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The Canary Islands in January

Pauline

Forums Admin
I have wanted to go to the Canaries in winter but never got around to booking a trip, but this time I will do it! I turn 65 in January and this is my present to myself. I am looking at Tenerife because I have a hiking guide for that island and I’ve heard mostly good things.

I want warm weather, possibly ocean swimming weather but it doesn’t have to be that hot, sun and hiking possibilities. I don’t want a city or a beach lined with high rises. We will rent a vacation rental and do most of our own cooking. We will fly there from the UK and rent a car. We’ll stay 2 weeks.

On Tenerife, Playa de las Americas seems to be the big tourist town that I probably want to avoid??

Playa de la Arena sounds good from an article on Culture Trip.

I am looking at rentals on AirBnB and I will look for some local agencies.

Any suggestions or opinions?
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
I have booked this trip for 2 weeks end of January and into February. I looked at a lot of places and booked something near Garachico on the north western side. I know I will be taking a chance with the weather but after hours doing google street view I decided it was prettier on that part of the island. Not as built up. We will have views of the sea and the volcano. It should be a nice winter break.
 

Tim W

100+ Posts
I'm quite fond of Tenerife (the only island that I've visited for any length of time). We've visited several times over the years - and although I would choose to live in the North, our winter trips are nearly always to the south for the sun.

It is worth having a car, if only to explore the upper reaches of the Mt Teide national park (Although the climbs proved a little difficult for the Fiat 500 that we hired last time). The main roads are very good, and you could probably circumnavigate the island in less than 3 hours.

Santa Cruz, the capital, has some lovely old areas, a large market and a spectacular opera house
Loro Parque zoo, in Puerto de la Cruz ,although expensive and extremely "hard sell" is also worth a visit.
Although the is an element of "El Bingo, El Fish and Chips" to Playa de la Americas and Los Christianos, they also offer many different types of excursions. We have gone whale watching (mostly pilot whales and dolphins, but there are occasionally sightings of Humpbacks)- I've been tempted by quad bike excursions up into the national park and moutain biking where it is all down hill.

I can offer a recommendation - Le Penon in El Medano (quite near the airport in the south) is a Basque restaurant, and the food was superb - almost certainly in the top three meals I've ever eaten. I could go back tomorrow and just order the cheese board five times.
 

Alex1983

New Member
I have been to the Canary Islands twice, so some recommendations:

  • Garajonay National Park - sheer beauty. Part of it is the ancient forest of Gomera.
  • San Cristóbal de La Laguna, a picturesque town with lovely food
  • Teide National Park. It includes Mount Teide and Pico Viejo, both active volcanos. There is also a restaurant where they use geothermal heat from a volcano to cook food – the world’s most natural barbeque!
  • Re accommodation, the best way to explore the Canary Islands is to rent a boat from a local or via a boat hire platform and set on an island-hopping trip. For us (family with 2 kids) it was up to 40% cheaper than a hotel room. Enjoy!
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
We leave on this trip in two weeks. I have booked a rental car.

I bought three books on hikes. There are a lot of trails but most seem to be straight up. We will do some driving around exploring and some hiking.

I've been following the weather and it has been low 70sF and sunny, but it looks like it will be a few degrees cooler and partial cloud when we arrive. 70 and sunny would be perfect. I hope we get some of that. If we get cloud in our area, we will drive over to the sunny southern coast.

Other than an hour in Spain when driving around northern Portugal, I have not been to Spain since 1972 and Steve has never been. Hola!
 

Tim W

100+ Posts
We spent a few hours in Garachico on Thursday. Very pleasant little town with a nice atmosphere. Once away from the waterfront, some streets are very steep. You can hike the trail from the town up to Santiago del Teide - but it looks seriously hard - climbing 1400 metres over 12km.

Will you have a car or are you reliant on public transport? (There did seem to be regular buses along the coast). The road up through Icod, to Santiago Del Teide and then across to Los Gigantes is spectacular at times but very twisty.

The other place we visited for the first time on this trip was La Laguna - which was well worth the trip - it is a UNESCO heritage site, and quite lovely.

Have a wonderful trip.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
We will have a car. We’ll be there on Saturday! We are staying just outside Icod de los Vinos. A 1400m climb is way too much for us. I’ve found a few easier hikes but many seem to be straight up!

La Laguna is on my list for a day trip. Thanks for the recommendation.

I think we will be driving that twisty road the first day, from the airport to Icod.
 

Tim W

100+ Posts
There is a pamphlet called "Tenerife by foot" which shows a selection of hikes - probably available from all tourist offices - issue is really that they are nearly all linear and steep - so after you reach the top (bottom) , you've somehow got to get back (to be fair, some are on public transport routes).

Getting the cable car up to the top of Teide is well worth the cost (it is about €27 return - advisable to by tickets online as it can get fully booked) The hike up from the base starts at around 2200m above sea level but is another long climb (estimated about 4.5 hours). You might want to do the last couple of hundred metres from the top cable car station to the very peak - if so, you need to get a permit - it is doable online, but you do need to work out when you want to go, and organise it in advance)

We did almost a circumnavigation of the island one day , from El Medano up to Los Gigantes, to Icod, Garachico and then back via Santa Cruz. Via Michelin gives time from airport to Icod as 65 minutes - but I find this strange because although we detoured through Los Gigantes (And a very twisty road up from there to Santiago del Teide - it took us a good 2.5 hours whereas driving back via the motorway and Santa Cruz was a very easy 90 minutes as it is 2 or 3 lanes, mostly 120km/h limit all the way to Puerta Cruz.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
I have a few hiking books for Tenerife - Sunflower Guide, Cicerone, Rother - and a locally written guide - Walking in Tenerife. I've been looking on Wikiloc too. I think we will find some easier hikes. There are two coastal walks (one in each direction) from Puerto de la Cruz that we will probably start with. We'll see how it goes.

I will do some more checking about the best route from the airport. Thanks!
 

Lisa in Ottawa

500+ Posts
I was just thinking of you, Pauline and wondering if your wish had come to fruition. Looks like you're off about now. I'm also curious about the Canaries. Looking forward to a TR
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
We fly tomorrow! Weather forecast looks good. I spent many hours going over the hiking books and have a good list of easier walks. Walk This Way Tenerife, written by locals, is the best book. I will report on the trip.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Lovely photos, glad you're enjoying the trip.
We leave on Saturday. We’ve had good weather and had/are still having a great time. I found the hiking pamphlet you recommended. We haven’t done as much touring around as we had planned but have enjoyed exploring the area near to us on the north coast.

I think we will come here again, or maybe try another island next time.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
I posted my trip report!

 

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