Tenerife – one of the most popular escape Islands for frozen central and nothern Europeans during long and cold winter times. Though Swimming is only advised in heated Swimming pools, Tenerife is a great place for hiking during the cold season. Here you will find the first part of our Tenerife journey, which lead us into the green nothern parts of the Island.
|How I got there||Ryanair; return flight from Cologne/Bonn|
|Where I stayed||1 bedroom-Apartment in La Matanza, North Coast: Faisan Azul, https://www.airbnb.de/rooms/8512000
1 bedroom-Apartment in Los Gigantes: https://www.airbnb.de/rooms/10805053
|Restaurants||Restaurant Casa Juan in La Matanza, https://www.tripadvisor.de/Restaurant_Review-g1064202-d3192919-Reviews-Restaurante_Casa_Juan-La_Matanza_de_Acentejo_Tenerife_Canary_Islands.html, http://casajuan.net/welcome
Restaurant Casa Mediterranea in Puerto de la Cruz, https://www.tripadvisor.de/Restaurant_Review-g187481-d3498983-Reviews-Casa_Mediterranea-Puerto_de_la_Cruz_Tenerife_Canary_Islands.html , no own Website
Restaurant Tas-K in Los Gigantes, https://www.tripadvisor.de/Restaurant_Review-g673870-d3625318-Reviews-Tas_K-Los_Gigantes_Tenerife_Canary_Islands.html, no own Website
|Things to do||Hiking – Tenerife is a paradise for hiking! Good guide: “Rother Tenerife – the finest walks on the coast and in the mountains”
wind and kite Surfing in El Medano
|Recommendations in a nutshell||North Coast: generally more humid/rainy and colder at night (make sure your accommodation offers heating); if you prefer the sun: look for an accomodation in the south-western part (that’s usually the sunniest Region on Tenerife) and rent a car for visiting the North.|
|Recipe||Papas arrugadas and mojo with Gofio and Queso asado – small salted potatoes with red and green sauce, grilled cheese and Canarian Grain Flour|
The Canary Islands are known as the “Islands of eternal Spring”, which is not really true: in summer it gets quite hot and in winter it gets at least too cold for Swimming (unless you are happy with water below 20 degrees, which I am not). So, going there at the end of January put a clear emphasis on the mountains rather than the sea.
Despite the unpleasant incidents related to your flight bookings with Eurowings (see below!) the Tenerife trip turned out to be a very nice one. Having missed out almost the entire winter in 2017 (due to our 5 week-trip to Australia), we decided that we wanted to skip at least a bit of the 2018 winter as well. And the Canary islands are predestined escape locations for central Europeans to evade the nasty side effects of winter (like temperatures around 4 degrees Celsius combined with drizzle).
So, this time…
– again. I had been there twice before on business trips (it’s a lot cheaper to go there instead of Paris or London!), each time in January, each time I stayed at the Hotel H10 Costa Adeje Palace:
So I knew that swimming would probably not be an option, but hiking and sight-seeing. In preparation, we would the “Rother Hiking Guide” (see link above), which provides 80 different tours, from easy walks to challenging climbs. All routes are described in detail, so you can’t miss the way.
As we could not decide between the west and the north, we optend for splitting our two weeks and spending 7 days in each region. We started in the North, and to get there you definitely need a rental car. We got ours at the Avis station at the airport “Tenerife South” which is a bit of a pain, as Avis is no longer located directly at the airport, but approx. 2 km away. They will pick you up by bus, but it turned out to be a real challenge to identify the right bus…
Arrival at the North Coast – a little too wet and cold…
In winter, the sun sets quite early, so it was already dark when we arrived at “Faisal Azul”, which is a small place offering two “tower apartments”, a larger apartment in the basement of the two towers, and two or three separate houses, all located in a lovely garden. And it was cold! Unfortunately, the office of Faisal Azul was already closed. We got our key from a code-protected box at the house, but we could not get any heater for the room.
So we just unpacked a few things and decided to warm up somewhere else. The place to go (in fact, the only one in walking distance) was the Restaurant “San Juan”. It’s promoted as “German Restaurant” (which made us really reluctant – eventually having German food every day at home), but they did have a good choice of everything, including fresh fish and vegetarian dishes, and everything very tasty.
The “tower apartment” includes a spectacular rooftop terrace. Unfortunately, during our week it was raining almost every day. Only one day surprised us with blue skies, and – due to the heavy precipitations before – a snow-covered Teide:
Hiking – great regardless the weather
La Matanza, the small (and not overly attractive) town close to “Faisal Azul”, is a good location for exploring the northeastern parts of the island, in particular the mountainous region of the Anaga Peninsula. There are many beautiful hikes in that region, and we tried two easier ones out of the Rother guide:
Trail no. 61:
from Benijo to El Draguillo and back via the mountains:
And we also tried…
Trail no. 50
Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada (where we decided to turn back, due to dangerously dark clouds coming up). Both hikes are an excellent workout (partly steep climbs) to prepare for dinner with dessert.
And for those who prefer shorter walks: there’s a path around the “Cruz del Carmen”, leading through a forest of myrtles.
Speaking about desserts and workout: we definitely needed the latter after having been to the Café Vista Paraiso (close to Puerto de la Cruz) – great cakes and great view!
Puerto de la Cruz: Jardin Botanico and nice city center
Another really nice spot is the Botanical Garden in Puerto de la Cruz: despite the huge number of visitors there’s always a calm spot somewhere.
Being in Puerto de la Cruz anyway, we visited the old town and stayed for dinner. Our favorite place was a very small one: Casa Mediterranea. It is advisable to reserve a table, as there are only very few at the tiny Restaurant and the evening we stayed there it was fully booked.
Garachico – picturesque and worth a visit
Trying to escape from the very frequent rain at La Matanza, we tried the western parts of Tenerife, in particular the exceptionally beautiful town of Garachico. Famous are the small canals at the sea:
And the town center is nice as well:
The wild West
Even further in the west there’s Punta Negra, a famous view point. Unfortunately, the road to Punta Negra was closed, when we arrived, a sign stating that the road would open from Monday till Thursday. OK – after a drive of 45 minutes it’s not what you are keen on reading, but…what the heck. So we tried again on Monday, and – surprise, surprise! – the road was closed.
Screaming and shouting didn’t help much, so we opted for a short walk at the shoreline next to the Buenavista Golf course. And fortunately that made up for having missed the famous Punta Negra. Wild and windy and huge waves to watch, just great!
And afterwards beer or hot chocolate with a view at the Restaurant El Burgado!
Montaña Roja – Volcano in the Desert
Getting a bit tired of the rainy weather and rather low temperatures, we decided to go south for the next day. Hoping for warm weather, we selected the route no. 42 from the Rother guide, from Von El Médano to the Montaña Roja and back. And finally, we got our share of sunshine and heat!
El Médano is kind of “surfers paradise” due to a steady, strong wind. Hundreds of wind and kite surfers were racing through the waves, and it’s always fascinating that they do not crash…
We hiked up the Roja Mountain, a former volcano. It’s a comfortable walk, with a spectacular view from the top as reward:
After this sunny day we were happy to move from the North to the western part of Tenerife, which is usually the sunniest and warmest part, at least in winter.
|And here are my favorite Tapas recipes from Tenerife – all ingredients are calculated for starters and 4 persons:
Papas arrugadas, mojo rojo and verde, and Queso asado – small salted potatoes with red and green sauce and grilled cheese
Related Post: Tenerife, Spain – February 2018 – West Coast.
|Tenerife, Spain – February 2018 – West Coast|
As mentioned above, I would like to provide some
Details about our flight booking disaster
Here they are:
we booked 6 months ahead; I checked all flights from Duesseldorf and Cologne, checked all my favourite accomodations and finally booked. First the two Apartments and then the flights. Though a bit more expensive, we decided to go with Eurowings, as the return flight had a more confortable departure time (10 a.m. instead of 6:30 with Ryanair). Finally I booked a rental car (got a very good deal) and parking at the Cologne-Bonn Airport.
First flight “change”
Then – about 4 weeks ahead of our departure to Tenerife – I received an unsuspicious looking E-Mail from Eurowings, informing us about a “flight Change” for our flight to Tenerife. I had a brief look at the times – just 1 hour earlier – and ticked it off like “no big deal”. Far wrong!! A few days later I checked thoroughly, and – surprise! The time was just 1 hour earlier, but the day was 1 later! And not from Cologne, but from Duesseldorf. I couldn’t believe my eyes, then grabed the phone and told the Hotline Lady (and later on her Boss as well), that we would not accept this Change, and they just told us we were free to cancel and get our Money back.
Second flight “change”
Evening of the same day: I got another E-Mail from Eurowings, informing us, that – unfortunately! – there’s also a change of our return flight. This time I directly checked, and – great! Another day, another Airport. We were told by the hotline that the aircraft had to be changed to a smaller one. Thus, they could not transport everybody booked on that flight. But we could just stay one day longer, wouldn’t that be nice?
I checked our bookings in order to re-arrange. But quite fast I figures out that nothing could be changed: our Apartments were completely booked, so our stay could not be delayed. We would have to skip (but pay) the first day. We would have to book something else for the final day. The rental car contract would have to be cancelled and a new one signed – at considerably higher costs, of course. Not even speaking about our parking space at the – now – wrong Airport. We could have cancelled that, but the parking at Duesseldorf would have been at least twice as mich…We were completely rapt, in particular, as Eurowings didn’t give a damn.
The decision: skip Eurowings and book Ryanair
We finally decided to cancel the Eurowings flights (which was deliberately ignored by Eurowings until after our return – they even sent us check-in reminders…), and we booked alternative flights with Ryanair – same day, same Airports, just 50% more expensive due to the approaching departure. And we asked Eurowings to reimburse us for these additional costs.
The European flight rights are pretty clear: when a flight is cancelled, you are entitled to a re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to the final destination at the earliest opportunity. To our feeling, the Ryanair flights would just have been that. In Addition, if you are denied Boarding (even if in advance, as happened to our return flight), you are entitled to get a compensation – 2 x 400 Euro in our case.
So we went to an Arbitration (in Germany, there’s an Arbitration Office dealing just with These issues regarding trains and flights. However, the Arbitration told us, legally we were NOT entitled to the “re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to the final destination at the earliest opportunity” – we would just be entitled to get any other “acceptable” re-Routing, which Eurowings had offered to us (a one-day delay and antoher airport is obviously quite “acceptable”). And any compensation? No! So – for us there was no Chance to get any Money back except with sueing Eurowings. We thought about it for a while (and even talked to our legal expenses insurance who would have taken the case, but with 150 Euro excess for us). Finally, we didn’t do it.
Nevertheless, we are going to avoid Eurowings in the future whenever we can. So in the end, they saved a few hundred Euros by not taking care of our complaint, but are going to lose probably thousands on the potential future business with us…now, that’s a clever Business strategy.
*According to a German Court decision, all texts containing links to commercial pages (e.g. links to Tripadvisor, Airline, hotel or restaurant websites) have to be identified as “commercial” (in German “Anzeige”). As my texts do contain links like that, I therefore identify each post and page containing a link as “Anzeige”. However (and referring to the “About Me” page) I would like to point out that I do NOT post any sponsored content in my texts; I pay for all my trips myself.