View from Roque de Taborno.
View from Roque de Taborno.

TENERIFE

Tenerife is an island with many fascinating faces. You can discover beautiful beaches, do spectacular hikes, watch whales and dolfins, visit amusement parks, stroll through charming villages and visit museums. And above all you can eat great fresh fruit and seafood.

Vacationing Flamingos has travelled to the North of the island but will definitely return to see more of this Canarian gem and to get closer to its signature sight – volcano El Teide.

Stay: 

  • Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey. This 5* colonial style hotel is an institution in Tenerife‘s capital Santa Cruz. Off season it has great offers. It is like a resort and features outdoor pool, spa, fitness center, restaurants and a casino. Also it is located very conveniently with many restaurants around. You can book it here.

Eat – The Canary Islands have their own specialities. Some of them listed below:

  • Stews: Rancho comes with different vegetables, e.g. chick-peas, corn, potatoes and pieces of meat plus some noodles. Puchero is a meat-based soup enriched with vegetables. Fabada is a rich white bean stew with meat. Lentejas Estofadas is a zesty lentil soup with meat pieces.
  • Fish: The island has great fresh fish. Our favorites were Cherne (stone bass) and Merluza (hake), best served just a la plancha (grilled) with some roasted garlic on top. Also very popular is Bacalao (cod) which comes fresh, dried or shredded.
  • Seafood: Chipirones are little squids and are served grilled, fried or cooked in their own ink. Gambas prawns come in various sizes and ways of cooking – all good.
  • Potatoes: most famous are the wrinkled potatoes called Papas Arrugadas. They can have a whitish salty skin and are served with two sauces – red and green Mojo (peppers and cilantro based with lots of garlic). Another world famous potatoes dish are Tortillas, egg potato cakes.
  • Gofio: this is a very typical ingredient. It is flour made from roasted grains (corn, maize or wheat) which Canarians use with milk (for kids), in salty soups or in desserts. It is a very nutritious flour.
  • To get some market feeling visit the Mercado de Nuestra Señora de Africa in Santa Cruz. It takes place every day until around 2pm. They sell fruits and vegetables, fish, seafood and meat. On the lower level there is a cafe and a great Empanada (salty stuffed pastry) booth.
  • Drinks: Tenerife has a lot of local wines. Red wine is called Tinto. They also have local beer with the brand DORADA. You can order Cerveza (beer) in a Caña (regular glass size) or as a Zurito/Cañita (mini size).

Restaurants – in and around Santa Cruz:

  • Meson El Portón. Great cosy restaurant with simple excellent Canarian dishes. On Saturdays they serve suckling pig.
  • Meson Castellano. They are famous for their lentil soup and lamb shank. On street level they have a ham bar.
  • Sargrario. High class restaurant with great food. Their artichokes with little gambas were fantastic.
  • Taberna Ramón. Popular bar restaurant with friendly service. Allow some queuing time.
  • Tasca Tagoror. Small restaurant where even the local police comes to get food. In general, avocados taste great on Tenerife.
  • Tasca la Rebotica. Located at a little plaza serving Tapas and more, it is a bit more touristy.
  • Cafeteria Paraiso. Convenient little cafe where you can get fresh orange juice and Bocadillos (sandwich)with Tortilla..
  • Casa Santiago. If hiking in the Anaga mountains come here for a refreshment. It looks like a kiosk but has a restaurant inside serving great simple food, like grilled chicken and bean soup.

Do & See – in and around Santa Cruz:

  • If looking for some culture, Santa Cruz is great. You will find an auditorium by architect Santiago Calatrava, the impressive TEA art museum/library by Herzog & de Meuron and various museums to get to know the history of the Canary islands. The Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre is interesting for children as well.
  • As an island Tenerife has a lot of beaches to offer. A remote little beach is Playa Bollullo (black sand). Playa Jardin is located in Puerto de la Cruz and very nicely surrounded by garden architecture from Cesar Manrique (black sand). The large secured and convenient beach Las Teresitas lies just around the corner of San Andres (golden sand). It can be pretty windy at the coast, watch the beach flags to be safe.
  • San Cristobal de la Laguna is a very charming little university town. In 1999 it became part of the Unesco World Heritage.
  • The Anaga mountains offer various hiking possibilities. For an easier hike, go to Cruz del Carmen, where you can stroll through the evergreen laurel forest on three paths. If looking for something more challenging, pick the "Matterhorn" of Tenerife: Roque Taborno. It is a very nice 2-3 hour round.