospect, was probably our first mistake. It was busy, tacky, and, aside from a day-trip to Mount Teide, not particularly picturesque. In the resulting holiday video, what was supposed to be a cute shot of my mum and I heading home from dinner one night is rudely – and actually quite hilariously – interrupted by a group of Brits on a pub crawl, singing “We Will Rock You,” at the top of their lungs. Except they weren’t saying “rock you”. I’ll leave it to your imagination to fill in what they might have substituted it with, instead… You can also check us out on instagram.
Why I love Tenerife
My Tenerife Story
My parents never went back, having had their initial impression of a ‘Brits Abroad’ Blackpool-on-Sea well and truly confirmed. To this day, my dad still can’t listen to Queen without shuddering.
It would’ve been easy for me to have followed their lead, and spent the rest of my life assuming that Tenerife was the kind of place you’d only go to if you were so desperate for some cheap winter sun that you didn’t really care where you ended up, as long as it was less than a 5 hour flight from Edinburgh.
Over a decade later, though, that’s exactly the position I found myself in. Well, it was a bad winter, that year, and my husband, Terry, had managed to find a cheap deal online: what did we have to lose? Other than two weeks of our lives, obviously, and apparently the respect of our peers, all of whom seemed mildly amused that we were going to the Canaries, instead of taking a more “worthy” trip to somewhere cultured. “At least it’s not Lanzagrotty!” was the most positive comment we got, and so we set off that December armed with sunscreen and low expectations, fully expecting to spend the next two weeks surrounded by British pubs and drunken tourists.
Instead, we found a totally different island from the one I’d visited in the 90s. By which I mean, “It was exactly the same island, obviously,” it was just that this time, with the help of a hire car and a willingness to explore, we saw a totally different side to Tenerife – and we saw it without having to venture too far out of our comfort zone, either. I mean, let’s face it: if you’ve booked a cheap break to the Canary Islands, you’re probably looking for sunshine and convenience, aren’t you? You want to eat in nice restaurants and see some of the sights, but you don’t necessarily want to have to hike 15 miles through the mountains, just to be able to say you ate an “authentic” meal in an obscure restaurant which no tourist had previously ever set foot in. And, if you do, I’m going to respectfully pre-warn you that this is probably not the website for you.