We’ve always been big fans of winter sun. There’s something about the dark nights drawing in and the sudden drop in temperature… You know where that tight/stingy person within you wants to hold out for another week, but you relent and stick the central heating on full blast… Plus, work for me during the winter is also my busiest/stressful time.
Therefore, it’s that inherent need to look forward to something, to plan a holiday away niggles at me, usually around November… Without fail, a little switch at the back of my brain turns on, and I casually mention to hubby: ‘why don’t we go away soon?’ and start surfing the interweb for inspiration.
This time, our friends, who have two children, also professed to have the same knee-jerk reactions to the cold weather and after much deliberation, the Canary Islands was the chosen destination, and specifically self catering holidays to Tenerife.
Self Catering Holidays To Tenerife
We figured… It’s the island that has the reputation of guaranteed sunshine all year round. Only a five-hour flight away and would be suitable for all our needs.
I had never been to Tenerife. Hubby has, several times as a youngster, and at the risk of offending Tenerife’s legions of fans, he didn’t paint a pretty picture. However, it was quickly pointed out to us that although there were several highly populated areas such as Las Americas and Los Cristianos which are best avoided unless you’re seeking a night out on the lash and wanting to dance the night away until 6.00am, there are more family-orientated towns suited to our requirements…
Our friends, having been to the plush Sensatori resort in Guia de Isora region a few years back, were put on accommodation detail. They had been recommended Costa Adeje as the area to stay. So that’s where we plumped for – and they managed to find a 4-bedroomed self-catering villa, with a fantastic swimming pool and outdoor space.
As any parent with young children will testify, going on holiday isn’t the relaxing experience of the long, lazy days pre-kids. I remember fondly lying horizontally, reading a whole book, boozy lunches – sleeping even!
Instead, it’s early morning starts, sleepless nights, a lot of tidying/washing/cleaning up and the most exhausting aspect? Keeping toddlers amused and occupied – especially when it was too cold to spend it in the swimming pool or at the beach.
We all made a great team, though. And enjoyed spending quality time with the kids – who were brilliant. They loved the ‘holiday house’, adored the van we hired, and having a break from their normal routines.
The parents also enjoyed quite a few late nights, too (which in hindsight, was probably why we were all exhausted by the end of the holiday) – there were BBQs, couple’s night out, and girls/lads nights out. The advantage of going away with another family – on-hand babysitters!
Costa Adeje is the newest resort area in Tenerife, a coastline dotted with plush hotels and modern attractions. It’s where much of the recent development money has been poured in, to create a distinctly upmarket area for families and couples. You can tell this is the case, as the bars and restaurants were quite classy and pricey. So obviously, I liked it here!
Playa del Duque is one of the best beaches in the area and we spent a few days exploring it. Del Duque has a huge shopping mall, and I hasten to add, I couldn’t afford anything in them as I pushed my face up to Prada’s window like a puppy dog searching for sausages…
It also had lots of restaurants and bars with large al fresco dining areas with sea views, and it was a great place to soak up the sun (when it came out) and let the kids run about. Considering we were at the start of the season, it was relatively busy, but I could understand the appeal. Although some of the establishments were ridiculously over-priced. I paid €18 for a not very good club sandwich. But I suppose it was the view and atmosphere that we were charged for, not the dry chicken and tiny portion of chips…
Del Duque beach itself was very pleasant, even though it’s man-made and relatively small in size, D enjoyed climbing up on the rocks and letting us swing him in the sea, as the tides whipped in. Cue lots of screaming and laughing.
A pleasant stroll over the headland from Del Duque and you will reach its not so posh neighbour, Fanabe. Although Fanabe is still considered to be a cosmopolitan part of Tenerife, there is also more of an abundance of fast food restaurants and late-night bars, as well as amenities including banks and supermarkets.
La Caletta is a small quiet fishing village and resort, with a few bars and restaurants. Much more traditional and Spanish in look and feel, this was my favourite part of the area. I really felt as if I was on holiday as we slowly sauntered around the horseshoe-shaped bay. Great for people watching, the tapas and seafood restaurants are sun traps. There is also a small playground that children enjoyed and an iron statue of a lizard, which gave them no end of amusement.
Or as it’s better known as Otelo. Famous for its garlic chicken, we made a special journey in the van through more residential villages to sample their culinary delights. Nestled high up in Adeje town, it has the most amazing views. We ordered so much chicken, chips and salad, we couldn’t finish it… it was delicious. And the other great thing, we were the only tourists in the place at the time – it was obviously a favourite with the locals, too.
Gelato at Café La Bahia
This beach bar/café was situated right by the beach at Del Duque and served the most delicious homemade gelato ice cream. Monkey insisted coming here a few times… Considering its location, we felt this was the most reasonable place to eat and drink along the seafront.
Masia del Mar
We visited this popular seafood restaurant in La Caletta on our night off. It was a chance to enjoy a romantic evening by the sea, with a few bottles of wine. We had a lovely time and we opted to eat Masia del Mar‘s signature paella. Not only was it oozing with flavour, garlic, and saffron, but it was laden with lobster, langoustines, prawns, mussels and fish. I’m drooling now, thinking about it…
Being stung by jellyfish at Fanabe Beach
It was dead and lying on the shoreline but its unbelievably long tentacle wrapped around all three of our legs when the tide came in.
‘Shall I pee on your leg?’ was the first thing I said to hubby, after we recovered from the shock of the pain! (Have you seen that episode in Friends, when Chandler wees on Monica in the same scenario?). We were so proud of Monkey. He cried a little and kept rubbing his foot, but amazingly he coped better than us! It really hurt and felt something akin to walking into a bush of stinging nettles. A lifeguard told us the pain would subside in 30mins. He was right, and we were thankful the jellyfish wasn’t alive…
Followers of this blog will know, S and I are somewhat cursed when it comes to the weather… Which is why we had high hopes for Tenerife. We were led into a false sense of security because the first few days of our trip was glorious. When the sun peeked out of the clouds, it was blissful – warm, comforting … Unfortunately, the clouds, rain and the wind came to take that fuzzy feeling away. We were shocked… the locals where shocked… regular Tenerife holidaymakers were shocked.