It’s been two years since I published a post about the 11 places I’d want to visit in the following year. It was November 2015 and I was making plans for 2016. I said I’d visit Angkor Wat, in Cambodia, and Sapa Valley, in Vietnam. And I did – I went with my sister in March 2016. I promised I’d go to Bergamo, in the North of Italy. And kept that promise.
I wrote that I intended to go to the Maldives and to Etna. And I went – a year later than I had intended, but I did go. In fact, I so wanted to go to Maldives that I decided to pay a visit even though I’m still single (and learned there are many things to do in Maldives that aren’t just for couples). And I didn’t just hike Etna, but also Vulcano and Stromboli.
But of those 11 places, there’s some I still have to visit. The thing is, at time life gets in between me and my travel plans. And other times, I simply don’t have any plans, because I am too tired to plan anything, and because I like the idea of having at least some level of flexibility.
Tenerife though… I still have to go. And seriously, I won’t be able to stare at my own reflection if I don’t go in 2018. I’ve read about it, I have been drooling over pictures, I have been dreaming of myself conquering Teide, and I have even thought of a rough itinerary that I’d love to follow there, something that puts together my thirst for adventure, my love for small villages, and my desperate need to relax and just do nothing.
Here’s what my perfect Tenerife itinerary looks like.
My Perfect Tenerife Itinerary
Enjoy lots of hiking
Most people go to the Canary Islands, including Tenerife, to enjoy the beautiful beaches. But it’s the hiking and adventures I am after.
Check out what the best Canary Islands are in my latest post.
Tenerife is where the highest volcano in Europe, Mount Teide, is located, and Teide National Park has a series of incredible trails that I am keen to hike. Montaña Blanca, the path to Teide summit, is meant to be hard, but I am eager to challenge myself. Other trails there are the Roques de García and the Dogollada de Guajara. The latter one starts in Teide National Park and ends in Vilaflor.
But there’s more. Teno Rural Park has various trails, of varying difficulty. One goes from Los Silos and terminates in El Palmar. A tougher one starts in Garachico and ends in Chinyero mountain.
These are all volcanic trails – which would quench my thirst for volcano hikes. But there also are forest trails, such as those of Anaga Rural Park, and coastal trails such as Malpaís de Güímar.
Discover the beautiful villages
Whenever I travel, anywhere in the world, I like having a mixture of adventure and hiking with culture and sightseeing. Ideally, I alternate hiking days with days during which I visit a city or, even better, a bunch of villages. The best is actually hiking to a village.
Tenerife is packed with coastal and rural villages – some of them connected by beautiful hiking trails. In my time there I plan to visit as many as possible. Here’s just a few of them.
Among the unmissable villages to visit in Tenerife there is Masca, which is perched on a rock needle and characterized by narrow cobbled alleys and bougainvillea gardens.
Garachico is another village I am keen to visit. It is a tiny port that has been threatened by the forces of nature throughout time, but has somehow managed to survive (and shine).
Tegueste is meant to be one of the prettiest villages in Tenerife: set in the gorgeous countryside, it has a lovely square and a farmer’s market buzzing with life.
Vilaflor is Spain’s highest village and that’s enough for making me want to visit. It is backed by mountains, surrounded by a forest of pine trees, and it is said there’s flowers all over.
Last, but definitely not least, Granadilla, home of an 18th century baroque church and a Franciscan convent.
Relax at the beach
I did say that to me a good trip has a good combination of adventure and culture. I should however add that the ultimate trip would end with some relaxing time and some pampering, possibly at a lovely beach.
I feel incredibly attracted by the possibility of sitting in the sun and swimming in the sea even in April (Sardinia is still too cold at that time of year). Add to this the fact that Tenerife is packed with beautiful beaches – and it is easy to see why I am keen to go.
Among the best beaches of Tenerife there’s La Caleta, which is thought to be the hidden jewel of the island for its idyllic setting and quiet environment. There’s even a few traditional fish restaurants there.
Similarly to La Caleta, Playa del Bollullo is one of the most remote beaches of Tenerife, though there is a footpath which makes it quite easy to reach. It is a black volcanic sand beach (typical of Tenerife), of plain, wild beauty and surrounded by gorgeous cliffs. The beach is very popular with surfers as it is often swept by winds that bring in good waves.
Playa Jardin is an urban beach, and as the name says it is completely surrounded by palm trees and cacti, a bit like a garden. As many other beaches in Tenerife, it often gets big waves.
Los Gigantes beach is located in western Tenerife, in a secluded place where nature rules. It is a resort, but the beach is meant to be gorgeous, with golden sand and clear waters, and surrounded by cliffs that reach 800 meters.
Another resort beach is Playa del Duque. It is characterized by golden sand and the water is clear and warm. The beach is completely serviced: sunbeds, restaurants, and it is so clean that it’s been awarded the blue flag.
Located in Playa del Duque there’s the Iberostar Grand Hotel el Mirador, which sounds like the perfect place to end a trip packed with adventure. It has a spa, it boasts view of the beach, there’s restaurants that serve only the best local cuisine and it’s motto is tranquility, which is just what I like.
Have you ever been to Tenerife? What did you like the most about it? Do you have any insider’s tip about places I should add to my itinerary?