Wanting a break from Europe’s winter, we flew to Tenerife in January. The temperature is mild the whole year, and sometimes you can get lucky with warm temperatures in January. Unfortunately for us, the weather was great for the four weeks before and after we were there, but cloudy and cold during our one-week stay. We had reserved a very small room rented by a German couple just north of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in San Andres, thinking that we would be outside most of the time, a severe miscalculation. The couple had lived there for more than 20 years, but still only spoke rudimentary Spanish, which I found quite strange, but they were very nice and even invited us one evening for wine and tapas. They said they always did that with their guests, I suppose that was one way of countering their semi-isolation in a foreign country.
We arrived at the airport in the south of the island, picked up our rental car and drove immediately north.
View of San Andres
It is a nice village with several good restaurants and from where we hiked a bit to the north.
Not far from where we stayed, but over winding roads which meant that driving took a bit longer, is Anaga Rural Park, with lots of hiking trails, steep mountains, ravines and sundry flora and fauna.
The northeast coast: wild, rugged seacoast
We traveled farther down the coast to Botanical Garden in Puerto de la Cruz, which has thousands of plant species from throughout the world and was created more than 200 years ago in 1788.
Santa Cruz has a large harbor, which is not especially attractive.
North end of the harbor
But the town itself is quite picturesque and has a good market.
The first time we attempted to visit, we got to within several kilometers of it after a couple of hours of driving on very curvy mountain roads, but were stopped by a roadblock set up by the police. The area had been covered by fog the previous night, and the road was pure ice: good for ice-skating, but not for driving.
We returned the next day to fantastic views of Teide and distant clouds on the way.
We made the poor choice of taking the cable car up, since we had to wait in line for an hour and then did not have that much time for exploring.
At the top:
Surroundings in the park
We were tired of the bad weather and saw that the weather report for the south coast was good at the end of our stay on the island, so we drove to Los Cristianos to have some beach time. It is the kind of place we normally avoid, since it is an over-developed tourist center catering to people on package tours and retirees. I got the impression that 10% of the tourists there needed walkers to get around. But then many disabled people take vacations there, and sundry walkways are designed so that they can managed them without problems.
Unfortunately, the excursion was unsuccessful, since it was mostly cloudy there and not as warm as forecast. Here the beach when we arrived, but the sky was soon overcast shortly afterward.
The island certainly has some nice spots, but I doubt whether I will return. And then there are other Canary islands.